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Sure, that may not have been the actual name, but for the purposes of this article, MCA's two videodisc divisions, MCA DiscoVision and MCA Videodisc, and MCA's videocassette division, MCA Videocassette, Inc., shall be collectively known as MCA Video Distributing Corporation.

Before the unified division called MCA Home Video, MCA Distributing Corporation, known as a distributor of MCA's music product, had separate videocassette and videodisc divisions. The videodisc division, MCA DiscoVision, came first, in 1978, and was the first company to release laser videodiscs to the consumer market. Laser videodisc had its roots in the '50s when David Paul Gregg, an employee of Gauss Electrophysics, conceived a revolutionary idea for video storage, called "optical video disc". Nearly a decade later, the company's development work was brought to the attention of MCA president Lew Wasserman by his assistant, Don Wynn. MCA purchased Gauss Electrophysics the next year. Like Magnetic Video, MCA saw some potential in the home video revolution; however, MCA's focus at the time was on videodisc product. Kent Broadbent was assigned to the project, which came to be known as Disco-Vision, and MCA Laboratories was spun off for the purpose of developing this revolutionary new system from their headquarters in Torrance, California. MCA Laboratories also purchased a defunct furniture factory in Carson, California, and converted it to a full-scale mastering and replication facility which would become the largest manufacturer of laser videodiscs in the United States. The first public demonstration of the Disco-Vision format took place at Universal Studios in Universal City, California, on December 12, 1972, with a seven-minute screening of clips from Universal's motion pictures.

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Philips representatives, who attended this demonstration, were impressed and, due to the development of their own incompatible videodisc system and the continuing development of RCA's own competing vinyl-based videodisc system, the Capacitance Electronic Disc, began talks with MCA about a merger (of sorts) of their systems, which took place in September 1974. Some time later, the tasks of the two companies involved were assigned: MCA would remain in charge of the videodiscs themselves, and Philips would take charge of the playback systems for said videodiscs. Between 1976 and 1977, several test pressings took place, with three purposes:

  1. To demonstrate the fact that Disco-Vision was capable of producing actual discs and the product was ready to begin consumer replication;
  2. To provide actual products for MCA executives to show off the technology; and
  3. To provide products to test and calibrate players.
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In an example of Early Installment Weirdness, these prototype discs were single-sided and ran for only 25 minutes, and were also thinner and more flexible (though any player can read those discs, even if they have a hard time clamping and holding them correctly). The thinness of the discs caused a lot of problems, and MCA spent the next 18 months developing a dual-sided disc, which helped eliminate the tracking problems inherent on these test pressings. Later in 1977, Pioneer entered into a joint venture called Universal Pioneer to handle the potential industrial applications of Disco-Vision. In 1978, the year of its official launch, Disco-Vision dropped the hyphen and simply became DiscoVision. Also, Disney, Paramount, and Warner Bros., among other entities, signed distribution deals with MCA.

However, DiscoVision was quickly riddled with a lot of problems on many fronts, and MCA and Philips scrambled to try to solve them; however, this ultimately failed, and DiscoVision went bust by the end of 1981 and today is considered an Old Shame by MCA and its successors, though a Cult Classic among collectors.

Meanwhile, in the spring of 1980, MCA entered the videocassette business under the name MCA Videocassette, Inc. and released a launch slate of just over two dozen titles, many of which were part of the DiscoVision Silver Catalog at one point or another. Magnetic Video and Bell & Howell Video Systems were contracted to duplicate MCA's VHS and Betamax product; however, towards the end of 1980, Bell & Howell became MCA's exclusive videocassette duplicator. Many more titles soon followed.

In 1982, MCA decided to take a second stab at the videodisc business and launched a more successful division called MCA Videodisc. In 1983, MCA Videodisc and MCA Videocassette merged to become MCA Home Video, though videocassette product continued to use the old logo in some form until later that year. The division is now known as Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

List of titles:

Releases under the MCA Videocassette name (1980-1983)

    open/close all folders 
    June 1980 (1st Wave) 
  • 55000 Animal Crackers (1930)
    Originally a Paramount Pictures release.
    An MCA-TV presentation.
    Presented in black and white; however, the MCA warning and logo are in color.

  • 55001 Psycho (1960)
    Originally a Paramount Pictures release.
    Presented entirely in black and white.
    Initial pressings retained the Paramount logo, while later printings replaced it with the 1971 Universal logo.
    Syndicated to television as part of the Universal 53 package in 1970.

