Roger Ebert showing off his basement entertainment center, dubbed “The Orson Welles Room,” in 1988: pic.twitter.com/4uppJA44Wr
— Jeremy Herbert (@DDayFilms) April 30, 2021
While showing off his entertainment center, which he called “The Orson Welles Room,” Ebert began by explaining that he had a 45″ screen because the 50″ screen would not fit down the stairs. He then proceeded to say how “anyone with any kind of large TV screen needs LaserVision in order to get a good picture on the screen because it gives you a lot more definition.”
The LaserVision, or LaserDisc, first arrived in the US in 1978 and was a home video format and the first commercial optical disc storage medium. LaserDisc was a big upgrade from VHS, offering 425 lines of resolution as opposed to VHS’s 240 lines. LaserDisc also offered Digital Audio over Analog Audio.
LaserVision also had, by today’s standard, giant optical discs that resembled the size and shape of vinyl records. Ebert even commented that they looked like “what they would eat off of in the spaceship in Close Encounters [of the Third Kind].”
While it never quite reached the popularity of DVD in the US, it was popular in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Malaysia. It also laid the foundation for CD, DVD, and Blu-Ray.
Roger Ebert was the first film critic to win the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism and worked for the Chicago Sun-Times from 1987 until his death in 2013 at the age of 70.
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