MiniDisc is a magneto-optical disc-based data storage format offering a capacity of 60, 74 minutes and 80 minutes, of digitized audio or 1 gigabyte of Hi-MD data. Sony brand audio players were on the market in September 1992. Sony announced the MiniDisc in September 1992 and released it in November of that year for sale in Japan and in December in Europe, the USA and other countries; the music format was based on ATRAC audio data compression, but the option of linear PCM digital recording was introduced to meet audio quality comparable to that of a compact disc. MiniDiscs were popular in Japan and found moderate success in Europe. Sony has ceased development of MD devices, with the last of the players sold by March 2013. In 1983, just a year after the introduction of the Compact Disc, Kees Schouhamer Immink and Joseph Braat presented the first experiments with erasable magneto-optical Compact Discs during the 73rd AES Convention in Eindhoven, it took, however 10 years before their idea was commercialized.
Sony's MiniDisc was one of two rival digital systems, both introduced in 1992, that were targeted as replacements for the Philips Compact Cassette analog audio tape system: the other was Digital Compact Cassette, created by Philips and Matsushita. Sony had intended Digital Audio Tape to be the dominant home digital audio recording format, replacing the analog cassette. Due to technical delays, DAT was not launched until 1989, by the U. S. dollar had fallen so far against the yen that the introductory DAT machine Sony had intended to market for about $400 in the late 1980s now had to retail for $800 or $1000 to break putting it out of reach of most users. Relegating DAT to professional use, Sony set to work to come up with a simpler, more economical digital home format. By the time Sony came up with MiniDisc in late 1992, Philips had introduced a competing system, DCC; this created marketing confusion similar to the Betamax versus VHS battle of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Sony attempted to license MD technology to other manufacturers, with JVC, Pioneer and others all producing their own MD systems.
However, non-Sony machines were not available in North America, companies such as Technics and Radio Shack tended to promote DCC instead. Despite having a loyal customer base of musicians and audio enthusiasts, MiniDisc met with only limited success in the United States, it was popular in Japan during the 1990s, but did not enjoy comparable sales in other world markets. Since recordable CDs, flash memory and HDD and solid-state-based digital audio players such as iPods have become popular as playback devices; the initial low uptake of MiniDisc was attributed to the small number of pre-recorded albums available on MD as few record labels embraced the format. The initial high cost of equipment and blank media was a factor. Mains-powered hi-fi MiniDisc player/recorders never got into the lower price ranges, most consumers had to connect a portable machine to the hi-fi in order to record; this inconvenience contrasted with the earlier common use of cassette decks as a standard part of an ordinary hi-fi set-up.
MiniDisc technology was faced with new competition from the recordable compact disc when it became more affordable to consumers beginning around 1996. Sony believed that it would take around a decade for CD-R prices to become affordable - the cost of a typical blank CD-R disc was around $12 in 1994 - but CD-R prices fell much more than envisioned, to the point where CD-R blanks sank below $1 per disc by the late 1990s, compared to at least $2 for the cheapest 80-minute MiniDisc blanks; the biggest competition for MiniDisc came from the emergence of MP3 players. With the Diamond Rio player in 1998 and the Apple iPod, the mass market began to eschew physical media in favor of file-based systems. By 2007, because of the waning popularity of the format and the increasing popularity of solid-state MP3 players, Sony was producing only one model, the Hi-MD MZ-RH1 available as the MZ-M200 in North America packaged with a Sony microphone and limited Apple Macintosh software support; the introduction of the MZ-RH1 allowed users to move uncompressed digital recordings back and forth from the MiniDisc to a computer without the copyright protection limitations imposed upon the NetMD series.
