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CED Digest Vol. 8 No. 49  •  12/6/2003


20 Years Ago In CED History:

December 7, 1983:
* Two jetliners collide on the ground at Madrid's airport, killing at 
least 93 people in the city's second jet disaster in 10 days.

December 8, 1983:
* Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (START) between the United States 
and the USSR adjourn in Geneva with the Soviets refusing to set a 
date for the next round of talks.
* The space shuttle Columbia lands at Edwards Air Force Base, 
California, after ten days in space, the longest shuttle mission so 
far. The landing was delayed eight hours by a series of troubling 
computer failures, but experiments conducted on the European-built 
Spacelab appeared largely successful.
* Rodeo rider and actor Slim Pickens dies at the age of 64. He 
appears in the CED titles The Great Locomotive Chase, Dr. 
Strangelove, Blazing Saddles, The Apple Dumpling Gang, White Line 
Fever, The Black Hole (voice), and The Howling. He also appeared on 
an early RCA VideoDisc from 1970, which featured an episode from the 
TV series Bonanza:

December 9, 1983:
* The annual winter meeting of the Organization of Petroleum 
Exporting Countries (OPEC) concludes in Geneva with no changes made 
in its benchmark price of $29 per barrel.
* Future CED title in widespread theatrical release: Christine.

December 10, 1983:
* Danuta Walesa, wife of Polish Solidarity leader Lech Walesa, 
accepts the 1983 Nobel Peace Prize, on behalf of her husband, in 
Oslo, Norway.
* Former Vice President Walter Mondale, seeking the Democratic 
presidential nomination, is endorsed by the National Organization of 
Women, the first endorsment of a presidential candidate in the 
group's history.
* "Say, Say, Say" by Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson becomes the 
No. 1 U.S. single.

December 11, 1983:
* General Hussain Mohammed Ershad proclaims himself president of 
Bangladesh. He had been head of the nation's military government 
since he seized power in 1982.

December 12, 1983:
* Six persons are killed and 63 injured when the U.S. and French 
embassies and four other sites in Kuwait are bombed by Muslim 
extremists having close ties to Iran. The U.S. embassy was hit by a 
truck bomb loaded with explosives; the other places were damaged by 
car bombs detonated by remote control devices.

December 13, 1983:
* Raul Alfonsin, who was sworn in as civilian president of Argentina 
on December 10, announces that nine generals and admirals would be 
tried in a military court for the "terror, pain, and death" they had 
caused while serving in turn as members of the three-person junta 
that had ruled the country since 1976.
* Turkish Prime Minister Turkat Ozal assumes office after Gen. Kenan 
Evren, the president, gives his approval as required by the Turkish 

From: SonyFan13
Date: Mon, 1 Dec 2003 10:57:52 EST
Subject: Re: CED Digest Vol. 8 No. 48

>Hello, I am so very glad that I have found you, we recently,
>purchased a RCA SFT 100W Selectavision Video Disc Player that still
>It does skip some and I am looking for replacement needle cartridges.
>It is a great machine and it is fun to watch the movies on the large
>discs.  When playing the picture seems clearer than that of a video

This is understandable as CED has a slightly higher horizontal 
resolution than VHS, but only equal if not inferior to Betamax.  But, 
more notably, RCA used some of the latest telecine processes for 
converting film source materials onto 1 inch master videotape that 
would be used with the recording lathe.  RCA's processes were perhaps 
more advanced and more carefully implemented than those employed by 
MCA DiscoVision when it started making the first LaserDiscs in 1978 
and continued to be until LaserDisc's transfer of control from 
DiscoVision to Pioneer.  Even then, RCA continued to make a lot of 
videodiscs with excellent telecine transfers up to the end, including 
"Amarcord," which is the first ever video release to show a movie in 
its correct aspect ratio all the way through the entire presentation. 
There are some notable exceptions, however.  "Star Trek: The Motion 
Picture" on CED has a terrible transfer, but I'm willing to guess 
that Paramount did the transfer for this movie and not RCA. 
Paramount did this to DiscoVision as well with all Paramount releases 
on the DiscoVision label, and the transfers that Paramount did for 
DiscoVision were awful as well.

- Reinhart

From: katglen1
To: Tom Howe <>
Subject: Re: CED Digest
Date: Tue, 02 Dec 2003 00:31:11 +0000

Did everyone see the Simpson's on Fox last Sunday?  Homer goes to the
yard" and there is a huge space set aside marked "For Betamax
items" and
another area marked "For Laser Disc items" and a third marked
"Reserved for
DVD."  Hey, no area for CED!  Must mean we are on to something big


From: Tom Howe <>
Date: Fri, 5 Dec 2003 20:11:02 -0800
Subject: RCA/CED Holiday Gift Suggestions

Hello All:

If you're trying to come up with a holiday gift that is RCA or CED 
related, here are a few suggestions:

(1) The just-published book "David Sarnoff Research Center: From RCA 
Labs to Sarnoff Corporation," a 128-page photohistory starting with 
the founding of the Labs in 1941. The book contains four photos 
specifically related to CED and shown in these and other pictures are 
about three dozen of the people in the Who's Who section at CED 
Magic. This book is around $25 including shipping and can be obtained 
directly from Arcadia Publishing or from Alex Magoun at the David 
Sarnoff Library by sending a PayPal payment of $24.87 to

(2) A videotape of the color broadcast of "A Christmas Carol," first 
shown on December 23, 1954. This is significant as the RCA RGB 
standard for TV video had been approved about a year earlier and the 
RCA CT-100 color TV became available in mid 1954. I recently found 
this on a $14.95 VHS "Shower of Stars Vol. 08" tape from Captain 

This color production apparently only survives in B&W, but the tape 
is interesting in retaining the original Chrysler Corp. automobile 
commercials. Like the "Scrooge" CED VideoDisc, it's a musical with 
some pretty good production values for early TV. The song "A Very, A 
Merry Christmas" sung by the Spirit of Christmas Present (opera 
baritone and 1939 World's Fair Superman Ray Middleton) is even more 
catchy than "Thank You Very Much" from the 1970 Scrooge. I've added a 
series of screen shots for the 1954 version to the Christmas Carol 
Featured CED from last year:

(3) CED apparel and other merchandise from CafePress. This shop has 
been up since last summer, offering shirts, hats, mugs, mousepads, 
and frisbees with either the "CED VideoDisc" or color SelectaVision 



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