Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 10th Oct 2015 22:59 UTC
Multimedia, AV

Few people even remember that such a medium as vinyl movies existed, but for a brief, doomed period in the early 1980s, home video was available on CEDs. While CED players were not released to consumers until 1981, the development of the system dates back to the 1960s. The idea was that they could encode sound and video information to a vinyl disc if they could only get the grooves small enough.

Fascinating. I had no idea they ever tried to do this. Better yet, that they succeeded.

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Wait a second
by Vanders on Sun 11th Oct 2015 00:10 UTC
Vanders
Member since:
2005-07-06

CEDs are not "vinyl" in that sense; it's like saying DVD's are CD's because they both use a polycarbonate substrate.

They are fascinating though; CED magic is worth a read (and I'll put in a plug for the Colour Recovery Working Group: https://colour-recovery.wikispaces.com/ The stuff under "Previous Work" and "Current Work" is fascinating)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Wait a second
by kwan_e on Sun 11th Oct 2015 07:19 UTC in reply to "Wait a second"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

CEDs are not "vinyl" in that sense; it's like saying DVD's are CD's because they both use a polycarbonate substrate.


Vinyls are named after their material. DVDs and CDs are not.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Wait a second
by Vanders on Sun 11th Oct 2015 11:52 UTC in reply to "RE: Wait a second"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

That's tenuous at best. Besides which, only the prototype disc were vinyl: the production machines used PVC discs.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Wait a second
by swerfot on Mon 12th Oct 2015 07:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Wait a second"
swerfot Member since:
2012-10-20

So, disc made of vinyl is NOT a vinyl disc in your world?
OK.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Wait a second
by Vanders on Mon 12th Oct 2015 11:12 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Wait a second"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

The first CED prototype discs were multi-layered, consisting of a vinyl substrate, nickel conductive layer, glow-discharge insulating layer and silicone lubricant top layer.

Totally the same thing as a 12" album.
The final disc was crafted using PVC blended with carbon to allow the disc to be conductive. To preserve stylus and groove life, a thin layer of silicone was applied to the disc as a lubricant.

Oh, they're not even vinyl. It's a PVC composite.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Wait a second
by puenktchen on Mon 12th Oct 2015 11:24 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Wait a second"
puenktchen Member since:
2007-07-27

But PVC is Polyvinyl chloride.

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: Wait a second
by swerfot on Mon 12th Oct 2015 13:26 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Wait a second"
swerfot Member since:
2012-10-20

But PVC is Polyvinyl chloride.

And that is just one of the reasons why this argument is getting more and more absurd. The original author of this argument completely missed the point on two aspects:
1. Vinyl is a material rather than a particular type of disk-shaped medium.
2. DVDs can be considered CDs as "CD", or "Compact Disc" also refers NOT to a very particular type of medium, but rather a particular form factor. Technologically there is, in fact, more differences between CD-ROM/CD-R/CD-RW than there is between CD-ROM and DVD-ROM. I remember the days when writable CD disks were all the rage for sharing music and videos (physical peer-to-peer if you will) and the correct terminology was to refer to both 650MB and 4.7GB versions of them as "CDs", and add "DVD" to specify 4.7GB. Sure, regular/old CD drive would not read DVD version, but they were still exactly the same form factor, it's just that different kind of laser was required to read/write them.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Wait a second
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 13th Oct 2015 16:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Wait a second"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Are you saying that DVD's are somehow more or less physically compact than CD's?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Wait a second
by swerfot on Mon 12th Oct 2015 07:16 UTC in reply to "Wait a second"
swerfot Member since:
2012-10-20

CEDs are not "vinyl" in that sense;

They are, at least according to Wikipedia:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitance_Electronic_Disc
CEDs are conductive vinyl platters that are 30.0 cm (11.8 in) in diameter.


