Philips LaserVision laser disc, 1980s.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
The LaserVision disc was developed and produced by the Philips company as a means of storing film and sound digitally. The LaserVision format evolved from an earlier American system, DiscoVision. A laser beam is focused on the silver surface of a spinning disc, into which pits have been etched or presed. The reflected beam is modulated by these pits, and the information is turned back into video and sound signals. This 30cm diameter disc held both digital audio and analogue video data, which paved the way for the development of the DVD (digital videodisc) in 1995.