The Magical New Entertainment System that Plays Sound and Pictures Through You Own TV … On Records! (March, 1981)

 

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Only $499. Now who remembers these things? I sure do, and they weren’t kidding on the record analogy. Those vintage laser discs were the size of an old LP. And if memory serves, you jammed them in the slot still inside the plastic case like an 8-Track, the machine would extract the disc, and then it would play. And best of all, if the movie was over X-amount of minutes, you had to flip it over to finish it. We never owned one, but we rented one several times and it took us awhile to figure out how to finish The Magnificent Seven. (I believe my mom had to call the Video Kingdom for the all too obvious an answer in hindsight.) Of course, sticking with the 8-Track analogy, the laser discs quickly faced extinction with the advent of the VCR. There was sort of a mini-revival of the format in the 1990’s, which introduced the notion of original aspect ratios and commentaries on the releases but this, too, soon fell victim to rise of DVD.

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