  • 55002 Jesus Christ Superstar (1973)

  • 55003 Dracula (1931 version) (1931)
    Presented in black and white; however, the MCA warning and logo are in color.
    Syndicated to television as part of the 77 Horror Greats package in 1971.

  • 55004 Frankenstein (1931)
    Presented in black and white; however, the MCA warning and logo are in color.
    Syndicated to television as part of the 77 Horror Greats package in 1971.

  • 55005 My Little Chickadee (1940)
    Syndicated to television as part of the Comedy Festival II package in 1972.

  • 55006 State Of The Union (1948)
    Originally a Liberty Films release.
    An MCA-TV presentation.
    Jackie the Lion's roar is muted on this release.
    Syndicated to television as part of a package of 225 pre-1948 Paramount films in 1964.

  • 55007 Scarface: The Shame of the Nation (1932)
    Originally a United Artists Corporation release.

  • 66000 Animal House (1978)
    Syndicated to television as part of the Hit List package in 1981.

  • 66001 Jaws (1975)
    Syndicated to television as part of the Hit List package in 1981.

  • 66002 Jaws 2 (1978)
    Syndicated to television as part of the Universal's Most Wanted List package in 1983.

  • 66003 Smokey and the Bandit (1977)
    Original Bell & Howell pressings ended with a black screen test pattern with a 1000 Hz tone.

  • 66004 Dracula (1979 version) (1979)
    Original Bell & Howell pressings ended with a white screen test pattern with a 1125 Hz tone.
    Syndicated to television as part of the Hit List package in 1981.

  • 66005 The Jerk (1979)
    Syndicated to television as part of the Universal's Most Wanted List package in 1983.

  • 66006 The Electric Horseman (1979)
    Originally a Columbia Pictures release.
    Original Bell & Howell pressings did not have a test pattern.
    Syndicated to television as part of the Universal's Most Wanted List package in 1983.

  • 66007 Nineteen Fourty One (1979)
    Produced in association with Columbia Pictures.
    Theatrical version.
    Syndicated to television as part of Columbia's Volume Four for the '80s package in 1984.

  • 66008 The Seduction Of Joe Tynan (1979)
    Original Bell & Howell pressings ended with a black screen test pattern with a 1000 Hz tone.
    Syndicated to television as part of the Hit List package in 1981.

  • 66009 The Sting (1973)
    Syndicated to television as part of the Champagne Movies 34 package in 1979.

  • 66010 American Graffiti (1973)
    Original Bell & Howell pressings ended with a white screen test pattern with a 1000 Hz tone.
    Syndicated to television as part of the Champagne Movies 34 package in 1979.

  • 66011 Battlestar Galactica (1978)
    International theatrical version.
    Original Bell & Howell pressings ended with a black screen test pattern with a 1000 Hz tone.

  • 66012 Slap Shot (1977)
    Original Bell & Howell pressings ended with a black screen test pattern with a 1000 Hz tone.
    Syndicated to television as part of the Hit List package in 1981.

  • 66013 Same Time Next Year (1978)
    Original Bell & Howell pressings ended with a white screen test pattern with a 1000 Hz tone.
    One of several early MCA tapes confirmed to have been offered by Fotomat Video.
    Syndicated to television as part of the Hit List package in 1981.

  • 66014 Which Way Is Up (1977)

  • 88000 The Deer Hunter (1978)
    Presented across two tapes, with the first tape containing the first 115.5 minutes of the feature and the second tape containing the final 67.5 minutes of the feature.
    Cropped to a 1.85:1 aspect ratio from an original Scope print and then squeezed to fit a 4:3 TV screen.
    Original Bell & Howell pressings ended with a black screen test pattern with a 1000 Hz tone.
    Syndicated to television as part of the Universal's Most Wanted List package in 1983.

    August 1980 (2nd Wave) 
Around this time, the black boxes received a subtle change. The text "PRINTED IN USA" no longer appeared beside the MCA logo on the back, and for the first time ever, the company's address appeared below.

  • 55009 Loretta (1980)
    MCA's first music release on videocassette.

  • 55010 The Birds (1963)
    Syndicated to television as part of the Universal 123 package in 1967.

  • 55011 Frenzy (1972)
    Syndicated to television as part of the Universal Star-Spangled 33 package in 1976.

