Movies on Vinyl – VHD The forgotten 1980s Videodisc

Movies on Vinyl – VHD The forgotten 1980s Videodisc

A year ago I made a video about CED, RCA’s Capacitance Electronic Disc: a video delivery system that held video on a vinyl disc which was read by a stylus It was such a monumental flop, it brought down the RCA corporation with it. With the benefit of hindsight, of course, the idea of reading video off a vinyl disc with a stylus seems archaic when LaserDisc had been out for a couple of years prior to its arrival, which was reading, of course, video off an optical disc with a laser. So, clearly, Capacitance Electronic Disc was never going to be a success, was it? Well, hold on a minute. Imagine an alternate reality where CED had existed alongside LaserDisc up to the 1990s, and had actually been moderately successful. No, I’m not making this up! This actually happened… in Japan, with the VHD system! Let’s have a look at it. It’s largely forgotten nowadays, but in the late 1970s, there was a three-way race to be the company to sell the public prerecorded video on a disc. Philips had their LaserVision system, also known as DiscoVision, and then latter to be known as LaserDisc. RCA had the Capacitance Electronic Disc. And the Victor Company of Japan had VHD, which stood for Video High Density. Now, as well as the companies behind the developments of each of these technologies, there were additional companies who were brought on board, who backed each respective system. For example, Philips had Pioneer; JVC had Matsushita, who brought along their Panasonic and National brands. It was a proper three-horse race. Nobody knew which of these technologies was going to be the one that won out. RCA’s CED and JVC’s VHD used very similar technologies, albeit the CED has a larger disc inside the caddy at 30cm across. The VHD used a 26cm disc, and it doesn’t sound like an awful lot of difference, but, in reality, it does make it quite a bit of a neater system. The caddy for it feels more like you’re holding a magazine, rather than a vinyl record. Each disc can hold up to 60 minutes of video per side, which is the same as RCA’s larger disc system. So I suppose that’s why they called this one Video High Density. We’ve got the same amount of video, but on a smaller-sized disc. Those discs are carbon-impregnated vinyl, which makes them conductive, but, unlike RCA’s system, they don’t have a groove on them running from the outside to the inside for a stylus to follow. This one uses concentric rings, and the stylus measures the capacitance by skirting across the top of those rings from the outside to the inside of the disc. Just like on a compact disc, the data is stored as a series of pits of varying lengths, but unlike a CD, where that data is read with a laser, on a VHD, it’s read by the difference in capacitance that’s experienced by the stylus as it sweeps over the top of them. Each rotation of the disc stores two frames of video, and of course, 30 frames make up one second. You can imagine that these rings, in reality, are very, very close together. But, just to give you an example, it would read frame 1, and then, go to frame 2, and then it jumps into the next ring along to read frame 3, and so on. Now, of course, this is fine, except when you come to try and do a still frame, because a still frame is done by holding the stylus over a particular part of the disc, and keeping the disc rotating. But, as you can imagine, that shows two different frames of video one after the other, which means that you get a bit of a flicker sometimes. But this was a deliberate compromise, because a CAV LaserDisc can hold one frame per rotation and therefore generate a perfect freeze-frame. However, it can only hold 30 minutes of video per side. Most of the LaserDiscs sold, though, were in the CLV format, which meant they still held 60 minutes of video per side, but at a higher resolution than the VHD system. And, in addition, there was no stylus to wear out on LaserDisc. On a VHD, you’d need to replace the stylus every 5,000 hours of play or so. Nevertheless, the VHD system made its debut at the beginning of the 1980s, because it held a couple of aces up its sleeves, the first one being that it was quite a bit cheaper to buy a VHD player than it was a LaserDisc system. And, secondly, the VHD discs held much of the interactive capabilities of a 30-minute LaserDisc, however, in a 60-minute format. And it was this that drew the attention of Thorn-EMI in the UK, who planned to launch it here and sell it to the public. However, they got cold feet after seeing how the CED system had not really succeeded in the US, and decided to pull away from selling it to the public and just made it as an interactive display system. However, they had invested a significant amount of money into the development of VHD in Japan, so, of course, the system was ready to go, and JVC decided to launch it in Japan. Up until about 1986, there were still plans to launch the VHD system in the US, but I think they’d dropped the idea eventually, due to public apathy to the LaserDisc and CED formats. However, it did continue apace in Japan, and by the mid-80s, ’85, ’86, it was probably