ROYAL OAK, MI -- A shortage of Philips CD Pro 2 players has left many jukebox operators wondering whether the manufacturer had discontinued the only compact disc player replacement for their legacy equipment. Earlier this year, Enco Systems, Philips's authorized North American distributor based here, ran out of supplies.
PHOTO: Enco's Chris Bisha (l.) and jukebox consultant Joel Friedman show off Philips CD Pro 2 player.
While Philips Electronics is expected to shut down production of the CD Pro 2 at the end of 2013, Enco has taken steps to ensure that the component will be available for the foreseeable future. Enco president Chris Bisha told Vending Times that he has authorized the Dutch electronics giant to buy key parts for the player for another production run, putting up the company's own money for the purchase. And as luck would have it, Philips recently had an overrun of CD Pro 2s manufactured for another industry, and notified Bisha of the windfall; these players can work with CD boxes.
In all, Bisha believes there are now enough spare players to support the replacement market for about three years. Nearly all jukebox distributors carry the part, which has been shipped to them. Enco also stocks players.
"We weren't satisfied with the number we were given when Philips told us how many players we could get," Bisha said. "So we wrote a blank check for a special production run for the jukebox industry."
The CD Pro family of compact disc modules has been the core component of CD jukeboxes since the early 1990s. And the CD jukebox market still exists; demand for the CD Pro 2 suggests it's more alive than many believe, according to Bisha. Digital touchscreen boxes dominate today's music market, with about 80,000 units connected in the U.S., but thousands of CD machines are still operated in bars and restaurants. Used CD boxes are sometimes a consumer appliance for homeowners and collectors, and specialty manufacturers like Antique Aparatus use CD technology for their custom jukeboxes.
"Jukebox operators should know that plenty of CD Pro 2 players are available now through many local distributors and other parts suppliers," said Joel Friedman, a consultant to Enco Systems. "We are particularly gratified that we will have additional players starting next year so that operators can continue to operate CD jukes. We believe operators will be able to get replacements for years to come."
For more information on the CD Pro 2, call Enco at (248) 541-6300, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit encosystems.net.