Few people have heard of it, yet many consider John Blankenbaker's KENBAK-1 to be the first commercial personal computer.

Koss introduced these headphones over 40 years ago, and they remain affordable favorites to this day.

MCA Laserdisc - The Ultimate Consumer Analog Video Format?


The MCA DiscoVision format – as Laserdisc was originally known – was developed in the late 1960s. Philips first demonstrated a prototype player in 1969. The format was released as the first commercially available consumer optical storage medium in 1978. Movies were stored on huge 12-inch (30 cm) double-sided discs. Video was stored at a resolution of 400 lines (440 in Europe) – almost twice that of VHS tape. And – unlike future optical media – Laserdiscs stored analog video rather than digitally encoding it. This means that Laserdiscs don’t suffer from the blocky artefacts that often mar DVD.

The format was reasonably successful in Japan but met with indifference in the United States, where players sold at a premium. Adding to the format’s troubles, it wasn’t possible to record on discs and they stored a maximum of 60 minutes per side, necessitating several flips and swaps during a film.

Pioneer still manufactures several Laserdisc players for the Japanese market, and their DVL-919 dual LD/DVD player is listed on their US website with a list price of $999 (I was able to find it at B&H Photo in New York in early 2006). Online stores such as Discount Laser Disc offer thousands of movies, although very few new titles appear in the format apart from Japanese Anime.

Pioneer DVL-919 product page (Pioneer USA)


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