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RCA VideoDisc Universal Product Codes


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Nearly all RCA VideoDiscs have a universal product code, printed in bar code and numeral format on the back of the caddy. This UPC uniquely identifies each title released in the CED format. The only titles listed in the CED Title Database that lack a UPC on the caddy are the service test disc, the service alignment disc, and the N.F.L. Football arcade discs. RCA test pressings, which were put in plain unlabeled caddies, also lack UPC's. The universal product code used on CED's is the same 12-digit format used in grocery stores, and consists of the following fields:

The UPC codes included in the CED Title Database are all 11 digits long. This is because the first digit on CED's is always a zero, which is normally dropped by bar code scanners like the one I used to scan the UPC's into the database. The number that appears under the bar code on the disc caddy is only ten digits long, because the leading zero is printed off the left side of the barcode, and the check sum digit is never shown.

With multi-part CED titles there are two ways UPC's are used to distinguish the individual discs. Most titles retained the same 5-digit product number on all discs, but added a 2-digit supplemental bar code to identify each disc. The supplemental bar code is always 10 for part 1 and 20 for part 2, and none of the titles using supplemental bar codes consisted of more than two discs. A few titles used a different 5-digit product number on each disc. With these titles, the CED Title Database includes the complete UPC found on each individual disc.

There were fourteen 5-digit manufacturer numbers assigned by the Uniform Code Council for use on the CED's distributed in the retail channel, corresponding to the manufacturers in the following table. The Digital Convergence company that made the CueCat optical scanner no longer exists, but the CueCat links in the table go to the web sites that used to automatically load when the UPC on caddies with that manufacturer's number were scanned using the CRQ software included with the free CueCat scanner.


Manu. Number CED Era Manufacturer January 2002 CueCat Link
16476 New World Video Undefined
24543 CBS/FOX Video Fox Home Entertainment
25757 Warner Home Video Undefined
26359 THORN EMI Video HBO Store
26476 Family Home Entertainment Undefined
27616 MGM/UA Home Video (mostly MGM or UA origin) MGM Studios
28485 Vestron Video Undefined
37757 Paramount Home Video Undefined
42995 Embassy Home Entertainment Nelson Entertainment
47897 MCA Home Video Universal Studios
74643 MGM/UA Home Video (mostly CBS origin) Sony
75051 Pacific Arts Video Records Undefined
76476 RCA/Columbia Home Video RCA
77080 RCA/PAL Home Video Undefined


While scanning in the UPC's, I found one title with a misprinted code:

26351 on "Evil Under the Sun" (should be 26359)

Most CED titles print the 5-digit manufacturer (M) and product (P) codes under the UPC in the following format:


But some titles have inserted dashes, that split up one or both codes, as in the following examples:


The CED Title Database always uses the format:


Where X is the checksum digit, which is the final set of stripes at the end of the UPC. The checksum digit is never printed in numeral format below the UPC.

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