|Type||Home multimedia entertainment / Home video game console / Personal computer|
|Release date||March 1991|
|Introductory price||US$999 (equivalent to $2,150 in 2022)|
|Units sold||Germany: 25,800|
|Operating system||AmigaOS 1.3|
|CPU||Motorola 68000 @ 7 MHz|
|Memory||1 MB RAM|
|Storage||2 KB non-volatile RAM|
|Display||Television, Composite or RGB monitor;|
736×567 4 bpp (PAL)
736×483 4 bpp (NTSC)
368×567 6 bpp (PAL)
368×483 6 bpp (NTSC)
|Sound||4 channels, 8 bits, 28 kHz sampling rate|
|Predecessor||Commodore 64 Games System|
The CDTV (from Commodore Dynamic Total Vision, later treated as a backronym for Compact Disc Television) is a home multimedia entertainment and video game console – convertible into a full-fledged personal computer by the addition of optional peripherals – developed by Commodore International and launched in April 1991.
The CDTV is essentially a Commodore Amiga 500 home computer with a CD-ROM drive and remote control. With the optional keyboard, mouse, and floppy disk drive, it gained the functionality of the regular Amiga. Commodore marketed the machine as an all-in-one multimedia appliance. As such, it targeted the same market as the Philips CD-i. The expected market for multimedia appliances did not materialize, and neither machine met with any real commercial success. Though the CDTV was based entirely on Amiga hardware, it was marketed strictly as a CDTV, with the Amiga name omitted from product branding.
Commodore announced the CDTV at the summer 1990 Consumer Electronics Show in Chicago, promising to release it before the end of the year with 100 software titles. The product debuted in North America in March 1991 (CES Las Vegas) and in the UK (World of Commodore 1991 at Earls Court, London). It was advertised at £499 for the CDTV unit, remote control and two software titles. The device was released in the United States for $999.
In 1990 Computer Gaming World stated that Commodore had a poor reputation among consumers and developers, citing "abysmal record of customer and technical support in the past". The company chose Amiga-enthusiast magazines as its chief advertising channel, but the Amiga community on the whole avoided the CDTV in the expectation of an add-on CD-ROM drive for the Amiga, which eventually came in the form of the A570. This further hurt sales of the CDTV, as an A570-equipped A500 was electronically the same as a CDTV and, consequently, could run CDTV software, so there was very little motivation for an Amiga owner to buy a CDTV. However, Nolan Bushnell, one of the chief endorsers of the CDTV, argued the system's high price alone was enough to explain its market failure: "... it's very difficult to sell significant numbers of anything at more than $500. ... I felt that I could sell a hundred thousand of something that costs $800 standing on my head. I thought that it would be a no-brainer. And I can tell you that the number of units that we sold in the U.S. at $800 you could put in your eye and not draw tears."
The CDTV was supplied with AmigaOS 1.3, rather than the more advanced and user-friendly 2.0 release that was launched at around the same time. Notably, the CDXL motion video format was primarily developed for the CDTV, making it one of the earliest consumer systems to allow video playback directly from CD-ROM.
By 1994 Computer Gaming World described the CDTV as a "fiasco" for Commodore. Though the company later developed an improved and cost-reduced CDTV-II, it was never released. Commodore discontinued the CDTV in 1993 with the launch of the Amiga CD32, which again was substantially based on Amiga hardware (in this case the newer Amiga 1200) but explicitly targeted the games market.
In December 2021 an unofficial free ROM update was released for CDTV (2.35), which brings compatibility with 68030 accelerator boards and 32-bit Fast RAM, allows non-CDTV titles to boot, fixes bugs and restores several features that were lost in the 2.7 and 2.30 ROMs. Because of copyright reasons the custom ROM is distributed in patch form.
The Commodore CDTV is reported to have sold 25,800 units in Germany, and around 29,000 units in the UK.
