After the invention of VHS, but before DVD took over as the dominant home-video format, there was LaserDisc. Although it never gained a huge share of the market, thousands of LaserDiscs were sold and collected over a period of two decades. At one point, they were widely considered “the future of home entertainment.”
Compared to VHS, LaserDiscs were expensive and sometimes temperamental; their surfaces didn’t stand up as well to dust or scratches. That’s a big reason LaserDiscs got killed quickly by DVDs, they simply were undeniably a superior technology. Moreover, technology got a lot cheaper and bootlegs were infinitely easier to make at home, DVD-burners bringing to the digital age what VCRs were for the VHS tapes.
Despite their size, LaserDiscs also held less information than DVDs, which meant they had to be flipped over during a movie, and longer films needed to be stretched out across multiple discs. There were some players that could automatically “flip” a disc, or play the other side automatically, but eventually someone would have to get off the sofa and change the disc.
For a few decades LaserDisc was the format of choice for cinephiles who wanted the best possible audio and video quality in their home theatre. However, more than 20 years after the last movie was released on LaserDisc, retro-geeks are still willing to pay top dollar for some great movies or some concerts, with prices going over $100, or even a few hundreds for some rare ones (looking at you, Matrix!)
In 2022, LaserDisc is definitely an obsolete format, and it’s meant for the nostalgic geeks that still want to re-live that early 90’s experience where you’re sitting on the living room couch with a mug of hot cocoa and looking at a half-decent-looking version of Home Alone. Or Die Hard. Some Christmas days and some Christmas movies will never change.
Below is a list of the LaserDisc movies I managed to get over the years, but if you want to read more about LaserDisc, check out Wikipedia, or the great article written by Jamie Logie. The pictures and movie information were taken from The LaserDisc Database.