:The story of the CD-ROM and DVD

1950 Richard W. Hamming publishes information about error detection/correction codes. It would be impossible for CD's to work without error correction.

1958 Invention of the Laser. Stereo LP's produced. Integrated Circuit introduced by Texas Instruments

1960 Computer Music experiments take place at major laboratories. I.S. Reed and G. Soloman publish information on multiple error correction codes. These come to be known as the "Reed-Solomon" Codes which are the codes used for encoding and reading CD's. Working Laser produced.

1967 NHK Technical Research Institute demonstrates a 12-bit PCM digital audio recorder with a 30 kHz (30,000 times per second) sampling rate. The digital recording goes onto a high-grade video tape.

1969 Sony introduces it's 13-bit PCM digital recorder at a 47.25 kHz (47,250 time per second) sampling rate. The digital recording is sent to a 2" video tape. Klass Compaan, a Dutch physicist comes up with the idea for the Compact Disc.

1970 At Philips, Compaan and Pete Kramer complete a glass disc prototype and determine that a laser will be needed to read the information.

1971 Microprocessor produced by Intel Digital Delay line used by BBC's studios (first digital audio device).

1972 Compaan and Kramer produce colour prototype of this new compact disc technology

1973 BBC and other broadcast companies start installing digital recorders for master recordings.

1977 Mitsubishi, Hitachi & Sony show digital audio disc prototypes at the Tokyo Audio Fair. JVC Develops Digital Audio Process

1978 Philips releases the video disc player Sony sells the PCM-1600 and PCM-1 (digital audio processors) "Digital Audio Disc Convention" Held in Tokyo, Japan with 35 different manufacturers. Philips proposes that a worldwide standard be set.
PolyGram (division of Philips) determined that polycarbonate would be the best material for the CD. Decision made for data on a CD to start on the inside and spiral towards the outer edge. Disc diameter originally set at 115mm. Type of laser selected for CD Players.

1979 Prototype CD System demonstrated in Europe and Japan. Sony agrees to join in collaboration. Sony & Philips compromise on the standard sampling rate of a CD -- 44.1 kHz (44,100 samples per second) Philips accepts Sony's proposal for 16-bit audio. Reed-Solomon code adopted after Sony's suggestion. Maximum playing time decided to be slightly more that 74 minutes. Disc diameter changed to 120mm to allow for 74 minutes of 16-bit stereo sound with a sample rate of 44.1 kHz

1980 Compact Disc standard proposed by Philips & Sony.

1981 Matsushita accepts Compact Disc Standard Digital Audio Disc Committee also accepts Compact Disc Standard.
Sharp achieves production of semiconductor laser. Philips & Sony collaboration ends.

1982 Sony & Philips both have product ready to go. Compact Disc Technology is introduced to Europe and Japan in the fall.

1983 Compact Disc Technology is introduced in the United States in the spring The Compact Disc Group formed to help market. CD-ROM Prototypes shown to public 30,000 Players sold in the U.S. 800,000 CD's sold in the U.S.

1984 Second Generation & Car CD players introducted. First Mass Replication Plant in the United States built. Portable (i.e., Sony DiscMan) CD Players sold.

1985 Third generation CD Players released. CD-ROM drives hit the computer market.

1986 CD-I (Interactive CD) concept created. 3 Million Players sold in U.S. 53 Million CD's sold in U.S.

1987 Video CD format created. Allen Adkins of Optical Media International joins with SonoPress in Amsterdam and demonstrates a desktop system for pre-mastering CD's (Adkins and SonoPress, produced a replicated CD in less than 24-hours using this system).

1988 CD-Recordable Disc/Recorder Technology Introduced

1990 28% of all U.S. households have CD's. 9.2 million players sold annually in the United States. 288 million CD's sold annually in the United States. World Sales close to 1 Billion

1991 CD-I format achieved. CD-Recordable Introduced to the Market "QuickTopix" the first CD-R pre-mastering Software introduced by Allen Adkins.

1992 CD-R Sales reach 200,000

1996 DVD Technology Introduced. Prices of Recorders and CD-R Media go down significantly. High Demands cause World-Wide CD-R Media Shortage.

1997 DVD Released. DVD Players/Movies hit consumer market. DVD-R standard created (3.9 Gig). Mitsui builds it's first CD-R production plant in the U.S. World-wide shortage ends. Price of CD-R media lower than ever imagined.

1998 DVD-RAM, DVD-Recordable systems/equipment hits market. DVD-Video/ROM authoring tools hits the market. CD-R prices continue to drop.

1999 DVD-Video Becomes main stream. Consumers begin purchasing DVD Players & Movies on a mass level. Most major film studios have titles on DVD. DIVX Dies (DIgital Video eXpress). Second Generation DVD Burners. 4.7 Gig DVD-R Media Developed.


Pohlmann, Ken C.
"The Compact Disc Handbook, 2nd Edition" (Click to See this Book at Amazon.Com) Copyright 1992 & 1989 A-R Editions
Copyright 1999, Jeremy Despain, OneOff, Inc.