Actually, the Laserdisc format ended up becoming a crucial prototype for the DVD format. It had closed captions, commentary tracks, special features, multi-channel sound formats (PCM, Dolby Digital, DTS), widescreen aspect ratios, and even anamorphic widescreen support during its final days. The only items that were missing were menus, alternate angles, and component video (Laserdiscs were analog composite video only).
If the Laserdisc format didn't exist, the DVD format would have had to start from scratch.
But try viewing a Laserdisc on a high definition TV today, and the results are horrific to say the least, mainly because no TV manufacturer wants to shell out good money to support a dying video format, resulting in composite inputs with extremely poor video performances and lousy comb filters.--
Watch my future television channel's public test broadcast!