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CED Digest Vol. 8 No. 1  •  1/4/2003


20 Years Ago In CED History:

January 5, 1983:
* Elizabeth Dole is nominated by President Ronald Reagan as Secretary of
Transportation, the first woman destined for his Cabinet.
* At the close of a two-day Warsaw Pact meeting in Prague, Czechoslovakia, the
Soviet Union and its allies offer a nonaggression pact with members of NATO.
Among the proposals is a mutual commitment "not to be the first to use
either nuclear or conventional weapons."
* The U.N. Economic Commission for Latin America reports that in 1982 the
region posted the worst record in 40 years. In many nations inflation is
rampant, and the region has cumulative foreign debts amounting to almost $275
* Pope John Paul II names 18 Roman Catholic clergymen as cardinals, including
Archbishops Joseph L. Bernardin of Chicago and Jozef Glemp of Poland.

January 6, 1983:
* Great Britain's Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher shuffles her Cabinet. Among
the new members is Michael Heseltine, who replaces John Nott as Minister of
* President Reagan signs into law the first increase in federal gas taxes in 23
years. The five-cent-a-gallon increase is to help finance highway and bridge
repairs and mass transit systems, thereby creating new jobs.
* The Winter 1983 Consumer Electronics Show begins in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Telephones (after the recent deregulation), video games, and personal computers
are the dominant products at the show. Notable video game displays include the
CBS/Fox M*A*S*H introduction and the Spectra-Vision 3-D Vortex game requiring
red/blue glasses to see the three dimensional field. Apple showcases the LISA
computer with a graphical user interface.

'Chariots Of Fire' and 'An Officer And A Gentleman' to Spearhead RCA's New
Video Disc Titles in 1983

The 1982 Academy Award-winner, "Chariots Of Fire," and two other
highly acclaimed films, "An Officer And A Gentleman," and
"Superman II," will be among the new titles on RCA video discs in the
first quarter of 1983, it was announced today.

Seth M. Willenson, Division Vice President, Programs and Business Affairs, RCA
VideoDiscs, said RCA will add 33 new titles to its catalog in January and

"The 'CED' format offers the largest and most diverse selection of
programs to help consumers build home video libraries tailored to their tastes
and interests," Mr. Willenson said.

RCA's January release schedule includes "The Man Who Shot Liberty
Valance," "Arsenic And Old Lace," "Mildred Pierce,"
"The Black Hole," "Tron," and "West Side Story."
February releases include "Treasure Island," "Midnight
Cowboy," "The Great Dictator," "Bridge On The River
Kwai," "A Man For All Seasons," "Annie," and

"Chariots Of Fire," "Superman II," and "An Officer And
A Gentleman" represent three unique box-office hits. They are the kind of
quality entertainment that appeals to audience's emotions and interest, and
which will stand the test of time. Movies such as these highlight the strong
sales orientation of the "CED" video disc, which offers the best
quality and value in building home video libraries.

January 7, 1983:
* Canada reports an unemployment rate of 12 percent for December 1982, a
post-Depression high. For the same month U.S. unemployment is 10.8 percent, the
highest level since 1940.
* The Reagan administration lifts a five-year U.S. embargo on arms sales to
Guatemala. A U.S. State Department spokesman declares that Guatemala has made
progress in the area of human rights, making the action possible.
* Future CED title in widespread theatrical release: Trail of the Pink Panther.

RCA Plans to Add Interactive Capability to New "CED" Videodisc Player
in Second Half of 1983

LAS VEGAS, January 7 -- RCA plans to introduce an advanced "CED"
VideoDisc player late in the second half of 1983 with interactive/ random
access capability, it was announced last night by D. Joseph Donahue, Vice
President and General Manager of the RCA Consumer Electronics Division.

"The broadening of the 'CED' system into new applications for VideoDisc is
a natural expansion of a basic product line that is moving into 1983 with
increased sales momentum," he said at a press conference at the opening of
the industry's Consumer Electronics Show here.

