Flashback FridayAh, the video disc. Yet another example of a failed format that companies tried to push on consumers.

Often confused with the laser disc format, video discs came around in the very late 1970’s and early 1980’s as the next big thing in home entertainment. There was a couple flaws to the concept, namely the blasted protective cover and the fact that every company decided to call them something else. (Magnavox went with “DiscoVision” … I’m not kidding.)

Video discs, at least in my opinion, is one of the ultimate failed formats of the last several decades because it went on to confuse consumers for years as to what exactly they were. The only saving grace to them was that they did actually attempt to make owning a movie affordable, something we wouldn’t see again for many years when VHS finally stopped only selling at $80 a casette.  You also have to applaud them for the fact that they made jumping through a movie so quick, something we wouldn’t see really again until DVDs took off in the 1990’s.  (Laser disc had this feature, but it never really took off as a popular format.)

One interesting note in the video above, did you notice the fake wood grain on the player?  Bet you all thought I was nuts when I pointed out that trend a couple weeks ago.

So, why do I bring up the video disc now?  UltraViolet.  The film studios are trying to push the UltraViolet format on us as the best solution for digital copies, yet they don’t play on the most popular devices such as the iPad and iPhone.  We have seen time and time again over the years where a format comes out gangbusters, only to quickly fizzle out and then we are all left with content we purchased and no way to play it when the player breaks down or the servers go off line.  It’s happened many times before, and it’s sure to happen many times more.

Enjoy this little slice of technology past while I try to find someone to buy my collection of HD-DVDs …