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CED in the History of Media Technology


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Prototype SFT100

1979: Prototype of the SFT100 VideoDisc Player

In January 1979 the office of RCA chairman Edgar Griffiths announced plans to bring the CED system to market, possibly in response to a cover article in Fortune that portrayed him as being overly cautious in his approach to technology-based products. Work began on perfecting a compact alternative to the SDT200, and on June 6, 1979 RCA released the above publicity photo of Rick Hunter loading a disc into the redesigned player at RCA's Indianapolis facilities.

This player was very similar to the production SFT100 with one notable exception- the control just to the left of the function lever. This is a thumbwheel that when activated allowed the VideoDisc to be scanned at variable rates or held in page mode (the CED equivalent of freeze frame). This is the equivalent of the "Jog" control on more recent video appliances, and these CED player prototypes may have been the first use of such a control. The operation of the thumbwheel is described in US Patent No. 4227699.


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