Sales of RCA branded VideoDisc players exceeded 130,000 units in 1982, or
double that of the product's introductory year, 1981, Dr. Donahue estimated. He
noted that "additional significant sales were generated by other 'CED'
brands during the year, particularly in the second half as the video disc
industry closed the year with an expanding video disc business. "

Dr. Donahue reported the particularly strong demand for discs last
year resulted in a 138 per cent rise of RCA disc sales by distributors to
dealers over 1981's total.

"Considering the state of the economy in 1982 and the natural obstacles
faced in any new product introduction, we view the past year as a highly
encouraging one for the RCA VideoDisc system," he said. "As the year
ended, it became clearer that the industry now has an expanding opportunity to
sell the consumer a system that amounts to a $1,000 retail sale in the first
year of ownership."

He pointed to studies by RCA VideoDiscs which indicate that consumers purchase
an average of from 20 to 30 discs in the first year of player ownership.
"The consumer investment in a player and discs therefore amounts to some
$1,000, a fact that is being noticed by an increasingly larger number of
dealers," Dr. Donahue said.

The new player, which will be priced later in the year, will have the ability
to search out specific segments of video information contained in the two-hour
"CED" discs, "thus clearly showing the potential of the 'CED'
system in applications other than consumer entertainment," Dr. Donahue
said. He indicated the new player will also provide opportunities for the
development of new forms of programming.

Dr. Donahue noted that more than 8,000,000 "CED" discs have been
produced to date in response to particularly strong demand for discs after a
consumer purchases the player.

RCA anticipates that industry sales of all video disc players in 1983 will
exceed 300,000 units, "and could easily reach 400,000 players if the
economy becomes more favorable by mid-1983," he added.

RCA Looks for Video Industry Sales Records in 1983 with Continuation of
Innovative New Products

LAS VEGAS, January 7 -- Innovative new products will continue to boost industry
unit sales of video products to new records in 1983, Arnold T. Valencia,
President, RCA Sales Corporation, forecast here last night at the opening of
the Consumer Electronics Show.

"However, " Mr. Valencia said, "intense competition will remain
a major factor throughout a year that will see a combined total of more than 20
million TV receivers, video cassette recorders and cameras sold by the video

Noting that color television, the principal product category of the video
industry, established a unit sales record last year, Mr. Valencia said RCA
expects an improved economy to help color TV reach another record of 11.7
million sales to dealers in 1983. He expects video cassette recorders to
continue an upward sales movement with a strong 35 per cent rise in 1983 to 2.7
million units, compared with a record 2.0 million units in 1982.

The RCA executive cited "certain favorable trends in a very difficult
economy last year, "including the increasing popularity of remote control
color TV receivers and the strong demand for VCR's and video cameras.
"However, we recognize the need for greater profitability in the video
business and believe that 1983's new products will provide dealers with
specific and meaningful profit opportunities. After all, dealers have to make
their own profits by emphasizing those products that can be properly displayed
and demonstrated to a public that is more aware of video than ever
before," he added.

Mr. Valencia cited the particular attraction of multi-function remote control
color TV receivers, projection television and relatively new products such as
portable VCR's and stereo video disc players. "The alert dealer who wants
to build a profitable video business will also give consideration to new
accessory products such as advanced games, computers and software."

In his review of the basic video product categories, he outlined RCA's outlook
for the industry's coming year:

-- Remote control will grow to 38 per cent of all color sets sold in 1983, up
sharply from 25 per cent in 1980.

-- Projection television will rebound this year to some 150,000 units for the
industry, nearly triple the total in 1980.

-- Black-and-white TV receivers are expected to increase slightly in 1983 to
5.8 million units.

-- Portable VCR's are predicted to account for nearly 30 per cent of all VCR
models sold in 1983, "providing a healthy sales dollar stimulus to an
increasingly competitive business."

 -- The dollar sales opportunities represented by portable VCR products will be
magnified this year with an expected industry sales total of some 400,000
cameras, a one-third increase over 1982's sales total.