This allowed the MiniDisc to better compete with MP3 players. However, most pro users like broadcasters and news reporters had abandoned MiniDisc in favor of solid-state recorders, due to their long recording times, open digital content sharing, high-quality digital recording capabilities and reliable, lightweight design. On 7 July 2011, Sony announced that it would no longer ship MiniDisc Walkman products as of September 2011 killing the format. On 1 February 2013, Sony issued a press release on the Nikkei stock exchange that it will cease shipment of all MD devices, with last of the players to be sold in March 2013. However, it would continue to offer repair services. MD Data, a version for storing computer data, was announced by Sony in 1993 but never gained significant ground, its media were incompatible with standard audio MiniDiscs, cited as one of the main reasons behind the format's failure. MD Data could not write to audio-MDs, only the more expensive data blanks. In 1997, MD-Data2 blanks were introduced.
They were only implemented in Sony's short-lived MD-based camcorder as well as a small number of multi-track recorders.
Universal Media Disc
The Universal Media Disc is a discontinued optical disc medium developed by Sony for use on their PlayStation Portable handheld gaming and multimedia platform. It can hold up to 1.8 gigabytes of data and is capable of housing video games, feature-length films, music. UMD was the trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment for their optical disk cartridge. While the primary application for UMD discs is as a storage medium for PSP games, the format is used for the storage of motion pictures and, to a lesser degree, television shows for playback on the PSP; the video is encoded with the audio in ATRAC3plus. Video stored on UMD is encoded in 720×480 resolution, but is scaled down when displayed on the PSP; the American punk rock band The Offspring released their Complete Music Video Collection on the format. The BBC released a number of its programmes on UMD in the UK, including The Office, The Mighty Boosh, Doctor Who and Little Britain; some adult films have been released on UMD in Japan. UMD VIDEO Case dimensions: H×W×D = 177×104×14mm ECMA-365: Data Interchange on 60 mm Read-Only ODC – Capacity: 1.8 GB Dimensions: approx.
64 mm × 4.2 mm Maximum capacity: 1.80 GB, 900 MB Laser wavelength: 660 nm Numerical aperture: 0.64 Track pitch: 0.70 µm Minimum pit length: 0.1384 µm Modulation: 8-to-16 RLL Encryption: AES 128-bit According to the official ECMA specification Sony designed the UMD to support two possible future enhancements and products. Protective Shutter: Similar to the MiniDisc and 3½-inch floppy disk, this protective shutter will shield the inner disc from accidental contact. Auto-Loading: UMDs were designed for possible future slot loading devices with Auto-Loading mechanisms; these would be similar to the auto-loading mechanism used in slot loading MiniDisc home and car decks. It would be similar to the Sony U-Matic auto-loading mechanism. Unlike the current clamshell loading design the PSP uses, a slot loading device using an Auto-Loading mechanism would be motorized and automatic; the user would insert the disc into the device slot, the motorized mechanism would take over and draw the disc inside the drive completing the loading process.
The disc would be ejected automatically by the motorized mechanism, like a VCR. This would mean that power would be required in order to insert or eject a disc. In comparison to Sony's MiniDisc format the sliding shield which prevents direct disc contact on MiniDiscs is absent from all UMDs released, though it is an option according to the ECMA specification. DVD region coding has been applied to music; however regional lockout is not applied to games, making them region-free Region 0: Worldwide Region 1: Northern America + Central America Region 2: Northern Europe + Western Europe + Southern Europe + Japan + Middle East + Egypt + South Africa + Greenland + French territories + British territories Region 3: Thailand + Singapore + Malaysia + Taiwan + South Korea + Philippines + Indonesia + Hong Kong Region 4: Oceania + South America Region 5: Russia + Eastern Europe + India + Pakistan + Africa + North Korea + Mongolia Region 6: Mainland China UMDs offer large capacity and the capability to store quality audio/video content.
