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The VideoNow is a personal video player designed for children and distributed by Hasbro through its Tiger Electronics subsidiary. It operates using unusually sized 4" (108mm) PVD Discs. The discs allow for about 30 minutes (half an hour) of video, which is an average length of a television show episode. Video data is stored on the left audio channel with mono audio on the right channel. The video plays at about 15 frames per second. It was originally released with a black and white format, but was soon updated to the VideoNow Color. Game-playing functionality was added with the VideoNow XP, but abandoned with the most recent line, VideoNow Color FX.
It should also be noted that the VideoNow has very little skip protection.
Hasbro produced editing software for creating VideoNow PVDs called the VideoNow Media Wizard, which came with blank PVD media. as well as the VCamNow camera for shooting VideoNow footage. As the VideoNow will not accept standard 8 cm mini-CDs, some creative users have resorted to cutting down standard 12 cm CD-R discs, though not without problems. Hasbro made recordable PVDs available without the Media Wizard from their online store.
A number of solutions are available for creating the oddly-formatted VideoNow files, including a plug-in for the popular video processing program Virtual Dub. The files can then be burned to an audio CD-ROM using standard CD burning software, and the disc cut down to the required size.
However, at least one video has been posted at YouTube showing how the newer Color FX players can be easily modified to accept standard-sized CDs with a bit of cutting and gluing. Full-sized CDs can hold roughly 42 minutes of total video, and play with no difference in the modified player.
- VideoNow - Plays only in black and white.
- VideoNow Color - Plays in color.
- VideoNow Jr. - Distributed through Playskool, this is a variant of the VideoNow Color. Unlike other VideoNow PVDs, the VideoNow Jr.-branded ones are flexible, making them more suitable for young children.
- VideoNow XP - Plays in color, has a larger screen and includes game playing capabilities and controls.
- VideoNow Color FX - Translucent variation of the VideoNow Color.
Complete list of shows and movies available on VideoNow
- The Fairly OddParents
- The Amanda Show
- All Grown Up!
- Rocket Power
- Adventures Of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genious
- My Life as a Teenage Robot
- 321 Penguins!
- Clifford the Big Red Dog (Videonow Jr. only)
- Agent Cody Banks (3 discs)
- Snoopy Come Home! (3 discs)
- A Boy Named Charlie Brown (3 discs)
- Dexter's Laboratory
- Johnny Bravo
- Around the World with Hilary Duff
- Backstage with Jesse McCartney
- Hilary Duff: A Year in My Life
- Sesame Street (Videonow Jr. only)
- Dora the Explorer (Videonow Jr. only)
- Barney (Videonow Jr. only)
- Little Bill (Videonow Jr. only)
- Max and Ruby (Videonow Jr. only)
- Oswald (2001) (Videonow Jr. only)
- America's Funniest Home Videos
- Hanna Montana: My Backstage Secrets
- Codename: Kids Next Door
- Sonic X: Shadow Knows
- Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide
- Drake & Josh
- Blue's Clues (Videonow Jr. only)
- Spongebob Squarepants
- Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!
- The Wild Thornberrys
- Hilary Duff: A Day in My Life
- Transformers Revolved
- Ed, Edd n Eddy
- The Powerpuff Girls
- The X's
- Bob The Builder (Videonow Jr. only)
- Jamie Lynn Spears: At Home with Jamie Lynn Spears
- Totally Spies! (English dub)
- Fear Factor
- Zoey 101
- The Story of Star Wars
- Music videos from Jesse McCartney, The Cheetah Girls, Hilary Duff, Vanessa Carlton and more
- Thomas & Friends (Videonow Jr. only)
- Winx Club
- The Wiggles (Videonow Jr. only)
- Basil Brush (UK only)
- LazyTown (Videonow Jr. only)
- Danny Phantom
- "Samurai Jack"
In the UK a different range of discs were produced, presumably for licensing reasons. The PVDs are interchangeable and have no region protection. They included most of the Nickelodeon shows from the US plus:
- Manchester United Football
- Arsenal Football
- A series of three action sport PVDs including Tony Hawks US issue.
The lower age group discs from Disney and Nick Jr were in general not available through UK outlets.
PVDs were issued in waves to retailers - 6 to a box, generally comprising 3 titles. There were 6 waves of PVDs released in the UK, although some popular titles appeared in more than one box.
- VideoThen, a freeware tool to create black and white discs
- PVDTools, another freeware program to create black and white discs
- Source for Media Wizard blank PVDs, Hasbro FAX-in order form for blank Media Wizard PVD's
- VideoHelp.com forum discussion of VDN video conversion tools, including VideoNowDude's Virtual Dub plugin.