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CED Digest Vol. 3 No. 5  •  1/31/1998


Date: Sun, 25 Jan 1998 21:10:56 -0800
From: Neil Wagner 
To: *CED Digest <>
Subject: Videodisc History, Part 13

>From the April 1981 issue of Popular Science,
the second half of a feature article
by William J. Hawkins.

Now you can buy it:  RCA's videodisc player

It's easy to set up, use, maintain--and features
a reasonable price to boot

[see CED Digest vol. 3, no. 4, for part one]

  The RCA systen uses a stylus to track the record.
It will wear out eventually (after several years of
normal play, according to a spokeswoman for RCA).
To replace it, you lift the plastic cover from the
top of the machine to expose the stylus unit.  Push
a lever to remove it, and drop in a new one.  The
whole thing is done at home in about 30 seconds.
Cost of a new stylus will be approximately $70.
  Connecting the player to your TV is also simple:
It goes between your antenna (or cable) and the TV-
antenna terminals.  The player does all the switching
automatically.  My only criticism:  There are no video-
and audio-output jacks.  These would provide cleaner
signals to TV's that accept them.
  Nevertheless, the quality on my Heath projection TV
is excellent, and audio reproduction is good.  I did
see an occasional glitch on one of the discs I watched.
(Fast search sometimes caused a frenzied picture, cured
only by turning off the player and restarting.)  This
may have been a disc problem and could be attributed to
an early pressing.  But it emphasized one important
point for disc players:  The quality of the programs--
technically and artistically--will be key to the players'
  RCA has done an excellent job of keeping its player
simple but useful, and reasonably priced at $499.95.
(Discs will cost between $15 and $25.)  Still, its suc-
cess, I think, will depend on deals signed in Hollywood.

[photo of a then-new SGT-100 (I presume) with a CED of
 'Saturday Night Fever' being (un)loaded.  Caption reads:
 "Disc and jacket are inserted into player.  Jacket comes
 out, but the disc stays in."]

[photo of open stylus access panel and a hand holding a
 stylus holder upside down.  Caption reads:  "Top door
 on player pops off to expose stylus holder.  Changing
 the stylus is easier than changing an audio cartridge."]

Neil -

Date: Mon, 26 Jan 1998 10:31:24 -0600
From: David Potochick 
Subject:  The RCA DVD Demo...

Has anyone seen the RCA DVD demo??? I saw it in a store this
weekend and noticed it being very similiar to the old CED demo discs they
used to have. It looks like DVD is here to stay and it's even coming to you
from RCA..... 

I'll have to bite my tongue on what I previously said about DVD.... I
compared DVD to VHS and it is far superior even though it uses pixels to
make a picture..... VHS is the worst format there is and I don't know how
it has survived this long.... But, when VHS is finally killed, people will
probably collect VHS tapes like CED's....... 



Date: Tue, 27 Jan 1998 13:14:19 -0600 (CST)
From: "Jason P. Ramsey" 
Subject: WANTED:

I'm looking for any good movies, but the on I really need is RETURN OF THE
JEDI, both discs.  Would like it in good shape and working but I'll
probably take anything.
I'm also in need of a good PLAYER.  I would like it to be a later model
with remote, but as long as it's in good shape and works well I'm
I've got things to trade so if you have either one of these items, please
let me know and we'll work something out.


Date: Tue, 27 Jan 1998 17:45:47 -0800
From: Neil Wagner 
To: *CED Digest <>
Subject: Stereo caddies

Generally, I know that stereo CED's come in blue
caddies.  Today I came across a stack of discs
and discovered one that was stereo in a white
caddy (Rambo: First Blood Part II).  Is that
common or are stereo discs almost exclusively
packaged in blue caddies?
Neil -

Date: Tue, 27 Jan 1998 17:56:47 -0800
From: Neil Wagner 
To: *CED Digest <>
Subject: Collectable CED's

Some discussion here has been focused on the
rarity of various discs.  That doesn't matter
to me nearly as much as the uniqueness of a disc.

