Pros and Cons of Laserdiscs, especially vs. DVD:
Laserdiscs, especially the criterion collection, contained "extras," which is why we have such things on DVD now. But if you were into laserdiscs, you got to enjoy this stuff fifteen years before the rest of the consumer marketplace. Now, onto the pros and cons in a world moving rapidly to DVD:
Laserdiscs are bigger, often seen as a bad thing, but since they are bigger their covers are decorated in large, high-res, beautiful cover art, which you just can't get on DVD. Since the discs are bigger, and the video is analog, it doesn't have to be hyper-compressed like DVD data, thereby eliminating compression artifacts in the video signal. A good laserdisc transfer often looks more "filmlike" than its DVD counterpart, as DVD video tends to look oversharpened and highly processed (which it is, to get it on that little disc). Also, the way DVD compression works, only about 2 to 5 out of 30 frames per second are actually complete on the disc. A laserdisc can access every frame in full quality, usually digitally. And these frames can be captured to a computer via video input and used for homemade movie posters; laserdiscs are not encrypted.
Laserdiscs are bigger than DVDs, so cover art aside, you gotta be more careful with them and they're not very portable. Definitely not for watching on your laptop on a plane. The analog video on laserdiscs can sometimes yield slight noise in extreme color situations (though this is rare with a good transfer). DVDs are more versatile in terms of the different digital content that can be put on them than are laserdiscs. And most DVDs don't need to be changed out or even switched sides to complete a movie. Laserdiscs can come on up to six or seven sides, depending on the length of the movie and the play mode.
So what does it all mean? Laserdiscs are printed less and less as DVD catches on, but for many movies, it's a tossup as to which format is better. If you have a laserdisc player, get the cheaper format.