The UMD format never saw implementation on any device other than the PlayStation Portable, as a result the market was limited compared to those for other optical media formats. Buyers were put off by the high price of UMD releases, which retailed at comparable prices to but lacked the extra content found on DVDs. Poor sales of UMD movies early in the format's life had caused major studios Universal and Paramount to rescind their support. Retail support of the format experienced similar troubles, in 2006 Wal-Mart began phasing out shelf space devoted to UMD movies, with other chains soon following suit. By 2006 most non-specialty retail stores had stopped bringing in new UMD movies and no longer had a separate section devoted to them, with a few stray unsold titles mixed in amongst the regular PSP games. Since 2011, there have been no more movies released on UMD.. In August 2007, Multimedia Recovery brought to the market their UMD Replacement Case after many complaints from PlayStation Portable owners that the outer casing of the UMD disc was cracking or pulling apart due to the poor design, which causes the UMD to become unreadable in the PlayStation Portable.
In late 2009, Sony began pushing developers away from the UMD format and towards digital distribution on the PlayStation Network in preparation for the launch of the digital-download-only PSP Go, the first PSP model to not include a UMD drive. However the system experienced lackluster sales compared to previous models, with most consumers still choosing the UMD-compatible PSP-3000 model, which continued to be sold alongside the PSP Go. Despite the earlier push for PlayStation Network releases around the PSP Go's launch, over half of the PSP's library is still only available in UMD format including Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII and Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, though there have been a few PlayStation Network-only releases since the PSP Go's launch, such as LocoRoco Midnight Carnival. Still, most new games continue to be distributed via UMD, aside from those published by SCE, not all have been released on PlayStation Network. In 2011, the PSP-E1000, a budget PSP model with a UMD slot but without Wi-Fi, was released, is the final revision of the PlayStation Portable.
The successor of the PlayStation Portable, the PlayStation Vita
VCDHD is an optical disc standard, similar to CD or DVD. The technology for VCDHD was invented with in: Japan, the Netherlands and Poland. Since the name of the technology is similar to the arbitrarily inferior VCD, it's marketed using the name DVHD; the capacity of a VCDHD is 4.7 GB, the same as an average single-layer DVD. According to the official site, the tests at Philips laboratories have proven the discs to be compatible with modern DVD players. With use of blue laser technology becoming available now, the capacity may be increased by up to 15 GB; the format's main advantages include: a better resistance to scratching in comparison to DVDs a thickness of 0.6 mm extreme elasticity and the resulting resistance to bending low manufacturing and production costs and time production defect levels are only about 1% the format does not require a DVD license to manufacture It works on most DVD drivesMost popular in: Russia and Poland. Blu-ray and HD-DVD Alternative.
CD-R is a digital optical disc storage format. A CD-R disc is a compact disc that can read arbitrarily many times. CD-R discs are readable by most plain CD readers, i.e. CD readers manufactured prior to the introduction of CD-R; this is an advantage over CD-RW, which can be re-written but cannot be played on many plain CD readers. Named CD Write-Once, the CD-R specification was first published in 1988 by Philips and Sony in the'Orange Book'; the Orange Book consists of several parts, furnishing details of the CD-WO, CD-MO, CD-RW. The latest editions have abandoned the use of the term "CD-WO" in favor of "CD-R", while "CD-MO" were used little. Written CD-Rs and CD-RWs are, in the aspect of low-level encoding and data format compatible with the audio CD and data CD standards; this means they use Eight-to-Fourteen Modulation, CIRC error correction, for CD-ROM, the third error correction layer defined in the Yellow Book. Properly written CD-R discs on blanks of less than 93 minutes length are compatible with the audio CD and CD-ROM standards in all details including physical specifications.
93 minute CD-R discs marginally violate the Red Book physical format specifications, longer discs are noncompliant. CD-RW discs have lower reflectivity than CD-R or pressed CDs and for this reason cannot meet the Red Book standard; some hardware compatible with Red Book CDs may have difficulty reading CD-Rs and, because of their lower reflectivity CD-RWs. To the extent that CD hardware can read extended-length discs or CD-RW discs, it is because that hardware has capability beyond the minimum required by the Red Book and Yellow Book standards. CD-R recording systems available in 1990 were similar to the washing machine-sized Meridian CD Publisher, based on the two-piece rack mount Yamaha PDS audio recorder costing $35,000, not including the required external ECC circuitry for data encoding, SCSI hard drive subsystem, MS-DOS control computer. By 1992, the cost of typical recorders was down to $10,000–12,000, in September 1995, Hewlett-Packard introduced its model 4020i manufactured by Philips, which, at $995, was the first recorder to cost less than $1000.
