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RCA Press Release for April 30, 1981


RCA VideoDisc Introduction 'Most Successful' Product Launch in Industry History

INDIANAPOLIS, April 30 -- RCA said today that in five weeks its VideoDisc system has achieved the most successful introduction of any major electronic product in history.

Executive Vice President Roy H. Pollack said RCA already has sold 52,000 players to distributors, and an estimated 26,000 have been sold to consumers. This compares with the estimated 30,000 players sold by the competitive optical system over a two-year period.

Mr. Pollack, addressing reporters touring RCA's VideoDisc manufacturing plant, said production of the RCA "CED" VideoDisc player at the nearby Bloomington plant has been increased by 20 percent. And, said Mr. Pollack, RCA has raised its 1981 production target of video discs from two million to three million.

Emphasizing the success of the VideoDisc introduction, he said the color TV and black-and-white TV industries had sold only 5,000 and 6,000 sets respectively in their initial year of introduction. Microwave ovens, now considered a major business in appliances, accounted for 30,000 unit sales in this product's introductory year.

"RCA is extremely pleased with the launch of VideoDisc. We believe the outlook for the new product is promising enough to assure our reaching a goal of 200,000 RCA-brand player sales in 1981," Mr. Pollack said.

Speaking of the increase in disc production, he said, "The VideoDisc has met our expectations in terms of both consumer interest and manufacturing capability. From this point forward, the thrust will be an expansion of production that allows us to balance players and disc inventories at all levels of distribution."

Mr. Pollack said that RCA intends to double the number of video disc presses at the Indianapolis facility from 10 to 20 by year's end. "This accelerated installation schedule should help assure a satisfactory supply of the more popular video discs as determined by RCA's initial sales experience," he said.

Jack K. Sauter, RCA group vice president directing the marketing introduction of the VideoDisc system, said the public already has bought an estimated 200,000 video discs, "more than we expected."

Mr. Sauter said that consumer purchasers of the VideoDisc system were satisfied with their purchase, "a most encouraging sign for future sales." Of 1,132 purchasers responding to a survey, he said 96.4 percent said the product had either satisfied or exceeded their expectations.

Dr. Jay J. Brandinger, division vice president of "SelectaVision" VideoDisc Operations, reaffirmed RCA's intention of introducing a "CED" player with stereo capability in 1982. He said a number of special features such as stop action, slow motion and random program access are technically possible in the "CED" system.


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