Sony CDP-101
The Sony CDP-101 was the world's first commercially released Compact Disc player
Compact disc player
A Compact Disc player , or CD player, is an electronic device that plays audio Compact Discs. CD players are often a part of home stereo systems, car audio systems, and personal computers. They are also manufactured as portable devices...

. The system was launched in Japan on October 1, 1982 at a list price of 168,000 yen(approx $730).

The Japan-only launch was partially due to Philips, Sony's partner in the development of the CD format, being unable to meet the original agreed launch date. Rather than agree a full postponement, Sony agreed to delay the launch of the format outside of Japan by six months. The Philips CD100 launched in November 1982,
although early Philips players contained some Sony components.

In line with the agreement, the system was launched worldwide on March 1983.


Demonstration CD players from Sony had the disc placed vertically in the machine allowing the CD face to be visible through a transparent front whilst playing. The CDP-101 instead opted for a horizontal tray-loading system. The case and front panel of the system were manufactured from plastic.

The front of the unit features a vacuum fluorescent display panel
Vacuum fluorescent display
A vacuum fluorescent display is a display device used commonly on consumer-electronics equipment such as video cassette recorders, car radios, and microwave ovens. Invented in Japan in 1967, the displays became common on calculators and other consumer electronics devices...

 to provide information such as track number and playing time, an infrared receiver to allow the use of a remote control and buttons to control playback, open and close the tray and toggle the display between showing elapsed and remaining playing time. The only dial on the machine allowed for the headphone volume level to be adjusted, a 1/4" headphone jack was also located on the front of the unit.

At the back of the unit, two on/off switches are present, one labeled Auto Pause and the other Anti Shock. Two RCA jacks
RCA connector
An RCA connector, sometimes called a phono connector or cinch connector, is a type of electrical connector commonly used to carry audio and video signals...

 are present to carry left and right channels of audio and a 26-pin accessory connector is also present, presumably included for future developments that didn't materialize. A heatsink is also located at the back of the unit.

The included remote control unit, RM-101, featured the majority of the same button controls as on the main system. It omitted the open/close button and display toggle, but had a numbered buttons not present on the main unit that allowed a particular track number to be selected.

The model name CDP-101 was chosen by Nobuyuki Idei, who headed Sony's Audio Division. The 101 represented the number 5 in binary notation, and was chosen as Idei considered the model to be of 'medium class'.


Due to the cost of producing Digital to Analogue converters at the time of its production, the CDP-101 features only one DAC
Digital-to-analog converter
In electronics, a digital-to-analog converter is a device that converts a digital code to an analog signal . An analog-to-digital converter performs the reverse operation...

, which is used for both the left and right audio channels. No sample-and-hold circuitry is present to delay the first channel until the other is ready, so the left and right channels are out of sync by approximately 11 µs
A microsecond is an SI unit of time equal to one millionth of a second. Its symbol is µs.A microsecond is equal to 1000 nanoseconds or 1/1000 millisecond...


Unlike the Philips CD100 which used oversampling
In signal processing, oversampling is the process of sampling a signal with a sampling frequency significantly higher than twice the bandwidth or highest frequency of the signal being sampled...

to overcome the use of a 14-bit DAC, the CDP-101 featured a 16-bit DAC, that had been designed and manufactured in-house by Sony. The decision to use 16-bit encoding was made at Sony's insistence, as Philips had already developed a 14-bit DAC, and Sony was worried this would give them an advantage in getting their product to market first, should 14-bit encoding have been chosen.

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