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|RCA Press Release for February 10, 1982|
NASHVILLE, Tenn., February 10 -- Supported by a sharply higher level of consumer awareness of video disc players, RCA today introduced a new "SelectaVision" VideoDisc player model with an optional retail price of $349.95.
Jack K. Sauter, RCA Group Vice President and General Manager of the Consumer Electronics Division, said the new lower price level of RCA's monaural VideoDisc player was planned at this time to match the rapid rise in the public's awareness of the video disc product. "The awareness level now stands at 61 percent of the population owning a color TV set, according to our newest research findings." he said.
Compared with the video cassette recorder, "which represents a more established new video product, the video disc player now stands only 13 percent behind the VCR in consumer awareness," Mr. Sauter said. He explained that "the consumer must be sufficiently knowledgeable about a product before a price/value relationship can be established and a purchase decision considered."
At the same time, RCA reported that total industry retail sales of "CED" video disc players amounted to an estimated 105,000 units in 1981. Including imported competitive brands of the "CED" system, Mr. Sauter said that total industry sales at the consumer level during the product's introductory year "were quite encouraging considering the recessionary atmosphere of the nation's economy."
RCA also estimated that the company closed out the year with sales of 2.1 million "CED" video disc albums at the factory level, "a considerably higher total than was expected," Mr. Sauter said.
He noted previous reports from RCA's "SelectaVision" VideoDiscs operation that disc sales to the consumer have been exceptionally strong, with many video disc player owners purchasing double the number of discs that RCA had anticipated before launching its VideoDisc system last March.
"In providing distributors and retailers with an opportunity to offer a significantly lower priced player that has the advantage of a full year of manufacturing experience, RCA obviously expects to benefit from a total business opportunity that includes the player as well as continuing multiple album purchases," Mr. Sauter said.
RCA's new SGT100 model VideoDisc player weighs only 20 pounds and is as extremely compact as the initial model, SFT100. It features Visual Search which allows both forward and reverse scanning of a program while continuously displaying a picture on the screen. The player also includes Rapid Access, a high speed feature that locates any desired segment of the disc using a digital time indicator.
The replaced SFT100 model player will be offered to RCA distributors at a specially reduced price, Mr. Sauter said. "It is quite possible that portions of the trade which take a less traditional approach with their profit margins may elect to offer the closeout model at today's competitive price point of $299.95," he added.
RCA's national advertising campaign for its VideoDisc system will be highlighted in the first quarter by a special 1,500-line newspaper ad that is scheduled to run in more than 220 newspaper editions on Thursday, February 25. The new lower price of RCA's VideoDisc player will be featured in the ad, Mr. Sauter noted.