Cartridge Laserdiscs?

Adam Demuth

Agent
Joined
Aug 23, 2003
Messages
39
Today I picked up laserdisc copies of 2001: A Space Odyssey , Scarface, and Poltergeist, but they came in a weird cartridge. I'm a bit young to really know a whole lot about Laserdiscs, but all the ones I remember are like huge CD's, kinda silverish. These are approximately the same size, and once you finagle the latches to slide the "tray" out, the media itself is really dark grey. Immagine CD-RW media, only big. Also, 2001:ASO and Scarface are both on 2 double sided videodiscs. 2001 was quite a long movie, but I don't remember Scarface being that long. These say they are Laserdiscs, but nothing I like ever remember. Is there any demand at all(collector or otherwise) for these, as it seems as though they would need a special player, or did I just pick up some cool nostalgia and HT decoration (figured a VHS, LD and DVD combo of Scarface would be pretty cool, as would 2001, if I can find 2001 on VHS cheap)
 

Adam Demuth

Agent
Joined
Aug 23, 2003
Messages
39
Today I picked up laserdisc copies of 2001: A Space Odyssey , Scarface, and Poltergeist, but they came in a weird cartridge. I'm a bit young to really know a whole lot about Laserdiscs, but all the ones I remember are like huge CD's, kinda silverish. These are approximately the same size, and once you finagle the latches to slide the "tray" out, the media itself is really dark grey. Immagine CD-RW media, only big. Also, 2001:ASO and Scarface are both on 2 double sided videodiscs. 2001 was quite a long movie, but I don't remember Scarface being that long. These say they are Laserdiscs, but nothing I like ever remember. Is there any demand at all(collector or otherwise) for these, as it seems as though they would need a special player, or did I just pick up some cool nostalgia and HT decoration (figured a VHS, LD and DVD combo of Scarface would be pretty cool, as would 2001, if I can find 2001 on VHS cheap)
 

Rex.G

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Feb 8, 2004
Messages
120
Ok,

I am far from knowing a lot about laserdiscs. However, I remember back in t the early 80's my parents would rent a laserdisc player and the laserdiscs that came with it were indeed in a cartridge. I don't know If you will be able to take them out and use them in a regular player, but my first memories of laserdiscs has them in those gigantic cartridges. I would say that what you have are indeed laserdiscs

If they are in good cosmetic shape, I would say you have a very cool display item at the least!!!
 

Rex.G

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Feb 8, 2004
Messages
120
Ok,

I am far from knowing a lot about laserdiscs. However, I remember back in t the early 80's my parents would rent a laserdisc player and the laserdiscs that came with it were indeed in a cartridge. I don't know If you will be able to take them out and use them in a regular player, but my first memories of laserdiscs has them in those gigantic cartridges. I would say that what you have are indeed laserdiscs

If they are in good cosmetic shape, I would say you have a very cool display item at the least!!!
 

Allan Jayne

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 1, 1998
Messages
2,404
They were made by or for RCA which back in the 1980's had a competing video disk system. The technical term is CED which I think stands for capacitance electronic disk. The disk has grooves and is played by a needle rather than a laser.

The needle and cartridge assembly is guided by a screw thread as the grooves are too fragile to accomplish this. The needle does not actually vibrate to make the video waveform but rather the ever varying imperfect contact between the needle and the disk produces minute capacitance differences that produce the video waveform which is composite. There are eight video fields per revolution (CAV LD has two), and the picture quality is comparable to regular VHS, that is, 240 lines of resolution per picture height @ 4:3 aspect ratio.

As on a phonograph, the needle and disks are subject to wear.

You do need an RCA Selectavision CED disk player which is not currently being manufactured, you cannot play these disks on an LD player.

From what I was told, Pioneer was the main driving force behind LD, and had to stress that LD had much better picture quality to compete both with VCR's and the RCA CED system.

Video hints:
http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm

If you do acquire a CED player, it is a good idea to finagle the latches and open and inspect each disk before playing. If subjected to temperature extremes, the disk inside could crack and playing it could cause the player to self destruct.
 

Allan Jayne

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 1, 1998
Messages
2,404
They were made by or for RCA which back in the 1980's had a competing video disk system. The technical term is CED which I think stands for capacitance electronic disk. The disk has grooves and is played by a needle rather than a laser.

The needle and cartridge assembly is guided by a screw thread as the grooves are too fragile to accomplish this. The needle does not actually vibrate to make the video waveform but rather the ever varying imperfect contact between the needle and the disk produces minute capacitance differences that produce the video waveform which is composite. There are eight video fields per revolution (CAV LD has two), and the picture quality is comparable to regular VHS, that is, 240 lines of resolution per picture height @ 4:3 aspect ratio.

As on a phonograph, the needle and disks are subject to wear.

You do need an RCA Selectavision CED disk player which is not currently being manufactured, you cannot play these disks on an LD player.

From what I was told, Pioneer was the main driving force behind LD, and had to stress that LD had much better picture quality to compete both with VCR's and the RCA CED system.