The dye materials developed by Taiyo Yuden made it possible for CD-R discs to be compatible with Audio CD and CD-ROM discs. In the United States, there was a market separation between "music" CD-Rs and "data" CD-Rs, the former being several times more expensive than the latter due to industry copyright arrangements with the RIAA. Physically, there is no difference between the discs save for the Disc Application Flag that identifies their type: standalone audio recorders will only accept "music" CD-Rs to enforce the RIAA arrangement, while computer CD-R drives can use either type of media to burn either type of content. A standard CD-R is a 1.93 mm thick disc made of polycarbonate about 120 mm in diameter. The 120 mm disc has a storage capacity of 650 Megabytes of data. CD-R/RWs are available with capacities of 93 minutes of audio or 737,280,000 bytes, which they achieve by molding the disc at the tightest allowable tolerances specified in the Orange Book CD-R/CD-RW standards; the engineering margin, reserved for manufacturing tolerance has been used for data capacity instead, leaving no tolerance for manufacturing.
Despite the foregoing, most CD-Rs on the market have a 93-minute capacity. There are 97 minute/860 MiB and 99 minute/870 MiB discs, although they are less common. Due to the limitations of the data structures in the ATIP, 97 and 99 minute blanks will identify as 93 minute ones. Therefore, in order to use the additional capacity, these discs have to be burned using "overburn" options in the CD recording software; some drives use special techniques, such as Plextor's GigaRec or Sanyo's HD-BURN, to write more data onto a given disc. However, in certain applications where discs will not be distributed or exchanged outside a private group and will not be archived for a long time, a proprietary format may be an acceptable way to obtain greater capacity; the greatest risk in using such a proprietary data storage format, assuming that it works reliably as designed, is that it may be difficult or impossible to repair or replace the hardware used to read the media if it fails, is damaged, or is lost after its original vendor discontinues it.
Nothing in the Red, Yellow or Orange Book standards prohibits disc reading/writing devices from having the capacity to read or write discs beyond the Compact Disc standards. The standards do require discs to mee
HD DVD is a discontinued high-density optical disc format for storing data and playback of high-definition video. Supported principally by Toshiba, HD DVD was envisioned to be the successor to the standard DVD format. On 19 February 2008, after a protracted format war with rival Blu-ray, Toshiba abandoned the format, announcing it would no longer manufacture HD DVD players and drives; the HD DVD Promotion Group was dissolved on March 28, 2008. The HD DVD physical disc specifications were still in use as the basis for the China Blue High-definition Disc called CH-DVD; because all variants except 3× DVD and HD REC employed a blue laser with a shorter wavelength, HD DVD stored about 3.2 times as much data per layer as its predecessor. In the late 1990s, commercial HDTV sets started to enter a larger market, but there was no inexpensive way to record or play back HD content. JVC's D-VHS and Sony's HDCAM formats could store that amount of data, but were neither popular nor well-known, it was well known that using lasers with shorter wavelengths would yield optical storage with higher density.
Shuji Nakamura invented practical blue laser diodes, but a lengthy patent lawsuit delayed commercial introduction. Sony started two projects applying the new diodes: UDO and DVR Blue together with Philips, a format of rewritable discs which would become Blu-ray Disc and on with Pioneer a format of read only discs; the two formats share several technologies. In February 2002, the project was announced as Blu-ray Disc, the Blu-ray Disc Association was founded by the nine initial members; the DVD Forum was split over whether to go with the more expensive blue lasers or not. Although today's Blu-ray Discs appear identical to a standard DVD, when the Blu-ray Discs were developed they required a protective caddy to avoid mis-handling by the consumer The Blu-ray Disc prototype's caddy was both expensive and physically different from DVD, posing several problems. In March 2002, the forum voted to approve a proposal endorsed by Warner Bros. and other motion picture studios that involved compressing HD content onto dual-layer DVD-9 discs.