Does anyone have a master list or know of CEDs
that are unique in content.  It could be that the
movie has never been released on any other format,
or like "The Kids Are Alright," CED is the only
format to offer the movie uncut and at the proper
speed!  Perhaps the CED of "Blade Runner" is the
original theatrical release and not the later
(changed) video release nor the director's cut.

Any help in identifying those "special" discs is

Neil -

Date: Fri, 30 Jan 1998 21:26:19 -0600
From: Geoff Oltmans 
To: Tom Howe <>
Subject: Re: CED Digest Vol. 3 No. 4

Anybody else got a Toshiba VP-100 player?

I've got a question. I just recently fixed the player (bad turntable
belt), and lacking anything around a 28" diameter belt (the biggest made
today apparently is 25"), I bought the 25" belt, and it works perfectly.

My question is this: is the VP-100 player stereo or not. I know, it's
got a jack on the back that says "Stereo", but it's not the usual RCA
type's a four pin DIN connector...two pins for ground, and
then two other wires. I do get a LITTLE bit of sound out of one of the
other two wires, but it's very quiet, so my guess is that it doesn't
even get pre-amped. The other does absolutely nothing if I plug a
channel from the stereo to it. I suspect that this player is simply
MONO, with an expansion option to make it stereo. It seems kind of daft
to me to put a composite RCA video and then a monophonic RCA jack on the
back and then the 4 pin DIN connector if it is indeed that's
my guess. The other things that make me think this is stereo is that
there are no badges anywhere on the front or top of the unit indicating
that it is stereo, which seems weird cause most manufacturers of
consumer electronic equipment (VCRs notably) use this as a bragging Hitachi CED player clearly labels it STEREO.

For other people wondering about the unit...

The player itself was made in 1981, which also makes me think it's not
stereo. :) There are a few things I like about the player, and a few
that I don't. For one, I really like the front loading design of this
one vs. the Hitachi. It's real smooth putting a disc in and there's all
these neat safeguards it uses to keep you from messing up the disc. It's
got a clear window on the top...I kinda like to see the disc spinning
inside. :) It has an 2 digit 14 segment time elapsed indicator, whereas
the Hitachi just has an LED mounted on the pickup arm and a clear windor
with times ticked off. The player REMOVES the needle from the surface of
the disc while using the "Rapid Access" has X2 playback,
Pause, slow access (FF RWD). It has an option for a wired remote...if
you know how to make one, let me know! Oh yeah, the system is self
cleaning, of course...when you insert a disc, it dabs the needle into
the velvet to clean it - it retracts the needle again before the disc
gets to the rear of the player. Oh yeah, tracking is pretty
doesn't skip much at all, unless the disc is trashed (I've got a
Forbidden Planet that doesn't play well on either player), the other
discs in my possession track about 95% accurately. It starts at the VERY
BEGINNING of the disc...something my Hitachi doesn't do too well
sometimes. On the Hitachi sometimes it misses the RCA Intro animation
completely, or starts in the middle of it.

On the downside...

Firstly, I'm not at all happy with the way it handles discs. When you
play the disc, the turntable moves up to meet the disc, and then the
turntable starts. Unfortunately, until the disc gets up to speed, you
can hear that the turntable is spinning faster than the disc is.
Apparently, it only abrades the inner surface of the disc (the part with
no program around the hole)...conversely I don't like the way it stops
the disc either! To stop the disc you hit the "Reset" button on the
front of the player, and the turntable is retracted immediately. Notice
that I  said it doesn't stop the disc from spinning first! So, the disc
is rather abruptly reduced from 450RPM to 0 in about 1.5 seconds after
it is suspended on park rests. No damage occurs from this either, so
maybe it's nothing to worry about. My other dislike is that it is a
heavy piece...about 25 pounds.



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