Pre-DVD Plastic Video Format?
October 15, 2010 8:13 PM   Subscribe

My google-fu is failing me. I have a vivid memory of a video format that looked like a large, skinny, 8 track -- about the size of a record but square. They'd use it in grade school to show us movies. I believe it had to be flipped over halfway. Does anyone know what I am talking about?
posted by jules1651 to Media & Arts (10 answers total)
CED disc?
posted by alikins at 8:25 PM on October 15, 2010

I believe it's called a laser disc (LD). It had both A-sides and B-sides, which you would have to flip over to continue playing. Kind of like a gigantic CD...

Wikipedia link
posted by titantoppler at 8:25 PM on October 15, 2010

Oh sorry, scratch that, I missed out the "square" bit.

posted by titantoppler at 8:28 PM on October 15, 2010

Laser disks often came in square boxes, and at least the players I dealt with had caddies for them like old-style CD-ROM drives.

It's not impossible to think that a school would keep all of their laser disks in caddies for protection and convenience.

Did it look like this handy image at Wikipedia?
posted by Rendus at 8:31 PM on October 15, 2010

posted by duckstab at 8:31 PM on October 15, 2010

Response by poster: Ah, from the pictures, I'd say the CED, but w/ a laserdisk player could you insert the disk while it's inside the caddy? This is the memory I have. BTW, many thank for indulging this weird memory dump.
posted by jules1651 at 8:42 PM on October 15, 2010

posted by miyabo at 8:55 PM on October 15, 2010

Yep, the caddy went into the LD player and the disk remained inside it at all time. Think of it as gigantic 3.5" floppy, with the laserdisk being the magnetic media inside the plastic shell.
posted by Rendus at 9:07 PM on October 15, 2010

It was CED. I remember watching Footloose with my older sisters on one.
posted by Requiax at 11:10 PM on October 15, 2010

My vote is CED -- I have many disks and a player in my basement. As the link above shows, you have a squareish record-sized cartridge. You stick the entire cartridge in a slot on the player, and when it is engaged you pull out the cover part of the cartridge, leaving the disk inside. This would be a key distinction between CED and other formats. When it needed to be flipped you put the slipcover back in and pulled the entire assembly out. You never actually saw the disks -- don't trust that Wikipedia image which has a cartridge pulled apart. You only ever saw the big label on the plastic cartridge. See the pictures here that show loading a CED disk.
posted by AzraelBrown at 5:56 AM on October 16, 2010

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