Retro AV Reborn by Sounds of Subterrania and VinylVideo®
Since the advent of the Vinyl Recording Medium, there have been great and not so great technologies designed to integrate or combine the audio and visual experience. In my youth, which does not feel so long ago, but was, in fact, a trip along the “Way Back Machine”, there was a technology that I was rather fond of. The Capacitance Electronic Disc, or CED, was an analog video disc playback system developed by RCA, in which video and audio could be played back on a TV set using a special needle and high-density groove system similar to phonograph. Here is the “lo down” on the tech, a bit of history before we tell you about this modern adaptation which costs far less and has the potential to make heads pin at 45RPM or faster.
History of Technology Concept
First conceived in 1964, the CED system was widely seen as a technological success which was able to increase the density of a long-playing record by two orders of magnitude. Despite this achievement, the CED system fell victim to poor planning, conflicts within RCA, and technical difficulties that stalled production of the system for 17 years—until 1981, by which time it had already been made obsolete by laser videodisc (DiscoVision, later called LaserVision and LaserDisc) as well as Betamax and VHSvideo cassette formats.
Sales for the system were nowhere near projected estimates. In 1984—before it was absorbed by General Electric—RCA discontinued player production, continuing software production until 1986, losing an estimated $600 million in the process. RCA had initially intended to release the SKT425 CED player with their high end Dimensia system in 1984, but cancelled CED player production just prior to the Dimensia system’s release.
The format was commonly known as “videodisc”, leading to much confusion with the LaserDisc format. LaserDiscs are read optically with a laser beam, whereas CED discs are read physically with a stylus (similar to a conventional record). The two systems are mutually incompatible.
Now, Let us introduce to you, VinylVideo®
VinylVideo®, as both a process and format, has the ability to develop an analogue technology that allows moving pictures with synchronized sound to be stored on conventional vinyl records. All you need is a VinylVideo® record, a TV, a record player, and a VinylVideo® Pre-Ampliﬁer. Older formats that attempted this cost in upwards to 800.00 to 900.00 USD and more as time went on, now for a fraction of the cost, and size as compared to older and much bulkier tech, the VinylVideo® system uses much of the equipment you already own and enjoy.
In collaboration with Supersense, Sounds of Subterrania proudly presents the Vinyl Video system, ststing that “VinylVideo® opens up the possibilities of new visual experiences as well as a return to a more direct narrative. With its unparalleled charm, VinylVideo® oﬀers the opportunity to bring the art of substantial representation back to television in its original form.”
What is a VinylVideo® Pre-Ampliﬁer?
VinylVideo® is an analogue format that doesn’t use digital compression at all. As on traditional analogue television, VinylVideo® breaks up every picture into a picture line. The video is stored as a stereo signal – and not as the usual video signal. That’s why you need a “translator” between the turntable and the TV: your brand new Supersense VinylVideo® pre-ampliﬁer. Like any high-quality phono preampliﬁer, it ampliﬁes the weak signal from the pickup to make it usable for normal line inputs on a stereo. But it is able to decode even further, namely the VinylVideo® signals, an audio / video output (analog or HDMI) to a TV set. Both moving magnet and moving coil systems can be used.
VinylVideo® uses standard stereo records, record players and pickup needles, not modiﬁed in any way. A normal video signal (that can be understood by your TV set) of course contains far too much information for any audio media to handle, so a completely new and special analog video signal format had to be developed, taking into account the particular physical conditions prevalent in the phonographic process. Although as much information as possible is squeezed into the groove, VinylVideo® images are only black and-white, have less resolution than the average nowadays, and are accompanied by a low-ﬁ mono soundtrack.
Because of this, we can say that watching a VinylVideo® movie creates a quite special aesthetic experience. And you should never forget that all that you are seeing and hearing is coming out from a good old stereo record… – all of it.
Sounds of Subterrania’s Special Editions have been limited, so far, to the production of elaborate packaging. Twenty years later, Gregor Samsa – founder, head and mastermind behind Sounds of Subterrania – has decided that time has come to revolutionize ‘Record’ as a sound carrier and to expand its spectrum completely.
Now, unlike the RCA CED, this new Tech does not require a specialized player, no immensely huge discs inside buly casese. No jamming or device errors, just your existing phonograph, Television and the VinylVideo® Pre-Ampliﬁer, so in just a matter of minutes, you can enjoy these releases of Cinematic and musical greatness, with little effort.
The very first VinylVideo® release is a group called The Courettes , which released their track “Voodoo Doll “ on VinylVideo-7inch. This release is particularly ground breaking due to the brilliant minds involved in addition to the brilliance of the musical act The Courettes.
José Mojica Marins, better known as “Coﬃn Joe”, director and protagonist of the ﬁrst Brazilian horror movie, Fredovitch, a familiar face in King Khan & his Shrines, and ﬁnally, inspired by the work of Gerry Andersson and the all-time classic “Mad Monster Party”, together with the “Who’s Who” of the German puppeteer guild, a clip was created that makes a beatnik’s heart beat faster. No one else than Carsten Sommer, doll maker for „Käpt`n Blaubär“ & Walter Moers, as well as Bodo Schulte, puppeteer at German version of Sesame Street and already mentioned „Käpt`n Blaubär“, participated in this gem of the puppet ﬁlm. Through their cooperation the explosive live show of the Brazilian/Danish duo could be captured in a Video. “Voodoo Doll”, already a classic of the Neo-Sixties-Beat, was written by The Courettes especially for VinylVideo® and the video will be shown for the ﬁrst time exclusively on VinylVideo® Schallbildtonträger.
Be the ﬁrst to see the future move into your living room and enjoy the sophisticated charm of VinylVideo.
Sounds of Subterrania website – http://www.soundsofsubterrania.com
Current Releases Available:
The Courettes – Voodoo Doll VinylVideo 7″
Frankie Stubbs – Heart is Home VinylVideo 7″
Reverend Beat-Man – If I Knew VinylVideo 7″
Motörhead – Get Back In Line VinylVideo 7″
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