The Compact Disc

Comapct DiscFollowing five years of research and development, Netherlands-based Philips Electronics demonstrates one of the earliest iterations of the compact audio disc, an optical disc in the now-familiar five-inch size which can be read by a CD player with a laser diode. Philips and Sony, who have been developing the new medium in parallel, will later join forces and create a standard for audio compact discs in 1980, introducing the CD as a consumer product in the early 1980s despite resistance from record companies with a vested interest in vinyl LPs (and only a begrudging acceptance of audio cassettes). In addition to higher audio fidelity and a more durable medium (an optical disc encased in a plastic shell, protecting the physical surface that is so often damaged with vinyl), the CD and its player can also compensate for any damage suffered by the disc through error correction.