Music Corporation of America (MCA) and Philips N.V. of Holland are the companies that have developed the basic technology of the laser optical videodisc player. This technology, which includes many patents, has been under development since [the] early 1970's.

In July 1977, MCA DiscoVision, Inc. and Pioneer Electronics Corporation, the parent of U.S. Pioneer, formed a joint venture company called Universal Pioneer Corporation, which is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. Universal Pioneer Corporation was formed with the business mission to produce optical videodisc players. Universal Pioneer Corporation established its production facilities at Tokorazawa, Japan. During 1978, Universal Pioneer Corporation produced and delivered approximately 11,000 industrial videodisc players to General Motors Corporation in support of the marketing efforts of MCA DiscoVision, Inc.

In September, 1979, MCA and IBM announced the formation of DiscoVision Associates, a partnership whose purpose was to master and replicate videodisc software and to assume the industrial marketing activities on behalf of the optical laser videodsc. Subsequently, the 50% interest in Universal Pioneer Corporation that was held by MCA DiscoVision was assumed by DiscoVision Associates. Thus, Universal Pioneer Corporation, which is the manufacturing company that has produced the players you see today, is 50% owned by Pioneer Electronic Corporation and 50% owned by DiscoVision Associates.

Updated: November 3, 1996