Technology: Sony loses ground in digital recording race - Funkausstellung electronics show in Berlin

时间:2019-03-03 05:02:01166网络整理admin

By BARRY FOX and STEVE HOMER The japanese electronics giant Sony admitted last week that its new miniature compact disc recording system, called minidisc, will not be ready for the promised launch next year in a form that can record as well as play back (Technology, 25 May). As a result, Sony’s system looks likely to lose out against the much simpler digital cassette tape system proposed by Philips of the Netherlands. Sony’s head office in Japan says: ‘We are currently pursuing the development of two minidisc portable models, one with record/playback capability and one with only playback capability. It is too early at this stage to say if both models will be ready on time for a joint introduction or if they will be introduced separately.’ This appears to confirm that Sony plans to launch minidisc late next year with portable machines which can only play back factory-pressed discs, like miniature CDs, and will not offer machines which can record on blank discs until the following year. So far all Sony’s demonstrations have been of playback only. Philips pledges that its digital compact cassette (DCC) system will be launched in spring 1992 and will be able to record. ‘We have to be able to record on the tape to demonstrate playback,’ says Philips. Philips is now in a strong position to evaluate Sony’s chances of making recording minidisc players. In a truce, both companies lent each other a rival system for display at last week’s Funkausstellung consumer electronics exhibition in Berlin. Neither company, however, showed either system to the public. Philips sent Sony’s player straight to its research centre in Eindhoven for technical evaluation. Philips is gathering support from other companies for its DCC, most recently Sanyo, Sharp and Yamaha. No manufacturer has yet agreed to make versions of Sony’s minidisc. Michael Dornemann, chairman of BMG which owns RCA, Ariola and Arista Records, wrote privately to Michael Schulhof, president of Sony’s music division,