1996 predictions about DVD (a funny flashback)

Discussion in 'DVD Video' started by elrous0, Nov 18, 2005.

  1. elrous0

    elrous0 Guest


    It's funny to think this was all-too-typical of laserdisc fans'
    predictions for DVD at the time. I still remember arguing in 1997 with
    alt.video.laserdisc denizens who would claim "DVD's are too fragile to
    rent" and "No way they'll stay this cheap" (this was when DVD's
    *AVERAGED* $25 a disc and $15 discs were unheard of).

    Of course, I've been wrong myself sometimes. I never expected HDTV's to
    catch on as fast as they have. And even I was surprised how quickly and
    thoroughly DVD's caught on with the general public.

    elrous0, Nov 18, 2005
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  2. The key point that was missed in that discussion, I think, is that LD was
    never more than a niche format that attracted technology geeks (like me).
    DVD's small size and low price managed to break through to the VHS market,
    which is where the majority of people were. All the tech issues, some of
    which were (and are) valid concerns, didn't matter to people who
    thought recording 3 movies on one tape was a pretty cool thing to do.
    Size and price did matter.
    Kimba W. Lion, Nov 18, 2005
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  3. elrous0

    Goro Guest

    Of course many of those that proclaimed that they digital artifacts
    were awful and prefered the look of LDs to them and who proclaim that
    audio on LD is better likely STILL collect and watch LDs. I know I
    unloaded a whole hell of a lot of them.

    To be fair, many early DVDs that I saw DIDN'T look that good. Even
    worse was seeing it in a poorly calibrated tv at (say) Best Buy.

    Of course now with HDTVs, LDs are even more obsolete as (i don't think)
    there's no such thing as an anamorphic LD.

    Goro, Nov 18, 2005
  4. elrous0

    WinField Guest

    There is a wonderful synergy that has materialized with the DVD format.
    "Loverly and quite a surpreze", Count Olaf explained to me.

    It's definitely a "sweet-spot". A modern computer has plently of
    processing power and hard-drive space that, combined with broadband
    cable access & a DVD-burner, can unshackle a person from the
    entertainment slave-masters.

    For stand-alone players operated by the average Joe, it's a dependable,
    convenient and quality format that anyone can learn how to use. When I
    have my movie night over at my neighbor's house (who will never age
    mentally beyond being ~15 years old or so) I allow him to operate the
    DVD remote. He's gotten pretty good at it.

    From today's perspective, those LaserDisc fans do look kinda stoogy. :~)

    However, since I'm sorely tempted to buy a certain ED! Panasonic plasma
    television, I may be joining the laser fan-club near future. 8*P

    - Winfield
    WinField, Nov 18, 2005
  5. elrous0

    Jeff Rife Guest

    () wrote in alt.video.dvd:
    They *are* too fragile to rent...at least the way most people treat them.
    But, since they are now so cheap at wholesale, the loss due to pizza sauce
    and frisbee emulation isn't really a big deal.
    Jeff Rife, Nov 18, 2005
  6. Also, the key issue that has sunk many another new A/V format to a
    watery grave: Nobody had to buy new equipment.

    Only niche HT geeks went out and paid $600 for the big Sony players--
    The first non-LD people to discover the "big deal" about DVD's and
    spread the word were computer techies who could play the movies on their
    desktop disk-drives, and the gamerz who could play them on their
    PlayStations. (Remember those disk labels on kids/anime titles that
    said "PlayStation compatible"?)

    Hence the lesson that most companies forget when trotting out new
    MOST people are cheap, and don't spend money on things they don't know.

    Derek Janssen (and okay, who wants to quote the traditional "Third Rock"
    Derek Janssen, Nov 18, 2005
  7. Once you got to sub-$100 players at Wal-Mart, DVD's dominance was
    assured. No reason for Joe Sixpack not to replace his VCR.

    There are other factors that helped DVD along. Bigger, cheaper and
    better TV's helped alot. Just compare what you could buy 10 years ago
    to what's out there now. If Pioneer had been more agressive in their
    pricing, maybe LD could have done better in the late 80's, early 90's
    when it had the market to itself.

