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CED Digest Vol. 8 No. 2  •  1/11/2003


20 Years Ago In CED History:

January 12, 1983:
* Japan's Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone and South Korea's President Chun Doo
Hwan conclude two days of talks in Seoul. Japan agrees to lend South Korea $4
billion over a five-year period.
* The White House announces that Eugene V. Rostow has been dismissed as
director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and that Kenneth L.
Adelman, deputy representative at the U.N., will be named to the post.
* Margaret M. Heckler is named Secretary of Health and Human Services by
President Reagan.

January 13, 1983:
* Following three weeks of negotiations, Israel and Lebanon agree on an agenda
for peace talks.
* Saudi Arabia and Libya restore diplomatic relations after a series of talks.
Saudi Arabia had severed ties with Libya in October 1980 after Libyan leader
Col. Muammar al-Qaddafi called for a holy war to liberate Mecca.

January 14, 1983:
* Antoly B. Shcharansky, an imprisoned Soviet dissident, ends the hunger strike
he began in September 1982.
* Future CED title in widespread theatrical release: Six Weeks.

January 15, 1983:
* Tom Brokaw becomes the host of NBC Nightly News.
* Actor Shepperd Strudwick dies at age 75. He performed in the CED title
"Joan of Arc."
* Down Under" (CED) by Men at Work becomes the No. 1 US single, replacing
"Maneater" by Hall & Oates which held the No. 1 spot since
December 18, 1982.

January 16, 1983:
* In Australia, brush fires sweep through the states of Victoria and South
Australia. The fires kill 71 people and hundreds of thousands of farm animals.

January 17, 1983:
* China's Prime Minister Zhao Ziyang (Chao Tzu-yang) concludes a ten-nation
tour of Africa. The trip was undertaken primarily to strengthen China's
economic and political ties with that part of the world.
Nigeria orders the eviction of between 1.2 million and 2 million illegal

January 18, 1983:
* Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko concludes a two-day visit to Bonn,
East Germany,  where he urges his hosts not to go through with deployment of
new U.S. intermediate-range nuclear missiles, scheduled for the fall.
* Jim Thorpe's Olympic gold medals are returned to his family more than 70
years after he won them. Thorpe, probably the greatest athlete of his time, won
the decathlon and the pentathlon for the United States in the 1912 Olympic
Games. But he had to return the medals when it was learned that he had played
semi-professional baseball in 1909.

From: BBDudeIn317
Date: Sun, 5 Jan 2003 19:20:55 EST
Subject: hitachi ced player

hi there,  i recently aquired a new looking ced 1000 made by hitachi,  since
all of my other players are rca,  the hitachi is foriegn to me,   on a scale of
1-10 its a 9.5 cosmetic apper.  but when i insert disc, just inside it all i
hear is a motor sound,  does nothing else,  what shall it take to repair it to
working order.  thanks so much,  david moore in indianapolis indiana

From: XXP400
Date: Mon, 6 Jan 2003 14:12:37 EST




                             KEY LARGO
                        PLANET OF THE APES
                            WIZARD OF OZ

Date: Mon, 06 Jan 2003 20:43:55 -0500
Subject: Movies on Discs
From: "Mark B. Cohen" <mbcohen>
To: <>

Reading 20-year old press releases nearly every week from RCA, Fox and
others announcing (then-) upcoming CED releases provides an interesting
comparison to DVD marketing 20 years later.  Releasing classic films on CED
was an essential part of the appeal of the format.  From my own experience,
what pushed me over the edge and convinced me to buy my first player and
first movies was a display in a J.C. Penney store in late 1981.  Not only
had the player's price been reduced from $500 to $400, but there, sitting
next to it, were such wonderful MGM titles as "Singin' in the Rain,"
Me in St. Louis," "Show Boat," "A Night at the Opera"
and others -- all for
the then-remarkable price of only $15.  Today, it's clear that the studios
are banking on new releases and movies only a generation old to move
software.  In fact, I've read stuff in the consumer press that indicates
that the studios don't have much interest in releasing many of their classic
titles on DVD -- figuring, I guess, that less popular older titles can wait
for the time when Internet pipelines are wide enough so that everybody is
downloading "movies on demand" and nearly all titles will be
available to
consumers.  When the history of the video movement is written, we may find
that CED was the richest format in terms of classic movie titles as a
percentage of all titles available in that format.  I'd be interested in
reading other's thoughts on this.

Mark Cohen 

From: Littleman13969
Date: Mon, 6 Jan 2003 21:15:25 EST
Subject: RCA Dimensia

I am looking for a site so I can purchase the missing items for my Dimensia
system. Can you please direct me to one if a site exsists.

Date: Tue, 7 Jan 2003 09:26:28 -0800
Subject: Stereo questions
From: Jeremy Bond Shepherd <jbond>


I'm a newcomer to the CED format. I've been into Laserdisc since 1983 but have
always thought CED was an interesting technology and wanted to see what it
could really do. So far I'm having lots of fun with my new (to me) SJT-400 and
am awaiting a new stylus to hopefully clear up some video problems I'm having.

I have been pretty impressed by the sound of my stereo CEDs so far. To my ears,
they sound at least equally good as Laserdisc analog sound of the period. A
bunch of questions come to mind; perhaps someone on the digest can answer some
of them.

If I recall correctly, LD had stereo sound from the beginning but didn't
introduce CX until 1982 or so. Even then not all new stereo releases were
CX-encoded. How did the use of CX with CED play out? Were all stereo discs CX
encoded from the start? Also, my player doesn't have a CX logo or any controls
to switch CX on and off. Is this controlled by a VBI signal, like LD? Did all
stereo CED players have CX decoders built-in? What about the players that were
mono with stereo adapters sold separately -- did the stereo adapter incorporate
a CX decoder?

