>> Monday, October 29, 2007
The Philips CD-i 6xx series marked the professional side of CD-i. The CD-i 601 was the first stand-alone CD-i player for professional applications. Available with a floppy disk drive as CDI 602. The system could not be extended with a Digital Video cartridge. Next was the CD-i 602, identical to the CDI 601, but equiped with a floppy disk drive for additional storage capabilities. The system could also not be extended with a Digital Video cartridge. In essence, the CDI 604 is a CDI 602 with a CD-drawer, but this player was based upon a different PCB, and as such offers upgradability for Digital Video by a modified 9141 cartridge (removed from cartridge housing and with a different ROM). Finally, the CD-i 605 was designed for CD-i authoring puposes, this player featured 5 MB of RAM, SCSI, ethernet and parallel ports and additional diagnostic tools in the player shell. There were two versions, the first of which was not capable of Digital Video upgradability, the second one could be upgraded like the CDI 604. Now, a few CD-i members share some memories about the possibilities of the CD-i 604.
"You should be able to use the network kit by dialing into a PC and using internet connection sharing. I know some people have done this with the Dreamcast, but personally I never got it to work. The original CD-i internet software dialed to a modembank connected to a SGI indy system. CD-i 604, It won't run MediaMogul. It's just a CD-i player in a different color. Or did this one have network and scsi connectors? You should be able to compile programs and run them from the floppy drive though."
To make your own CD-i title (like with Mogulike), you need to know "C", but you can also program at a lower level directly in assembly (with the Green Book as help) or at a higher level with MediaMogul (this uses scripting, I think there's also a manual for that on blackmoonproject). But don't think it's easy to just develop a CD-i program (and you'd better get a CDI605T, the floppy disk space is going to run out pretty fast).
"Trying the CD-i 604, MediaMogul (2.2.1) does the same as on my 220. It runs, shows the main menu and the mousepointer stays an hourglass, I can click on everything but it doesn't work at all. Although, it takes a long time before MediaMogul has loaded. You will see a hourglass for a very long time and then the screen goes black for a short moment, and then you 're in MediaMogul. (2.2.1) In the main menu do not click on 'CDRTOS' unless you have a CDi keyboard attached to your player. Otherwise the only alternative that's left is restart te player."
The 604 is not an authoring system, take a look at ICDIA. Only the CDI180 (and then only with the third module installed), the 605T and the I2M card are authoring systems AFAIK. I do have a second CDI605T authoring player, but IIRC the cd-mechanism is was not working properly. You can use the networking connection on the 604 via RTOS and there are probably disks that use this.
The video and network cartridge are two seperate cartidges. There is also some sort of video overlay cartridge, but I've never had one of those in my hands so I'm only speculating that it would do video overlay....
CDi media storage of the 604 was typical, or , "How to make something 4000 times more expensive than a normal CD tray" 1.) press two contact points and pull out CD holder. 2.) mount CD, then insert into clear case. The CD mechanism is strange. Push the cart into the unit,then pull it out. The Cd remains in the unit, and the case is now empty. Great huh? Unless the Cd is in jammed, or you try to put two CDs in by mistake ... This was later changed. The last model had a Tray drive and supported the Zip 100. There were two versions of the 605: CDI605/00 and CDI605/20 (the latest one has a tray instead of a caddy loader, and it indicated CDI605T (for Tray). Only this later model can be fitted with a (special - not the consumer model) Digital Video cartridge.
"How to connect CD-i to PC through LAN and what software to use?" Thinnet bnc, you can connect CD-i to PC via telnet/ftp and vice-versa. "what kind of diskdrive is in the CD-i (DD or HD?)" Both "are floppy's PC formatted or else?" OS-9 formatted, but there are programs to read pc-formatted disks. "what is the function of the floppydrive, what to put on it, load from it, save to it? and how to?" you can just use it like the hard drive. Read the OS-9 command summary from icdia.
For using OS-9 you don't need a keyboard, but you'll need to attach a serial terminal to the CD-i player. Simply connect the CD-i to a PC and you can use CD-RTOS from there or send the output to the TV-screen.
Mastering OS-9 is not too hard; it's similar to unix with different names for the commands. All the commands with unix/dos equivalents are listed too in the ICDIA iirc. Only thing to remember is that you have to set the execution directory seperatly.
