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Thread: Norio Ohga dies at age of 81

  1. #1
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    Norio Ohga dies at age of 81

    Norio Ohga, former Sony president, dies


    The former president and chairman of Sony, Norio Ohga, who was credited with developing the compact disc, has died aged 81, the company has said.


    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-13178548

  2. #2
    Imagine how much we would be getting ripped off for game cartridges these days without the push of cd's! We owe this man a great deal of respect.

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    Rip,

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    Didn't Philips invent the CD?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yakumo View Post
    Didn't Philips invent the CD?
    I believe people from Sony and Philips developed the CD.:shrug:

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Yakumo View Post
    Didn't Philips invent the CD?
    You expected Sony to give proper credit? You should know better.

    They probably just want to have one successful media format on their track record. They can't seem to create anything that people want to buy, as far as media goes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by paul.strickler1 View Post
    You expected Sony to give proper credit? You should know better.

    They probably just want to have one successful media format on their track record. They can't seem to create anything that people want to buy, as far as media goes.
    Calm down man, Sony DID develop the CD together with Philips and they probably did the bigger part of the job as far as I could infer it from the research I did on this subject ages ago.
    The CD is obviously based on Laserdisc technology which was developed by Philips, that's probably why they worked together in the first place.

    By the way, the first test CD in the world was pressed in Langenhagen, a city about 30 minutes away from my hometown in Germany, at Polydor Pressings :D This is also the place where they first produced CD's in an industralized way

    And just to look like the total know-it-all, CD's initially had a capacity of 74 minutes. That's because Norio Ouga wanted to make it possible that the entire 9th symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven can be played without changing CD's. The best recording of the time and maybe until now is Wilhelm Furtwaengler's 1951 orchestration (I've got the original German LP boxset at home :D) and it takes exactly 74 minutes.

    RIP Norio Ouga
    Last edited by ave; 09-26-2011 at 11:59 PM.
    59,630 > 57,300

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    Quote Originally Posted by paul.strickler1 View Post
    You expected me to give proper credit? You should know better.
    Sounds about right.

    Ave,
    Great post.
    Last edited by subbie; 09-27-2011 at 09:38 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ave View Post
    And just to look like the total know-it-all, CD's initially had a capacity of 74 minutes. That's because Norio Ouga wanted to make it possible that the entire 9th symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven can be played without changing CD's. The best recording of the time and maybe until now is Wilhelm Furtwaengler's 1951 orchestration (I've got the original German LP boxset at home :D) and it takes exactly 74 minutes.
    That's an urban legend actually. They settled on 12cm discs because they didn't want CDs to be much larger than cassettes, and so the diameter size matched the diagonal of an audio cassette (CDs were a little bigger though). And that was decided after they already set the technical details in stone, so the 74 minute mark is just a coincidence.

    According to one of the lead researchers of the team who created the CD anyway.

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    I am just as dependent of external sources as you are because everything I know is based on Internet research, but

    As it was, we made CD 0.5 cm larger yielding 12 cm. (There were all sorts of stories about it having something to do with the length of Beethoven's 9th Symphony and so on, but you should not believe them.)
    doesn't sound very convincing to me. Why shouldn't we believe them?

    I found this article on the very same page of the University of Essen and it elaborates on the technical details of their decision about the capacity and diameter:
    http://www.exp-math.uni-essen.de/~immink/pdf/beethoven.htm

    For someone who is looking for a nice interesting read on the subject, here the essence about diameter/capacity/Beethoven:

    r (production) margins, and the Philips’ M3 code might infringe on Ampex M2.
    Both disc diameter and playing time differ significantly from the preferred values listed during the Tokyo meeting in December 1979. So what happened during the six months? The minutes of the meetings do not give any clue as to why the changes to playing time and disc diameter were made. According to the Philips’ website with the ‘official’ history: "The playing time was determined posthumously by Beethoven". The wife of Sony's vice-president, Norio Ohga, decided that she wanted the composer's Ninth Symphony to fit on a CD. It was, Sony’s website explains, Mrs. Ohga's favorite piece of music. The Philips’ website proceeds:


    The performance by the Berlin Philharmonic, conducted by Herbert von Karajan, lasted for 66 minutes. Just to be quite sure, a check was made with Philips’ subsidiary, Polygram, to ascertain what other recordings there were. The longest known performance lasted 74 minutes. This was a mono recording made during the Bayreuther Festspiele in 1951 and conducted by Wilhelm Furtwängler. This therefore became the maximum playing time of a CD. A diameter of 120 mm was required for this playing time”.

    Everyday practice is less romantic than the pen of a public relations guru, as at that time, Philips’ subsidiary Polygram –one of the world's largest distributors of music– had set up a CD disc plant in Hanover, Germany. This could produce large quantities CDs with of course, a diameter of 115mm. Sony did not have such a facility yet. If Sony had agreed on the 115mm disc, Philips would have had a significant competitive edge in the music market. Sony was aware of that, did not like it, and something had to be done. It was not about Mrs. Ohga’s great passion for music, but the money and competition in the market of the two partners. The decision regarding diameter/playing time was taken outside of the group of experts responsible for the CD format. So I, a former member of that group, can only guess what happened at the upper floor. But something unforeseen happened: at the last minute we changed the code.

