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Sony, Philips Set Standard on Mini CD

December 10, 1987|From Reuters

TOKYO — Japan's Sony Corp. and N. V. Philips of the Netherlands, two of the world's leading consumer electronics companies, have reached final agreement on standards for a newly developed eight-centimeter compact disc system, Sony said Wednesday.

The new discs will have a maximum playing time of 20 minutes, compared to 74 minutes for 12-centimeter discs, and can be played on existing CD audio and video players by using an adapter.

They will be marketed from early 1988 and will cost about a third of present CDs, enabling them to promote full-length CDs in the same way single records promote long playing discs, Sony said.

The new disks also open up a potential market for miniature portable CD players and could be used in the future as part of a small CD read-only memory computer system, industry sources said.

The Japanese company, pressing ahead with the marketing of digital audio tape technology despite music industry opposition, also said Wednesday it will become the first company to sell DAT recorders in France.

"We've begun shipments, but they're only a limited quantity," a company spokesman said. The deck's price of about $2,500, plus the lack of prerecorded DAT cassette tapes, will limit sales, he added.

Major record companies, which fear losing royalties from possible illegal copying of compact disks with DAT recorders, have refused to issue prerecorded DAT tapes.

Most Japanese DAT makers, anxious to avoid inciting trade friction, have restricted DAT recorder sales to Japan. But Sony began sales to West Germany in November.

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