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RCA Press Release for January 7, 1983 No. 1


RCA Plans to Add Interactive Capability to New "CED" Videodisc Player in Second Half of 1983

LAS VEGAS, January 7 -- RCA plans to introduce an advanced "CED" VideoDisc player late in the second half of 1983 with interactive/ random access capability, it was announced last night by D. Joseph Donahue, Vice President and General Manager of the RCA Consumer Electronics Division.

"The broadening of the 'CED' system into new applications for VideoDisc is a natural expansion of a basic product line that is moving into 1983 with increased sales momentum," he said at a press conference at the opening of the industry's Consumer Electronics Show here.

Sales of RCA branded VideoDisc players exceeded 130,000 units in 1982, or double that of the product's introductory year, 1981, Dr. Donahue estimated. He noted that "additional significant sales were generated by other 'CED' brands during the year, particularly in the second half as the video disc industry closed the year with an expanding video disc business. "

Dr. Donahue reported the particularly strong demand for discs last year resulted in a 138 per cent rise of RCA disc sales by distributors to dealers over 1981's total.

"Considering the state of the economy in 1982 and the natural obstacles faced in any new product introduction, we view the past year as a highly encouraging one for the RCA VideoDisc system," he said. "As the year ended, it became clearer that the industry now has an expanding opportunity to sell the consumer a system that amounts to a $1,000 retail sale in the first year of ownership."

He pointed to studies by RCA VideoDiscs which indicate that consumers purchase an average of from 20 to 30 discs in the first year of player ownership. "The consumer investment in a player and discs therefore amounts to some $1,000, a fact that is being noticed by an increasingly larger number of dealers," Dr. Donahue said.

The new player, which will be priced later in the year, will have the ability to search out specific segments of video information contained in the two-hour "CED" discs, "thus clearly showing the potential of the 'CED' system in applications other than consumer entertainment," Dr. Donahue said. He indicated the new player will also provide opportunities for the development of new forms of programming.

Dr. Donahue noted that more than 8,000,000 "CED" discs have been produced to date in response to particularly strong demand for discs after a consumer purchases the player.

RCA anticipates that industry sales of all video disc players in 1983 will exceed 300,000 units, "and could easily reach 400,000 players if the economy becomes more favorable by mid-1983," he added.


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