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CED Digest Vol. 3 No. 16  •  4/18/1998


From: "Jay and Sam" 
To: <>
Subject: For Sale: SJT400 plus discs
Date: Mon, 13 Apr 1998 14:23:04 -0400

For sale:  Newly refurbished SJT400 Interactive Disc Player (serviced by
former RCA trained CED service repairman) plus remote in excellent working
condition.  Will include original owner's manual, SAMs technical service
manual, non-working SJT90 (for repair parts on the 400), and about 400 discs
(most viewed only once or twice) including practically all RCA interactive
discs made.  Will sell all as a package for $649 (or best offer) plus

Contact Jay Jones at for additional information.

Date: Thu, 16 Apr 1998 03:44:06 -0700 (PDT)
From: Jesse Skeen 
To: Tom Howe <>
Subject: Re: CED Digest Vol. 3 No. 15

Someone asked for "Temple of Doom" on CED, that wasn't released til late 
1986 so I think it missed CED by just a few months as that was the year 
they quit making them ("Jewel of the Nile" was the very last title made 
I'm told.)
Regarding the catalog comment, it is a shame that discs haven't caught 
on for "junk mail", just those cheap VHS tapes. I heard the 1981 Sears 
Catalog had a laserdisc version sent to those who had their players 
registered (And I'd eat dirt to have one of these!) but that's about it 
on the consumer end. Nordictrack was one of the first products you could 
get free videotapes about to learn more about their product, several of 
this stuff (including hair-loss, religious stuff, and vehicles I have no 
intention of 
owning) I've sent for and received when they have cards to send in or 
numbers to call requesting them. They're already cluttering up the thrift 
stores so I don't know whether this'll become rare stuff later on. ("Baby 
Care Basics" is one I see a LOT but don't know how to get a free copy of 
it!) A local TV staton just got purchased by Viacom and picked up the UPN 
network from another station, so they sent out tapes to "selected 
neighborhoods" telling us about the exciting changes ahead. In other 
words, the same old crap (including cut movies) they've been showing for 
a long time, so I appreciate the tape guys, but you gotta do better if 
you want me to watch! (There was a commercial for Carl's Jr. (a West 
Coast fast-food chain) and Dodge cars which I assume paid for most of this.)
Oh well, those CD-V's (audio CD's with 20 minutes of audio only then on 
the outer part 5 minutes of analog CLV video with digital sound (no 
analog track) would've make neat sales tools, but that format never 
caught on. CEDs are so big and heavy I bet it would cost a fortune to 
mail out to people on a regular basis though!
I bet in about another 20 years these video sales pitches are gonna be 
cult items, where people gather round just to get a good laugh out of 
them. Lots of people seem to throw theirs out but I always keep mine!

Date: Thu, 16 Apr 1998 20:02:28 -0700
From: Neil Wagner 
To: *CED Digest <>
Subject: Videodisc History Part 22

>From the August 1982 Popular Science - 

Optical disc can store an encyclopedia - Part 1
                   by John Free
New recorders capture images, computer data,
or audio for instant playback

  Imagine slipping an iridescent optical disc from a
jacket labeled "Encyclopedia Britannica."  The "Britan-
nica's" 43 million-odd words and some 30,000 illustra-
tions have been compressed from bulky book volumes onto
one disc as a spiral pattern of microscopic pits.  Put
the disc in a player, tap commands on a microcomputer
keyboard, and reference information appears on a TV
  Discs and machines with this incredible storage poten-
tial will soon be marketed.  Unlike the play-only optical
videodisc machines for entertainment now in stores, new
optical digital discs can both record and instantly play
back information--just like magnetic tape and disc
machines for computers.
  But optical digital discs have 10 to 100 times the
storage density of these magnetic media.  Now it's prac-
tical to store _images_ of documents in digital form:  A
business letter is optically scanned and converted into
digital bits--electronic ones and zeros.  Then these bits
are recorded--often as microscopic pits--on an optical
disc.  Since bits on discs can be transformed back into
the original letter almost instantly, documents are
rapidly accessible by computer.
  Bits stored on the disc can also be encoded X-ray or
conventional photos, TV pictures, voice messages, elec-
tronic mail, or torrents of computer data from a geolo-
gical oil survey, among many other examples.  Mass-sto-
rage optical digital discs are eagerly awaited by busi-
nesses and institutions buried by information flowing
into their offices in all of these forms.
  In a small room at RCA Laboratories in Princeton, NJ,
I watched RCA's optical digital recorder demonstrated
as a TV "frame grabber."  Touching a big, five-foot-
long glass tank, I could feel the disc motor whirring
inside.  "Let's try it here," said researcher Dr. Robert
Bartolini, pushing a button while viewing a broadcast
program.  The recorder clicked and whirred as servos
backtracked.  A color TV image I'd just viewed live was
frozen on a monitor.
  Later, Bartolini detailed how a disc's 100-billion-bit
storage capacity could hold an entire encyclopedia set.
"It looks as if the optical recording field is really
blossoming," Bartolini said, indicating that most compu-
ter firms are working on optical storage hardware.
  About 30 companies are developing optical-digital-disc
systems.  Included are giants such as IBM, Xerox with
Thomson-CSF, Eastman Kodak, and RCA, and Toshiba, Matsu-
shita, and Hitachi in Japan.  The current focus is on
developing disc materials with the long life needed for
archival storage.  Although thin-metal films that can be
pitted by lasers are a prominent medium, photographic film,
organic dyes, and plastics that blister or contain light-
sensitive metals may also be suitable.  Most disc projects
have been secret.