  • 55012 Duck Soup (1933)
    Originally a Paramount Pictures release.
    An MCA-TV presentation.

  • 66015 Coal Miner's Daughter (1980)
    Syndicated to television as part of the Hit List package in 1981.

    December 1980 (3rd Wave) 
Tapes released during this period were the first to ditch the black boxes in favor of more colorful artwork.

  • 55008 Massage: The Touch of Love (1980)
    A direct-to-video adults-only title.

  • 66016 Cheech and Chong's Next Movie (1980)
    Syndicated to television as part of the Universal Pictures Exploitable 13 package in 1985.

  • 66017 It Came from Outer Space (1953)
    Presented in 3D and packaged with four pairs of red and cyan 3D glasses.

  • 66018 Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)
    Presented in 3D and packaged with four pairs of red and cyan 3D glasses.

  • 66021 Prom Night (1980)
    An Avco Embassy release.
    Syndicated to television as part of Embassy's Entertainer of the Year package in 1981.

  • 77000 The Blues Brothers (1980)
    Original release presented across two tapes.
    Syndicated to television as part of the Universal's Most Wanted List package in 1983.

    January 1981 (4th Wave) 
These tapes premiered at the 1981 Winter Consumer Electronics Show.

    April 1981 (5th Wave) 
  • 55013 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978)
    Original Bell & Howell pressings ended with a black screen test pattern with a 1000 Hz tone.
    Syndicated to television as part of the Universal's Most Wanted List package in 1983.

  • 55014 Bedtime For Bonzo (1951)
    Released to capitalize on then-President Ronald Reagan, who starred in the film, surviving an assassination attempt the month before.

  • 55015 The Killers (1964)
    Released to capitalize on then-President Ronald Reagan, who starred in the film, surviving an assassination attempt the month before.

  • 66022 Flash Gordon (1980)
    Original Bell & Howell pressings ended with a white screen test pattern with a 1125 Hz tone.

  • 66023 The Island (1980)
    Syndicated to television as part of the Universal's Most Wanted List package in 1983.

  • 66024 Somewhere in Time (1980)

    June 1981 
  • 66025 Masada (1981)
    Original Bell & Howell pressings ended with a white screen test pattern with an 880 Hz tone.

    July 1981 
  • 55016 Play Misty for Me (1971)
    Syndicated to television as part of the Universal Star-Spangled 33 package in 1976.

  • 55017 Change Of Habit (1969)

  • 55018 All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)
    20th anniversary re-release version.

  • 55019 Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979)
    The original pilot film.

  • 55020 Galaxina (1980)
    A Crown International Pictures release.

  • 55021 Shogun Assassin (1980)
    A New World Pictures release.
    A re-edit of Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart at the River Styx with 12 minutes of Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance.

  • 55022 Schizoid (1980)
    A Cannon Films release.
    Original Bell & Howell pressings ended with a white screen test pattern with a 1000 Hz tone.

  • 55023 The Happy Hooker Goes Hollywood (1980)
    A Cannon Films release.

  • 55024 The Yum-Yum Girls (1978)
    A Cannon Films release.

  • 66026 Melvin And Howard (1980)
    Original Bell & Howell pressings ended with a white screen test pattern with a 1000 Hz tone.
    Syndicated to television as part of the Universal's Most Wanted List package in 1983.

  • 66027 The Incredible Shrinking Woman (1981)
    Syndicated to television as part of the Universal's Most Wanted List package in 1983.

    August 1981 
  • 55029 Silent Running (1972)
    Syndicated to television as part of the Universal 49 package in 1974.

  • 55030 Midway (1976)
    Original Bell & Howell pressings ended with a white screen test pattern with an 880 Hz tone.

  • 55031 Airport (1970)
    Original Bell & Howell pressings ended with a white screen test pattern with an 880 Hz tone.
    Syndicated to television as part of the Universal 49 package in 1974.

  • 55033 Shenandoah (1965)

  • 55034 Earthquake (1974)

  • 71000 Nighthawks (1981)
    Syndicated to television as part of the Universal's Most Wanted List package in 1983.

    September 1981 

    October 1981 
  • 77001 Endless Love (1981)
    Original Bell & Howell pressings ended with a white screen test pattern with an 880 Hz tone.

