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CD-i: from encylopedias to internet

>> Saturday, January 6, 2007

The world on your TV. Using these words the world was prepared to a new phenomenon, something CD-i was made for: Encyclopedias on TV. Somehow this feels like a prequel to the Internet. Now digital encyclopedias like Encarta are of much less interest to the main public thanks to the web. 15 Years ago, times were different. It was the first time I heard of Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia. This encyclopedia was bundled with every CD-i player. Like Nintendo bundled its console with Super Mario Bros, Philips chose to highlight the Multimedia spect of CD-i releasing Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia with it. Now say what you want, this was an excellent title. Back in 1991/1992, when this encyclopedia was released, there was no Digital Video Cartridge available, so the way they put everything on the disc was amazing to me. I was really fascinated by it and I was able to browse for hours through its contents. CD-i hooked me just because it was more than just games. I really wondered why the majority of people thought different about this ;)

However, 1995 was a great year for Philips Media and SPC Vision releasing the brilliant Philips Media Encyclopedia. Now this is a dutch title, released in Belgium as "Standaard Encyclopedia". But the engine is made so clever, with maximum use of digital video, this feels like the max they were able to get out of CD-i. The menu system was based on CD-i's dream technology: Seamless branching. Some CD-i developers will remember the trouble to get this right on CD-i, and this title was no different. The main menu was supposed to go in a seamless loop, but the engineers at Philips weren't able to get it right in the end!

Thankfully for people abroad, Compton's NewMedia also released a second version of Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia, much less known than the original from 1992. The new title was completely updated and was enhanced using the Digital Video Cartridge. If you ever see a copy, I can highly recommend it. Also, I was surprised to see they also released a version for Sega CD. Sega 'stole' more ideas from CD-i like implementing a "digital video cartridge" with the Saturn, to allow VideoCD playability. However, the release of Compton's Encyclopedia was a clever move, and with a wink to CD-i that games and reference can go hand in hand. Unfortunately, after the internet hyped after 1996, console versions of encyclopedias were over. Compton continued with a 1998 and 2000 version, after that they were included with Brittanica's Encyclopedia. They still offer a paper version of Compton's encyclopedia (version 2007), but at a price. You better track down a copy of the CD-i revised edition from 1995. Did you know this version sold initially for 100 dollars! That was pretty expensive for a 1-disc title, although it didn't top the price of the dutch Philips media encyclopedia: 175 dollars!

In Holland Philips offered to exchange your (old) paper encyclopedia books for the new Philips encyclopedia! This was one of the great times of Superclub, another story for next time!

5 reacties:

Sander,  January 7, 2007 at 12:11 AM  

In Germany there was also an exclusive encyclopedia for cdi, but I forgot the name. Do you remember?

Bas January 7, 2007 at 12:35 AM  

I think you're referring to Bertelsmann Universal Lexikon. I've never 'played' this title before, apparently it uses the DVC and more interestingly the title title was produced by Pantheon (Jean-Pierre!) who was also behind the dutch Interactive Encyclopedia (in association with SPC Vision). If anyone has more info about this german title, please let me know! (Like a cover!)

Anonymous,  October 20, 2009 at 4:10 AM  

Where can I find software for the Magnavox CDI 450 Compact Disc Interactive player?

Bas October 20, 2009 at 6:45 AM  

All CD-i software is compatible with all CD-i players. You only need to verify if a title requires the Digital Video Cartridge which is an expansion card with extra memory. You can find software on ebay (search philips cd-i for instance) or browse google. You can also try on the CD-i marketplace forum (the link is on this site)

Anonymous,  October 21, 2009 at 10:42 PM  

Thank you, you have been most helpfull to me with information about the Philips CDI.

