The CDTV: Probably the most unique looking Amiga ever released

The Commodore CDTV (Commodore Dynamic Total Vision) is a 4th generation Amiga created by Commodore, and is only notable for beign a colossal commercial failure. Since the CDTV first appeared on the market in August 1991, there’s been much confusion from the public, Amiga users, the magazines and even Commodore’s marketing team themselves, over what the machine was actually capable of, and which markets it is aimed at. The entire design is very swish, and would sit nicely at the base of a Technics Hi-Fi stack. ‘Cool’ is an understatement. It’s gorgeous. Probably the best looking Amiga machine ever released. There’s the usual Amiga ports: external floppy drive, serial, parallel, RGB out, and audio left/right. Because the machine was designed to sit next to the household VCR, there are appropriate RF connectors below the RGB socket.

The keyboard socket is a weird miniature DIN configuration, as is the wired mouse socket. No classic Amiga mouse or joystick ports are present on the CDTV, a big major design screwup by Commodore. The remote control acts as mouse and joystick, and has buttons for the digits 0 to 9, ENTER, ESCAPE, GENLOCK, CD/TV, JOY/MOUSE. The additional buttons REW, PLAY/PAUSE, FF, STOP are mainly for audio CDs. Finally, there are headphone volume controls, a power switch, a joypad, and buttons A and B for selection, like most console keypads have. The CDTV is based on Kickstart 1.3, so all the classic Amiga games will run. It offered 1 MB of RAM onboard and the processor is a motorola 68000 @7MHz. The sales of the CDTV were an atrocious 30000 units and this failure helped to put Commodore out of business in 1994. However, The CDTV deserves a big thumbs up, despite of all the shortcomings. It’s 1991 and the world is opening up and tech is booming, Commodore followed the ‘Dream big and dare to fail’ concept, enough said… Funny fact is that buying them on Ebay will cost you a fortune these days (€600 – €1500).

news source: various sources / image source: Digital artist Zgodzinski / Watch on Youtube (advert)

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