Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Plattsburg Missouri (Kansas City)
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Here's some info on the LaserFilm format. It was created by a company called ARDEV started by Atlantic Richfield in 1978. The company was established to demonstrate the technical and commercial feasibility of a photographic disc system. Goals for the system included economical real-time, on-site recording, high interactivity, analog video, audio and data recording, and playback of the disc with either laser-based or standard light-bulb based players. The original 13-inch disc had a wide, 6-micron track pitch, over 4-times wider than that of the LaserDisc system. Duplicates used diazo, rather than traditional silver film emulsions. Duplication was by contacting the master with the recording film and exposing it to light. Development was by anhydrous ammonia. The player featured IEEE-488 and RS-232 connections. Time-compressed audio could provide over 13 hours of recording - a disc used for time-compressed audio-only would rotate at 180 RPM instead of the 1800 RPM used for video. The video was not FM modulated - it was a pure composite signal sent to the modulator.
ARDEV was acquired from Atlantic Richfield in June 1981 by McDonnell Douglas Corp, becoming the videodisc division. McDonnell Douglas continued to work on the system, extending the playing time from 8 minutes at 1800 RPM to 18 minutes at 1800 RPM... this was done by reducing the track pitch and giving up playback with standard incandescent light sources. Direct recording of the composite signal was changed to the more standard FM carrier using Pulse-Width-Modulation. The system was never intended to be marketed as a consumer product - it was meant for video/audio/data storage for corporations that could be quickly recorded and duplicated. There was no interest outside of McDonnell Douglas in the system - the biggest potential customer, IBM, had already invested heavily in LaserDisc with MCA, creating Discovision Associates and abandoning that company in 1982. So, it stayed within McDonnell Douglas and was used until replaced by CD-ROM technology.
Attempts at non-FM modulated photographic recording and playback were pretty numerous in the 70's. A company called I/O Metrics had a system that used 25 watt bulbs. It was also called Videonics but never reached anywhere near commercial development - at no demonstration on record did they exhibit even passable black and white pictures. Kodak, inspired by initial contact with MCA/Universal Studios Disco-Vision system, started some research into photographic discs but abandoned it by the late 70's. In 1972 MCA had asked Kodak if they were interested in building the players for their Disco-Vision system since MCA had no experience in something like that. Kodak passed.
Ty C. :-)
"Riff Randal, Rock-n-Roller!"