Edited 2015-10-12 07:17 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Wait a second
by Vanders on Mon 12th Oct 2015 11:11 UTC in reply to "RE: Wait a second"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

The first CED prototype discs were multi-layered, consisting of a vinyl substrate, nickel conductive layer, glow-discharge insulating layer and silicone lubricant top layer. However, failure to fully solve the stylus and disc wear and complexity of manufacturing forced RCA to search for simpler solutions to the problem for constructing the disc. The final disc was crafted using PVC blended with carbon to allow the disc to be conductive. To preserve stylus and groove life, a thin layer of silicone was applied to the disc as a lubricant.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Wait a second
by levi on Tue 13th Oct 2015 08:11 UTC in reply to "RE: Wait a second"
levi Member since:
2006-09-07

OK so substrate is the same but video discs are electrical (player measures difference in capacitance at contact point between media and stylus) and audio discs were purely mechanical in the beginning and later piezzoelectric or capacitive element was used to indirectly transform mechanical vibration into electrical signal.

So there are differences. Video discs are not vinyl but vinyl+metal.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Wait a second
by swerfot on Tue 13th Oct 2015 08:26 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Wait a second"
swerfot Member since:
2012-10-20

OK so substrate is the same but video discs are electrical (player measures difference in capacitance at contact point between media and stylus) and audio discs were purely mechanical in the beginning and later piezzoelectric or capacitive element was used to indirectly transform mechanical vibration into electrical signal.

So there are differences. Video discs are not vinyl but vinyl+metal.


Well, no one ever said they were the same. Also, no one said anything about audio vinyl disks.
It is you who, for some unknown reason, implicitly assumed we are comparing apples and oranges and suddenly declared that CED ones "are not vinyl", though they actually are vinyl (adding metal or whatever coating to them does not eliminate vinyl base).

This also reminds me: we had 5-inch floppy disks and 3.5-inch floppy disks, even the 8-inch floppy disks, which all differ quite substantially from each other, and not just in data density, but also form-factor, completely incompatible readers etc., though we call all of them "floppy disks" and no one had any problems with that. Not that this example is parallel to vinyl case, but I'm just saying...

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Bengar
by Bengar on Sun 11th Oct 2015 05:55 UTC
Bengar
Member since:
2009-07-30

I had never heard of this format until a number of months ago when James Rolfe did a YouTube video on the machine he owned. It wasn't very thorough on the technical details but it was amazing to see how clunky yet advanced the system was.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBT11qKUWv8

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Bengar
by WorknMan on Sun 11th Oct 2015 18:50 UTC in reply to "Comment by Bengar"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

I had never heard of this format until a number of months ago when James Rolfe did a YouTube video on the machine he owned.


Yeah, I think James introduced a lot of us to it, just like with King Kung Fu ;) hehe

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Bengar
by bongo_x on Wed 14th Oct 2015 04:06 UTC in reply to "Comment by Bengar"
bongo_x Member since:
2006-03-21

Wow, those guys were hard to watch, I couldn’t even finish it.

Reply Score: 1

Saw them demo'd at Telecom '87
by shotsman on Sun 11th Oct 2015 06:18 UTC
shotsman
Member since:
2005-07-22

in Geneva. Also on show was Sony and their HD TV.
That was interesting because they used an HD camera on a rotating Doll. You could see the Doll and the TV pictures of her at the same time. Very coold for the day.

Reply Score: 2

Our library loaned out players with discs
by Seeprime on Sun 11th Oct 2015 06:41 UTC
Seeprime
Member since:
2014-05-02

Our small town (1000 people) library had a few RCA Selectavision players that they loaned to patrons to watch RCA video discs back in the mid to late 1980's. We were able to get a lot of old cartoons for our young son to watch. I, of course, recorded theme onto VHS so he could watch at his leisure. The discs were in sleeves, like old floppy's, that you inserted into the player. It worked quite well considering that a needle was being used just like with vinyl. A couple of years later I fell for Pioneer's Laservision, which provided quite an advancement in picture quality. I still have about ten movies Laservision discs, but no player. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

Reply Score: 2

LaserDisk
by Carewolf on Sun 11th Oct 2015 08:51 UTC
Carewolf
Member since:
2005-09-08

Weren't LaserDisk also analog? So probably based on a similar technology but moved away from vinyl.

Reply Score: 2

RE: LaserDisk
by Vanders on Sun 11th Oct 2015 11:54 UTC in reply to "LaserDisk"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

Weren't LaserDisk also analog?

Yes.
So probably based on a similar technology

No.

