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CED Digest Vol. 5 No. 49  •  12/9/2000


Date: Mon, 04 Dec 2000 22:07:08 -0500
From: Jeff Warmuth <canterbu>
Subject: Picture quality

My wife's uncle gave me a RCA SJT200 ced player and about 200 disks.  He
claimed it worked great  and he hardly used it.  It does work but the
picture quality reminds me of a vcr tape that has been played too many
times.  Not a real clear picture, no skips though.  I wonder if the
stylus needed cleaning and how to do it?  Can anyone give me some

Thank you'

Jeff Warmuth

From: StereoBoy
Date: Tue, 5 Dec 2000 11:35:26 EST
Subject: VHD Item for CED Digest

Many people have asked about the VHD Video Disc system from Japan, and since 
it's introduction was cancelled here in the US in 1984, I've been avidly 
curious about this "other" type of capacitance disc system. Well, I just 
received a Victor HD-7900 VHD player (circa 1985) and a slew of discs from 
Japan and all I can say is that VHD is what CED SHOULD have been.  For those 
of you who arn't familiar with VHD, it was a disc system developed by JVC 
(Victor in Japan) that used a stylus and capacitance variations to store 
information, just like CED. It differed significantly however in that the 
disc size was only 10.2 inches and the discs had no grooves. The discs were 
grooveless and the flat diamond stylus tracked the disc via embedded tracking 
signals stored with the video signals. Discs's (which are in caddy's like 
CED) rotated at 900 RPM and stored 4 fields of video per revolution. Each 
10.2 inch side could store 60 minutes of programming and the player is 
capable of freeze-frame, chapter search, time search, slow-motion, etc... 
from all discs. In terms of picture quality, VHD is clearly better than CED. 
There are no drop-out's in the picture, nor are there the prevalent "rip 
bars" (as I call them) that occasionally flash across the screen. Resolution 
is around 300 lines and color resolution is much better than CED too, without 
the prevalent cross-color and dot-crawl that plauges CED discs. Discs are 
stereo and digital sound was offered in the mid-80's. Unlike even CX encoded 
CED's, the sound dosen't have any tick's or pop's. The coolest thing about 
VHD was that it was 3D capable (using the field-sequential system). 3D discs 
could be played in 2D or 3D, for full compatibility, and the system was 
dual-standard - Pal discs would play on NTSC players,etc... A digital audio 
disc version, called AHD, and meant to compete with the CD, was also 
available, but I don't know what kind of success it achieved in Japan. 

Looking inside the player, the VHD stylus and stylus compartment look EXACTLY 
like what you would see in a CED player - in fact, if someone showed me the 
VHD stylus cartridge, I'd think it was CED. The system tracks the disc with 
1/10th the pressure of CED and since the stylus is flat, the pressure is 
spread out over a larger surface area, reducing the already minimal wear. 
Discs are not coated with silicon like CED's. They are simply conductive 
vinyl. Mastering was accomplished with either an electron beam or laser and 
disc pressing was done on conventional presses (not injection molded). The 
disc caddy's don't have full artwork on them like CED's. Instead, they come 
in cardboard slipcovers with artwork and the caddy itself just has a small 
label with disc title, running time, etc...

I'm very, very impressed with VHD and truly feel that had it been introduced 
in the US as initially planned, it would have buried CED and severely hurt 
the LD market. The picture is great, the discs don't skip and the system has 
all kinds of nice features. It's too bad RCA didn't join with JVC to 
standardize the system. 

If anyone has any questions about the discs or player, please don't hesitate 
to write me at, and I'll try to answer them.

Ty C. 

Date: Sat, 9 Dec 2000 22:54:17 -0800
From: Tom Howe <>
Subject: RE: Discs With Two Labels; and Easter Eggs

At 11:04 AM -0500 12/1/00, James M. Long wrote:
>Anyone ever peel the label off their twice-labeled disc to see what they
>RCA covered over underneath?  The curiosity is almost driving me crazy, but
>since the later titles (Moving Violations, Follow That Bird, etc.) rate as
>Very Rare I dare not mess with the labels - which for most of these are
>fairly pristine (mercifully) already.  But I am still wondering...

I'm not really into peeling off these labels myself, but Jesse Skeen who was 
(is?) a subscriber to the digest had perfected a means of peeling these 
partially off without damage. Jesse's email address went bad a while back, and 
I don't think he re-subscribed under a new address. The "Jewel of the Nile" 
shown on the CD-ROM is a disc I traded with him that had the label partially 
peeled back to reveal a "Zelig" label underneath. I never talked to him about 
his technique, but one way is to use the steam petcock on a Cappuccino maker 
to direct a jet of steam at the corner of the label while it is carefully 
peeled away. The key is to peel very slowly while constantly steaming both the 
underside and top of the label. This peeling should be done on the upper left 
corner of the rear label just far enough to reveal the universal product code 
underneath. Then you can go to the CED Title Database and use your web 
browser's find command to locate the corresponding number in the database: If no match comes up, it will be worth peeling the label back further, otherwise it can be glued back down with Elmer's glue. You could also take a look at that title's photograph on the CD-ROM just to make sure the label colors match, as some label variations on the same title may exist. On a related note, the TV show "Ebert & Roeper and the Movies" recently discussed DVD Easter eggs, and one of my goals for a long time has been to find a CED Easter egg. These do exist as part of the regular program material. For example, almost exactly four years ago the digest contained pointers to the Easter eggs on the Tron CED: And there's a picture of the Darth Vader/Miss Piggy Easter egg on the Star Trek TMP Featured CED page: But the kind I'm looking for would be hidden video on the unused side of a single-sided CED, or on a two part movie where the fourth side is unused. This video could be something like the pressing plant personnel sending their greetings and would only be viewable by manually advancing the pickup arm past the reject-code grooves at the beginning of the unused side. This portion of the CED FAQ explains how to scan this portion of the disc: This would most likely have occurred in the 1985-86 time frame when plant personnel would have been less worried about getting in trouble if the hidden video was discovered. And the unused side would probably have some other code besides 99999 printed on it, which is the code RCA applied to all their generic reject-code stampers. I've inspected a number of discs with other codes or ones with the 99999 blotted out, but have never yet found any hidden video. --Tom Howe


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