BUT, according to Wikipedia: "Whereas the phonograph stylus physically vibrates with the variations in the record groove, and those vibrations are converted by a mechanical transducer (the phono pickup) to an electrical signal, the CED stylus normally does not vibrate and moves only to track the CED groove (and the disc surface—out-of-plane), while the signal from the stylus is natively obtained as an electrical signal."
I presume that this means that you cannot scratch with them. Which is a colossal bummer. I once heard that a system had been devised to encode grainy black and white video on a vinyl disc, and you COULD scratch with it. But I've never found any evidence it was true. I saw this and got all excited.
I had a few of these machines and quite a few discs. You most surely can scratch them, although the loading system is supposed to prevent that.
I was surprised to find that the quality wasn't terrible, provided the disc was in good condition.
Oh, and there's also this site dedicated to them: http://www.cedmagic.com/selectavision.html
I used to know someone whose roommate at film school in the late 80s spent the entire second half of her masters degree program working almost entirely with a Videodisc player she found at the thrift shop with a skipping copy of Jane Fonda's Workout permanently jammed in it.
But Beta. OZ, are you rehabilitating my dream here? Would it be possible to manipulate the disc with your hand to advance, slow down, and pause the image on the screen? If you dragged the stylus back and forth in the groove, would it cause some kind of visual effect to happen (static? something else?)
I don't know about that, she was just advancing it to different points and using the tiny loops that it created when it skipped.
I do know that a bandmate of mine saw a noise show in the mid 2000s where someone had "cut video clips onto vinyl" somehow and was DJing with them, but I have no idea what he meant, because I missed that show. It seems totally possible that one of these could be opened up and treated like a normal turntable, although the styluses were insanely expensive even a decade and a half ago last time I checked. Hundreds of dollars for a working NOS one. So it wouldn't be something I'd want to make a long term habit of messing with.
Either your bandmate and mine were at the same show or... WE'RE IN THE SAME BAND
Thanks for that clarification, now I will go back to quixotically searching for this lost/found/lost performance idea that is somehow simultaneously amazingly cool, somewhat unlikely, and for which no hard evidence exists.
I see CED players in thrift stores occasionally, usually incorrectly labeled as laserdisc players.
I've had my hands on a few of these over the years but I never got a single one to work.
I had two. Both needed new belts for the loading mech, but other than that thew worked flawlessly.
Until the one day when one of them stopped having sound. By that time, the novelty wore off, and I just sold them (and all my discs) to the first interested party.
Of the many discs I had, I think the ONLY stereo one was The Tubes Video.
James bond, Hercule Poirot, dozens of others . . . all mono.
Once I saw a ton of these at a thrift store. Had no idea what they were...it was totally alien technology, until I looked it up. Never even knew this was a thing. I would have bought a couple just for preservation purposes to hang them on a wall or something, but all the movies were fucking awful, nothing "classic" or collectable.
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