Laserdisc used a laser to read a reflective disc. CED used a stylus, which was in physical contact with the disc, to sense a change in the capacitance of the (conductive) disc. They are very different technologies, and CED was a dead end.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by kurkosdr
by kurkosdr on Sun 11th Oct 2015 13:47 UTC
kurkosdr
Member since:
2011-04-11

It's worth mentioning that CED used the same "color under" technique as VHS, where chrominance and luminance are seperated, have their resolution reduced and stored seperately. Also, there were problems with dust build up inside the caddies, which could be fixed by repeatedly playing the discs.

In plain english, CED had the same color under resolution reduction attribute as VHS, and dust build up didn't help it's case when pitched as a more lasting format for collectors. So it had no reason to exist next to VHS.

Laserdiscs instead could store an unchanged composite signal (440 lines of resolution when a comb filter was attached after the composite-out of the player) and had no dust build up problem (there was disc rot, but disc rot could be avoided by buying 3M discs, and 3M proudly advertised their label in such discs so they weren't hard to spot).

So, naturally, laserdisc won as the collector's playback-only high-quality format.

PS: Also, it's worth mentioning that for CED, the needle doesn't "wiggle" or vibrate in any way. The tip of the needle is too fat to fall inside the pits of the grooves. You can think of the grooves of CED as an FM modulated signal, which obviously must have a minimum frequency and hence a maximum wavelength, and the tip of the needle is fatter than the max wavelength

Edited 2015-10-11 14:00 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by kurkosdr
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Wed 14th Oct 2015 19:50 UTC in reply to "Comment by kurkosdr"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

I'd never heard laserdiscs as "winner" before. Usually just described as another failed format. But I guess the lost less than these CED discs?

Edited 2015-10-14 19:50 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Vinyl Computer Programs
by The123king on Sun 11th Oct 2015 14:48 UTC
The123king
Member since:
2009-05-28

People have been experimenting with vinyl for years. Back in the 70's and 80's musicians shipped 8-bit computer programs (mainly for the spectrum) on vinyl and cassette releases.

http://www.kempa.com/vinyl-data/

Also worth noting whilst on the subject of vinyl... The Tefifon used the same principle of vinyl (grooves read by a stylus) but used a tape format instead of disc.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBNTAmLRmUg

Edited 2015-10-11 14:49 UTC

Reply Score: 3

good tech in its day
by mikeinohio on Sun 11th Oct 2015 16:28 UTC
mikeinohio
Member since:
2010-02-21

My aunt purchased a CED player in about 1980. She also purchased many movies for it. About 5 or 6 years ago, she dug that player out of her basement and asked me if I could fix it. I found a website, cedmagic.com with instructions on how to fix it and links to buy the parts required. All that was wrong with her player was that the drive belt had rotted. After replacing the belt, the player worked fine. The other thing is that after sitting in storage all those years, all the movies she had were still playable.

The CED player came out at about the same time as the VCR. In the market, The VCR won and the CED lost. The thing is, the picture quality of a CED is superior to that of a VCR. Not as good as a DVD of course, but still better than a VHS tape. I think the reason that the VCR won was because VHS tapes were record able and CEDs were not and the fact that CED disks were huge. Also, many movies required more than one disk. Also to watch a movie, it as necessary to flip the disk over during playback. And in some cases, insert disk 2.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by puenktchen
by puenktchen on Mon 12th Oct 2015 07:34 UTC
puenktchen
Member since:
2007-07-27

According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Videodisc the development started far earlier:

"John Logie Baird, created the Phonovision system in the early 1930s, which mechanically produced about four frames per second. The system was not successful."

And the CED system wasn't the first to be sold to the public either:

"The Television Electronic Disc, a mechanical system was rolled out in Germany and Austria in 1970 by Telefunken. ..

Visc was a mechanical video disc system developed in Japan by Matsushita subsidiary National Panasonic ...

The DiscoVision system was released in America in 1978. Developed by MCA and Philips of the Netherlands ...

Thomson CSF created a system ... in 1980

RCA produced a system called CED ... in 1981. "

Actually it seems like most competitors abandoned the approach in favour of videotapes before RCA even finished development of the CED. The article sound like RCA was just ignoring what the rest of the world was doing.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by puenktchen
by cjcox on Mon 12th Oct 2015 18:50 UTC in reply to "Comment by puenktchen"
cjcox Member since:
2006-12-21

...
Actually it seems like most competitors abandoned the approach in favour of videotapes before RCA even finished development of the CED. The article sound like RCA was just ignoring what the rest of the world was doing.


