Posted by Jason Moriarty

Today’s retrotech flashback is none other than the Laserdisc (LD), the first commercial optical disc storage medium.  Sometimes man (or woman) produces a piece of technology that is so strange and obscure, we look back at this piece of tech and say to ourselves “WTF were we thinking?!”  Here is a prime example.  

Although the first Laserdisc was invented in 1958 it didn’t become popular until the 1980’s and I use the term popular loosely as only 2% of American’s actually owned a Laserdisc player. Considering that the players initially cost upwards of $1500 smackers it’s no wonder.

Not to mention that this behemoth of disc was almost a foot in circumference and weighed nearly a full pound. The sheer mass of the disc made it impossible to transport very easily – imagine how much the Harry Potter Series would weigh!

This size combined with playback difficulties (one spec of dust could ruin your family movie night and cause sheer chaos) contributed to the downfall of the Laserdisc. But on the bright side of things, Frisbee became really popular!