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CED Digest Vol. 2 No. 20  •  5/17/1997


Date: Sun, 11 May 1997 18:14:04 -0500 (CDT)
From: Geoff Oltmans
To: Tom Howe <>
Subject: Re: CED Digest Vol. 2 No. 19

On Sun, 11 May 1997, Tom Howe wrote:

> From: Jesse Skeen>

> Sorry if this is getting a little off the topic of the mailing list, but
> I want to put in a few more comments about DVD. As was mentioned in the
> last mailing, DVD's look worse on bigger screens. The first time I
> commented on the "blockiness" of DVD to a salesperson at "The Good Guys"
> (a store that is anything but) he said "oh, that's because it's on a
> projection TV. They never have a very clear picture." Funny, that's also
> what they told me a couple years ago about DSS (WHY are so many people
> actually buying that thing???)

This is something that really scared me about DVD...I heard that they were
using MPEG for compressing the video early on. After working in AV&C
(a Tandy Brand store), the artifacting really got to me. Seems my fears
are confirmed. :)

> I wonder how salespeople sold CED's when they came out. Did they try to
> convince people that they didn't actually see the disc skip, or that it
> was nothing to worry about? It's funny how old video magazines often
> wrote about CED players as a viable product, seems the companies were
> putting cash in their pockets for not saying that they were a joke. Now
> history is repeating itself.

This is exactly the reason that I like to take magazine comments with a
BIG grain of salt. Video Game mags are the worst for this candy-coating
stuff...or just plain writing about things they haven't the slightest
bit of information on.

> Date: Sat, 10 May 1997 04:01:35 -0700
> From: Tom Howe 
> To:
> Subject: Best and Worst Side Breaks on CED's
> Mime-Version: 1.0
> How about some discussion on what people feel are the best and worst breaks
> between side 1 and side 2 they have ever encountered on a CED. Here are my
> choices:
> "2001" (Part 1)
> Side 1 ends at 37:43 as the ship is landing on the moon, almost mid-note in
> Strauss' Blue Danube Waltz. Why couldn't they make it one minute longer to
> complete the scene and finish the song?

This is I think the worst I've seen for breaks. I wish they had made the
thing 3 sides instead of four. It would have been a lot more enjoyable.

Date: Sun, 11 May 1997 18:18:23 -0500 (CDT)
From: Geoff Oltmans
To: Tom Howe <>
Subject: Re: CED Digest Vol. 2 No. 19

Another comment about DVD for Video:

At this point in the game, I really don't see DVD as a viable option. The
players I've seen are $499 so far, they are NOT recordable. So, the only
market they can hope to appeal to is the high-performance home user.
However, the high-performance user is more likely to buy Laserdisc for
three simple reasons:

A. Cost is the same as DVD.
B. More titles available.
C. Higher Resolution picture.

Hey, it's off topic (sort of), but I want to see some traffic. :)


Date: Mon, 12 May 1997 03:27:15 -0700 (PDT)
From: Jesse Skeen
To: Tom Howe <>
Subject: Re: CED Digest Vol. 2 No. 19

Regarding the comment about side breaks, I've noticed on a lot of the 
older movies, both CED and laserdisc, that they ended sides at the end of 
reels in the theatrical prints. Old transfers show the changeover marks; 
most new ones don't anymore. That's why "Rustler's Rhapsody" has a really 
bad side break (someone asks a question at the end of side 1 and the 
other guy answers at the beginning of side 2!) but it's still OK to me 
since that's where the reel ended.
Movies on the Vestron label are really amusing because they always tried 
to cram as much as they could on side 1, sometimes they didn't even stop 
at the end of the reel, just took it as long as they could til the end of 
the side, the time counter often reaches 60 on these before it ends. This 
gives really short sides to short movies; I have The Lenny Bruce 
Performance Film and "The Magic Pony," both of which are under 75 
minutes, so side 2 of these runs under 15 minutes! It's funny to look at 
the surfaces of these discs and see how little space was used. I have 
"Tempest" and "Never Say Never Again" which are 2-disc sets of movies 
that ran just slightly over 2 hours, and side 3 of these is also very 
short. Most discs seem to spread over sides more evenly, but these are 
BTW, why didn't they make a special "Turn Disc Over" type of message for 
unused sides, like side 4 of a 3-sided movie for example? Considering the 
market CED was intended for it seems it would have been ideal, rather 
than just having an "End" code immediately at the start of the side, I 
bet this caused a lot of people to think their players were broken! 
Laserdiscs always have interesting stuff on their unused sides, the 
funniest is the upside-down turtle, others have generic printed messages 
saying "Program Material is recorded only on the other side of this 
disc." Since my laserdisc player is autoreverse, these sides come up by 
themselves after the end of the movie, and for some strange reason I 
always let them play through before putting the disc away!

Date: Mon, 12 May 1997 12:50:56 -0600
From: David Potochick
Subject:  CED Digest Vol. 2 No. 19 -Reply

Woah.... Finally someone agrees with me on DVD..... I'm not crazy... I still
don't see how DVD is going to sell..... Yes they're smaller than LD's but
the picture quality is really grainy.... I went back to Best Buy after
another writer to this CED page told me that I probably saw a flawed
disc. Well, I saw another disc and it looked pixelated.... I'm not impressed
with DVD at all.... I see it going the way of the CED...

I think when CED's came out the sales pitch had to do with CED being the
best thing there was at that time. VHS tapes were  a lot more expensive
back then from what I remember and CED's were selling for a lot
cheaper. You also have to remember that in the early days of the Laser
disc there were a lot of flawed LD's. I read somewhere that there was a
90% return rate for the old Discovision LD's.... They simply didn't have
the technology perfected back then....

I'll have to come up with my own Best / Worst disk side endings.... So far
my favorite is still "Raiders Of The Lost Ark"....  I was the one that
pointed that out a couple of Editions ago.....  As for the worst.... I'll have
to do some research....



Date: Tue, 13 May 1997 12:57:16 -0600
From: David Potochick
Subject:  Weird CED's 

Tom brought up the best and worst CED topic.... How about the weirdest

The weirdest CED that I have seen so far is "Jane Fondas Workout
Video". My wife was watching this and said,"What woman in her right
mind would exercise while wearing a necklace???" She said that any
woman would take off her necklace because she wouldn't want her
neck scratched up.... The whole workout video is just plain weird...

Another weird CED is Paul McCartney's "Rock Show"... I can't believe
that we actually had time to watch the entire thing.... I get bored after the
first fifteen minutes..... 

The worst pan and scan is at the beginning of the movie "Benji". At the
opening credits, you see the whole scene shift to the left to compensate
for names..... 

More Later,


Date: Thu, 15 May 1997 13:14:55 -0700
From: Tom Howe 
Subject: Video Magazine Survey

The May '97 issue has a survey form on the last page titled "Mad As Hell" which
has a number of items to be checked off that are upsetting to people regarding
video technology. One category is "Lack of DVD movies," so under the "Other"
category, where you can write in your complaint, I wrote "Lack of any new CED
movies since 1986."  Maybe if enough of us make a similar complaint they'll
mention it when the results are tabulated and printed in a future issue. Besides
mailing in this form to their New York office, you may also simply email them with
your complaint referencing the "Mad as Hell" survey. The address is:


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