The CDTV was intended as a media appliance rather than a mainstream personal computer. As such, its housing had dimensions and styling that were fairly comparable to most household stereo system components of the period, and it came with an infrared remote control. Similarly, it was initially sold without a keyboard or a mouse (which could be added separately, and were later bundled with the machine). The CDTV was based on the same technology as earlier Amiga systems, but featured a single-speed CD-ROM drive and no floppy disk drive as standard.
|Processor||Motorola 68000 at 7.16 MHz (NTSC)[a] or 7.09 MHz (PAL)[b][c]|
|Chipset||Original Chip Set (OCS) Enhanced Chip Set (ECS)|
|Removable storage||Single-speed CD-ROM drive (proprietary controller)|
|Physical dimensions||430 × 330 × 95 mm (width × depth × height)|
The CDTV is compatible with many Amiga peripherals from the same period. In addition, official CDTV peripherals and upgrades included:
- Wireless infrared mouse (CD1252)
- Wireless trackball
- Black styled keyboard
- SCSI controller providing both an internal and external SCSI connector for hard disk drives and other SCSI devices
- External black styled hard disk drive
- External black styled floppy disk drive (CD1411, an FB-354C)
- Proprietary memory cards with a capacity of 64 or 256 KB (CD1401/CD1405) allowing storage of game scores and progress
- Genlocks for NTSC or PAL (CD1300/CD1301) to overlay video signal with a secondary video source
- CDTV: CDTV unit and remote control/gamepad
- Pro pack: CDTV unit, remote control/gamepad, keyboard, mouse and floppy disk drive, along with Almathera CDPD Public domain software compilation on CD-ROM
There are currently 62 games on this list.
|Title||Genre(s)||Developer(s)||Publisher(s)||Release date(s)||CDTV version|
|Barney Bear Goes Camping||Mini-games||Free Spirit||Free Spirit||1990|
|Barney Bear Goes To School||Mini-games||Free Spirit||Free Spirit||1991|
|Battle Chess||Board game||Quicksilver||Interplay||1992||CD Audio; Released for CD32 in 1994|
|The Case of the Cautious Condor||Adventure||Tiger Media||Tiger Media||1991||CDTV only|
|Casino Games||Casino||Saen Software||Saen Software||1992||CDTV exclusive|
|Chaos In Andromeda: Eyes Of The Eagle||RPG||KirkMoreno||On-line||1992||FMV; CD Audio|
|Classic Board Games||Board game||Merit||Merit||1991|
|Cover Girl Strip Poker||Cards game||Emotional Pictures||On-line||1991|
|Curse Of RA, The||Puzzle||Cyberstyle||Rainbow Arts||1992|
|Defender of the Crown||Strategy||Cinemaware||CDTV Publishing||1991|
|E.S.S. Mega||Simulation||Tomahawk||Coktel||1992||CDTV exclusive|
|Fun School 3 (For The 5 To 7 Year Olds)||Mini-games||Database Educational Software||Database Educational Software||1991|
|Fun School 3 (For The Over 7s)||Mini-games||Database Educational Software||Database Educational Software||1991||Extra games|
|Fun School 3 (For The Under 5s)||Mini-games||Database Educational Software||Database Educational Software||1991|
|Guy Spy and the Crystals of Armageddon||Action||ReadySoft||ReadySoft||1993|
|Holiday Maker||Adventure||PM Entertainment||Software 2000||1990|
|The Hound Of The Baskervilles||Adventure||On-line||On-line||1991||CDTV only|
|Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Graphic Adventure||Adventure||Lucasfilm||Softgold||1992|
|Log!cal||Puzzle||Rainbow Arts||Rainbow Arts||1991|
|Mind Run||Puzzle||Créalude||Créalude||1991||CDTV exclusive|
|Murder Makes Strange Deadfellows||Adventure||Tiger Media||Tiger Media||1991||CDTV only|
|North Polar Expedition||Adventure||Virgin Interactive||Virgin Interactive||1992||CDTV only|
|Power Pinball||Pinball||KarmaSoft||KarmaSoft||1991||Extra levels|
|Prey: An Alien Encounter||RPG||KirkMoreno||KirkMoreno||1993||CDTV exclusive; Later released as an enhanced version for the CD32|
|Psycho Killer||Adventure||Delta 4 Interactive||On-line||1992||CDTV only|
|Sherlock Holmes, Consulting Detective||Adventure||Icom||Icom||1991||CDTV only|
|Sim City||Strategy||Maxis||Infogrames||1991||CDTV enhanced|
|Snoopy In The Case Of The Missing Blanket||Adventure||Softek||The Edge||1991|
|Space Wars||Shooter||Odyssey||Odyssey||1992||CDTV enhanced|
|Spirit Of Excalibur||Adventure||Synergistic||Virgin Mastertronic||1991|
|Sprachraetsel Englisch 1: Spielend Sprachen lernen!||Logic||Ingenio||Ingenio||1990||CDTV exclusive|
|Sprachraetsel Englisch 2: Spielend Sprachen lernen!||Logic||Ingenio||Ingenio||1990||CDTV exclusive|
|Sprachraetsel Englisch 3: Spielend Sprachen lernen!||Logic||Ingenio||Ingenio||1990||CDTV exclusive|
|Sprachraetsel Franzoesisch 1: Spielend Sprachen lernen!||Logic||Ingenio||Ingenio||1990||CDTV exclusive|
|Sprachraetsel Latein 1: Spielend Sprachen lernen!||Logic||Ingenio||Ingenio||1990||CDTV exclusive|
|Sprachraetsel Spanisch 1: Spielend Sprachen lernen!||Logic||Ingenio||Ingenio||1990||CDTV exclusive|
|Stadt Der Löwen, Die||Adventure||PM Entertainment||Software 2000||1991|
|Strip Poker Live||Cards game||Porky's Production||Porky's Production||1993||FMV|
|Team Yankee||Simulation||Oxford Digital Enterprises||Empire||1992|
|The Town With No Name||Adventure||Delta 4 Interactive||On-line||1992||CDTV only|
|Trivial Pursuit||Quiz||Domark||Domark||1992||CD Audio; Released for CD32 in 1994|
|Turrican||Shooter||Factor 5||Rainbow Arts||1992|
|Turrican II: The Final Fight||Shooter||Factor 5||Rainbow Arts||1992|
|Ultimate Basketball||Sports||Context Systems||Context Systems||1991||CDTV exclusive|
|Will Bridge: Competition||Cards game||Will-Bridge||Will-Bridge||1991||CDTV exclusive|
|Will Bridge: Haute Competition||Cards game||Will-Bridge||Will-Bridge||1991||CDTV exclusive|
|Will Bridge: Initiation Aux Encheres
Will Bridge: Introduction To Bidding
|Cards game||Will-Bridge||Will-Bridge||1991||CDTV exclusive|
|Will Bridge: Standard||Cards game||Will-Bridge||Will-Bridge||1991||CDTV exclusive|
|Will Bridge: Perfectionnement
Will Bridge: Intermediate
|Cards game||Will-Bridge||Will-Bridge||1991||CDTV exclusive|
|Winzer||Strategy||Golden Gate Crew||Starbyte||1992|
|Wrath Of The Demon||Action||Abstrax||ReadySoft||1991|
|Xenon 2: Megablast||Shooter||Assembly Line, The||Image Works||1992|
|Title||Developer(s)||Publisher(s)||Release date(s)||CDTV version|
|Cubulus & Magic Serpent||Software 2000||Software 2000||1991||ECS version of Cubulus and Magic Serpent|
|Lettrix & Shiftrix||Software 2000||Software 2000||1991||ECS version of Lettrix and Shiftrix|
