Laserware. (Compact Disc Interactive technology) (Special Anniversary Issue)
by Denny Atkin, David Sears
Recent innovations could change the way we regard our favorite optically-based storage device.
The Commodore booth at CES was almost entirely devoted to CDTV, a portent of the impending consumer interest in CD technology.
North American Philips/Magnavox was once again showing their long-delayed CD-I (Compact Disc-Interactive) player, this time promising that it would ship in October. Similar in concept to CDTV, the CD-I player has a few advantages: it sports a 16-million-color palette, a slightly faster processor and, most important, has the marketing muscle of Magnavox, Sony, and Matsushita (Panasonic) behind it. However, it also has its share of disadvantages: It's more expensive ($1400 compared to CDTV's $999), and its "thumbstick" controller is less familiar to American kids than the CDTV's Nintendo-like joypad (and more fragile).
Another CD product making the rounds was Sony's consumer-oriented CD-ROM drive for the IBM PC. Called the Laser Library, the system consists of an external CD-ROM drive with audio capability and a collection of six topnotch CD-ROM titles. The entire library retails for $699.
With Kodak's new Photo CD, you can take pictures using conventional 35mm film, and then have those photos developed and stored on compact disc for viewing on a TV or for use in image-processing software. Photo CDs will work with either a CDTV, CD-I, or dedicated Photo CD player. Kodak expects Photo CD processing to be available by June 1992.