at peak sales. It was quite a popular system. It came second to LaserDisc, but in price it definitely came first. There’s an article here where you can see that people might choose VHD over LaserDisc, because the fact a VHD player could be picked up for the equivalent of US$576, whereas a LaserDisc player was $929. Popping over to the excellent LaserDisc Database, we can see they do have a VHD section on there, and that catalogs the last releases on the format as coming out in October ’90, and that’ll have been about a year or so after the VHD system will have started to wane, and that’ll have happened when LaserDisc player prices became more affordable, making the VHD system seem less attractive. You might also notice on there that there are some 3D titles that came out on the VHD system. This seems to be unique to this particular format of the era. It is perhaps down to the way the discs were laid out. The 3D discs were played at double speed, and alternated the frames between the left and right eyes, and, of course, you bought some 3D goggles, which had LCD shutters in them, which synchronised with those and gave you a full 3D image. And the VHD system was particularly suited for use in video karaoke machines, because you could hold 60 minutes of video on one disc, while having them accessible by chapters. So, with the VHD system dying in 1990, it never got to experience the collector’s market of the 90s that the LaserDisc serves so well. That’s when LaserDisc got its second wind, offering collector’s editions with director’s commentaries, widescreen, digital sound… VHD was pretty much stuck back in the 1980s, occupying a middle ground between RCA’s basic CED system and the more elaborate, but more expensive, LaserDisc. Okay, so that’s the history side over and done with. Let’s try playing a VHD. I imported this old machine from Japan; it was advertised as “not functioning,” so it didn’t cost so much. However, the postage was horrendous. This thing weighs an absolute ton. I also bought a couple of discs to play on it; I thought, might as well get some of those ready. And this is a higher-end machine that should be able to play 3D titles as well, so hopefully, in time, I’ll be able to get some of those glasses. Had a look inside to see what was wrong… …and it doesn’t have a stylus in it. Well, obviously, that’s not gonna work, with no stylus. After a number of months of searching, I managed to find the stylus for this machine. You can imagine somebody having one of these. The stylus wears out; they’re thinking, “I can’t be bothered getting a new stylus,” and then just putting it away on the shelf. So I imagine, “if I put this stylus in here, I’ll be off and running!” However, these things don’t always work out according to plan. Unfortunately, the machine itself just didn’t work at all, so I’ve got a brand new stylus for an old machine that’s just non-functioning. So, okay, take 2: Buy a brand new machine. Okay, so when I say “brand new,” I mean new old stock. It’s been sat in this box since May 1987. So, almost 30 years, so…hopefully this thing still works. I don’t think they used belts in these, so those shouldn’t have perished. I’m just hoping it’s going to operate. Got everything inside the box here, all the different instruction leaflets; of course, all in Japanese. And then you’ve got the guarantee I can send off there in that little envelope, and a list of the titles available on VHD. I’d imagine this has been sat in the box so long because this was towards the end of the format’s life, and they probably had difficulty selling the machines off. Someone’s probably got a warehouse of these somewhere. So, yeah, a bit of a lower-end model than the other one. Notice it’s got cushioned feet on here, spring-loaded feet. That’s because, of course, you don’t want it to bang around while it’s reading a disc. We’ve got RF in and out on the back here, which a lot of people would’ve connected it up with in the 80s. We’ve got the lead included for that. Don’t have a lead for these. These are the composite video outs; that’s what I’m going to be using, of course. And on the right, here, we’ve got a power pass-through, which you could connect up to, say, an amplifier, if you’re using it as a karaoke device. And it runs on 100 V, so I’ll need to use a voltage converter. On the front, we’ve got the power button on the left, here; the long door, which you put the discs into, or the cartridge into, I suppose, the “caddy;” infrared remote control receiver; volume control on the bottom, there, together with a headphone socket; four buttons along the top, and we’ve got lights underneath those to indicate what’s going on. Quite a simple machine, but very neat as well. Of course, the remote control gives you access to all the features of the player. For example, if you wanted to jump to a chapter, type the number in at the top, and then press that green button; it would go to that. At the bottom, we’ve got transport controls. I wasn’t sure what these things were on the left, though, so I got the Google Translate app out and, as you can see, the top button at the top of the screen there, it says that one is “mode.” Next one down is “volume large dog.” Brilliant! And this one is “small volume.” So, volume up and down. And then this one is “repeat.” I know what that one means. Right, the batteries that are included, I thought I’d check those out before I got going, and, yeah, completely dead. So that could’ve had me puzzled for a while, if I hadn’t expected that. Yeah, so I replaced them with some brand new batteries instead. All I have to do now in addition to that is connect the device up to something, so I’m gonna test it out here; first of all, I’m gonna put my composite leads into the back. And, of course, I’m gonna have to power the device from something, so I’ve got a 100 V step-down transformer here, which has enough wattage to be able to cope with this device. So I plug that in, plug the power into that. And to play back the video, I’m going to use this Sony broadcast monitor that I bought off eBay a while ago, for next to nothing, they’re very cheap, these, nowadays. Anyway, opening the door on the front, there, manually, because it wouldn’t open automatically for some reason, putting the caddy in there, and it grabs it! It clicks on it, and will not let it go for love nor money. So, something is obviously wrong, and then I thought, “Hold on, it’s got a stylus in here.” Those are often locked down for transport. So I had a look at this information on the sticker, and sure enough, when you translate that, it turns out into some sort of old pirate treasure map language, which says: “Before you leave this machine” “Remove this lid and be inside” “Loosen the red thread for transport until it idles” Sure enough, yeah, I have to loosen a screw inside here, so let’s take this lid off and have a look. And there it is; there’s a red screw, so, sure enough, loosen that, it releases the arm, which is now free to move, and as you can see, the arm can move inwards. However, the damn thing still will not let go of my caddy, so I’m gonna have to take the lid off here and see what’s going on inside. Turns out, the caddy’s being held back by a couple of plastic teeth, so I just eased it off those so I could have a proper look at it, twisted this cog around on the left. The disc dropped down to where it should do, and sure enough… …the video started to play. There’s always something incredibly satisfying, and slightly magical, about getting a device working that’s been sat in a box, in this case, for close to 30 years, that’s never performed the function it was designed for. So, finally now, we can see it working. However, I’m still having issues with the eject mechanism. The arm’s moving back and forth fine, the video’s playing fine, the door opens on the front fine. However, when I put the caddy up to that, and get the disc to eject into the caddy, it just wants to keep hold of that caddy and not let go. So something’s still a little bit wrong with that eject mechanism. Now, I’d anticipated that something like this might happen, so I bought a very cheap VHD of a film I’m not particularly interested in, because I thought I might have to sort of pull it out of the machine and manhandle it, and if you do that, of course, you’d damage the surface of the disc, which would make it unplayable. As it was, I don’t need to sacrifice this disc. It’s a simple matter of a cog not turning its full rotation. See this little white cog in the top of the screen here, which looks a lot like the maze symbol out of Westworld? Well, that’s supposed to have grease on it, but, of course, that’s hardened up over time. So this little silver arm, this metal arm that’s supposed to travel around the track on there wasn’t going the full distance. So it’s a simple matter, of course, of just cleaning that up and replacing the grease with some new silicon grease. And, sure enough, once that was done, it was functioning perfectly. So here’s how you operate it: You press the on button, the door on the front opens up automatically; you put your caddy into the machine; it pulls the disc out of the caddy; it will beep to let you know that you can remove the caddy; and then it starts playing the disc automatically. Then, of course, when it comes to ejecting the disc, you just press the eject button; the arm moves back to the beginning; the door opens; you put your caddy in; it puts the disc back in the caddy, beeps again; you take the caddy away. Very nice and neat, really. As entertaining as it is to watch this mechanism, and I could probably watch this all day long, I can imagine this would’ve been the Achilles’ heel of the VHD machines. If anything’s going to go wrong, it’s going to go wrong with this. However, mine is now working fine, so let’s get it all back together again, and just have a look at some of the discs that I’ve got to play on this. Now, because this video has taken me about a year to put together, every time that I saw a VHD advertised at a reasonable price, I picked it up. And, as a result, I’ve got a nice little collection here of some of the 1980s blockbusters, and those were the things that were primarily sold on this format in the mid-80s. That’s when it was at its height. You can see on the back here, we’ve got some other alternate titles that were available at the