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Readers Respond: CD-Video Lives! (Sort Of)

I should have known this by now, but I got a fresh reminder on Monday--no technology, however forgotten it may be among the general public, vanishes completely.

This episode started with last week's chat, when I got this odd query:

Rosslyn, Va.: Ok, keeping in the grab-bag spirit, here's a random one for you. In 1989 I bought David Bowie's "Sound & Vision" box set (CD version). One of the discs included is what I understand to be a "CD-Video" format video disc. Not at that time, nor throughout all the years since have I ever owned an electronic device that could read this disc. So my question is - are there still devices out there that could play this, or is this a long-dead format whose only compatible devices would be in a museum or attic?

I answered the question almost completely inaccurately in the chat, then returned to the topic and did some actual research for Sunday's Help File column. There, I gave a brief history of the format, explained how it had gone extinct by sometime in the mid 1990s and, in so many words, told the chatter "you're out of luck playing this video."

Then I got an a-mail Monday morning from a reader:

If it helps, I have a Pioneer CLD-1090 Laserdisc player that reads DC-Videos.

If your reader is interested, have him or her contact me via email and I'll be happy to help if possible.

I'm not interested in selling the player, but would be happy to use it to copy to another format.

Another reader wrote in not long after with a similar offer:

I noted the letter in yesterday's paper from the guy with the David Bowie CD-V. As it happens, I am the proud owner of a Pioneer CLD-1070 (and I don't live in a museum). Tho' I've only played laser discs on it, the machine is labeled as a "CD/CDV/LD" player, so I would think it would play your boy's David Bowie box set. Since I was considering putting it on the curb with one of those "Free to a good home" signs, I would be willing to part with it in exchange for, say, a 6-pack of Guinness and another of Harp. (I drive a hard bargain, don't I?)

So, frustrated Bowie fan: E-mail me, and I'll put you in touch. As for the rest of y'all--let's make today's comments thread a show-and-tell session. Tell everybody about the most obscure, yet still functioning, gadget you have in your possession.

By Rob Pegoraro  |  March 12, 2008; 8:49 AM ET
Categories:  Video  
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