The 604/605 has a menu screen that acts like a basic interface. External controls can be used along with add-ons, like the MPEG card.One cardslot on the 604 is for digital video cartridge, the other is for an expansion card (scsi/par/eth or other (overlay?)). I think I tried using the scsi/par/eth card from a 605 in a 602 or 601 but it didn't work IIRC. So maybe this card will only work with the 605. There is an ethernet port available. However this is not the standard ethernet board nor the other expansion board I remember. The name and layout (looks like it mirrors the DVC in some ways?) suggest to me that it's something for Video-on-demand:
Philips published a dutch article explaining it: "enkele experimenten worden gedaan met het IMAGENET systeem en ze gaat in op de architectuur van het systeem en de voordelen van cd-i als netwerkterminal en ontwikkelomgeving. De presentatie zal bestaan uit een algemene inleiding over het verschil tussen VOD (Video on Demand) en NVOD (Near VOD) en de benadering van Philips Research in het IMAGENET-project."
"Een stap verder gaan de video-on-demand toepassingen die momenteel in ontwikkeling zijn. Zo ontwikkelt Philips het Imagenet-systeem waarmee het mogelijk wordt om multimediale informatie (inclusief complete films) via een netwerk (vanaf ±1,5 Mbit/s) aan te bieden. De apparatuur bij de gebruiker bestaat uit een cd-i-speler met een netwerkinterface. Hiermee kan de gebruiker een film op ieder gewenst tijdstip starten en stoppen of bijvoorbeeld terugspoelen. Een mogelijk gebruikersscherm om films te kiezen. Imagenet is in de praktijk getest op het Roskilde-popfestival. Hierbij werd het gebruikt voor interactieve informatieterminals waarmee achtergrondinformatie kon worden opgezocht over de optredens en de bands in de vorm van foto’s, tekst en video. Ontwerp en implementatie van een TCP/IP interface voor een CD-i player aan een Video On Demand Server met verschillende hardware componenten aan een CD-i player."
The two boards where special made by Imagenet. The top board with T1C1 has a special connector. It's for a T1 telephone line. The C1 stands for the image stream from the server. If on the top board no MPEG decoder is present then the bottom board is a special developed MPEG board. These boards where developed to connect CD-i players to a server. From the server they could get Video on Demand (VOD) or in this case CDi content on demand. This setup was tested on the auto-RAI of 1995. Unfortunately there where instability problems with the TCP/IP connection and the CD-i players had to be reset several times a day. The problem was not solved. Also the CDi-content was poor.
Imagenet was a very important group within Philips. They developed new extentions on present hardware to gain more market. According to my contactperson it was very difficult to make software for the CDi player due to a difficult OS and a really bad authoring package. This made it difficult for external developers to make software quick and easy. Also the choice of the processor was wrong. It was too slow."
From Emulator and Emulation, Philips IMS TSA Technica Note number 6: "The CDI 180/181 player is the original CDI player and can be connected to the optional 182 expansion module which contains 1 MB of expansion (system) memory, SCSI controller, serial port, parallel port, optional thin-wire ethernet interface and two floppy disk drives. The Philips CDI 605 player, which is very similar to the consumer players (CDI 910 and CDI 205) contains a floppy disk drive, two serial ports, 4 MB of expansion memory, SCSI controller, parallel port and a thinwire ethernet interface."
In short: you can develop without the 182, but it's not very easy; I think the basic 180/181 unit does not even have a serial port! The 605 is really a better platform, even without the extension board.
"However, you no longer need a "real" player for development; it's actually easier with CD-i Emulator (shameless plug here). You have debugging facilities that CD-i developers could only dream about in the old days: single-stepping the hardware, full system call trace and memory access trace, memory watch points, arbitrary memory inspection, ... This is all a bit undocumented right now, but that will change, and there is a built-in usage function of the emulator debugger.
Even the time-limited version is useful; it's not crippled in any way except for the time limit and the NVRAM saving, and for development three minutes of running time usually plenty, especially when you have things like level select, etc. I have done very little compatibility testing outside the time limit..." Read more about CD-i Emulator here.
Thanks to: Cougarcdi, djkoelkast, erronous, cdifan