time. Notice the price: it’s 7,800 yen for these ones at the bottom. However, Aliens, at the top, is 9,800 yen. That’s because that’s a two-disc title. Now, that 7,800 yen price, that is exactly the same as a LaserDisc cost at the time, so it wasn’t any cheaper to buy a VHD than a LaserDisc. It was just, the machines themselves were cheaper. I’d imagine a lot of people just rented these things, anyway. Now, Return of the Jedi is the only two-disc title I have. Of course, they had to go to two discs when the film length exceeds two hours, which is the maximum you can fit on both sides of one disc. Notice here, on Disc 2, Side 1, it says 35:44. However, Side 2’s got some text next to it; I was interested in finding out what that actually said. And when I tried to translate it again, in this app here, it says: “from been no” Okay, I suppose that just means there’s nothing on here, or something. But did you notice something there? Interesting; there’s a bit of text in the middle, here. When that came on the translation, it said something unexpected for me, here: “Revenge of the [Jedi],” it will be, of course. Of course, that’s the original title of Return of the Jedi, so presumably, in Japan they knew it as Revenge of the Jedi. Or, perhaps, I’m just talking nonsense. Getting back to what I do know, inside each of the VHD discs that I’ve got, you had a leaflet like this. In the case of Return of the Jedi, it details the aliens in the film; it give you some production notes; it talks about the people that are in it, as well as the people who made it. I think they should give out things like this with films nowadays. You can see this is one of the earlier discs that I’ve got, because, looking at the bottom here, it’s going on about the Temple of Doom will be coming in Summer 1984. So, presumably, the disc came out just before then. Also got Back to the Future, which I have to get on every format, just for the sake of it. And on the back of here, I bet they were glad that this one is just under two hours. You can see, it just about fits on one disc. Of course, I’d imagine when you go over to two discs, they’d sell less, because the discs themselves cost more to buy. Notice it says “digital” there. Nothing digital really going on in the film itself. Of course, the soundtrack is Dolby Surround. It does sound good, but it’s not Dolby Digital. And, rounding up the rest of the titles, we’ve got Saigon, which you saw earlier on, and I’ve also got this one, which is a bit unusual. Starview HCT-5808. I thought this was going to be anime with music; it doesn’t have any dialog in it. Turns out, it’s just a lot of still frames with some plinky-plonky music. Not all that exciting, really, but only available on VHD or LaserDisc. And then, this is the best one: Movies #5. This is a VHD magazine. Effectively, what it is, is a load of different trailers, as well as interviews and things, put together in order to try and sell US films to Japanese audiences. This was introduced in 1986, when VHD sales were at their height. It continued over nine issues, with the last one of those coming out in 1988. Inside Volume 5, here, from 1987, there’s a survey to send off to tell them what films I’m interested in seeing on the VHD format. There’s also a form you can use to order posters of some of the titles that are featured in this issue. And, inside there, there’s more information about some of those films, as well. Now, you may have noticed, in the beginning, I lifted out that form which listed all the titles that were available on the format at the time my machine was made. And there’s quite a lot on there, in different genres, as you can see, including three issues of the video magazine I’ve just shown you, as well as a lot of other titles that, unfortunately, I’m unable to read, because I can’t read Japanese. However, there are a couple of names you can pick out; you can see the headlines for the karaoke ones. But one thing that you might be particularly interested in is “Inter Action.” And this is a thing that VHD is most, probably, famous for, now in the West, because, if you watch any videos of old, obscure games collectors, you might have seen a VHD machine connected up to an MSX computer, playing back one of these interactive games. To explain how this works, I’ll use Dragon’s Lair as an example, although it wasn’t out on the VHD format. But you should be aware: in Dragon’s Lair, it plays an animation until you have to make a choice. For example: if you go left, you’ll die; if you go right, you’ll be okay. So, if you choose to die, then the animation that gets played is off the alternate rings on the disc. VHD has the ability to skip individual rings, and play the ones with the death animation on them. However, if you choose to go right and survive, it will play the alternate rings, and that’s basically how an interactive disc works. Okay, so enough chitchat about things I don’t have. Let’s play some of these discs that I do. We’ve got plenty to be getting on with, here. I’ve attached the machine up to the television in the lounge, the main TV, and… …I’ve got to say, it doesn’t look out-of-date here at all. And that might say more about the lack