In 1991, PC couldn’t speak much. Mac’s was horrible expensive and Atari almost gave up. Commodore was on idea rush and in March 1991, the almighty Commodore released CDTV (which stands for Commodore Dynamic Total Vision). Commodore didn’t want this product to be part of the Amiga family, though the hardware were pretty similar to Amiga 500. The computer even had Kickstart 1.3. With the optional keyboard, mouse, and disk drive for it, CDTV became an Amiga 500 computer.
Commodore announced the CDTV at the summer 1990 Consumer Electronics Show in Chicago. CDTV was scheduled to be released by the end of the year in 1990, but got finally released in March 1991 at CES in Las Vegas. When CDTV was finally released, this Amiga Multimedia computer was sold for over 5000,- NOK here in Norway.
By 1993, Commodore choose to discontinue CDTV. There was an CDTV-II in production, but it was never released.
CDTV is one of the first real Multimedia Computers in the world. It was the most sexy computer ever released until Apple started its design madness. CDTV looked like a component to a HI-FI system, rather than a computer. It was very unique as it was worlds first computer to have CD-ROM as standard.
CDTV is also worlds first multimedia computer to be able to show full motion video thru the CDXL video format. It is a shame, Commodore couldn’t live more.
Nolan Bushnell, CDTV Project Manager said “CDTV will truly change the way people learn and are entertained. It’s the real new media of the nineties.”
CDTV only sold in small numbers but did introduce the Amiga to the advantages of CD as a storage method. It also introduced CD-ROM as standard in a computer way before any PC or MAC laptop had it. CDTV is a masterpiece done by a company that deserved not to go away in 1994.
You can still get CDTV from eBay and Finn.no sometimes. But they are expensive as these machines becomes more and more rare everyday.