In spite of this decision, the DVD Forum's Steering Committee announced in April that it was pursuing its own blue-laser high-definition solution. In August, Toshiba and NEC announced their competing standard Advanced Optical Disc, it was renamed to HD DVD the next year. The HD DVD Promotion Group was a group of manufacturers and media studios formed to exchange thoughts and ideas to help promote the format worldwide, its members comprised Toshiba as the Chair Company and Secretary, Memory-Tech Corporation and NEC as Vice-Chair companies, Sanyo Electric as Auditors. The HD DVD promotion group was dissolved on March 28, 2008, following Toshiba's announcement on February 19, 2008 that it would no longer develop or manufacture HD DVD players and drives. Much like the VHS vs. Betamax videotape format war during the late 1970s and early 1980s, HD DVD was competing with a rival format—in this case, Blu-ray Disc. In 2008, major content manufacturers and key retailers began withdrawing their support for the format.
In an attempt to avoid a costly format war, the Blu-ray Disc Association and DVD Forum attempted to negotiate a compromise in early 2005. One of the issues was that Blu-ray Disc companies wanted to use a Java-based platform for interactivity, while HD DVD companies wanted to use Microsoft's "iHD". Another problem was the physical formats of the discs themselves; the negotiations proceeded and stalled. On August 22, 2005, the Blu-ray Disc Association and DVD Forum announced that the negotiations to unify their standards had failed. Rumors surfaced. By the end of September that year and Intel jointly announced their support for HD DVD. Hewlett-Packard attempted to broker a compromise between the Blu-ray Disc Association and Microsoft by demanding that Blu-ray Disc use Microsoft's HDi instead of BD-J and threatening to support HD DVD instead; the Blu-ray Disc Association did not agree to HP's demands. On March 31, 2006, Toshiba released their first consumer-based HD DVD player in Japan at ¥110,000.
HD DVD was released in the United States on April 18, 2006, with players priced at $499 and $799. The first HD DVD titles were released on April 18, 2006, they were The Last Samurai, Million Dollar Baby, The Phantom of the Opera by Warner Home Video and Serenity by Universal Studios. The first independent HD film released on HD DVD was One Six Right. In December 2006 Toshiba reported that 120,000 Toshiba branded HD DVD players had been sold in the United States, along with 150,000 HD DVD add-on units for the Xbox 360. On April 17, 2007, one year after the first HD DVD titles were released, the HD DVD group reported that they had sold 100,000 dedicated HD DVD units in the United States. In the middle of 2007, the first HD DVD Recorders were released in Japan. In November 2007, the Toshiba HD-A2 was the first high definition player to be sold at a sale price of less than US$100; these closeout sales lasted less than a day each due to both limited quantities and high demand at that price po
DVD+R DL called DVD+R9, is a derivative of the DVD+R format created by the DVD+RW Alliance. Its use was first demonstrated in October 2003. DVD+R DL discs employ two recordable dye layers, each capable of storing nearly the 4.7 GB capacity of a single-layer disc doubling the total disc capacity to 8.5 GB. Discs can only be created using DVD+R DL and Super Multi drives. DL drives started appearing on the market during mid-2004, at prices comparable to those of existing single-layer drives; as of March 2011 DL media is up to twice as expensive as single-layer media. The latest DL drives write double layer discs at a slower rate than current single-layer discs. Dual-layer recording allows DVD-R and DVD+R discs to store more data, up to 8.5 gigabytes per disc, compared with 4.7 gigabytes for single-layer discs. DVD-R DL was developed for the DVD Forum by Pioneer Corporation, while DVD+R DL was developed for the DVD+RW Alliance by Philips and Mitsubishi Kagaku Media. A dual-layer disc differs from its usual DVD counterpart by employing a second physical layer within the disc itself.
