Thursday, September 23, 2010

Star Trek - The Motion Picture VideoDisc

This week's featured item is, technically, half of a Star Trek movie -- it is "Part 2 of Two Discs".

This is an RCA VideoDisc version of Star Trek - The Motion Picture. It utilized RCA's Capacitance Electronic Disc system, which looks like sort of a cross between a record and a laser disc (see photos). You would insert the entire plastic cartridge into the player, which would pull the disc and read it using a needle.

These discs were made in the early 1980s. By the time they were being produced, VHS tapes were coming onto the scene, so VideoDisc players were only made for a few years. Discs were made in advance so they would be ready for the new players, and RCA continued producing discs for a few years after they stopped producing players.

RCA listed Star Trek - The Motion Picture as the third most popular VideoDisc of 1981. Original Star Trek episode The Menagerie was #10, the only non-movie to make the top 20.

Next Tuesday, look for a book that shows the designs behind many original series sets, props, and costumes, and the artists who designed them.
Next Thursday, look for a Star Trek game that requires brainpower, but not electricity.


Anonymous said...

how much are these rca video discs worth? please let me know ?? thanks

Zach said...

Well, they are honestly not hugely valuable (or else I might not have any!). You can find them on eBay for under $10, including shipping. Though not incredibly valuable, these discs are my favorite format, because they could fit such an impressive photo spread on the back (check out my Star Trek II disc), and because the discs themselves look so cool once you get them open. Unforunately, I do not have a videodisc player, although these, too, can be found.

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