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RCA Press Release for October 12, 1981


RCA Demonstrates Advanced VideoDisc Player at Vidcom

CANNES, France -- RCA demonstrated today the advanced capabilities of its "CED" VideoDisc system with such features as programmable random access, high-speed visual search, repeat picture and the ability to automatically repeat program segments on the disc.

Roy H. Pollack, RCA Executive Vice President, said the expanded capabilities of the "CED" system were demonstrated at this time to provide the worldwide electronics industry with a progress report of RCA's capacitance electronic disc system. "RCA has established the 'CED' system in the United States, and we are now actively encouraging its adoption by other international consumer electronic firms, particularly in Europe," he said.

The prototype model demonstrated here at a Vidcom '81 press conference was developed at the company's David Sarnoff Research Center in Princeton, N.J. Mr. Pollack said no timetable has been established for the introduction of these advanced VideoDisc player features.

"We continue to believe that our introductory products, particularly with the addition of stereo sound next year, do in fact incorporate the product features necessary to build a mass market. At the same time we recognize that some consumers will express an interest in a deluxe player that offers more features and advanced technical capabilities," Mr. Pollack said.

Dr. Jon K. Clemens, Director of VideoDisc Systems at RCA's Research Laboratories, demonstrated the special features of the advanced RCA VideoDisc player including the programmable random access capability. Using a remote control unit, he selected program material by either time, band or field, "thus clearly showing the potential of the 'CED' system for educational and industrial applications," he noted.

In his demonstration of the visual search feature with on-screen picture, Dr. Clemens used the prototype system's two search speeds, 16x and 120x. Dr. Clemens also programmed the player to repeat segments of the disc, and demonstrated the repeat picture capability of the player.

He said that in the short term specially prepared discs can be used to provide the repeat picture feature. "In the long term, a low-cost solid state memory device could be developed to provide repeat picture capability for all standard 'CED' video discs," Dr. Clemens indicated.

Dr. Clemens told the press audience that for some 20 minutes they had been watching a still video disc picture from a single groove that had been played 9,000 during that period "with no visible degradation. In fact, plays of over 1,000,000 times have been demonstrated with no noticeable degradation to the picture."

The RCA scientist, who is a co-recipient of the International Rhein Prize 1979 for his contributions to the RCA VideoDisc system, said every "CED" video disc contains a code that includes a field number and band identification. In the demonstration, the field number was converted into a time which was displayed on the TV screen. The code was also used in conjunction with a microprocessor to randomly access any segment of the disc.

Dr. Clemens stressed that the prototype player clearly demonstrated the ability of a "CED" stylus system to randomly access a specific field on the disc as well as to play a single groove repeatedly without damage to the disc.

"Having incorporated these capabilities into the basic 'CED' system it is obvious that there are many new features possible, and today we have demonstrated only a few of them," Dr. Clemens said.


A picture of the prototype SGT400 player in operation can be viewed in Media History.


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