The drive with dual-layer capability accesses the second layer by shining the laser through the first semi-transparent layer. The layer change can exhibit a noticeable pause in some DVD players, up to several seconds; this caused more than just a few viewers to worry that their dual-layer discs were damaged or defective, with the end result that studios began listing a standard message explaining the dual-layer pausing effect on all dual-layer disc packaging. DVD recordable discs supporting this technology are backward compatible with some existing DVD players and DVD-ROM drives. Many current DVD recorders support dual-layer technology, the price is now comparable to that of single-layer drives, though the blank media remain more expensive; the recording speeds reached by dual-layer media are still well below those of single-layer media. There are two modes for parallel track path and opposite track path. In PTP mode, used for DVD-ROM, both layers start recording at the inside diameter with the lead-in and end at the outside diameter with the lead-out.
Sectors are sequenced from the beginning of the first layer to the end of the first layer the beginning of the second layer to the end of the second layer. In OTP mode, the second layer is read from the outside of the disk. For DVD-Video a variation of the technique is employed. DVD-Video is always recorded in OTP mode, but the video data is read from the beginning of the first layer towards the end of the first layer, when this ends reading is transferred to the second layer, but the video data commences from the same physical location that the first layer ends back towards the beginning of the second layer; this means. This is in order to minimise the time that the video player takes to locate and focus on the second layer and thus provide the shortest possible pause in the content as the layer changes. A common misconception is that the disc spins first in one direction, another, either for PTP or OTP recording, when in fact DVD-Writers always spin a disc in the clockwise direction. A simpler way to understand what's written above is to think of the little hole in the centre of the DVD as the "inside" and the rim of the DVD as the "outside".
Since dual-layer DVDs have two data layers, placed one on top of the other – Layer 0 and Layer 1, there are two ways in which these two layers may be written to - L0, inside to outside and L1 inside to outside again, or L0 inside to outside and L1 outside to inside. OTP is used for DVD-Video, to prevent the inherent delay that PTP involves: in PTP, the laser head moves from the outside edge of the DVD to the inside to start reading L1 when it reaches the end of L0; this results in the video skipping or freezing up for some time as the laser head repositions itself and the system waits to start receiving data again. For comparison, the table below shows storage capacities of the four most common DVD recordable media, excluding DVD-RAM. Stands for standard single-layer discs, while DL denotes the dual-layer variants. See articles on the formats in question for information on compatibility issues. DVD-R DL DVD DVD+R DVD+RW DVD+RW DL Book type MultiLevel Recording Bennett, Hugh. Understanding Recordable & Rewritable DVD.
Cupertino: Optical Storage Technology Association, Apr. 2004. Bennett, Hugh. "DVD±RW DL—D. O. A.?" EMedia Xtra May 10, 2005. Double-layer DVD heats up standards battle - ZDNet UK JVC's April 2005 announcement on DVD+RW DL DVD-R9 and DVD+R9 Hardware and Standards by The DVD Insider
Photo CD is a system designed by Kodak for digitizing and saving photos onto a CD. Launched in 1992, the discs were designed to hold nearly 100 high quality images, scanned prints and slides using special proprietary encoding. Photo CDs are defined in the Beige Book and conform to the CD-ROM XA and CD-i Bridge specifications as well, they were intended to play on CD-i players, Photo CD players, any computer with a suitable software. The system failed to gain mass usage among consumers due to its proprietary nature, the decreasing scanner prices, the lack of CD-ROM drives in most home personal computers of the day. Furthermore, Photo CD relied on CRT-based TV sets for home use. However, these were designed for moving pictures, their typical flicker became an issue. The Photo CD system gained a fair level of acceptance among professional photographers due to the low cost of the high quality film scans. Prior to Photo CD, professionals who wished to digitize their film images were forced to pay much higher fees to obtain drum scans of their film negatives and transparencies.