of imagination of equipment manufacturers than it does of this thing being particularly timeless, but it certainly doesn’t seem to have aged any, to say it’s getting on for 30 years old now. Anyway, put the disc in the machine, and let’s have a look at it. Now, depending on the age of these discs, there’s two different kinds of intros at the beginning of them, so let me play you the old one first, followed by the new one. You son of a bitch! So, I’ll talk about some of the features of the disc while this is playing. The subtitles you see at the bottom, those are burnt-in on the video. Those aren’t selectable like on a DVD. Just like on a LaserDisc, they’re on the actual video itself. You can jump between chapters; you can see how quickly it can do this. I’ll press the chapter up button, it goes straight to chapter 4. You can go to an individual chapter if you type the number in on the remote control. The trick-play capabilities were one of the big selling features of the day. Much is made of this in all the promotional literature of the time, the ability to play things in 2x speed, as you can see here, with the sound still playing, or you can play in half-speed reverse, perfectly smooth with no interference on the picture at all, something that VHS wasn’t capable of doing. And, of course, you can fast-forward at various speeds. It looks just like fast-forwarding a DVD or a Blu-Ray nowadays, other than, of course, the picture quality. What’s particularly impressive, though, is the half-speed reverse, where you can adjust the video back and forth, and there’s just no interference at all; it looks perfect. The pause, that is where there was a bit of an issue. You can see here, Indy’s having a bit of a jitter issue, and, of course, that’s because there’s two frames per rotation. So, we’re jumping back and forth between two frames. If you find the right part of the video, where nothing moves over two frames, you can get a pretty good still with it. But, of course, this wasn’t as good as a CAV LaserDisc, which could do a perfect freeze-frame of any frame of the movie. So, back in 1980, when JVC were trying to show off their new VHD technology, and make it look as good as LaserDisc… They cheated! They put a digital frame store under the table which, at the time, cost £10,000 and enabled the operator to get a perfect freeze-frame on any frame out of the disc. It just goes to show you how important, at the time, these trick-play features were. Now, I just want to play you the title sequence out of this movies magazine. Remember, this is from 1987. And I’ve got to warn you that watching this might give you a 1980s overdose. In this issue of Movies, you’ll ride high with Matthew Broderick, in the new suspense thriller, Project X. We’ll go behind the scenes of the explosive action-adventure film, Death Before Dishonor. And visit with Bette Midler and Shelley Long on the set of their smash-hit comedy, Outrageous Fortune. Ah, the good old 80s! Anyway, you’ll notice on the disc, here we’ve got a table of contents. So we’ve got a menu system, which is split over a number of screens. And we can access the individual chapters for the particular part of the disc we’re interested in watching. If you wanted, you could watch it all the way through from the beginning to the end in one go. But I’ll take you through to chapter 10, and show you a little bit of the behind-the-scenes of RoboCop. Well, today we’re shooting a scene where Murphy gets killed by the gang. First they blow off his hand, and then they blow off his arm, then they blow off his head. Wow, what do you say about that? This guy, he’s really pretty intense about the whole thing. But, the sound of that hand popping off, we’ve just got to listen to that once more. Brilliant. But I used to love this stuff in the 80s, and into the 90s, when they did this behind-the-scenes thing. It’s nice to see some of these actors that are no longer with us, or people who are a lot younger than they are now talking about what they want to do with their careers. But anyway, let’s go on to Back to the Future, now, and just have a look at some video scenes out of this, to compare the quality between these and LaserDiscs. So, I’ve got the VHD here, as we can see on the screen. I’ve done a nice capture. And I happen to have the LaserDisc of this one, because I bought the LaserDisc just to put on the wall as a frame, because I like the art on the sleeve. But I do also happen to have the disc still out of it, so I can do a nice A/B comparison. Now, I’ll do a freeze-frame out of the VHD, and I’ll do a freeze-frame out of the LaserDisc, and we’ll see how much difference there really was in quality between the two formats. So first off, starting with the VHD, you can see it’s pretty washed out, isn’t it? I mean, it’s not like video nowadays. But let’s look at LaserDisc: now, that is sharper. Not massively so, though. Let’s zoom in so we can see a little bit more detail. So, look at the sign behind the lady, there. And then we’ll switch back to VHD, and you can see the letters on that do get quite a bit softer. In fact, if we zoom in even more, it’s pretty hard to read this, now. But go back over to