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RCA Press Release for March 16, 1982


Video Disc Owners Buying an Average 30 Albums in First Year of Video Disc Ownership

The average video disc player owner is expected to buy nearly 30 video disc albums in the first 12 months of ownership, a rate more than double RCA's original forecasts, it was announced today.

Seth M. Willenson, Division Vice President, Programs and Business Affairs, RCA "SelectaVision" VideoDiscs, said this rate of purchase underscores the growing popularity of the video disc as a home entertainment device.

"The outlay just for video disc albums represents an impressive investment on the part of the average video disc player owner, particularly in view of economic conditions," he said.

"It is further evidence that consumers are becoming more home entertainment oriented, and that they will spend money for programs that entertain and inform," Mr. Willenson said.

In addition to a reluctance to go out at night in many areas, he noted the cost of outside entertainment has escalated to the point where the average family now finds it cheaper to bring the entertainment home on inexpensive video discs.

Mr. Willenson said it will be possible to buy a video disc of a Broadway show, such as "Pippin" or "Eubie!," for less than the $35 cost of a single ticket to a Broadway theater.

The average movie on video disc costs about $22, which is less than the cost of going out to a movie when one considers such expenses as tickets, baby-sitter, driving and parking, buying snacks in the theater and possibly a refreshment on the way home, he said.

"In addition to the economics," he added, "the video disc enables the consumer to tailor his or her viewing to specific subjects, and for the first time to buy and collect programs that appeal to specific tastes. The video disc also permits family members to watch a program as often as they want, when they want, in the safety and comfort of their own home."

The video disc also gives the home TV viewer direct control over what is on his or her television screen at any hour of the day. Mr. Willenson said this is particularly important to many parents who want to control their children's viewing habits. "Different programs have different appeal to different people, making it possible to collect those discs which satisfy one's preference.

"With the video disc, a parent can become the producer and director of television viewing in the home. A diverse catalog of family-oriented programs is available at the parent's discretion," he said.

By freeing the family from the schedule of the networks or cable operators, the video disc "adds a new dimension to home entertainment and promises to have an impact on lifestyles in the 1980's," Mr. Willenson said.

The RCA video disc system enables every homeowner to convert the family television room into a screening room that rivals anything in Hollywood, and at only a fraction of the cost.

The screening rooms on the "Bel Air" circuit are reported to have cost upwards of $500,000, depending on the sophistication of the equipment used. Now, for as little as $300 or less, the video disc does the same for the average home.

Since the television set serves as the display device, there is no need for projectors, screens, threading film or changing reels. An RCA video disc holds up to two hours of programming, which means that most movies can be put on a single disc. The video disc player attaches easily to any television set and produces a picture of excellent quality.

Mr. Willenson said the RCA system makes it possible to bring home the classics as well as recent motion pictures, the best of television, the best of Walt Disney and other children's programs, sports programs, cultural fare from Shakespeare to the ballet, music from rock to country, and instructional programs on many subjects, all at prices cheaper than going to the movie or the live theater.

"And the consumer can see these shows at his convenience, as often as he wants, at no additional cost," he said.

"Actually, watching quality programs at home can become an enjoyable family experience, complete with popcorn, soda and other refreshments. And the pause button on the video disc player enables the family to replenish supplies without missing a single frame of the program."


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