Just when the public is getting comfortable with laserdiscs, CDs and other optical technology, innovations are waiting in the wings that will push them to the next level.
The current issue of Video Magazine highlights compact-disc and laserdisc innovations, the first wave of which could be on the market as soon as next summer.The first of these innovations is called Compact Disc Interactive, a technological melting pot capable of storing digital audio, full-motion digital video, animation, text and graphics all on a standard 5-inch compact disc.
Each CD will be able to store 72 minutes of full-motion video or 7,000 photograph-quality still images, or 19 hours of digital audio. Because the format is interactive, all of the information can be accessed in any order.
There are many potential uses for this interactive, multi-effects technology. Videogames can have better action and more options. Audio-visual tours of famous museums would allow the user to see works of art in any order and get more information on any of the pieces. Home repairs could be presented on training discs that contain diagrams.
Compact Disc Interactive is being developed by Philips.
For the buyers who have avoided laserdiscs and CDs because they can't be used to record, recordable discs are in the wings.
Here's how they work: A recording laser heats a metal layer in the disc to create the pits a playback laser reads. Since the playback laser emits less heat than the recording beam, it reads the pits without destroying the information.