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CED Bibliography


The bibliography section of CED Magic is intended to provide information on periodical and book references that pertain to the CED System and similar technologies. There were actually hundreds of periodical articles published on VideoDiscs in the 1970's and 80's, and these will eventually be listed here in standard bibliographic format. For now, this section contains reviews of some milestone books that directly or indirectly relate to the CED System. Many of the books listed below are out-of-print, but clicking on the ISBN number will take you to the book's page at, where you can either buy it or request an out-of-print search. Here are some additional internet book stores to search at:

Mehr als ein LebenMehr als ein Leben
Richard Sonnenfeldt, 2003, 352 pages, ISBN: 3502186804

The German language edition of More than one Life, the memoirs of RCA Vice President Richard Sonnenfeldt. The book contains a chapter on his leadership of the RCA VideoDisc project from 1974 through 1978, but that is only one aspect of his remarkable life. As a teenaged German of Jewish heritage, Sonnenfeldt narrowly escaped Nazi tyrrany and eventually made his way to the United States and the U.S. Army. He excelled in that organization and became chief interpreter at the Nuremburg Trials in 1946. After military service and college, he joined RCA and was instrumental in bringing color television to market in the 1950's. He left RCA for most of the 1960's, first as General Manager of the Foxboro Co. and later as CEO of Digitronics Corp. He became NBC Executive Vice President following the VideoDisc project.

Read the complete VIDEODISK Chapter from More than one Life.

RCA and the VideoDisc: The Business of Research Hard CoverRCA and the VideoDisc: The Business of Research
Margaret B.W. Graham, 1986, 258 pages, ISBN: 0521322820

The definitive historical reference on the design phase of the CED System. This book was largely researched from 1976 to 1978 as an exercise in applied history. The book deals primarily with this late 70's time frame, although it also contains chapters on early RCA history, VideoDisc on the market, and lessons to be learned from the CED project. This book also discusses other consumer video formats developed, but never marketed by RCA, which include Discpix, Photopix, Holopix, Holotape, and Magtape.

The Business of Research: RCA and the VideoDisc Soft CoverThe Business of Research: RCA and the VideoDisc
Margaret B.W. Graham, 1988, 258 pages, ISBN: 0521368219

This soft cover book is identical in content to the hardcover version above, and probably will be easier to obtain a copy of. The title clauses were reversed to give the book a broader appeal. Unfortunately, this soft cover version lacks the cool slip cover showing a VideoDisc reflecting a rainbow pattern.

The VideoDisc Book: A Guide and Directory CoverThe VideoDisc Book: A Guide and Directory
Rod Daynes & Beverly Butler, 1984, 494 pages, ISBN: 0471803421

This book provides extensive coverage of VideoDisc technology as it existed in early 1984, just before RCA announced their abandonment of the CED system. The first part of the book is a general guide that covers the interactive and instructional aspects of VideoDiscs with an emphasis on the LaserDisc format. The second part attempts to list all the companies involved with VideoDiscs and all the titles available, both CED and LaserDisc. This book was intended to be a yearly publication, but the 1984 edition was the first and only time it was ever published.

Video Discs: The Technology, the Applications and the Future Hard CoverVideo Discs: The Technology, the Applications and the Future
Efrem Sigel, Mark Schubin & Paul F. Merrill, 1980, 183 pages, ISBN: 0914236563

Published in 1980, this book provides a comprehensive summary of the various VideoDisc systems expected to soon hit the market. Besides discussing CED and LaserDisc, the book also covers the less well-known VideoDisc formats like TED, VISC, VHD, Thomson-CSF, I/O Metrics, ARDEV, and Optidisc. This hard cover book and its soft cover counterpart were the only general VideoDisc books to features CED's on the cover.

Video Discs: The Technology, the Applications and the Future Soft CoverVideo Discs: The Technology, the Applications and the Future
Efrem Sigel, Mark Schubin & Paul F. Merrill, 1980, 182 pages, ISBN: 0442277849

Identical in content to the hard cover version above, except lacking a final page that lists other books available from the publisher. This one has a color photograph of a CED on the cover, and was printed a year after the hard cover edition.

The Instructional Media Library: VideoDiscs CoverThe Instructional Media Library: VideoDiscs
Edward W. Schneider & Junius L. Brennion, 1981, 117 pages, ISBN: 0877781761

Although published in 1981, this book was written in 1980, before the CED introduction, and thus discusses the RCA system as one of several formats soon to be available. Other systems discussed include TED, VHD, Thomson-CSF, and DiscoVision. A chapter on developing computer-controlled, interactive VideoDiscs is also included.

