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Commodore Dynamic Total Vision
Manufacturer Commodore
Type stationary game console
generation 4th generation of consoles
Main processor Motorola 68000
Storage media CD-ROM
successor CD³²

The CDTV ( Commodore Dynamic Total Vision , internal project name also Black Baby ) is a stationary game console of the fourth console generation published by the American company Commodore . It was presented to the public as a new development at the Winter CES Las Vegas trade fair in March 1991 . The competitor product to the CD-i from Philips combined the technology of a home computer based on Commodore's Amiga 500 with the concept of a set-top box . The device looked like a CD player and had a remote control that bears a strong resemblance to today's gamepads . Furthermore, had the device built-in CD-ROM - drive could, with which you also play audio CDs (video CDs could only Commodores CD³² , and then only with additional hardware) and CD + G CDs (CD plus graphics).

The problem with the console was, on the one hand, the lack of software and, on the other hand, the insufficient computing power for this concept, which meant that it was hardly possible to play back videos. Another problem was the in-house competition: The cheaper Amiga A570 CD drive, sold as an accessory for the Amiga 500, transformed the Amiga 500 into a full-fledged CDTV - without a remote control, but with a floppy disk drive and keyboard. So there was little incentive for owners of the Amiga 500 to buy a CDTV.

Technical specifications

Detail of the control buttons of the device
  • CPU: Motorola 68000, 7.14 MHz (NTSC version) or 7.09 MHz ( PAL version)
  • Memory: 1 MB chip memory
  • Chipset: Original Chip Set (OCS, but already with "Big Agnus" for the 1 MB chip memory)
  • OS: Kickstart 1.3 + CDTV module
  • Drive: single-speed CD-ROM
  • SRAM - memory card slot based on the less common 38-pin standard from Fujisoku and ITT-Cannon (incompatible with 68-pin PCMCIA memory cards)
  • Remote control: modulation 40 kHz, instead of 36 or 38


Commodore CDTV connected to a Commodore 1084 monitor. The CDTV audio CD player software is now displayed.

In addition to the native AmigaOS V1.3 operating system, the built-in software contains the drivers required to control the CD-ROM drive. This also includes a driver for small films in the so-called CDXL format, which is based on the hold-and-modify mode (HAM mode) and direct streaming control of the CD drive. With a frame rate of approx. 12 frames per second, a window size of almost a quarter of a screen can be achieved, especially limited by the data rate of the single-speed CD drive. At the time, this was an unrivaled achievement. The games for CDTV were released on CD-ROM . This also included learning applications and multimedia software.


A small selection of well-known titles:


Since most of the hardware was based on the Amiga 500 (more precisely: A500 +, because of the ECS Agnus ), a large part of the software could still be used on the CDTV, but this required the connection of an external floppy disk drive.


The CDTV could be expanded in many ways:

  • Floppy (standard Amiga 500)
  • Genlock Interface (mix TV picture and CDTV picture)
  • keyboard
  • SCART card
  • directly connectable joysticks
  • PCMCIA Type I card slot
  • SCSI controller for hard disk
  • Turbo card 020
  • RAM expansions for Fast and Chip RAM (BigRAM CD)

Web links

Commons : Commodore CDTV  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files