Also, I'm curious about the timing of the introduction of stereo to the CED
line. When were the first stereo players and discs introduced? After the
introduction of stereo players, were all subsequent feature film releases that
bore a stereo mix released as stereo CEDs? Apparently, some early stereo LDs
were remixed to strip out the L-R surround information for some mysterious
reason, therefore rendering formerly Dolby Surround mixed to simple L/R stereo.
Was this ever done with CED?

Finally, what are some of the examples of the best sounding stereo CEDs?

Oh, finally finally, what are some examples of content still unique to CED? So
far I have found THE PURPLE TAXI which has to my knowledge never been issued on
VHS or any other medium, and the musical EUBIE! (ditto). THE SACRED MUSIC OF
DUKE ELLINGTON was apparently once on VHS but is now out of print. I don't see
any other releases of KIDS FROM FAME. LET IT BE and RAISE THE TITANIC once had
VHS and Laserdisc issues but have not been reissued and are both very expensive
to obtain in used copies on VHS and LD -- while the CEDs are comparably cheap
and plentiful.

Thanks for indulging my curiosity,


Jeremy Bond SHEPHERD      |   If something is in me which can be called
San Francisco, CA         |   religious then it is the unbounded      |   admiration for the structure of the
Phone: 415-929-0297       |   world so far as our science can reveal it.
AIM: jeremybondsf         |   -- Albert Einstein
PGP key available on public keyservers.

From: "Rix" <rixrex>
To: <>
Subject: Musings of a CED convert
Date: Tue, 7 Jan 2003 22:54:57 -0600

Way back in 1982, as a graduate student at USC film school, I had a good laugh
when a fellow student remarked about how wonderful his new RCA Selectavision
player was.  As he described the way the system worked, using phonograph
records as a comparison, I could only say how ridiculous I thought it was to
build a video system based on a groove and stylus, with the likelihood of
contamination and physical wear, when laser was on the horizon, and the obvious
way to go.  Well, the phonograph analogy was not really the best to use, and it
contributed to my complete misunderstanding of the system.  I recall seeing
CED's in the thrift stores, and sharing my laughter with friends at the
system's demise.  How could anyone ever think such a system had possibilities?
So how did I become a convert?  Well, while looking for a vintage laserdisc
player on e-bay last October, I stumbled across ads for CED players mistakenly
listed as laserdisc players.  One particular ad was for an SGT 250 that finally
went for well over $100, and at the same time I had just purchased a flip-top
laserdisc player for around $30.  There had to be something about these CED
players, I thought.  As I continued to search for, and buy laserdiscs, and
betamax VCRs and tapes, I would always glance at the CED ads on occasion, and
was amazed at some of the prices they brought.
Finally, one ad mentioned the CED magic site, and so I went to it and was
hooked on the descriptions of CED technology.  I spent practically a whole
night reading the information on the website.  What an amazing technology!  And
you never need to touch the disc to play it, unlike laserdiscs!  Right then I
knew I had to add a CED unit to my vintage entertainment center, right next to
my very first VHS VCR purchased new in 1981, a great Sansui, and alongside my
Sylvania flip-top laserdisc player bought new by a friend in 1984, and a gift
to me in 1993, and there's also my recently bought Sears betamax circa 1982,
not to mention my Atari 5200 passed on to me by a relative who upgraded.  How
great a CED player would be along with these, atop my $200 thrift store Fischer
42" projection TV sold first in 1984.
But the prices at the end of e-bay auctions were more than my budget could
bear, and I was resigned to making do with the cheaper laserdisc players.  Then
I saw it!  E-bay search found an SKT 400 model at a Buy It Now price of $50!
It was only a few hours listed, and seemed to be available.  One click on the
search item took me to the ad page where... I saw it had been bought...what
disappointment.  But it was a learning experience.  I knew I had to look in the
Buy It Now listings.  A few days later, there it was - an SJT 200 for $50, and
it was mine this time.  Then within an hour I won two more auctions for disc
The discs arrived before the SJT 200, so when it came I was ready.  Imagine my
dismay when the player only buzzed, and did nothing else.  Still, my curiosity
and well-developed home grown technical abilities (from fixing all sorts of
appliances and tape decks) said I could tackle the problem.  And, of course,
the help of CED Magic FAQ's.  It was merely a function motor drive belt gone to
mush.  A trip to a VCR supply and one new belt installed, and the SJT 200
worked super.  I just had to watch the disk engage and play with the cover off,
and that was it, laserdiscs step aside.  Finally, a videodisc format that I
could maintain and repair myself, discs that store and stack easily, load
easily, no fingers on them, units that didn't create a hernia when moved
around.  Lots of good titles available, and good discs still to be had.  The
amazement of friends and family when they saw the CED player in operation.
Now I have added an SGT 200, an SGT 250 with remote, and several of my old
favorite, the SJT 200.  I have given to friends a few as gifts, with duplicate
discs received from group lots I purchased.  And so far there hasn't been a
problem that was too hard to repair, like how I cleaned the belt
"tar" from the gears on that first SJT 200 with something everyone
has around the house.  But these are other stories to be told at another time.
Thanks for listening!  - Rix

Date: Sat, 11 Jan 2003 19:24:39 -0800
From: Tom Howe <>
Subject: RCA/Thomson at 2003 CES

Hello All:

RCA introduced some new video products at the Consumer Electronics Show a few
days ago in Las Vegas. A couple of interesting items are the 50-inch Scenium
DLP HDTV and the palm-sized Lyra Audio/Video Jukebox. The later is the first
addition to their Lyra line capable of video playback and includes a 3.5-inch
LCD and a 20GB hard drive. RCA has a number of press releases concerning the
CES on this page:,,CI258,00.html



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