    Popular literature, as exemplified in Philips’ website mentioned above, states that the disc diameter is a direct result of the requested playing time. And that the extra 14 minutes playing time for Furtwängler’s Ninthsubsequently required the change from 115mm to a 120 mm disc. It suggests that there are no other factors affecting playing time. Note that in May 1980, when disc diameter and playing time were agreed, the channel code, a key factor affecting playing time, was not yet settled. In the minutes of the May 1980 meeting, it was remarked that the above (diameter, playing time, and track pitch) could be achieved with Philips' M3 channel code. In the mean time, but not mentioned in the minutes of the May meeting, the author was experimenting with a new channel code, later coined EFM [3]. EFM, a rate 8/17, d=2, code made it possible to achieve a 30 percent higher information density than the Philips' M3. Due to its good spectral suppression, EFM also showed a good resilience against disc handling damage such as fingerprints, dust, and scratches. Note that 30 percent efficiency improvement is highly attractive, since, for example, the disc diameter increase from 115 to 120 mm only offers a mere10 percent increase in playing time.

    A month later, in June 1980, we could not choose the channel code, and again more study and experiments were needed. Although experiments had shown the greater information density that could be obtained with EFM, it was at first merely rejected. At the end of the discussion, which at times was heated, the Sony people were specifically opposing the complexity of the EFM decoder, which then required 256 gates. My remark that the CIRC decoder needed at least half a million gates and that the extra 256 gates for EFM were irrelevant was jeered at. Then suddenly, during the meeting, we received a phone call from the presidents of Sony and Philips, who were meeting in Tokyo. We were running out of time, they said, and one week for an extra, final, meeting in Tokyo was all the lads could get. Sony stated that if the EFM hardware would be less than 80 gates, they would accept it. I had a week to reduce the gate count. I used the first Apple II computer in the lab, which was much handier for such an interactive design using trial and error than the IBM mainframe, especially as I had to walk to the IBM computer center for every job. I succeeded in bringing the gate count down to just 52 gates, and on June 19, 1980 in Tokyo, Sony agreed to EFM. The 30 percent extra information density offered by EFM could have been used to reduce the diameter to 115mm or even 100mm, (with, of course, the requested 74 minutes and 33 seconds for playing Mrs. Ohga’s favorite Ninth). However such a change was not considered to be politically feasible, as the powers to be had decided 120mm. The option to increase the playing time to 97 minutes was not even considered. We decided to improve the production margins of player and disc by lowering the information density by 30 percent: the disc diameter remained 120mm, the track pitch was increased from 1.45 to 1.6µm, and the user bit length was increased from 0.5 to 0.6µm. By increasing the bit size in two dimensions, in a similar vein to large letters being easier to read, the disc was easier to read, and could be introduced without too many technical complications.

    The maximum playing time of the CD was settled at 74 minutes and 33 seconds, but in practice, however, the maximum playing time was determined by the playing time of the U-Matic video recorder, which was 72 minutes. Therefore, rather sadly, Mrs. Ohga’s favorite Ninth by Furtwängler could not be recorded in full on a single CD till 1988, when alternative digital transport media became available. On a slightly different note, Jimi Hendrix's Electric Ladyland featuring a playing time of 75 minutes was originally released as a 2 CD set in the early 1980s, but has been on a single CD since 1997.
    It seems to be not only a coincidence, but the technical aspect played a major role in their decision obviously, I never tried to deny that. Nevertheless, Ohga's taste in music still played a minor role.
    Last edited by ave; 09-28-2011 at 02:24 AM.
    59,630 > 57,300

  11. #11
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    Why did you bump this topic.

    Norio Ohga died on April 23, 2011, Tokyo, Japan.

    "He supported Ken Kutaragi to develop the PlayStation."
    A legend.
    Last edited by H360; 09-28-2011 at 04:03 AM.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by subbie View Post
    Sounds about right.

    Ave,
    Great post.

    Come off it. I was just joking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by paul.strickler1 View Post
    Come off it. I was just joking.
    Then learn better jokes...

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by subbie View Post
    Then learn better jokes...
    Surely you can't deny that Sony has had a fair share of ethical mishaps?

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    Quote Originally Posted by paul.strickler1 View Post
    Surely you can't deny that Sony has had a fair share of ethical mishaps?
    What company hasn't?

    And even when they do, that does not discredit everything else they have done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by subbie View Post
    Then learn better jokes...
    ^:fresh:
    This.
    Last edited by Vosse; 09-30-2011 at 01:35 PM.

  17. #17
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    RIP Mr Ohga.
    Currently trying to collect as many HD DVDs as possible.
    That's crazy.

  18. #18
    R.I.P Mr. Ohga.
    Looking for these Games: Gamecube Demos: March 2002, January 2002, June 2002. GB Games: Pokonyan CIB, Pro Mahjong Kiwame GB (Reprint CIB), Undake 30 SFC and BSX Datapak. I make music modifiers and other codes for GB/SNES and NES-GSCentral.org http://snesmusic.jukor.net/ http://demandprogress.org/
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    We thank you for no drm mr. Ohga

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    what a guy:) rip
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