    November 1981 
  • 55038 Going My Way (1944)

  • 55039 Holiday Inn (1942)

  • 55040 The Wiz (1978)
    Original Bell & Howell pressings ended with a white screen test pattern with an 880 Hz tone.

  • 55041 Mac Arthur (1977)
    Syndicated to television as part of the Champagne Movies 34 package in 1979.

  • 55042 Rooster Cogburn And The Lady (1975)
    Syndicated to television as part of the Universal Star-Spangled 33 package in 1976.

    December 1981 
  • 45000 An Evening with Ray Charles (1981)

  • 55043 How to Watch Pro Football (1981)

  • 66034 The Incredible Hulk (1977)
    The original pilot film.

  • 77003 The Four Seasons (1981)
    Original Bell & Howell pressings ended with a white screen test pattern with an 880 Hz tone and a faster click than normal.
    Syndicated to television as part of the Universal's Most Wanted List package in 1983.

  • 77004 An American Werewolf in London (1981)

    January 1982 
  • 55046 The Amazing Spider-Man (1968)
    Includes the episodes "The Origin of Spider-Man", "King Pinned", "Swing City", "Criminals in the Clouds", and "Menace from the Bottom of the World".
    Original Bell & Howell pressings ended with a white screen test pattern with a 1175 Hz tone.

  • 55047 Spider-Woman (1979)

  • 55050 Olivia Newton John: Physical (1982)

  • 66038 High Plains Drifter (1973)

  • 71001 Continental Divide (1981)
    Syndicated to television as part of the Universal's Most Wanted List package in 1983.

  • 71003 Raggedy Man (1981)

     1982 
  • 55025 Hot T-Shirts (1980)
    A Cannon Films release.

  • 55026 Cherry Hill High (1977)
    A Cannon Films release.
    Released under the "Collector's Choice" label.

  • 55051 The Funhouse (1981)

  • 55056 The Hindenburg (1975)

  • 55063 The Greek Tycoon (1978)

  • 55067 The Marvelous Land of Oz (1981)
    Produced by Television Theatre Company.

  • 55069 Heartbeeps (1981)

  • 55070 Slaughterhouse-Five (1972)
    Released under the "Collector's Choice" label.

  • 55080 Woody Woodpecker and His Friends

  • 55096 Duel (1971)

  • 66045 House Calls (1978)

  • 66050 Joe Kidd (1972)

  • 66051 All Night Long (1962)

  • 66055 The Last Married Couple in America (1980)

  • 55087 Hold That Ghost (1941)
    Released under the "Collector's Choice" label.

  • 71004 Silence of the North (1981)

  • 71006 Death Valley (1982)

  • 71007 The Border (1982)

  • 71009 Missing (1982)

  • 71010 The Sword and the Sorcerer (1982)
    Theatrically released by Group 1 International Distribution Organization, Ltd.

  • 77005 Halloween II (1981)

  • 77006 Ghost Story (1981)

  • 77008 Cat People (1982)

  • 77009 The Thing (1982)

  • 77010 Conan the Barbarian (1982)

  • 77011 Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982)

  • 77015 Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)

  • ????? Incoming Freshmen (1979)
    A Cannon Films release.
    Released under the "Collector's Choice" label.

     1983 
  • 45015 Torn Curtain (1966)

  • 45016 Winning (1969)

  • 55059 ''The Beguiled (1971)

  • 55071 The Secret War of Harry Frigg (1968)

  • 55073 Crosby, Stills & Nash: Daylight Again (1983)

  • 55082 Little Miss Marker (1980)

  • 55089 Jazzercise (1982)

  • 55091 Puss in Boots (1982)
    Produced by Television Theatre Company.

  • 55092 Alice in Wonderland (1982)
    Produced by Television Theatre Company.

  • 55095 The Raven (1935)/The Black Cat (1941)
    Double feature.

  • 55110 Let the Balloon Go (1976)

  • 55111 Homework (1982)

  • 55124 Olivia in Concert (1982)

  • 66052 Moonlighting (1982)

  • 60056 The Bingo Long Travelling All-Stars & Motor-Kings (1976)

  • 71011 Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)

  • 71012 The Pirates of Penzeance (1983)

  • 71013 Videodrome (1983)

  • 71015 The Sting II (1983)

Releases under the MCA Home Video name (1983-1990)

    open/close all folders 
     1983 

The rights to their library are currently divided as follows:

Alternative Title(s): MCA Discovision, MCA Videocassette Inc

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