Video hints:
http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm

If you do acquire a CED player, it is a good idea to finagle the latches and open and inspect each disk before playing. If subjected to temperature extremes, the disk inside could crack and playing it could cause the player to self destruct.
 

CarlosGH

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jan 11, 2004
Messages
74
Your best bet on learning about CED is cedmagic.com. If you buy from the web, ask to see if it comes with a replacement stylus and when was the last time it was changed. As for its value, well its kinda collectible, but as a video media, is very useless and costly (replacing needle and disks). A few of the older models didn't follow the IR guidelines, so you can't use a universal or even a PDA. Also some of them would over heat and stop playing. I know that some of the disk were collectible because of their cover art.
 

CarlosGH

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jan 11, 2004
Messages
74
Your best bet on learning about CED is cedmagic.com. If you buy from the web, ask to see if it comes with a replacement stylus and when was the last time it was changed. As for its value, well its kinda collectible, but as a video media, is very useless and costly (replacing needle and disks). A few of the older models didn't follow the IR guidelines, so you can't use a universal or even a PDA. Also some of them would over heat and stop playing. I know that some of the disk were collectible because of their cover art.
 

Eric-S

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jan 3, 2000
Messages
213
Real Name
Eric Schnabel
Check out CED Magic for everything you ever wanted to know about this format. Sure the quality was bad, but I still enjoy reading about different formats.
 

Eric-S

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jan 3, 2000
Messages
213
Real Name
Eric Schnabel
Check out CED Magic for everything you ever wanted to know about this format. Sure the quality was bad, but I still enjoy reading about different formats.
 

Charles_Y

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Mar 25, 2003
Messages
245
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Philadelphia suburbs
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Charles W. Yearsley Jr.
I second your appraisal of this format. At least one might say it is an interesting historical curiosity but was an inherently weak and shortlived process.

However, it does give one food for thought when one thinks about the "cartridge" based system that is said to be part of the upcoming Blu-Ray HD DVD system. This would seem a bad step backwards to me. If it becomes the standard, one can be sure that the cases will be accordingly bigger and heavier and take up more space in storage.

Toshiba/NEC's HD DVD red laser process has at least one advantage in this area, but of course I haven't seen them so I'm arguing in a vacuum so to speak at present.

Has anyone seen the SONY player on sale in Japan of late? I presume it uses said cartridge discs.
 

Charles_Y

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Messages
245
Location
Philadelphia suburbs
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Charles W. Yearsley Jr.
I second your appraisal of this format. At least one might say it is an interesting historical curiosity but was an inherently weak and shortlived process.

However, it does give one food for thought when one thinks about the "cartridge" based system that is said to be part of the upcoming Blu-Ray HD DVD system. This would seem a bad step backwards to me. If it becomes the standard, one can be sure that the cases will be accordingly bigger and heavier and take up more space in storage.

Toshiba/NEC's HD DVD red laser process has at least one advantage in this area, but of course I haven't seen them so I'm arguing in a vacuum so to speak at present.

Has anyone seen the SONY player on sale in Japan of late? I presume it uses said cartridge discs.
 

Adam Demuth

Agent
Joined
Aug 23, 2003
Messages
39
Cool! So this was essentially the Betamax of the LD world (well, Betamax with some serious issues. Also note: I'm not trying to start a flame war, I know a few veterans who are still mad about the whole Betamax thing
) That would explain why it seemed like it had visible groves as opposed to LD's, what an incredibly complex system, no wonder it failed! I don't I'll be looking into getting a player for these (though if I found one cheap, I'd pick it up in a heartbeat). These will make nice conversation pieces, and some cool decorations. Thanks guys, I always know I can count on you all for friendly, helpful, and sometimes trivial knowledge!

Edit: Read a little about these... man these things are old, CED was out 10 years earlier than LD... nothing like Betamax... just wondering, how do these compare to, oh say VHS?
 

Adam Demuth

Agent
Joined
Aug 23, 2003
Messages
39
Cool! So this was essentially the Betamax of the LD world (well, Betamax with some serious issues. Also note: I'm not trying to start a flame war, I know a few veterans who are still mad about the whole Betamax thing
) That would explain why it seemed like it had visible groves as opposed to LD's, what an incredibly complex system, no wonder it failed! I don't I'll be looking into getting a player for these (though if I found one cheap, I'd pick it up in a heartbeat). These will make nice conversation pieces, and some cool decorations. Thanks guys, I always know I can count on you all for friendly, helpful, and sometimes trivial knowledge!

Edit: Read a little about these... man these things are old, CED was out 10 years earlier than LD... nothing like Betamax... just wondering, how do these compare to, oh say VHS?
 

Gary Seven

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I find the analogy inappropriate. Though VHS won in that "war", the Beta technology was still superior.

The same cannot be said for the RCA cartridges.
 

Gary Seven

Grand Poo Pah
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Gaston

I find the analogy inappropriate. Though VHS won in that "war", the Beta technology was still superior.

The same cannot be said for the RCA cartridges.
 

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