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Games 0-F

3rd Degree - PF Magic
7th Guest, The - Philips Freeland Studios
Accelerator - SPC/Vision
Adventure of the Space Ship Beagle, The - Denshi Media Services
Affaire Morlov, L' - Titus
Alfapet - Adatek
Alice in Wonderland - Spinnaker
Alien Gate - SPC Vision
Alien Odyssee - Argonaut
Aliens Interactive CD-i - Dark Vision Interactive
Ange et le Demon, L' - Smart Move
Apprentice, The - SPC Vision
Apprentice 2, The - Marvin's Revenge - SPC Vision
Arcade Classics - Philips ADS / Namco
Asterix - Caesar’s Challenge - Infogrames
Atlantis - The Last Resort - PRL Redhill (Philips ADS)
Axis and Allies - CapDisc
Backgammon - CapDisc
Battle Chess - Accent Media (for Interplay)
Battleship - CapDisc
Big Bang Show - Infogrames
BMP Puzzle - Circle (for ZYX)
Brain Dead 13 - Readysoft
Burn:Cycle - Trip Media
Caesar's World of Boxing - Philips POV
Caesar's World of Gambling - CD-I Systems
Cartoon Academy - Bits Corporation
CD-i mit der Maus - SPC Vision
CD Shoot - Eaglevision Interactive Productions
Change Angels Kick-off - HMO
Chaos Control - Infogrames
Christmas Country - Creative Media
Christmas Country - The Lost Levels - Creative Media
Christmas Crisis - DIMA
Clue - 3T Productions
Clue 2 - The mysteries continue - 3T Productions
Connect Four - CapDisc
Creature Shock - Argonaut (for Virgin)
Crime Patrol - CapDisc
Crow, The - Philips POV
Cyber Soldier Sharaku - Japan Interactive media
Dame was Loaded, The - Beam Software
Dark Castle - Philips POV
Dead End - Cryo
Defender of the Crown - Philips POV
Deja Vu - Icom Simulations
Deja Vu 2: Lost in Las Vegas - Icom Simulations
Demolition Man - Virgin Interactive Entertainment
Demon Driver - Haiku Studios
Discworld - Teeny Weeny Games
Dimo's Quest - SPC Vision
Domino - Wigant Interactive Media
Down in the Dumps - Haiku Studios
Dragon's Lair - Superclub / INTL CDI
Dragon's Lair 2- Time Warp - Superclub / INTL CDI
Drug wars - Crime Patrol II - CapDisc
Dungeons & Dragons - PF Magic
Earth Command - Visionary Media
Effacer - CapDisc
Escape from Cybercity - Fathom Pictures
Evidence - Microids
Falco & Donjon & The Sword of Inoxybur - BMi / Zephyr Studio
Family Games I - DIMA
Family Games II - Junk Food Jive - DIMA
Felix the Cat - Philips Sidewalk Studio
Flashback - Delphine/Tiertex (for US Gold)
Flinstones Wacky Inventions - Philips Funhouse
Fort Boyard: The Challenge - Microids
Frog Feast - Rastersoft

CD-i Games Index G-M

Go - CapDisc
Golden Oldies - SPC Vision
Golden Oldies II - SPC Vision
Golgo 13 - Japan Interactive Media
Great day at the races, A - CD-I Racing, Dove Films, Total Vision
Guignols de l'Info, Les - Canal+ Multimedia / INTL CDI
Heart of Darkness - Amazing Studio (for Virgin)
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The - Philips Kaleidoscope
Holland Casino CD-i - HMO
Hotel Mario - Philips Fantasy Factory
Inca - Coktel Vision
Inca 2 - Coktel Vision
International Tennis Open - Infogrames
Jack Sprite vs. The Crimson Ghost - PF Magic
Jeopardy - Accent Media
Jigsaw - Novalogic
Joe Guard - DIMA
John Dark: Psychic Eye - CapDisc
Joker's Wild!, The - Accent Media
Joker's Wild Jr., The - Accent Media
Kether - Infogrames
Kingdom - The far reaches - CapDisc
Kingdom 2 - Shadoan - CapDisc
Labyrinth of Crete - Philips Funhouse
Laser Lords - Spinnaker
Last Bounty Hunter, The - CapDisc
Legend of the Fort - Microids
Lemmings - DMA Design / Psygnosis
Lettergreep - Wigant Interactive Media
Lingo - SPC Vision
Link - The faces of evil - Animation Magic
Lion King, The - Virgin Interactive Entertainment
Litil Divil - Gremlin Graphics
Litil Divil 2: Limbo Years - Gremlin Graphics
Lords of the rising sun - Philips POV
Lost Eden - Cryo (for Virgin)
Lost Ride, The - Formula (Lost Boys)
Lucky Luke - The video game - SPC Vision
Mad Dog McCree - CapDisc
Mad Dog McCree II: The lost gold - CapDisc
Magic Eraser - Circle (for ZYX)
Mah-Jong - Japan Interactive Media
Making the Grade - 3T Productions
Man Before Man - Cryo
Marco Polo - Infogrames
Mario Takes America - CIGAM
Master Labyrinth - AVM AG/HQ
Mega Maze - CapDisc
Memory Works, The - Compact Disc Incorporated
Merlin's Apprentice - Philips Funhouse
Microcosm - Philips Freeland Studios
Micro Machines - Codemasters
Monty Python's Invasion from the Planet Skyron - Daedalus CD-i Productions
Mutant Rampage - Body Slam - Animation Magic
Myst - Sunsoft (for Cyan)
Mystic Midway - Rest in pieces - Philips POV
Mystic Midway 2 - Phantom Express - Philips POV

