Years ago, long before the dawn of the DVD or Blu-ray formats, consumer video was strictly all-analog, from the very first broadcasts right up to the introduction of the LaserDisc. The 12-inch, double-sided LaserDisc looked like a giant CD, but the video was analog encoded on two single-sided aluminum discs layered in plastic. The discs that debuted in 1978 had analog audio soundtracks, but later discs featured stereo digital sound. Millions of players were sold in the U.S., but LaserDisc was, even during the height of its popularity, a niche format that appealed mostly to videophiles. It had much … Read more
While the LP revival is still in full swing you rarely hear about the other 12-inch, grooved vinyl record format, the RCA VideoDisc.
It was a grooved, carbon-loaded PVC disc. The grooves were 48 times smaller than an LP groove, but they were still tracked with a diamond "needle"! That was possible because unlike an LP's zigzag grooves the CED's grooves were hills and dales. That difference also minimized groove wear, so the discs could be played hundreds of times. VHS and Beta tapes would wear out faster than that. The VideoDisc also had stereo soundtracks.… Read more