Commodore's CDTV (=Commodore Dynamic Total Vision) was a
multimedia computer which was introduced on the market in
1991. Like other products like the CD32 Commodore was not
able to successfully sell this product. In my opinion there
were several reasons for this:
did not do enough marketing for the CDTV. In Germany
a real marketing campaign was started in late 1992: "Send
DEM 1000,- and your old Amiga 500 to Commodore and get
a brand-new CDTV". This offer was not attractive
enough and came too late.
CDTV came too early: In 1991 there were still a lot of
people who were mainly C64 and Amiga users. So why should
they buy another expensive computer.
of a disappointed number of sold hardware units in the first
year of the CDTV's introduction there were hardly companies
who supported the CDTV with high quality leisure software.
is also interesting to see Commodore's "wish customer"
for a CDTV. The below text was adapted from a brochure which
was sent to Amiga dealers and which shows Commodore's prerequesites:
2 or more colour TVs, Hi-Fi, audio systems;
Buy regularly electronic products;
Are well informed on the new technologies.
have a computer, but it is not a
May have had a computer in the past;
May be Amiga users.
car every 3 years;
Buy more than 10 CD or video titles a year.
for new products.
Look for an active dialogue with the selling personnel
Look on brochures to get information on the product.
Active and interested in their hobbies:
Sporting men, travelers, specialized press readers,
steady TV watchers.
could never really reach this target audience.
Although the technical specifications of the CDTV were very good, they could not increase the CDTV's success:
68000 16/32 bit 7.14Mhz
custom chips (Agnus, Paula, Denise) increase the system's
video, sound and graphic performance
or Philips type in Mode 1, Mode 2 standard with a minimum
access time of 0.5 seconds, maximum 0.8 seconds;
suitable for CD-ROM's, CD+Audio and CD+Graphic in ISO-9660
Disk storage capacity 650MB
x oversampling. Audio Output 1.4 RMS, 10 K OHM;
Response frequency 4-20 Khz;
Channels separation -92db;
Harmonic Distortion 0.02% at 1Khz;
Top audio capacity 28 hours in AM;
Sample rates from 44Khz to 6 Khz;
Dual 16 bit D/A converter more than 64 attenuation levels.
Personal memory card port.
and Digital RGB. PAL composite;
Genlock optional (CDTV, video or mixed).
lines /vertical frequency 50Hz;
Maximum video chip memory=1Mb;
4096 colours palette;
8 sprites per scanning.
video port for optional genlock and RF card 25 pins
DMA slot for SCSI, LAN etc.
In 1992 this
advert which was shown in German Amiga magazines
in order to increase the number of sold CDTV's. Unfortunately
it did not reach its aim. Commodore's promise "Pay
DEM 1000,-, give us your Amiga500 and get a new CDTV"
was perhaps not attractive enough:
are some box scans of CDTV titles. There were not sold many
units of these games:
of Ra CDTV
(c) Rainbow Arts
of the Baskerv.
(c) On-line Entert.
Text and pictures by Bernd Gmeineder, February 2001
Thanks to Giorgio Signori for some texts