Watching a movie from a record right on your TV!
September 4, 2005 2:07 PM   Subscribe

In-depth site details the swan-song of American technology and domestic manufacturing capability, the RCA videodisc engineering effort of the 1970/80s. Learn about CEDs, their manufacturing, see the high-tech players. Plus a nifty timeline of video technology and the CED.
posted by Heywood Mogroot (6 comments total)
but what the hell do I know, mebbe a post-industrial face-to-face service economy is a better way of life than working on an assembly line all day.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 2:08 PM on September 4, 2005

I remember a college friend in Austin (Howdy, Karl! It's Bill!) had a small collection of these. The video quality was striking, nearly as good as modern DVDs: We were watching The Natural on HBO one afternoon and when he loaded the disc and flipped back and forth between cable and disc, I saw that the disc picture actually looked better than the cable broadcast did.

Nice find, HM.
posted by alumshubby at 6:01 PM on September 4, 2005

I love websites like this. Thank you.
posted by keswick at 6:03 PM on September 4, 2005

Wow, that's fantastic HM! It looks like CED technology died long before I was in the market, but it's neat to learn how many companies were working on video players (instead of just the VCR / betamax split we're familiar with).

Vinyl records, tape casettes, laserdiscs and CEDs all stored their information in analog, which I suppose was the intuitive choice. Still, it seems the moment recording engineers chose to go digital was transformative. Now, when my father asks "what will the next recording media be", I can safely say - it doesn't matter anymore.
posted by Popular Ethics at 6:05 PM on September 4, 2005

I bought a CED player and a bunch of discs from a record shop a few years ago - just to play with. It was pretty neat technology - certainly the ultimate evolution of vinyl. I sold my player and discs on eBay a few years ago. I kind of wish I had kept it around because people don't believe me when I explain that I had this video player which played vinyl discs in a cartridge with a diamond tipped stylus.
posted by wfrgms at 6:28 PM on September 4, 2005

the swan-song of American technology and domestic manufacturing capability

Yeah, 'cuz all that gets made in the US now are the airliners, and military aircraft, and chip fabs, and microprocessors, and automobiles, and agricultural equipment, and mining and construction equipment, and pharmaceuticals, and medical imagers, and power generating equipment, and machine tools, and...

Yeah, manufacturing is down, especially as a percent of GDP. But the idea that the US (or US/Canada integrated market, really) isn't an absolute manufacturing powerhouse in spite of that is one of those memes that needs killin'.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:49 PM on September 4, 2005

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