Five-inch laser formats are multiplying and twelve-inch formats are returning, both at the consumer level and in the institutional markets. Buoyed by the success of CDs (compact discs) in the audio market, manufacturers have brought out CD-ROM as an electronic publishing medium for machine-readable data, CD-V for video (actually a renaming of the videodisc, but adding a five-inch format to the existing twelve-inch), CD+G for graphics, and CDI for interactive learning.
So convinced are industry leaders Pioneer and Philips that the variants on the CD will make it now, that they are expanding production facilities for the discs, adding titles, and introducing new players. Pioneer has spent $10 million renovating and expanding its Carson, California, plant to increase capacity to 600,000 discs a month. Philips and DuPont have expanded their plant in England. Several hundred new CD-V titles have been introduced by Pioneer and Polygram (a Philips subsidiary), including a ‘large number of operas, orchestral performances, and classic films. Pioneer has introduced two combi-players which can play every CD format from three to twelve inches. The prices are $900 and $1,300, with the more expensive unit including additional memory to support special effects. Philips' combi-players are comparably priced. Sony and Yamaha have units that cost as little as $799. All of the units deliver 425 lines of horizontal resolution for CD-V—— far superior to the 240-250 lines for most VHS and Beta VCR5. Audio is also superior.