TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- CBS and Sony officials Friday announced a joint venture to produce digital discs in the United States.
The plant, to be located in Terre Haute, will begin operation sometime next year, officials said.
It will be the third such operation in the world. The other two are in Germany and Japan.
Norio Ohga, president of the Sony Corp. headquartered in Tokyo, told a gathering of state and local officials the 4-inch disc 'represents the future of the recording industry.'
'We're convinced that this exciting new technology will change the way people listen to music in the years to come,' said Walter Yetnikoff, president of CBS-Records Group.
The disc is played by a machine, similar to a tape deck, and 'read' by a solid state optical laser beam. There is no stylus as in conventional stereo players, but the receiver and speaker system are the same.
The discs will become available at most record stores by next fall, officials said, even though the U.S. plant won't be in operation for a year. The discs are available now on a limited basis.
Thomas Wyman, president of CBS, said investment in the plant will total $21 million by the time it begins production, probably in the middle of 1984. It initially will employ about 250 people.
Wyman called the disc an example of 'technology that gives us a glimpse of the 20th and 21st century kind of music that will be available to people here and around the world.'
The digital disc player will sell for $900 retail and a disc will cost about $16 to $17, Schulhof said. The price for both is likely to decrease as demand increases, he said.