Opening Minds: The Evolution of VideoDiscs and Interactive Learning CoverOpening Minds: The Evolution of Videodiscs & Interactive Learning
George R. Haynes, Ph.D., 1989, 159 pages, ISBN: 0840351917

Published in 1989, this book discusses the potential of late 1980's disc technology like CD-ROM, CD-I, CD+G, CDV, CVD, DVI, EIDS, MOR, OMDR, and OROM. Also provided is a history of early VideoDisc research at Westinghouse, 3M, SRI, NV Philips, MCA, Pioneer, IBM, and DVA. The book goes on to describe non-reflective VideoDisc formats, including Nipkow, Phonovision, Phonovid, Teldec, I/O Metrics, Thomson/CSF, Holographic, VISC, ARDEV, CED, and LaserFilm.

VideoDisc/Microcomputer Courseware Design CoverVideoDisc/Microcomputer Courseware Design
Michael L. DeBloois, 1982, 178 pages, ISBN: 0877781834

This book provides extensive discussion of interactive VideoDisc technology relating to the use of VideoDiscs as course instruction tools. The competing disc technologies of this time are discussed, but the emphasis is on reflective LaserDisc, as Interactive CED's didn't reach the market until 1983.

VideoDisc and Optical Memory Systems CoverVideoDisc and Optical Memory Systems
Jordan Isailovic, 1985, 350 pages, ISBN: 0139420533

This book emphasizes the theoretical aspects of VideoDisc player operation and signal processing for both capacitive and optical systems. Most of the book deals with optical systems, but there are sections on the CED system that provide a summary of the articles printed in RCA's technical publications.

Complete Guide to Laser/VideoDisc Player Troubleshooting and Repair CoverComplete Guide to Laser/VideoDisc Player Troubleshooting and Repair
John D. Lenk, 1985, 314 pages, ISBN: 0131608134

Approximately equally divided between CED and LaserDisc player repair, this book covers CED player repair in fairly general terms. It is a good adjunct to the player's service manual, since the manufacturer service literature assumes the repairer already has a theoretical understanding of CED signal processing and system control. John D. Lenk has written many electronic service books, and is good at explaining things in lay person terms.

Robert Sobel, 1986, 282 pages, ISBN: 0812830849

A comprehensive history of Radio Corporation of America, from its formation in 1919 to its pending merger with General Electric in 1986. The CED system is only briefly discussed towards the end of the book, but this book puts it in the perspective of the corporation as a whole.

Capital Moves CoverCapital Moves: RCA's Seventy-Year Quest for Cheap Labor
Jefferson Cowie, 1999, 273 pages, ISBN: 0801435250

This book discusses RCA from a different perspective than Sobel, concentrating on labor-management interactions. RCA started out in Camden, New Jersey, but as labor got more organized the company relocated its operations to reduce labor costs, first to Bloomington, Indiana, and later to Ciudad Juárez, just across the border from El Paso. Of particular interest to CED enthusiasts will be the chapters on Bloomington, as that was the location of CED Player manufacturing. RCA announced on March 5, 1984 that player manufacturing was moving to Mexico, but a month later on April 4th the RCA Board of Directors voted to phase out player production completely. The book also discusses the post-RCA era in Bloomington and how conditions deteriorated, particularly under GE and to a lesser degree under Thomson, until electronic manufacturing finally ceased there in 1998.

Fast Forward: Hollywood, the Japanese, and the VCR Wars CoverFast Forward: Hollywood, the Japanese, and the VCR Wars
James Lardner, 1987, 344 pages, ISBN: 0393023893

CED is barely mentioned in this book, but it does provide a comprehensive history of video tape formats, with an emphasis on how RCA and other American manufacturers let VCR production slip through their fingers. Besides covering the Betamax and VHS tape formats, the book also deals with other obscure tape formats like CV-2000, U-matic, EVR, InstaVision, Cartrivision, AutoVision, V-Cord, HoloTape, and MagTape. The last several chapters of the book deal extensively with the landmark Universal vs. Sony lawsuit.

Empire of the Air: The Men Who Made RadioEmpire of the Air: The Men Who Made Radio
Tom Lewis, 1991, 421 pages, ISBN: 0060182156

This book focuses on the history of radio from 1899 to 1954 and thus has nothing to do with CED, but one of the key figures in the account is David Sarnoff, so a lot of the early history of RCA is covered. In addition to Sarnoff, the book focuses on the technical radio pioneers Edwin Howard Armstrong and Lee de Forest. In some respects this book is a reflection on the development of the modern computer, as parallels can be drawn between these radio pioneers and computer industry figures Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Larry Ellison.

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