Laserdisc technology, using a transparent disc, was invented by David Paul Gregg in 1958 (and patented in 1961 and 1969). By 1969 Philips had developed a videodisc in reflective mode, which has great advantages over the transparent mode. MCA and Philips decided to join their efforts. They first publicly demonstrated the videodisc in 1972. LD was first available on the market, in Atlanta, on December 15, 1978, two years after the VHS VCR and four years before the CD, which is based on laserdisc technology. Philips produced the players and MCA the discs. The Philips/MCA cooperation was not successful, and discontinued after a few years. Several of the scientists responsible for the early research (Richard Wilkinson, Ray Deakin, and John Winslow) founded Optical Disc Corporation (now ODC Nimbus), and that company is still the world leader in optical disc mastering technology.
It was estimated that in 1998, laserdisc players were in approximately 2% of US households (roughly two million). By comparison, in 1999, players were in 10% of Japanese households. LD has been completely replaced by DVD in the North American retail marketplace, as neither players nor software are now produced there. Laserdisc has retained some popularity among American collectors and, to a greater degree, in Japan, where the format was better supported and more prevalent during its life. In Europe LD has always remained an obscure format.
The first laserdisc title marketed in North America was the MCA DiscoVision release of Jaws in 1978. The last two titles released in North America were Paramount's Sleepy Hollow and Bringing Out the Dead in 2000. A dozen or so more titles continued to be released in Japan until the end of 2001. The last Japanese-released LD-format movie title was Tokyo Raiders.
Laserdisc (LD) was the first commercial optical disc storage medium, and was used primarily for movies for home viewing.
During its development, MCA, which owned the technology, referred to it as the Reflective Optical Videodisc System; changing the name once in 1969 to Disco-Vision and then again in 1978 to DiscoVision (without the hyphen), which became the official spelling. MCA owned the rights to the largest catalog of films in the world during this time, and they manufactured and distributed the DiscoVision releases of those films under the "MCA DiscoVision" label beginning on December 15, 1978.
Pioneer Electronics also entered the optical disc market in 1978, manufacturing players and printing discs under the name Laser Videodisc. For 1980 the name was compressed into LaserDisc and in 1981 the intercap was eliminated and "Laserdisc" became the final and common name for the format, supplanting the use of the "DiscoVision" name, which disappeared shortly thereafter; titles released by MCA became MCA Laserdiscs or (later) MCA-Universal Laserdiscs. The format has been incorrectly referred to as LV or LaserVision, although this actually refers to a line of Philips brand players; the term VDP or Video Disc Player was a somewhat more common and more correct name for players in general.
During the early years, MCA also manufactured discs for other companies including Paramount, Disney and Warner Bros. Some of them added their own names to the disc jacket to signify that the movie was not owned by MCA. When MCA merged into Universal years later, Universal began reissuing many of the early DiscoVision titles as MCA-Universal discs. The DiscoVision versions had largely been available only in pan and scan and had often utilized poor transfers, the newer versions improved greatly in terms of both audio and video quality.
DVD was developed by the Engineers of the company Matshusita.
It was invented by TOSHIBA
This is not true. There were two formats being developed. MMDC was developed by Jointly by Matshusita and Toshiba. DVD (Digital Versitile Disc) was developed jointly by Sony and Philips. There were several lawsuits over this if I recall correctly. DVD came out on top. I also am under the impression Philips holds the royalty rights to the DVD label... But I've been wrong before.
In November 1996, Toshiba launched its SD-3000 DVD player, the first of its kind in Japan. Matsushita, Sony, and other competitors released their first DVD players around the same time. There's little merit in debating who was actually first, since the difference was a month or two at most. Here, we'll discuss the development of the prototype DVD player, the first DVD player in the true sense, and its rapid ascent to the status of a world standard.
The DVD development project began in 1994. The most common image medium in those days was the VHS video cassette. While the laser disks also available at that time offered superior image quality (and had a landmark impact on karaoke), they were large - up to 30 cm in diameter - and a single disk barely stored one movie, even when using both sides. Laser disks won limited consumer acceptance. Worst of all, the disks offered only analog image data. The DVD proposed by Toshiba (called "SD") stored both audio and video data in pure digital format. An entire movie fit onto a 12 cm disk, the same size as an audio CD, while offering high image and audio quality and a flexible array of functions.
Placing extended recordings on a 12 cm disk requires both a high density disk and MPEG2 technology for compressing video data. Fortunately, Toshiba had already developed an MPEG2 encoder. And thanks to its close ties with Time Warner in Hollywood, Toshiba had access to numerous movie titles. Working closely with Time Warner, the project team began MPEG2 compression tests using these titles, seeking to minimize data volumes while achieving a level of image quality that would satisfy even Hollywood professionals.
Hollywood had another requirement:: One disk containing a full title was to cost less than 20 dollars (the price of two movie tickets, popcorn, and soda). A single disk was to store data sufficient for 135 minutes on one side; a capacity that would be sufficient for 90% of the movies produced in Hollywood. In response, Toshiba devised a method whereby two 0.6 mm disks were assembled back to back to form a disk 1.2 mm thick. This configuration was easy to manufacture, and allowed for the possibility of increased density further down the line.
Toshiba built a prototype DVD player to verify that the design worked as intended. At the same time, Toshiba launched pilot production of disks with assistance from Warner Music and Toshiba EMI. Consisting of an unruly pile of circuit boards, the first prototype player came to be known as the "fire watchtower." The disk and the fire watchtower weren't always stable. But their high image quality handily eclipsed the VHS cassette. Emphasizing its high image quality and Dolby 5.1-channel surround sound capability, Toshiba demonstrated the DVD around the world, impressing studios, computer companies, news media, and various related industries. In one instance, a DVD player was exhibited on the executive floor of Toshiba headquarters and demonstrated before representatives from various related industries in Japan in an effort intended to underscore the concerted efforts of the entire company to make DVD a universal standard.