Philips "CDI" Video Compact Disc?

Last weekend, I purchased a Philips “CDI” set at a yard sale-for $5.00! This appears to be a early (ca 1995) version of a video disc. It also plays audio CDs-but the seller wasn’t sure if it would play DVDs. I figure-at worst I’m out $5.00-anyway, this came with a few discs with vidoe, and the video quality was pretty good! What happened to this format-did Philips take a bath on this one?

CDI? Wow. I never heard of that until this past fall semester. I had an acting class, and had to buy a copy of a play. On the front cover it mentions not to duplicate the play in any form, and it listed a few forms, one of which was CDI.
We all wondered what the Hell CDI was, not even my nerd friends knew (that’s saying a lot, because this is a heavy nerd quotient school.) Now I know. Cool. I want one.

CD-i is/was an early CD format which included interactive content, video clips, menus and so on. Apparently some people still consider it the best medium for making branching training presentations and the like. CD-i is different than Video-CD, which contains only compressed video on a CD, and is a precursor to DVD.

CD-i players definitely won’t play DVDs.

The CD-i FAQ for more information.

My first job in college was working testing video games on the CD-I format. (I even got my name on the credits for Mad Dog McCree.) It was a pretty good product, but Phillips didn’t market it very well. It died as a consumer product, but seemed to flourish as a presentation device, as Sunspace mentioned. (Ok, flourish is a bit strong. It did better there.)
As a game machine one of it’s biggest drawbacks was the fact that they never came up with a very good joystick/controller. Probably, another big reason it didn’t sell very well.

Basically, you just bought yourself a CD player for five bucks. I consider that a great deal. And, you might be able to pick up a few CD-I games or videos at yard sales or thrift stores. Just don’t plan on seeing American Beauty or the latest John Madden football game for CD-I.


Wasn’t Phillips’ CDI player their ill-fated 3DO, or was that something else?

3D0 was something else entirely.
It was made by Panasonic.
I don’t remember much about it. I don’t think I ever used it.