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CED Digest Vol. 6 No. 5  •  2/3/2001


20 Years Ago In CED History:

February 4, 1981:
* The RCA Board of Directors announces that Thornton Bradshaw will
replace Edgar Griffiths as head of RCA, effectively ending Griffiths
tenure though he remains on-board until June 30, 1981.

February 5, 1981:
* Ronald Reagan warns in first televised address that America faces "an
economic calamity of tremendous proportions."
* "Piaf" (CED) opens at the Plymouth Theater in New York City.

February 6, 1981:
* Future CED title in widespread theatrical release: Fort Apache, The
* Former Beatles Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr record
a tribute to John Lennon.

February 7, 1981:
* "Celebration" by Kool and the Gang becomes No. 1 U.S. single.

February 9, 1981:
* Wojciech Jaruzelski replaces Jozef Pinkowski as chairman of Polands's
Council of Ministers.
* Band leader and Rock 'n' Roll pioneer Bill Haley dies at age 55. His
recording of "Rock Around the Clock" sold more than 20 million copies
and "Rip It Up" is featured on the CED title "Cool Cats."

February 10, 1981:
* Massive fire kills eight and injures 200 at the Las Vegas Hilton.

From: "Justin Slotman" <justinslot>
Subject: Inexplicable problem with my SJT400
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 2001 19:35:32 

Okay, so after letting my SJT400 sit for about a month without use (it's
not my fault --I was away) I go to play Flash Gordon and what happens is
the disc gets sucked in but the caddy fails to come out, and so the
movie fails to play. The only way I could get the disc out was by taking
off the cover and manually lifting the little hands off the removable
part of the cartridge, because they weren't letting go. I don't think
it's the function motor belt because I just replaced it a few months
ago. Any ideas?

Justin Slotman --sans Flash Gordon

From: TerryTC1
Date: Fri, 2 Feb 2001 14:13:27 EST
Subject: CED Beginnings

Being an avid videophile in 1981 I devoured every video magazine, of
there were quite a few more then than now, for the latest and newest. I
saw LaserVision in Boston for sale in 1979 or 1980 and was impressed as
the magazines.  But 1981 was to be THE year with CED and VHD being 
introduced.  I remember the day of the CED launch going to the mall to
the new player.  Like most video freaks I was not impressed by its
since had a definite late seventies look to it as opposed to the 80's
of new VCR's.  They had it in a large cabinet with RCA TV on top, player

underneath and under that behind a glass door a selection of discs. On
side were panels with pictures outlining features and coming disc 
attractions. I picked up a brochure, which I still have.  I
    I purchased a LaserVision player by Pioneer a month later because it
stereo and they had JUST finally put out some new releases.  Those that 
impressed me were Flash Gordon, The Incredible Shrinking Woman, Melvin
Howard, and the Blues Brothers.  I still went at least twice a week to
mall to study the RCA and to check the disc selection. Laservision at
time was terrible. Almost half the disc needed to be returned due to
lock up 
or video snow or severe audio noise.  It was a real pain to buy a disc
get a keeper.  
    My wife didn't like that nor did she like the selection of movies. 
preferred the RCA which was split 50/50 with old and new titles.  Also 
whenever I went to the mall the player seemed to be working, unlike my 
    I finally bought a Toshiba VP100 mainly due to its remote, even
though it 
was wired, its capability to use a Stereo adaptor, which I actually saw
time, and the more modern appearance. The first disc my wife bought was
Mary Tyler Moore Show"  About ten minutes into the side the horizontal
flashed across the screen with that "phift phfit " sound and then it
a few seconds.  I was horrified since I had never seen that happen when
watched at the store. So I finally got into the limits of CED. I found
discs were perfect but I could at least get some titles for less money
on Laser.
    Later in 1981 I was assigned to Japan with the Air Force. Early in
1982 I 
went into some large department stores and was pleased to find
Laserdiscs. I 
bought some over the years including Blondies "Eat to the Beat" which
made it to laser here.  Also I bought several bilingual discs.
    In 1983 the local Japanese video store introduced VHD.  It was low
and the only player they carried was JVC.  The disc selection was far
than laser.  I do remember seeing "The Sound of Music" and a few other 
titles.  The cost was $400. I ALMOST bought one, and I now wish I did
since I 
new they were not going to be released in the states.  
    Late in 1983 I bought an SJT300 RCA Stereo machine at the BX. It
with a box of five stereo discs: Flashdance, The Doobie Brothers, Diana
Paul McCartney and Wings, and Duran Duran.  I still have that player and
works FLAWLESSLY.  Since that time I have gone through 5 LaserDisc
Simple is reliable!!!
    I remember hearing the announcement of the CED cancellation over
Forces radio one day.  The other CED fanatics were devasted.  I had been
LA in late '83 and found Ken Cranes had moved Laser discs to the back to
room for all the CED's. A friend who had been to Boston in early 1984
back to Japan and added a CED player to his collection. He had a
player but he found in Massachusettes CED was everywhere and Laser was
hard to find.  We both thought CED was prevailing.
    Now I have 2 SJT400's, the SJT300, 2 SGT250's, 2 SGT200's, and
SGT100 and 
2 SFT100's. I also have two old Hitachi players, one my mother in laws
we bought her, and a stereo machine, the Toshiba VP100 and the Zenith
I also own almost 400 movies. It takes me back and is a lot of fun.

Terry Collins


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