Commodore CDTV
Type Console Developer Commodore LTD.
Release Date 1991-Mar Region(s) North America, Europe
Initial Price $799 USD Games Released Approx. 155
     by Dark Watcher
Commodore had garnered a cult following in the 1980s with their brilliant line of home computers and games. In the 1990s however, PC compatibles started making there way into homes and began pushing out the Commodore / Amiga line of computers.  Game consoles also started taking over the game player's dollar.  Commodore hustled to make a set-top, CD-ROM based home entertainment device to compete with this growing market.  In 1991, Commodore released CDTV (basically an Amiga 500 computer with a CD-ROM drive built in).  Needless to say it suffered the similar fates of other similar devices (Amstrad GX4000 for an example).

     Officially licensed releases
There were two packages released for the Commodore CDTV - the standard and the Pro Pack version.  The machines were nearly identical, but the Pro Pack included the optional keyboard, mouse and Floppy Disk Drive.  I have had the following pictures for it seems like eternity.  I believe they are from an eBay listing that I was considering prior to purchasing my CDTV.  If these belong to you, please let me know so that I may properly credit you.  Thanks! - Marriott_Guy
Commodore CDTV Commodore CDTV Commodore CDTV
Commodore CDTV Controller Commodore CDTV Commodore CDTV Floppy Disk Drive
Commodore CDTV Controller Commodore CDTV Commodore CDTV Floppy Disk Drive
     Non-licensed hardware releases
No clones were released for this system.
     by Marriott_Guy
Consoles are rated based upon the available technology at the time of its release.  A 10 point scale is utilized, with 10 being excellent.

Console Design 07 The CDTV is a tank.  These beasts weigh around 28 lbs (12 kg) with the chassis constructed with heavy gauge steel.  The numerous ports and options are well placed.  The front display is simple yet elegant.  Overall I really appreciate the thought that was put into the design of this machine. 
Console Durability 07 I have not had any issues with my system, but with any early CD based system read errors may occur over time. 
Controllers 06 The multi-purpose remote is rather large and not particularly comfortable to use.  The fact that Commodore was able to squeeze all of the functions into that space keeps this score from being lower.
Graphics 04 The CDTV falls well short in the graphics department.  The system had a meager palette of 4,096 colors with a maximum of 32 colors displayed onscreen.
Audio 05 Commodore used the Paula 8364 audio chip for the CDTV, which was effective but lacked the high sampling output of other chips of that era.
Media 05 Load times for the CD-ROM seem much longer compared to other hybrid machines like the Philips CD-i.  My guess is that the low amount of RAM (512 KB) is partly to blame for this.
Gamer Value 03 In all honesty, the CDTV offers little that might attract the average gamer.  Amiga enthusiasts will like the expandability of the system to enable them to enjoy their exiting Amiga 500 library of games.
Collector Value 07 This console was definitely a flop, but at the time was considered a high-end hybrid device that commanded top dollar.  These are still pricey acquisitions, but the expandability and wide breadth of options this system offers makes this a very nice addition for both the console collector and Amiga aficionado.

     Interesting facts on software for this system
Software for the Commodore CDTV was distributed in the CD-ROM format.  Most games were packaged in standard jewel cases and featured colorful artwork on the CD inlays.  The CDTV logo was prominently displayed in the banner portion of the front cover as well as on the CD spine.

Just like the Amiga CD32, Commodore CDTV games tend to be rather expensive, especially for the NTSC versions.  Due to the system's short life span (less than two years), many of the titles had limited production runs.  In total, there are around 35 unique titles that were released for the CDTV - the rest were ports of existing games from their Amiga line of computers as well as from other platforms.

One of the most expensive titles to acquire is Loom.  This title alone can fetch up to $700 USD.

Welcome to CDTV (included tutorial disc)

Commodore CDTV Game Boxes

     Captured in-game images
Air Warrior
Battle Chess
Case of the Cautious Condor
Casino Games
Chaos in Andromeda
Classic Board Games
Curse of Ra
Defender of the Crown
Emerald Mines
E.S.S. Mega
Fantastic Voyage
Indians Jones and the Last Crusade
Murder Makes Strange Deadfellows
North Polar Expedition
Power Pinball
Prey: An Alien Encounter
Psycho Killer
Sherlock Homes Consulting Detective
Sim City
Space Wars
Team Yankee
Town With No Name
Trivial Pursuit
Turrican 2
Ultimate Basketball
Wrath of the Demon
Xenon 2

     First and third party system emulators

Great Windows based emulator capable of running CDTV and other Amiga computer games
     For the hardware enthusiasts out there - all the detail you\we love.
Processor Type  Processor Speed  Other Processor Information RAM \ Video RAM
Motorola 68000 7.16 MHz (NTSC) / 7.09 MHz (PAL) Agnus 8372 (DMA, RAM), Denise 8362 (video), Paula 8364 (audio) Gary 5719 (disk drives, memory) 512 KB (OCS chipset)
1 MB (ECS Chipset)
Screen Resolution Color Palette Polygons \ Sprites Audio
320 x 200 (32 colors)
640 x 240 (16 colors)
4,096 Colors Unknown Four channel (8-bit), 28 kHz max
Media Format Media Capacity Games Released Other Supported Formats
CD-ROM (1x, caddie delivery method) 640 MB Approx. 155
(220+ including compatibles)
Audio CD, Amiga 500 (with optional FDD), Amiga 1000 CDs
Internal Storage External \ Removable Storage Game Controllers Other Game \ Peripheral Devices
256 KB (used for firmware\loading) Memory Card (8 KB to 1,024 KB) Multifunction remote \  gamepad (wireless) Keyboard, RAM Expansion kits,
Disk Drive, etc.
Controller Ports Network Ports Other Ports Audio \ Video
None (wireless gamepad) None Keyboard (5 pin mini-DIN), Mouse (4 pin mini-DIN), RS-232 Serial (DB-25M), Parallel (DB-25F), MIDI I\O, FDD (DB-23F) RFComposite, S-Video (NTSC), RGB (DB-23M), SCART (PAL)
Power Supply - Internal Other Outputs  Expansion Slots
110 V (NTSC) or 220\240 V (PAL) Headphone Jack Memory Card, Video Module, DMA Extension
Commodore CDTV Service Manual (PDF) - 1.05 MB

     Peripherals, Promotions, Commercials, Brochures, Etc.
Commodore CDTV Tour

Part 1

Part 2

Commodore CDTV magazine review

     Visitor insights and feedback
Please be respectful and abide by our Terms of Use & Policies prior to posting.  Basically be nice, keep it clean and don't spam or be a troll.  Thanks!

comments powered by Disqus