[Part 2 will appear in the next issue of CED Digest.]

Neil -

Date: Fri, 17 Apr 1998 13:01:37 -0700
From: Tom Howe
Subject: CED Rarity Rating Completed

Fellow CED'ers: 

I've finally completed the CED Rarity rating and added it as a color-coded field
to each title listed in the CED Title Database. There's a new URL, so go to the
main CED Magic page and click on the link with the UPDATED marker: 


There also are now two versions of the CED Title Database, one based on frames
for those with high-resolution monitors, and a non-frames version for those with
low-res monitors or WebTV's. 

--Tom Howe 

Date: Fri, 17 Apr 1998 16:20:54 -0500
From: Geoff Oltmans 
To: Tom Howe <>
Subject: FS: CED Collection

Well, I'm afraid that school has forced me to give up a few of my
hobbies...and the CED is one of them. :( So I'm selling off my
collection, player included.

Here's what I've got:

Sears/Hitachi CED Player. This is the stereo model. It's in a gold
plastic case. The player has an excellent condition needle and plays
(good) discs perfectly. :) All the discs in my collection work fine with
it. There are a few scratches on the surface of the player, but no more
than you would expect for a player this old. It has RCA jacks in the
back for composite video and stereo sound.


Airplane (mono, disc is like new)
Raiders of the Lost Ark (skips a little)
Star Wars
Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back
Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (both discs...see below)
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Goldfinger (mono)
Return of the Pink Panther (mono)
2001: A Space Odyssey (both discs)
Wargames (disc is like new)

Make me an offer on all or part. I would prefer to get rid of the whole
mess all at once, but it just depends on what works out best. All discs
are stereo unless noted. Most discs play great, however some do skip a
little in places, but nothing too major. One exception is disc two of
Return of the Jedi. I bought the discs used (of course) and some fool
that owned the discs before me decided to take disc two out of the caddy
and put their fingerprints on the surface of the disc. The disc DOES
play, however the quality is poor, and does skip a lot in places.

I like to be perfectly honest about the condition of everything since I
didn't have that luxury when purchasing some of these (most notably
Return of the Jedi).

Please email direct your offers.



Geoff Oltmans - CPE Undergrad University of Alabama in Huntsville
KERNAL = Keyboard Entry Read Network And Link

Date: Sat, 18 Apr 1998 23:42:36 -0700
From: Tom Howe
Subject: Upcoming Additions to CED Magic

Hello All: 

Now that the rarity rating is completed, I'll be adding a couple of other long
awaited additions in the next few weeks. These will be the CED Player Reference
Guide and CED Player Belt Replacement Guide. The player guide will include
photos and specifications for all 39 production players, and the belt guide will
spec all the neoprene and urethane drive belts used in these players.  Like the
RCA J/K player belt I've had available for purchase at $1 for the last couple
years, all the other belts will be available as well at $1 for the smaller belts
and $2 for the turntable and timing belts. I also plan to have a CD-ROM
available in late 1998 that will contain high-res images of all the VideoDiscs
listed in the CED Title Database. A link near the top of the main CED Magic page
provides more details on this. 

--Tom Howe 


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