|Super Games Pak||Odyssey||Odyssey||1991||ECS version of Byteman, Deathbots and Jailbreak|
|Title||Developer(s)||Publisher(s)||Release date(s)||CDTV version|
|All Dogs Go To Heaven: Electric Crayon Deluxe||Merit||Merit||1991|
|A Bun For Barney||BBC Multimedia||BBC Multimedia||1992||CDTV exclusive|
|Cinderella: The Original Fairy Tale||Discis||Discis||1992||CDTV exclusive|
|Heather Hits Her First Home Run||Discis||Discis||1991||CDTV exclusive|
|Learn French With Astérix Disc 1||Eurotalk||Eurotalk||1991||CDTV exclusive|
|Learn French With Astérix Disc 2||Eurotalk||Eurotalk||1991||CDTV exclusive|
|A Long Hard Day On The Ranch||Discis||Discis||1991||CDTV exclusive|
|Moving Gives Me A Stomach Ache||Discis||Discis||1992||CDTV exclusive|
|Mud Puddle||Discis||Discis||1992||CDTV exclusive|
|Musicolor||Binary Vision||Virgin Interactive||1992||CDTV exclusive|
|My Paint CDTV||Saddleback||Saddleback||1991||CDTV only|
|The Night Before Christmas||Discis||Discis||1991||CDTV exclusive|
|The Paper Bag Princess||Discis||Discis||1992||CDTV exclusive|
|Read With Astérix: Astérix And Son||Eurotalk||Eurotalk||1991||CDTV exclusive|
|Read With Astérix: The Secret Weapon||Eurotalk||Eurotalk||1991||CDTV exclusive|
|Scary Poems For Rotten Kids||Discis||Discis||1991||CDTV exclusive|
|The Tale of Benjamin Bunny||Discis||Discis||1991||CDTV exclusive|
|The Tale Of Peter Rabbit||Discis||Discis||1992||CDTV exclusive|
|Thomas' Snowsuit||Discis||Discis||1991||CDTV exclusive|
High-end A/V (primary market)
(multi-purpose audio/video systems)
Video gaming (secondary market)
- NEC PC Engine with Super CD-ROM expansion
- Nintendo's SNES
- Sega Mega Drive with CD-ROM expansion
- The 3DO Company's 3DO Interactive Multiplayer
- Feldman, Tony (1994). Multimedia. Psychology Press. ISBN 9781857130102.
- "The Maturation of Computer Entertainment: Warming The Global Village". Computer Gaming World. 1990-07-08. p. 11. Retrieved 16 November 2013.
- "The Commodore CDTV Information Center - www.cdtv.org.uk". Archived from the original on 2009-04-12. Retrieved 2010-08-06.
- "CDTV advert: "Better Graphics. Better Sound. Better Software. Better Get One"". Amiga History Guide. 1990.
- "Commodore puts computer into TV". Beaver County Times. April 5, 1991. pp. C8.
- "Commodore CDTV". TidBITS. 1991-05-20. Retrieved 2021-03-23.
- "What the Hell has Nolan Bushnell Started?". Next Generation. Imagine Media (4): 9. April 1995.
- Miller, Chuck; Dille, H. E.; Wilson, Johnny L. (January 1994). "Battle Of The New Machines". Computer Gaming World. pp. 64–76.
- "Commodore CDTV-II". Big Book of Amiga Hardware. 2008. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03.
- "CDTV OS 2.35 - FAQ". GitHub. 2 November 2022.
- Bergseth, M. (November 25, 2014). "AMIGA SOLD IN UNITS BY COMMODORE IN GERMANY REVEALED". Distrita - Where to Go. Archived from the original on 2017-07-13.
- "Commodore's CDTV External Harddrive". The Commodore CDTV Information Center. Archived from the original on 2005-03-17.
- Ewaniuk, Darren (July 5, 1997). "CDTV Technical Information by Darren Ewaniuk".
- "Commodore CD1300". The Big Book of Amiga Hardware. 2008. Archived from the original on 2011-07-21.
- "CDTV Games".
- Media related to Commodore CDTV at Wikimedia Commons