LaserDisc again, and you can definitely make out a couple of words. You can definitely make out “CLOCK” on the end of that, anyway, and perhaps “TOWER” at the bottom. But just look at Blu-ray: There you go. That’s what Blu-ray looks like, and of course, we’re zoomed in. If we zoom out, just look at the difference in the colors and the sharpness and things. We really are spoilt now with the modern formats for movies, compared to the 80s. However, one thing I should point out: On VHD, this film was shot as an open matte, and what that means is it’s cropped for cinema release, and on the Blu-ray. But that’s what it should look like, so look at the top right there: “Cupid’s Adult Store,” you can see there, and “Mall” written at the bottom-right. If we go over to the Blu-ray, both of those things are cut off, because, of course, that’s using the proper aspect ratio, which the film is supposed to be shown in. So you do get a bit more height with VHD, and with LaserDisc, for that matter, on these old ones, but I’d much rather watch it on Blu-ray. Another advantage with these old formats is the limited capacity. You get to the end of your 60 minutes, or whatever it is that fits on one side of a disc, and this happens: And at that point, you have to get up out of your chair, find the caddy that you put down on the floor, put it back into the machine, get the disc back inside the caddy, and then take the caddy out, flip it over, and pop Side B in the machine. And then, once that’s in there, you can then carry on with the rest of the film. I suppose it’s a good time to take a break or something. But then it starts like this, so you do get a break in the film, and it fades in. Now, I should point out that the system worked flawlessly for me. Unlike the CED system, I had no dropouts or glitches whatsoever. Every video played beginning to end completely without any problems. It’s basically like VHS resolution, but without the chroma crosstalk and the other glitches you get with VHS. And the sound’s fine, as well. It’s Dolby Surround; it’s not Dolby Digital, but it’s nice and clear and there’s no hiss. For me, though, the best part comes when the film is finished, and it’s time to get it out of the machine, because I’ve never used a more satisfying eject mechanism than this one. When it comes to playing back old music formats, I can get just as much fun playing a reel-to-reel recording, or a vinyl record, as I would a modern-day FLAC file. However, when it comes to video, it’s quite a different story. It really would take quite a lot to make me want to watch Back to the Future on VHD, when I’ve got the Blu-ray sitting on the shelf that I can watch in high definition, instead. Now, of course, there are the occasional films that are available in these older formats that aren’t released on the current ones, but they are very few and far between, and, especially if you’re watching it on VHD, you’re gonna be watching it with Japanese subtitles at the bottom, in standard definition, in a cropped pan-and-scan version. So, really, these old formats are fun to play around with, fun to look at, but when it comes to actually watching films on them, then, really, they don’t quite stand up anymore. However, I hope you’ve had quite a little bit of fun watching my video about the VHD format, and, that’s it for the moment! As always, thanks for watching! Oh, no! The internet’s down again! Well, you need to give it a break, anyway. You’re starting to treat real life just like those message boards that you spend all your time in. No, I don’t! That’s a rubbish assessment. Completely wrong! Thumbs down! Unsubscribed! Perhaps you could do what I’m doing, and read a book! “Read a book?” Is that how you pronounce it? “Book?” lol. #weirdo That’s how everyone spoke where I was brought up! You cook in an oven, and you hang a coat on a hook. Say “look, I’m your father!” “Look, I am your father!” Nooooooooooooo! If you’re just going to be silly, I’m going to ignore you. Okay, I’ve got a real question! What’s for tea? Fish and chips. Ooh, fish and chips! That’s weird, having Doritos with fish! Oh, please don’t start pretending you’re American! I can’t go through this again! Wow, you Brits are so weirrrd. If you call french fries “chips,” what d’ya call things like Cheetos? I refuse to fall for your trolling! And why are your plug sockets so big? And why do you drive on the wrong side of the road? I suggest you look these things up on Wikipedia when the internet comes back on again. Okay. What’s for tea? Fish and chips! I just told you in my earlier response! Oh, and I noticed there’s something you forgot to mention earlier on. Yes?! What’s for tea? This question has been asked a number of times already. Please look back at the earlier responses. With regard to tea, could you tell me what we’re going to be eating? Right, that’s it, I’m putting you on mute! I can’t hear a thing you’re saying. Heyup! Here, love, take that headset off for a minute. Finally, someone new to speak to! Yes? How can I help? I’ve just checked, and I can’t see that anyone’s asked this earlier on: What’s for tea? EEUUUUUUUUUUUGH! Well, there’s no need to be like that! Disappointed. One star.