Compact Disc Interactive

Compact Disc Interactive

Games N-Z

Name that tune - Philips Fantasy Factory
New Day - Bits Corporation
NFL Hall of Fame Football - Philips POV
Othello - HMO
Pac Panic - Philips ADS / Namco
Palm Springs Open - ABC Sports / Fathom Pictures
Pool - SPC Vision
Pinball - CapDisc
Plunderball - ISG Productions
Power Hitter - ABC Sports / Fathom Pictures
Power Match - Two's Company
Pursue - BEPL
Pyramid Adventures - Compact Disc Incorporated
RAMRaid - PRL Redhill
Return To Cybercity - Fathom Pictures
Riddle of the Maze, The - Fathom Pictures
Riqa - Bits Corporation
Rise of the Robots - Mirage Technologies
Sargon Chess - Spinnaker
Scotland Yard Interactive - AVM AG/HQ
Secret Mission - Microids
Secret Name of Ra, The
Shaolin's Road - Infogrames
Skate Dude - Viridis
Smurfen, De - De Telesmurf - Infogrames
Solar Crusade - Infogrames
Solitaire - BEPL
Space Ace - Superclub / INTL CDI
Space Ranger - Studio Interactive
Special Operations Squadron - SPC Vision
Sport Freaks - SPC Vision
Star Trek - Philips POV
Star Wars: Rebel Assault - LucasArts
Steel Machine - SPC Vision
Striker Pro - Rage
Strip Poker Live - Greenpig Production
Strip Poker Pro - Interactive Pictures
Super Fighter - The Super Fighter Team / C&E
Super Mario's Wacky Worlds - NovaLogic
Surf City - Philips Sidewalk Studios
Tangram - Eaglevision Interactive Productions
Taco's Toyroom Troopers - Creative Media
Tankdoodle - Creative Media
Tetris - Philips POV
Tetsuo Gaiden - Creative Media
Text Tiles
Thieves' World - Electronic Arts
Tic-tac-toe - BEPL
Tox Runner - ISG Productions
Treasures of Oz - Philips Kaleidoscope
Ultra CD-i Soccer - Krisalis
Uncover featuring Tatjana - SPC Vision
Uninvited - Icom Simulations
Video Speedway - ISG Productions
Vinnie the Pinguin - Pandemonium Labs
Voyeur - Philips POV
Voyeur 2 - Philips POV
Whack-a-Bubble - Creative Media
What's it worth - Marshall Cavendish Multimedia / Spice
Who shot Johnny Rock? - CapDisc
Wordplay - BEPL
World Cup Golf - US Gold
Zaak Sam, De - Toneelschool NL
Zelda - The wand of Gamelon - Animation Magic
Zelda's Adventure - Viridis
Zenith - Radarsoft
Zombie Dinos From The Planet Zeltoid - Philips POV

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