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Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Philips presented its final MSX2 computer as the first link between their audio and video concepts, plus being able to connect to CD-i


New Media Systems was a department within Philips that was responsible for the development of the MSX line of computers. Philips was previously active in MSX as well, and CD-i was for New Media Systems a follow-up to the MSX standard. To guarantee acceptance in the market, Philips came up with a concept to link both MSX2 and CD-i together. In the end we only know of some talk and rumours about this, but this picture shows a bit more concrete what Philips was planning to do (but never materialized, we still believe. New Media Systems was at a later point in time transformed into Philips Media Systems.


The picture above we recognize as the original CD-i 180 stack, made by Kyocera. This first modular CD-i approach used the same design as we see in the MSX-CD-i combination of the top picture. 

The final MSX-2 computer by Philips (New Media Systems)

What kind of elements could be present in the large stack at the top? There is clearly stating CD-i on the CD player, no doubt about that. It looks like a printer and an amplifier. This would be in line knowing that Philips showed here a concept to combine both audio and video tech together.
The picture on the top originates from the 'House of the Future', in dutch well-known as the "Huis van de Toekomst" that was built near the Autotron in the dutch village Rosmalen.


This House of the Future was designed by Chriet Titulaer, a famous Dutch atronomer. All kinds of high tech was present in this house including various CD-i systems. 

"For its release, Philips presented the VG-8235 as the first link of their audio-video-micro concept, being able to use the newly announced CD-i system, but few VG-8235 were ever actually seen connected to a CD-i."

The controlpad is combined with a numeric board here and a full keyboard is also part of the combination, something that we haven't seen in the CD-i version.



Jorg Kennis: "I've seen this picture before, but I think it is nothing more than concept art. In real life I've never seen a product like this that comes close to a link between MSX and CD-i.It is remarkable that the MMC module (The CD-i 181) has input ports shaped like MSX connectors that were used for the pointing devices, instead of the CD-i mini DIN ports that we know from the CD-i standard.



The VG8235 computer was actually a standard MSX2 computer. There was a CD-ROM extension cartridge for this, but we still have to research more on this"


[Thanks, Michiel Roos, Jorg Kennis]



4 comments:

  1. Very nice to know. Thanx. Mega interesting!

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  2. Bas Kornalijnslijper System on the picture has nothing with msx. It is a developer kit for cdi. There is a cd-rom interface for msx made by Philips, but only a few prototypes are found.
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    Sebastiaan Batenburg
    Sebastiaan Batenburg Not true, don't judge that fast. There is a MSX2 module in this set, no doubt about that. It's not pure cd-i either, you are mistaken by the 180 CD-i set. This is something different. BUT, it could be a non-working prototype, as we know the plans, but we have never seen it materialized. This picture truely does combine a MSX2 with CD-i. There is also a printer and an amplifier in. I'm sure that the link between MSX and CD-i is not more than a few prototypes either, but I'm convinced this is close to the fire.

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  3. Bas Kornalijnslijper If I am right CDI started at 1991 and Philips ended with msx in 1989
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    Sebastiaan Batenburg
    Sebastiaan Batenburg Not true. CD-i was developed in 1985/1986, overlapping with MSX. New Media Systems developed CD-i when they were still active with MSX (I'm no stranger in this subject). CD-i was released to market in 1991, that's true.
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    Bas Kornalijnslijper
    Bas Kornalijnslijper Sebastiaan Batenburg the first cdi was in 1991 on the market, plans are started in 1985. With sony and panasonic.
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    Sebastiaan Batenburg
    Sebastiaan Batenburg Bas Kornalijnslijper That depends, we have CD-i prototypes from 1987. CD-i was a concept between Philips, Sony and Matsushita, not Panasonic per se (=part of Matsushita). But within Philips, the department that was busy developing the hardware, New Media Systems, is the same department that was responsible for the MSX market.

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  4. The 8235 mentioned on the website is not the last Philips MSX, that honour goes to the 8280 from 1987 (if I'm right). The 8235 is from 1986. I find it hard to believe that MSX (Z80-based, 8 bit) and CDi (68000 based, so 16/32 bit) would be connected in a way. It's an entirely different architecture. Maybe the 'New Media Systems' figured that CDI would be their next thing after the MSX-series and the IBM PC-compatible series (NMS 9100 / P3105). Funny enough that NMS is used up to 1988, but computers after that only used the P-name or Headstart as brandname.

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