Tekkiepix Hat Logo
Tekkiepix, an archive gallery of historic technology pictures and stories
Initially supported by a Shiers Trust grant from the Royal Television Society 
The kind of pictures you will see on this site


Picture Stories 
Contact Us



Page Bottom 
CD Video (not to be confused with Video CD)


"Welcome to tomorrow", said the label on a golden CD, inviting the press to "celebrate...the launch of a new phenomenon" at a swish Kensington night club in September 1987.

 The phenomenon was CD Video, cooked up by Philips and Polygram, and not the same as Video CD.

 VCD recorded sound and video on a 5" CD as digital code. CDV stored the sound digitally, and the pictures as analogue waves like a laser video disc.

Whereas a 12" Laser Disc stored an hour on each side, the 5" CDV could store only around 5 minutes of video. But it could also hold 20 minutes of digital stereo.

The idea was that a record company would record a pop video on a CDV, along with a sound-only version of the same music. An ordinary CD player ignored the analogue video and played the audio; a CDV player played the video.

Confused? So were consumers. So CDVs were pressed from gold-coloured plastics to distinguish them from audio CDs.

 There was also a plan to sell 12" CDVs, like Laser Discs. A Combi player, costing £500, would play all types and sizes of disc.

 Philips officially "launched" CDV  in America at the Consumer Electronics Show in June 1987, and in September at the Berlin Funkausstellung exhibition and London nightclub.  Guests saw high quality video pictures on a large projection screen. But the party pictures were coming from broadcast Betacam tapes.

CDV's own pictures were poor because even enhanced servo control would not let a single turntable cope with all disc sizes and spin speeds.

Pioneer used two turntables and got better pictures, but judged the name Compact Disc Video confusing when applied to 12" discs. So Pioneer called them Laser Discs.

Players and discs went on sale in 1988, but none of the other record companies backed Polygram's lead, so CDV quickly disappeared. A few players re-surfaced, revamped as super-hi-fi CD players thanks to the enhanced servo.

Promotion by Curiousity killed the Cat for CD Video System CD Video System
CD Video System track layout
Pop group endoresement
and the track layout for a CD Video Disc


CD Video System CD Video System
CD Video System CD Video System
CD Video players were bulky beasts because they had to take 12 inch disc as well as 5 inchers

The confusing variety of disc sizes and types
CD Video System

CD Video System

Grundig supported Philips with players too, but nothing could save the system from oblivion




Tekkiepix Hat Logo



Any constructive comments are welcomed. Please send to the email address below:

comments (at) tekkiepix.com

To stop this address being auto-harvested by spammers, the @ symbol has been replaced by (at) so please change to @ when replying.

Page Top 
 Home Picture Stories | Timeline | Copyright | About | Thanks | Contact Us

Copyright © 2015 Barry Fox Tekkiepix All Rights Reserved