    That being said, I recently pulled my LD player and discs out of
    storage after 2 1/2 years and 2 moves, just to see if it still worked.
    Hooked it up to my 32 inch HDTV and after a couple of false starts due
    to a disc-clamping issue, it fired right up. I was pretty pleased with
    the picture. Not progressive scan DVD quality to be sure, but better
    than I ever remember LD being (likely a function of the TV being so
    much better than the TV I had 2.5 years ago). I'm looking forward to
    revisiting my LD collection. I'm kind of glad I didn't sell everything
    off at firesale prices.

    lorincantrell, Nov 18, 2005
  8. elrous0

    thad Guest

    Actually there were, just not too many. I thought I had a list but,
    alas, no;
    one would have to visit the AVL archives for it. Most of them were
    demo discs because anamorphic displays were rare circa 1990s.

    There were also HDTV Muse HiVision LDs back then with higher resolution
    than any present DVD; visit URL:


    scroll down to "MUSE" and see the January 1999 listing. A number of us
    had full HDTV setups at home 8+ years ago.
    thad, Nov 19, 2005
  9. elrous0

    Goro Guest

    I stand corrected... and impressed. That's pretty damb cool. I knew
    about line doublers/quadruplers and projectors from back in the day,
    but I didn't know of any true HD. How did the High Def (how many
    lines?) analog LD look compared to the 1080i or 720p vids now?

    Goro, Nov 19, 2005
  10. elrous0

    Joshua Zyber Guest

    You can find the list on this page:

    Joshua Zyber, Nov 19, 2005
  11. elrous0

    Guest Guest

    Back in 1996, I could only remark that a DVD would hold so many words that a
    typist typing 24 hours a day, at 80 words per minute, would need 22 years to
    transcribe all the text that could be stored on one DVD. And it would
    result in a stack of paper as tall as a 10 story building.

    And we intended to put one movie on it!

    Norm Strong
    Guest, Nov 19, 2005
  12. I was suprised at how bad these were in the running demos you'd see
    in outlets. I saw one in Costco and the blocking was worse than
    a DBS reception in a bad rainstorm.

    It seemed to be about a year before they settled down to decent
    quality. And those first ones were high-priced besided looking bad.

    And if you look at DVD's from that era and turn on the zoom you can
    see encoding wasn't too swift then either. But it didn't take too
    long for things to get better - much better.
    I think there were some HD type LDs in Japan. And to LD's being
    obsolete? I've bought a couple in the last year or so. Things
    that look like they'll never make it to DVD.

    One I got from England so it was a bit pricey for a used LD - but
    the projected DVD release two years ago was canceled.

    And then there was one that was a limited pressing and I missed it
    when it came out - and I mamaged to get that this last year.

    But DVD's are far more convenient. And I have TPM on both LD and
    DVD and the LD looks better on a good set as the DVD has so much
    enhancment to look good on cheap TV sets it's distracting. But
    that is a rare exception.

    Bill Vermillion, Nov 21, 2005
  13. elrous0

    elrous0 Guest

    The funny thing was that I got into LD *after* I got into DVD. I got
    into DVD in 1997 and was so interested in some of the stuff out on LD
    but not DVD (and the fact that you could buy a used LD player for dirt
    cheap) that I bought a LD player shortly afterwards and started
    collecting LD's too. I still have a few that haven't been released on
    DVD that I watch (some David Lynch stuff, episodes of "Northern
    Exposure," etc.). I've transfered a lot of them to DVD, too, for
    safe-keeping in case the LD player should ever fail.

    The Garth Brooks promotional concert LD released in the early 90's is
    still one of my favorite concert discs (and AFAIK, until recently, the
    only high-quality Garth Brooks concert video ever released, from his
    best tour ever). That's one that will probably never be released on
    DVD, too (since it was only released as a promotional disc in the first

    elrous0, Nov 21, 2005
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