RCA SelectaVision

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum

Background

SelectaVision was a brand name used originally on RCA's VHS VCRs, and later for the Capacitance Electronic Disc (CED) system that RCA marketed from 1981 to 1986. Initially, RCA released films and other programs on their own label, while MGM/CBS Home Video started releasing CEDs shortly after the format's launch. Paramount, Warner Bros., Disney, MGM, Avco Embassy, Columbia Pictures, 20th Century Fox (now 20th Century Studios), and others licensed their films to RCA for release on the CED format.

Beginning in 1982, 20th Century Fox Video began releasing CEDs on their own label, and by 1983, all the other studios had began releasing their films on the CED format. Vestron Video, and Embassy Home Entertainment were also releasing CEDs by 1984. By 1984, RCA was releasing CEDs on a limited scale under its own label, while other studios had picked up the pace of CED release. Some titles were released twice on the format, once by RCA, and again by 20th Century Fox Video or CBS/Fox Video. For Your Eyes Only was released twice, first by MGM/UA Home Video and again later by CBS/Fox Video. Grease was released twice, first by RCA and again by Paramount Home Video. A small handful of titles were issued twice, once in mono, and again in stereo as stereo players became available. RCA ceased manufacturing of titles under their own label by 1985, as they also had RCA/Columbia Pictures Home Video for that material. RCA ceased CED player manufacturing in the spring of 1984, and disc manufacturing ceased on June 27, 1986.

These opening logos were used only on titles that were released through RCA. A handful of RCA-released titles, namely Warner Bros. titles, used the Warner Home Video logo instead. Columbia also did not use the RCA opening on their RCA released material, instead going to the opening Columbia logo on their films. On Disney titles, the opening was followed by the 1978 Walt Disney Home Entertainment logo. All other studios releasing material on CED used their normal logos. For a complete list of material released in the U.S. on CED, visit CED Magic's US CED Title Database Version Selection.

1st Logo (1981-1982)


Visuals: On a black background, a thin blue ring zooms out, with star-like spheres gliding around it. It then flips to its side, creating a line with a muted rainbow of colors under it. The line extends along with the rainbow and a huge white RCA logo arises from the rainbow before quickly fading out. The rainbow of colors pans down as the words (with the rainbow trail following them) "A SelectaVision VideoDisc Presentation" in a white Helvetica font, pan up word by word, in sync with the music. The "V" in "SelectaVision" has an overhanging edge over the "i" next to it, serving as that letter's dot.

Technique: Cel and motion-controlled animation.

Audio: A synth choir rendition of Modest Mussorgsky's "Promenade" with four fancy harpsichord notes at the end. An excerpt from Isao Tomita's 1974 synth arrangement of Pictures at an Exhibition.

Audio Variant: On some releases, the four-note chimes are slower.

Availability: Seen on videodiscs released by RCA until early 1982. [Examples?]

2nd Logo (1982-1985)


Visuals: On a blue grid with a blue sunrise at the horizon, three blue, red, and gold rings move to the right at an angle. They then fuse together, creating a white disc that flashes and shines like a vinyl disc. The RCA corporate logo appears on the disc, and it turns towards the camera, turning black. "RCA" zooms forward while the disc moves to the upper right hand corner with a rainbow trail following it. The rainbow trail places itself into another ground grid, revealing a sunrise and the chrome text "A SelectaVision Videodiscs Presentation" in Copperplate Gothic, which zooms in shining. The logo then cuts out as the text suddenly starts to speed up.

Technique: CGI by Robert Abel and Associates.

Audio: A soft synth heard at the beginning, which leads into a triumphant orchestral fanfare at the end.

Availability: Used on RCA-released videodiscs only from 1982 to 1985.

  • However, for the first time in 35 years, it, oddly, appears on Amazon Prime Video and Tubi prints of Jane Fonda's Workout (the original one), which RCA co-produced. [Examples?]

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