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LaserDisc (LD) is a semi-digital high-quality video format, developed in early 1970's by Philips and MCA, that hit the stores in 1978. It used to be the choice of home video freaks until late '90s when DVD killed it within two years.
LaserDisc (or LD or CDV as it was also known) evetually got fully digital audio to it in late 1980's and Dolby Surround and DTS audio in '90s. Most of the Hollywood studios released their titles for LD in '90s before the DVD revolution. At its peak, U.S. had over 1M LD players and Japan over 4M players and in U.S. there were over 5,000 LD retailers.
The picture quality beats the crap out of VCD, but loses in comparision to DVD-Video -- you could say that it is in par with SuperVCD in terms of video quality.