The Kodak Pro Photo CD Master Disc contains 25 images with maximum resolution of 6144 x 4096 pixels. This type is appropriate for 120 film, 4x5, but for small picture film, if highest resolution is required. Separate from the Photo CD format is Kodak's proprietary "Portfolio CD" format, which combines Red Book CD audio and Beige Book PCD with interactive menus and hotspots on PCD images; some standalone Philips Photo/Audio CD players could play Portfolio CDs, Windows player application was available. The Kodak Portfolio CD is not defined in any particular Rainbow Book; the Photo CD system was announced by Kodak in 1990. Photo CD targeted a full range of photographic needs, ranging from consumer level point-and-shoot cameras to high-end professionals using large format 4x5 sheet film; the first Photo CD products, including scanners for processing labs and Photo CD players for consumers, became available in 1992. The project was expected to be a $600 million business by 1997 with $100 million in operational earnings.
Kodak entered into a number of partnerships grow the usage of Photo CD. This included, for example, an arrangement with L. L. Bean in 1992 by which the catalog would be distributed in Photo CD format, an arrangement with Silicon Graphics in 1993 to make all Silicon Graphics image-processing workstations capable of accepting Kodak Photo CD optical disks; these measures, together with the relatively low cost of $3 per image and convenience, made Photo CD the digital imaging solution of choice for many photographers in the mid to late 1990s. By 2000, over 140 Photo CD processing labs in the U. S. were active, with many more outside the U. S. However, by the late 1990s, Photo CD was being eclipsed by alternate formats based on the industry standard JPEG format. In the consumer segment, the Photo CD format's inefficient compression scheme meant that Photo CD files were larger than a JPEG files of similar quality, thus less convenient for transmission across the internet, etc. For example, a 16Base Photo CD image of 5.5 Mb can be encoded as a JPEG image of 2.1 Mb at 80% quality, visually indistinguishable from the original.
When the Photo CD format was designed in the early 1990s, a design goal was to allow low cost playback-to-TV devices. At that time the available technology precluded 2-dimensional compression schemes such as JPEG, but by the late 1990s, advances in microprocessor technology had moved JPEG/PNG compression to well within the range of very low cost consumer electronics. In the professional and advanced amateur segments, Photo CD had been eclipsed by low cost desktop scanners such as those from Nikon and Minolta in the mid range, by drum scanners at the high end. While the pixel resolution of Photo CD was still comparable or better than the alternatives, Photo CD suffered from a number of other disadvantages. Firstly, the Photo CD color space, designed for TV display, is smaller than what can be achieved by a low cost desktop scanner. Secondly, the color rendition of Photo CD images changed over time and with different scanner versions. Thirdly, the dynamic range of scans was lower than for desktop scanners.
Tests at the time indicated that the dmax rating of Photo CD was 2.8-3.0, while available desktop scanners were reaching 4.2, a substantial difference. As a result of this, Photo CD's problems with color rendering, by 2004 the professional segment of the user community had turned against Photo CD. In the retail segment, while Photo CD was relatively popular with consumers, it was an economic failure for processing labs. At the time of its introduction, Kodak claimed that processing costs to labs would be close to $1 per image, which would allow the lab profitably sell at the $3 per image mark; however this promise was never realized resulting in the scanning process being rushed, with a resulting fall in quality. As a result of Photo CD's loss of market share and substantial corporate losses attributed by Kodak Management to its scanning business, Kodak abandoned the format over the period 2001-2004. By 2004, Kodak 4050 Photo CD scanners were being offered for free to anyone that would pay for their removal by more than one processing lab.
This abandonment generated considerable controversy both at the time and subsequently as the Photo CD format's technical specifications have never been released by Kodak. Photo CD remains an quoted example of an “orphan format” and o