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CED Digest Vol. 8 No. 52  •  12/27/2003


20 Years Ago In CED History:

December 28, 1983:
* Vaudeville performer and actor William Demarest dies at age 91. Best
remembered for his role as Uncle Charlie on the TV series "My Three
Sons," he appears in the CED titles The Jazz Singer (1927), The Farmer's
Daughter, It's a Mad Mad Mad World, and Viva Las Vegas.
* Dennis Wilson of The Beach Boys drowns in Marina del Rey, California at the
age of 39.
* Ramon Balang, a ground engineer for the Philippines Airlines, tells a
five-member committee investigating the August 21 assassination of Benigno
Aquino that Roland Galman, the alleged assassin, did not have the opportunity
to commit the crime.

December 29, 1983:
* The United States gives formal notice to the UN Educational, Scientific, and
Cultural Organization (UNESCO) that it will withdraw from the agency January 1,
1985, unless substantial policy changes are made.

December 30, 1983:
* Leftist guerrillas capture a Salvadoran army base 40 miles north of San
Salvador, then withdraw after six hours. It is the first time in the
four-year-old civil war that insurgents have taken a military installation of
such importance.
* Future CED title in widespread theatrical release: Silkwood.

December 31, 1983:
* Nigerian army officer Brig. Saleh Abacha announces that President Shehu
Shagari Has been overthrown in a military coup. Maj. Gen. Mohammed Buhari
assumes power.

* Video Magazine's Summary of the VideoDisc Scene for 1983:

"More than 1000 CED and 600 LV VideoDisc titles are available to VideoDisc
aficionados, and the numbers increase weekly. Players in use amount to about
250,000 for CED and 80,000 for LV - so the total population of VideoDisc users
far exceeds a third of a million people. And it's growing."

"When VIDEO first began selecting 'Best VideoDiscs' in 1981, LaserVision
reigned alone and the consensus was that the format would be short-lived. These
soothsayers were wrong. As we enter our third year of disc awards, advancements
in disc technologies have brought improved picture and audio reproduction,
often leading CED to acceptable levels and LV close to perfection."

"Thus the two systems' greater consistency complicates the selection
process. The annoying skipping problems of early CED discs is generally under
control, and LV's initial propensity towards dropouts is a thing of the past.
We commend RCA for its mastering efforts, which resulted in the CX
noise-reduction encoding of all stereo discs, and recommend that LV-disc
manufacturers do likewise. It is inexcusable for an LV pressing of a stereo
movie to be released in mono or without the benefits of industry- and
consumer-accepted noise reduction."

* Video Magazine's Outstanding VideoDiscs of 1983 (both LaserVision and CED):

Best Disc of the Year:
LV:  Space Shuttle Mission Reports: 5, 6, & 7
CED: Cleopatra

Best Disc to Show Off System:
LV:  The Thing (1982)
CED: A Week at the Races (on SJT400 player)

Best Soundtrack:
LV:  Earth, Wind & Fire in Concert
CED: 48 Hrs.

Best Transfer Quality:
LV:  When Worlds Collide
CED: The Wild Bunch

Best Comedy:
LV:  An Evening with Robin Williams
CED: The Tubes Video

Best Educational Disc:
LV:  The Creative Camera
CED: Quick Dog Training with Barbara Woodhouse

Most Outrageous Disc (LV only):
LV:  Muscle Motion Featuring the Men of Chippendales

Most Collectible Disc:
LV:  Judy Garland in Concert
CED: The Compleat Beatles

January 1, 1984:
* The breakup of the Bell Telephone System goes into effect, with seven
independent regional companies taking over from American Telephone &
Telegraph the task of providing local service. AT&T continues to provide
long-distance telephone service and retains ownership of Western Electric and
Bell Laboratories.
* Brunei, a small Islamic sultanate on Borneo's northern coast, is granted
independence by Great Britain. The country is renamed Brunei Darussalam, and
Sultan Muda Hassanal Bolkiah continues as the country's leader.

* CED Title Releases for January 1984:

$19.98 CED Preview VideoDisc, The*
Bad Boys
Bell, Book & Candle
Best of Judy Garland, The*
Bullwinkle & Rocky & Friends, Vol. 2
Death on the Nile
Death Race 2000
Eddie and the Cruisers*
Knock On Any Door
Long Riders, The
Missionary, The
Private School
Return of the King, The
Rock'N Soul Live (Hall & Oates)*
Roxy Music: The High Road*
Smokey and the Bandit II
Smokey and the Bandit, Part 3
Strange Behavior
Swan Lake (2)*
Terry Fox Story, The
To Be Or Not To Be [1942]

January 2, 1984:
* Miami defeats Nebraska 31-30 in the Orange Bowl in Miami for the National
Collegiate Football Championship. In a controversial move during the final
seconds of the game, Nebraska coach Tom Osborne tried for an unsuccessful
2-point conversion pass rather than a 1-point conversion kick. Had Nebraska
tied the game, the team probably would have been declared national champion for
its 12-0 regular season record.
* For its annual Man of the Year issue for 1983, TIME Magazine selects Ronald
Reagan and Yuri Andropov.

January 3, 1984:
* Syria frees Lt. Robert O. Goodman, Jr., a U.S. airman shot down a month
earlier in Lebanon, after Democratic presidential aspirant Jesse Jackson
travels to Damascus to appeal for the flyer's release.
* Tunisia declares a state of emergency after several days of rioting over food

From: Tom Howe <>
Date: Wed, 24 Dec 2003 16:37:43 -0800
Subject: RE: Possible CED Player Sighting

>the sighting is in a GoodGuys Holiday Ad they show 3 guys in 80's style
>clothes standing next to an 80's car with some sort of electronic device
>sitting on the roof of the car

With the very brief lengthwise view they give of this player, it looks
something like an SJT400, but on freeze-frame it looks more like a Beta VCR
deck with a tape slot on the left and a reflection from a numeric display near
the center of the front panel:

In this second picture, the retro guy is showing off his wired remote control.
Perhaps some Beta collectors on the list can identify the deck based on the
appearance of the remote or the front panel:

Walgreens has a commercial on TV of a similar vein, where they portray a guy
stuck in the past with an 8-Track deck, a 60's TV with aluminum foil on the
rabbit ear antenna, a circa 1980 Tandy-style desktop computer being used as a
laptop, and a giant analog cellular telephone.

I believe I did see a CED player in a recent TV news segment. This was about
Michael Jackson and showed him circa 1983 dancing in front of a big screen TV
next to Emmanuel Lewis (the pint-sized star of the TV series Webster). It
looked like there was an SGT250 sitting on top of the TV. It would make sense
for Jackson to have had a CED player at that time, as he was a friend of Gene
Kelly, who was then RCA's CED spokesperson. Perhaps they'll show that segment
again on the upcoming TV special.



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