>> Sunday, November 11, 2007
Every CD-i disc has a printed text box on the bottom of the boxart claiming: "This disc is fully compatible with every CD-i player displaying this symbol" (with an image right next to it of CD-i). However, recently we've seen some problems regarding a few titles like Family Games 2 which actually do have some problems on different TV formats. But what about Video-CD's? They also are coded PAL (European TV standard) or NTSC (USA TV standard), and what was the difference again? In theory any digitally encoded video recording, whether on tape or disc, can be replayed on any machine, anywhere in the world. The coded information -- basically numbers -- should be the same wherever the disc or tape is mastered, the conversion to local TV standards takes place inside the player or VCR. The reality is somewhat different, as we have already seen with some CDi releases; there are considerable variations in PAL and NTSC originated recordings that show up on replay.
Some -- like reduced picture height -- are merely annoying, others like deliberately or accidentally introduced coding differences can make discs from one country unplayable in another. We’ve come a long way in twenty years, but not so far that we will be able to watch anything we like, unless the powers that be permit it.
Cdifan elaborates: "Although there are some single-standard discs around (mainly professional titles, I think), most CD-i discs are dual-standard: they play on either PAL or NTSC units. The only difference between "US" and "European" versions of most discs is the packaging, the bits on them are often identical. Some players (CD-i 60x, 3xx) can be switched between PAL and NTSC, but that primarily affects the standard of the video output signal. You would need a dual-standard TV or monitor to handle this (lots of modern TVs do, at least here in Europe). If you can, stay away from the so-called Roboco and Mono-II models, these are known to have problems with some discs. You can use the Comparison table of all Philips and Philips-build consumer CD-i players to check specific player models; off the top of my head the "bad" models are the CD-i 200/20, 210/20, 220/40 and 450.
For compatibility purposes I would prefer the Philips CD-i 490, because it has the same 68070 processor as most other Philips players (the LG GDI 700 uses an 68341). The 490 also supports a splitter to use two pointing devices and a serial device (modem); I don't know of the 700 supports two pointing devices? Spare parts for the 490 may also be somewhat easier to find... Other than the above I don't think there's much difference, both players have 32KB of NVRAM and include a DV cartridge."
Thanks to David and cdifan