What laser discs are

What they are

Laserdisc was the first commercial optical disc storage medium, and was used primarily for the presentation of movies. During its evelopment, the format was referred to as the "Optical Videodisc System" before MCA, who owned the patent on the technology, re-named the format "Discovision" in 1969. They marketed it under that name until "Laserdisc" began being used in the late 1980s by Pioneer Electronics. MCA also owned the rights to the largest catalog of films in the world at the time, and they directly manufactured and distributed the discs of their movies under the "MCA DiscoVision" label.

In addition, they manufactured discs for other companies, including Paramount, Disney and Warner Brothers. Some of them added their own names onto the disc-jacket in order to signify that the movie was not owned by MCA. When MCA folded into Universal several years later, Universal began re-issuing many of the early DiscoVision titles as Universal discs. The DiscoVision versions had largely been avaliable only in pan and scan and had utilized poor transfers. The Universal versions were largely better. During its life, the format has also been known as LV (for LaserVision, actually a player brand by Philips). The players are also sometimes referred to as VDPs (Video Disc Players).