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  1. Such a cool vid, I'm actually impressed by the whole thing. I can see why it failed but it really wasn't that bad. Every technology was just waiting to be murdered by dvd anyway. Even bluray is is not a great jump from dvd (pic and sound yeah but overall tech not so much.) Its amazing what it must be like to invest millions and millions of dollars on brand new technology and engineering only hoping it will take with the public. Even though it failed I think the engineers did a great job with what they had.

  2. Follow up videos
    VHD in the UK:
    VHD in the USA:

  3. The right hand character on that remote button is 大 meaning big but google mistook it for 犬, which means dog.

  4. Man this with a framemeister and an Mcable might give out a better picture. Anyways 👍🏼 nice .

  5. I have a question: Did you make the pupetts yourself? I love your videos and the pupett routines are great and unexpected!

  6. I remember the videodisc of the late70s/early 80s. My cousin had a player and it seemed winding back would ruin the discs causing it to repeat that same particular part during other viewings of that disc

  7. It's kind of funny, old CED players also had eject issues, but in the opposite direction — it wouldn't pull in the discs. And you fix it the same way; there's a rod in the back and you have to re-grease it to get it working properly again.

  8. I had no idea of ​​the existence of this device, protection against dirt, scratches, hand manipulation, resolution seems to be superior to VHS, VHS turns on, dirty, mock, bursts, DVD and Blu-ray has great Quality, but the handling ends with the media, I would like to have a device of this, VHD back !!!

  9. Being a vintage tech hunter, I also like these kinda lost formats and have a keen interest in retro techs which I haven't seen from childhood as I belong from India and I'm very much fond of all these techs to be honest, so would like to promote your videos like vhd, ld, mini turntables, floppy disc players, pocket rockers and what not…its just wow as I have seen so many videos and its quite amazing and very interesting as it is very hard to find here in India and costs too much to import via ebay even if i get it. So I would like to promote about your old tech for free which you have reserved for so long which noone bothered to think about in here. Hope you don't mind! I don't think your page is on fb right. Let me know

  10. I had to click on the video. By the title Alone I was thinking you had it all wrong, I was surprisingly wrong. WTF Video Actually on VINYL??!! lol

  11. VHD dise i never see them before in the early in the 80s, i saw a laser dise in Goodwel store in visalia Ca.

  12. Great thing going, i used Laserdisc and still have it with some great titles and not going to get rid of it!!🤗👍👍

  13. It's always amazing how good these technologies were for the time.

    A long playing audio format could have supplanted CD which arrived around the same time. '82

  14. with the exception of the Japanese subtitles, I would LOVE to watch movies on VHD. Picture looks so 80s, which I love.

  15. I have those 3D movies converted to field sequential DVD, I always wondered what the VHD format was. I assumed it was derived from VHS tape. Interesting history

  16. @techmoan: thank you for the very interesting and informative video. Would you mind letting us know, where you found that sealed stock version of the player? I am interested in buying one.
    Thank you much.

