Originally Posted by homerx If were going to compare formats based on their popularity and run time then:
Having nothing to do with PQ/AQ
More accurately, you should equate Blu-ray with CED - and, of course, I am not talking about relative picture quality. Consumer LaserDisc was the HD-DVD of its day and Blu-ray was the CED VideoDisc.
CED, as a format, had much, much more hardware, software and retail support than LaserDisc did at the time (1981 to 1984). RCA was, of course, the CED format's inventor, but they also had Zenith, Sanyo, Toshiba, Hitachi, Sears, Wards, Penny's, Curtis Mathis, K-Mart, etc... either as licensees or exclusive retailers. Studio-wise, for software, RCA had every major studio on board, even LaserDisc's co-inventor, MCA/Universal Studios! (which infuriated us LD fans!) Plus, CBS/Fox built a CED mastering and pressing plant in Carrollton, GA for their own titles.
The general industry, press and public consensus (at the time) was the the RCA SelectaVision CED VideoDisc was THE VideoDisc format 'standard'. While the MCA/Philios Reflective Optical Videodisc (LaserDisc) was assured a continued place in industrial and government sectors due to its unique capabilities, as a consumer format, it was universally thought to be the flat-out format 'loser' against CED - and it would be just a short matter of time before the LD format was discontinued. Many people thought that day had come when Discovision Associates (IBM & MCA) announced the consumer-market shut-down and Philips didn't even step up to the plate to assure the consumer that they, by themselves, would continue support for the format.
LaserDisc had in its consumer
-market hardware corner, Pioneer Video, Magnavox (Philips) and MCA/Universal Studios. That's was all. When IBM and MCA pulled the plug, Philips abandoned all R&D for new Magnavox players (they had an all-new, high-quality, 100% American-designed, player in the pipeline - the player was finished and pre-production units were rolling off the assembly line in Knoxville, TN). They also discontinued the Magnavox 8000 and 8005 VLP units and then licensed the Pioneer LD-1100, selling it under the Magnavox and Sylvania brand-names.
Studio support for LD in 1981 was MCA/Universal Studios, Paramount and a smattering of Columbia titles. The Paramount and Columbia titles were the first group of discs NOT released under the MCA DiscoVision label. LaserDisc first came to consumer market in December 1978 - and the Discovision Associates shut-down was announced in March 1981. At the time, and after 2 years on the market, the ENTIRE "in-print, now available" disc catalog amounted to less than 60 titles. If you count ALL titles released to date, even if discontinued, then the LD catalog was 'around' 200 titles. Even with Paramount, Warner, Columbia and others added, the Fall 1982 catalog had fewer than 300 titles available - and that's after 3(!) years on the market!
Oh, one thing - at the time, it was generally felt that CED and LD were pretty much comparable in picture and sound quality. LD disc quality was so variable that, often times, a CED disc DID look better than the LD counterpart. And RCA made it standard to use an IP for the video transfer and not a theatrical release print like DiscoVision and other studios generally used.
I could go on, but I'm probably boring you all. Still, it should be clear that Blu-ray is NOT like LaserDisc and HD-DVD is NOT like CED. It's the other way around.