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Who Remembers These?

Atari 5200 Guy

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There was a movie I would watch often as a kid that played on one of these:




The name of the movie?  Watership Down.  It took me a while to finally understand what the plot was to the film.  It was well done in my opinion.  There was also another movie that I have never seen again...Mighty Mouse and the Great Space Chase.  Neither of those I have seen on VHS or DVD.  


Thought I'd share a bit of nostalgia.

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It it a Laserdisc player? I have a couple of Laser discs that I'm about to list on ebay. They are really cool looking. Kind of interesting how you had to flip the disc over mid-movie.

Speaking of laserdisc i have come across some old discovision disc. To me they look like laser disc and i am trying to figure if there is any worth to them (not really money, just if they are interesting enough to fool with)

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oh man, these laserdisc players were the next great evolutionary step for movie lovers like myself.


Had seen a few along the way at friends' houses. Not family, so you couldn't get all agitated about pushing buttons on it to make it come alive, but an odd gizmo alongside living room gadgetry.

Next thing I know, they've grown into accomodating players that could play nice clean-imaged movies, have good sound, and a healthy load of extra materials to satisfy the cinephile in us.

COst-prohibitive to a college student like myself, so I rented em for a weekend.


Criterion started to put out some marvelous content (saw The Magnificient Ambersons on it for the first time and have been looking for the OOP bonus stuff for years).

Other companies were very generous with their materials too. The Aliens LD had what would later comprise the Quadrilogy content and more (director's cut as deleted scenes aside, but still viewable).

Great pre-production design work on the Queen, with the mechanical apparatus fitted to a whole crew for the final result.


Also, poring through pages of print notes, scripts, behind-the-scenes photos.

Criterion had brillantly furnished Taxi Driver, Midnight Cowboy discs with insightful director commentary.


yeah, the copyright expires on the licensing, and the movie rights pass along to the next distributor.

Dunno what happens to those extra contents.

They are worth gold and should be preserved.


oh and those Bond movies had unbridled commentaries that have since been banned from release.


Ah well.

That's what comes to my mind when I see these great old machines.

Good popcorn evenings

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This is before laserdisc.  RCA made a movie format called CED that used technology not much different than vinyl records.  The player in question is a SelectaVision Videodisc Player.  This is a mono-model, and one of several different models that were available.  This was the last American-engineered and made RCA product.  


These are what the movies looked like:




And more information about these can be discovered here:





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I actually had an RCA video disc player as my first home entertainment system.  I went to a pawn shop to get a cheap TV for my apartment, and saw one of these for almost nothing.   We briefly had one as a kid, so I asked him about it.   Turns out the pawn shop used to be an old TV store, and he had a TON of discs in the back.  He said if I bought the player he'd let me pick out as many as I wanted.
I had dozens, probably 75% of them worked lol   These things unfortunately had a needle and got scratched, etc.   

Anyway, I got lots of cheap entertainment.   There's a built in intermission even when you have to get up and flip the disc. :)

"For you - Rowsdower from the 70 - have been appointed Omnivisioner of the Game Grid."  ~ Atari Adventure Square

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This was as close as I got to that:




I had one of these (it didn't hold up for very long from what I remember):


Brian Matherne - owner/curator of "The MOST comprehensive list of Atari VCS/2600 homebrews ever compiled." http://tiny.cc/Atari2600Homebrew

author of "The Atari 2600 Homebrew Companion" book series available on Amazon! www.amazon.com/author/brianmatherne

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I'm a big-time audio/videophile, and yes, I do remember those CED players. Actually, I own the one pictured  as well as RCA's very first one with the manual release lever and a third Toshiba model. I own about 20-30 CED video discs too. I love unusual tech like this. I discovered them about 15 years ago, and never knew it was possible to put video on LP-type records, though these are about 100 times as dense with grooves as traditional audio LP's. The model i use regularly is the Toshiba, because it's a later model with stereo sound, RCA video/stereo outputs. the other two are mono and only use the coaxial output. CED movies that had Stereo sound are either in blue caddies, or white caddies with blue tray, mono movies are completely white. For example, I can tell just by looking that that Mighty Mouse movie pictured above is mono sound. CED movies had to be in the protective caddies because the grooves were so fine, that any dust at all, or even a fingerprint can ruin them, just touching one with your finger not only leaves oily residue that makes them skip, but you can actuall flatten the fine grooves doing so. The grooves are so dense, that the records actually give off the rainbow effect just like CD's and DVD's. Also, you absolutely HAVE to store the vertically, if you try to store them horizontally, the mere weight of a few CED's on top of others will crush the grooves!


I remember seeing an e-bay auction where the person had about 50 CED's all stacked horizontally, and I sent a message telling them that all those discs are now ruined. He wrote back that they were fine, he knew how to handle them properly and he only stacked them that way for long enough to take the pictures. I replied that just stacking them that way for an instant ruins them, gravity doesn't wait like in cartoons, and that he had no idea how to handle them properly. Avoid at all cost buying CED discs if they are pictured in the auction stacked horizontally. they are ruined and will destroy your player stylus too, if you attempt to play them. A VERY sensitive media! And if you buy any CED movies online, make sure that no more than two or three at a time are sent in a package, any more than that and the plastic caddies will cave-in in the middle, ruining the disc(s) on the bottom, and because delivery men don't know what they are, and the boxes may be set down wrong and the weight will destroy the discs, and make sure they are always insured, as the packages may get other stuff stacked on top during delivery too.


I own just about every video format there is except for Betamax and digital tape. CED, Laserdisc, Video CD, VHS, Super VHS, DVD, Blueray...same with audio, everything from reel-to-reel tape, 8-track, LP, cassette, CD, etc., etc.


Here's a good site for CED collectors with tons of info on all models, general history and tech and where one can get replacement belts, needles (stylus cartridge), etc.:




here are the other two models I own:






"Slugs, he created slugs?...Is this not the work of a complete incompetent? I would have started with Lasers, 8 o'clock, day one."-Evil (Time Bandits)

"...burn the land and boil the sea, but you can't take the sky from me..."-theme song (Firefly)

"I try to respect him, I really, really do, but he's just such a Smeg-head."-Lister (about Rimmer, Red Dwarf)

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