  17. 80s fever lol I born in the 80s I love the classics you have got with player. May I have site you got it from thanks

  18. @19:32

    So, I always wondered how they made all these short intros in old 80s films, without proper CGI software tools and computers and how were they transferred on the media?! Were they made using computers or were they animated on paper using cels like Anime and cartoons?! As far as I'm aware TRON was the first CGI film which looked slightly better in 1982 but that was a whole DISNEY film with a large budget which could afford the CGI, but all these short 3rd party intros…doubtful!

  19. Cool, had never heard about this. What about vcd? Was it a real format or just something one called pirated movied transfered cd-rom? I remember philips had some format for s very short while called cd-i or cdo, would be cool if you made a video of that.

  20. I had only ONE video disk…and cant remember if the format was what you are talking about here…but it was a concert from the group RUSH…and the album 'exit stage left', and my x-wife's brother had the player and I left it there when we split up…I wish I had the disk now…This was in like 1981-2.

  21. Hi, do you mean there's magnetic strip on the vinyl or it is just a deep groove for the needle to playback the video? Thanks.

  22. Отличная игровая платформа могла бы быть…эх жаль, что ничего не было придумано или представлено

  23. no matter how mad they look inside… most load/eject mechanisms are straightforward.
    if it isnt a lack of lube its often gears that should be clipped together, arent…

  24. Now i know there was vhd betwen vhs and laserdisc.. Btw at first I thought the caddy would go in to the machine like a floppy disk 😊

  25. What a fun video to watch. I grew up around the age of VHS/laser disc. LDs were a huge success in Asia mostly. We used to rent those discs at a local video store. The picture quality was superb and the best thing… No rewinding! Madonna's blonde ambition tour and immaculate collection were the first few I've ever purchased. Then there was the whole karaoke craze and LDs were excellent for that purpose. At that time penthouse also released some great quality artsy videos. I used to have the Pioneer disc player that flips sides automatically. It was a major 'breakthrough'. The disc format never picked up in the U.S. as most of my friends and family have never heard of the format, it was so 'futuristic' when I first introduced them. Then came an age when we stepped back with video quality (the pre DVD age). We had something called VCDs. It's basically an mpeg disc the size of a CD. The picture quality was back to VHS or lower. But it was convenient as LDs were much bigger discs, most importantly they were one tenth the price of a LD! Nothing was ever the same after DVDs. Still it's interesting to look back at all the different gadgets and formats.

  26. Great video! Such an interesting format and cool to see that player get some use after waiting in a box for 30 years. Laserdisc was the only other disc format I'd heard of back in the day. I really like the caddy to protect the disc and that magazine had some sweet 80's design! Curious to see what was on that Evil Dead 2 segment.

  27. I remember watching ‘Tomorrow’s World’ (or a similar programme) where these formats were compared. The presenter picked up a Laserdisc, said ‘this is a Laserdisc’ and threw it to his colleague. He then picked up the caddy (containing a disc) for one of the other capacitive-based formats and explained that you will never see the disc as it would be damaged if it became dirty so it had to be kept in the caddy at all times.

  28. this is v long winded am not enjoying the tech description it is fast and one wonders what you have really remembered. Punchy points pro/ cons are more to my liking. Tech stuff in detail could have a seperate link.

  29. Inserting & Ejecting a VHD is bloody satisfying to watch. Probably twice as satisfying to do!

    Best thing about VHD, the eject&intake mechanics. Someone do this with BluRay!

  30. The first 3 movies I ever saw were on this format they were a nightmare on elm street and a ghost story and grease

  31. Fun fact: I was a member of the American Star Wars fanclub for a while and as a welcome gift I got a Sew on/Iron on patch reading Revenche of the Jedi. (I hope I remember this well, it was a while ago)

  32. I would rather watch it 320×200, than to have cut something from the movie, like that widescreen bullsh*t on blue ray from back to the future. I have still 4:3 monitor, 4:3 television, and I never want widescreen, rather would be watching old stuff again and again, just to have 4:3, which is my opinion good format as width and height is more balanced. It fit better to mind. Widescreen is psycho non-sense.

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