I never really got eight-tracks, either.

§ September 3rd, 2014 § Filed under swamp thing § 12 Comments

So what we have here is a Capacitance Electronic Disc, a thing I had to look up on Wikipedia via the Googlings since, while I remember seeing these in action at a neighbor’s house when I was but a young Mikester, I couldn’t for the life of you tell what it was called. Although, to be fair, it says “Capacitance Electronic Disc” right there on the packaging, so I guess I’m the dummy.

Anyway, it’s basically a big record with much finer grooves that you’d find on your typical a;Grumph LP, protected inside a big plastic container to keep your filthy, filthy fingers off the delicate disc within. You’d shove this contraption into a player, where the disc would emerge from its sleeve and a needle…yes, an actual needle…would play on the record and magically transform those bumps and grooves into moving images. I think the Devil is involved somehow, particularly since you’d have to flip the whole thing over to the other side at the hour mark.

Here’s what the contents of the package look like when some smart guy decides to circumvent the delicate locking mechanism that normally keeps the disc safe:

A big thanks to customer/Twitter pal Jason for donating this to my obsession collection.

12 Responses to “I never really got eight-tracks, either.”

  • Michael Grabowski says:

    The wax cylinder of home video formats!

    So how hard are you going to hunt for a player now to watch this edition of the film? I know I couldn’t rest w/o seeing how it looks and sounds.

  • Jim Kosmicki says:

    RCA Selectavision was the brand name of the player. they had a mild popularity at first because they DID look and act a bit like LP’s, which people knew. Some of the bigger video rental chains in this area even rented the discs for a short time. I believe the Magnavox stores sold them pretty aggressively (along with the Odyssey, the early videogame console).

  • Patrick Joseph says:

    These were some of the first videos I saw for rent at the Convenient Food Mart where I bought my comics, which included Swamp Thing Annual 1.

    My middle school had a player, and we watched the Great Gatsby on it. Everything had a sickly green tinge to it, which was either an unsubtle interpretation of the novel, or a sign that the English teacher was was no tech wizard.

    I saw a pretty huge collection of these at a thrift store in Austin last year, so at least one person really went ape for these discs.

    Great find!

  • Thwacko says:

    Back in the late 90’s the girlfriend (now wife) and I used to go to a particular Goodwill because they had such crazy stuff. One day they had stacks and stacks of these and we were befuddled, thinking they were records. Years later I worked with a girl who said her family had a player and she said she felt like a dork when everyone else had a VCR.

  • Thomas K says:

    When I was young, my parents used to rent a CED player and movies from a local Mom & Pop video store. I remember watching Robin William’s masterpiece, Popeye, on it. Man, I loved that movie as a kid, but, somehow, I doubt there’s enough nostalgia left to make it bearable now.

  • Snark Shark says:

    “Capacitance Electronic Disc”

    The lack of a snappy name lead to it’s eventual downfall!

  • Joe S. Walker says:

    Thanks to this post I did some reading up and was left wondering why early video packaging looked so cheap and nasty. Also found this:


  • John J says:

    I used to have a bunch of these. They also came in stereo and if you hooked it up to use your speakers it sounded great. Problem was that the revolutions were so high that the belts tended to burn out and I remember paying $45 just to get someone to drop a new belt into it.
    It took a long time after they stopped working on the players before I finally tossed all of my discs since nobody wanted to buy them. It was a lot like making the decision to toss the rest of the 8-tracks you owned.
    Basically, it’s no dumber than buying a new gaming system or phone every year.

  • Mars says:

    CEDs were cheaper than Laserdiscs, but the tradeoff was they would break more frequently. Unsurprisingly, it didn’t catch on — too unreliable for collectors, too out there for Ma and Pa Average.

  • John says:

    Im affraid to crack mine open. Thank you for opening yours to show us!

  • Dave says:

    Needlevsion! I have a boat load of these.. some of them have very nice display art, like the original 1 sheets.. have some of the Superman movies, the John Lester 3 Musketers, Tron, Raiders.. one of the early 8-Track stores sold off their stock cheap and I grabbed most of them.. kind of like collector plates now, suitable for dispaly only. :-)

  • comicbob says:

    Had one of these players growing up. Still to this day, I remember the mark at certain movies where I had to get off the couch and turn the movie over. Yeah, we were kinda the dorks of the neighborhood, especially while everyone else was getting VCRs. On the rare occasion we could actually find movies, we would buy them, so we had quite a large collection. From mom’s musicals to sci/fi and action adventure, it was a strange catalog. No Swamp Thing though :(
    Thanks for the stroll.