Film historian David Bordwell recounts the history of the relatively short-lived video compact disc (VCD), a format that debuted in 1993 as an "answer to a film pirate's prayers." Even as late as 2000, a budget DVD player went for nearly 10% of China's per capita income, so the VCD's price and "good enough" 352x240 quality helped it thrive over competitors like Laserdisc, VHS, and DVD. It's a fascinating story, and Bordwell shows how movie viewing on the "'periphery' was digital before digital was cool."