Mr. Valencia noted that new segments of the video business had begun to build
sales strength in 1982, "indicating that dealers and consumers are
recognizing the reality of color television as the focal point in the home for
an expanding array of video entertainment devices." As an example, he said
RCA has been increasingly pleased with the sales strength of its new line of
video monitors that are designed to enhance the new video accessory products.

"Our direction is clearly towards the consumer, who even in today's
economy, is not looking for the cheapest product he can find, but rather the
best product he can afford," Mr. Valencia added.

January 8, 1983:
* As a "gesture of support," British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
arrives in the Falkland Islands on a surprise visit. In Spring 1982 Britain and
Argentina fought a war over jurisdiction of the South Atlantic islands.

January 9, 1983:
* Six Bolivian Cabinet ministers resign criticizing the leadership of President
Hernan Siles Zuazo.
* Inmates at Ossining Correctional Facility in Ossining, NY, take 17 guards
hostage, holding them for three days.

January 10, 1983:
* The nonaligned Nations Movement opens a special six-day conference in
Managua, Nicaragua, to discuss current problems in Latin America and the

January 11, 1983:
* Artificial heart recipient Barney B. Clark's doctors say he might be able to
leave the hospital in as little as three weeks, but with "significant lung
and kidney impairment."
* Billy Martin is selected as manager of the New York Yankees baseball team for
the third time.
* The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments on the Universal vs. Sony case
concerning broadcast videotaping by consumers.

From: "Jerry F. Proctor" <forrestp1>
Subject: SJT-400 Problem Solved
Date: Thu, 02 Jan 2003 12:58:35 -0500

Well, I got my SJT-400 problem solved.  It turned out to be the stylus as
suggested by Stephen J Testa.  When I replaced the stylus cartridge, the discs
started exactly where they were supposed to.  For those of you who did not see
the original message, my SJT-400 player was starting 20-23 seconds into the
recorded material like clockwork on every disc.  I examined the old stylus and
it appears fine and the grommet around the graphite tube appears exactly in the
same position as the new stylus....The slight distortion that I thought was
disc damage cleared up too. There doesn't seem to be any wear on the old stylus
at all either! Insidious things those cartridges are! Thanks for the responses
from Terry, James and Suzy F.

Now for one more problem....I have an SGT-250 that plays perfectly except for
one quirk.  The stylus arm mechanism makes a whirring sound about every 1 - 1
1/2 minutes or so making the carrier arm REVERSE in the recorded material.  The
disc will be playing along just fine and then suddenly a whirring noise of the
carrier arm fast-rewinding accompanies the image onscreen going backwads as
though visual rewind has been pressed on the front panel.  Could this be a
turntable drive belt issue?  The tuntable seems to be maintaining its proper
speed and shows no sign of slipping..... BTW- I did replace the carrier-arm
belt and the function belt.



Date: Fri, 3 Jan 2003 20:21:00 -0500 (Eastern Standard Time)
From: "Jessica Metz" <orcajessie>
To: <>
Subject: CED problem.....

HI i was just wondering if you could help me. See I bought this CED off of ebay
and did not know it was a CED. Can you copy them on to a VHS or not? I was just
curious because i have no need for one of these CED's.IT is a Cartoon Classics,
Disney's Best, The Fabulous 50's. I got the movie because i thought it was a
VHS. Can you help at all?

Thank you for your time


Date: Sat, 4 Jan 2003 20:41:17 -0800
From: Tom Howe <>
Subject: Richard Sonnenfeldt on Newsday

Hello All:

Richard Sonnenfeldt, who was chief interpreter at the Nuremberg Trials back in
1946, and was RCA VideoDisc Vice President in the 1970's has an article about
his life on the current home page. It also includes video clips and
a slide show:

Scroll down to the Long Island Life section to find this. If it is already gone
by the time you read this, type "Sonnenfeldt" in the search box to
locate the article in the archives.



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