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Pioneer stops making Laserdisk, marking the end of an era

Robert Hyde

Terminator 2: Judgment Day
For home video enthusiasts today is a very sad day as Pioneer have announced they will stop making laserdisk players this month (June 2009).

Initially brought to market in 1978 under the name of DiscoVision the 12 inch disks were going to revolutionise home entertainment and bring that cinema quality high definition picture to the home.

Although the technology inside the huge players was far superior to that of it's magnetic tape (VHS and Beta) equivalents the lack of storage (60 minutes on each side) and high price stopped them from becoming a mainstream purchase.

American video enthusiasts took to the devices as did the Japanese, but Europe never really embraced the devices. VHS had a strong hold, and by the time people realised that their £15 film on the fragile tape was a bad idea and looked for alternatives the 5 inch DVD was hitting the market.

Here is a list of the top selling films on the Laserdisk format:

  1. Terminator 2: Judgment Day
  2. The Lion King
  3. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  4. True Lies

Despite it's hard life the format has laser 30 years and sold a quite respectable 360 million units. Disks didn't shift that many, Star Wars was one of the biggest sellers with 100,000 sold and The Lion King not far behind, although exact sales data is hard to find.

Check out the wikipedia page and an article on the demise at

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