If they were here today they could pull a "Sony" and buy their way in as "the" standard... and we'd all be using Blu-CED today.

Reply Score: 1

I owned One
by codewrangler on Mon 12th Oct 2015 13:21 UTC
codewrangler
Member since:
2010-01-28

I think I had a Panasonic player. They worked well, for the video of the time.

However, it would never hold the HD/UHD movies of today. Also, it was huge (the size of a record, in it's cover). So, storage of the disc's took a lot of space.

The quality was far better than the VHS or BETA of the time. There was also another Video Disc, at the time that was closer to today's DVD discs. There was a famous video game that used them to store it's graphics.

I no longer have the player, but I still have my Mini-Discs (Audio)...can't seem to let them go yet...:-)

Reply Score: 1

Resolution idiots
by ezraz on Mon 12th Oct 2015 13:56 UTC
ezraz
Member since:
2012-06-20

where are all the people claiming that 440p is all the resolution we can see and anything higher than this 1970's standard is "snake oil?"

oh wait, that's audio topics that bring out the fables and flames.

people are so enchanted by screens and so believing of their eyes they always want better resolution.

but with audio - if you say the 1978 standard is insufficient - out come the flamers, out come the ridiculous rants about "dog hearing out comes monty's minions linking back to xiph dot org.

anyone put one of the CED's on a turntable and listen to the new wave sounds?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Resolution idiots
by Zbigniew on Mon 12th Oct 2015 14:13 UTC in reply to "Resolution idiots"
Zbigniew Member since:
2008-08-28

Believe it, or not: every day I use my old LCD monitor set to 800x600 resolution, and I don't need resolution to be any higher. The monitor can display up to 1280x1000, which is its "native" resolution (or something like this; can't recall precisely).

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Resolution idiots
by ezraz on Mon 12th Oct 2015 14:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Resolution idiots"
ezraz Member since:
2012-06-20

Believe it, or not: every day I use my old LCD monitor set to 800x600 resolution, and I don't need resolution to be any higher. The monitor can display up to 1280x1000, which is its "native" resolution (or something like this; can't recall precisely).


You are "old school" ;-). If it works it works.

But you are not ranting online claiming 800x600 is all that humans can see and that your eyes see no difference in higher resolutions, and therefore nobody else's eyes can see it either.

That would put you on par with MP3 defenders. If you said 1280x1000 is the absolute highest anyone will ever need anywhere, you'd be comparable to a CD defender.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Resolution idiots
by kurkosdr on Tue 13th Oct 2015 01:24 UTC in reply to "Resolution idiots"
kurkosdr Member since:
2011-04-11

where are all the people claiming that 440p is all the resolution


For the millionth time, all NTSC or PAL/SECAM-based analog video recording formats have a vertical resolution of either 525 lines with around 480 lines visible (NTSC) or 625 lines with around 576 lines visible (PAL or SECAM). All of 'em. Hence the "480i" and "576i" terms. There is no "440p" in analog video. In fact it's an uncommon resolution even in digital video files.

Those vertical resolutions are fixed, because most analog standard definition equipment didn't have the memory that's needed to do resolution doubling or halving in the vertical dimension (vertical dimension in analog video is discrete).

When talking about "lines of resolution" in the context of analog recording formats based on NTSC or PAL/SECAM, we are talking about horizontal resolution, which can be reduced without memory. But even then, those lines don't translate to pixels. 440 TVLs is around 704 pixels horizontal resolution. According to the most common way to measure TVLs anyway.

The only analog television format which had provision for upscaling and downscaling of the vertical dimension by the equipment that implemented it was HD-MAC (it was developed in an era when digital buffers inside analog equipment had started to become possible, though still expensive). Don't know the names of the recording formats that came out of it. The format didn't go very far either because of the expensive-ness of the equipment. So, most analog equipment was locked to a vertical resolution of 625(576i) or 525(480i).

("cranky video nerd mode" will be now set to off)

Edited 2015-10-13 01:30 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Capacitance touch
by alphaseinor on Tue 13th Oct 2015 19:30 UTC
alphaseinor
Member since:
2012-01-11

Wonder if any of the technology for these CED devices could be used in a touch sensitive screen... I could be smoking crack, but still a neat idea from the past.

Reply Score: 1