Released in 1991, the Commodore CDTV, although not badged as an Amiga, is more or less an Amiga 500 with CD-ROM drive included. It is housed in a ‘seperates’ Hi-Fi styled casing, which intended to be part of your home entertainment set up.
Considered a trailblazer now, the CDTV was way ahead of its time. Marketing the CDTV at the time was a challenge, as multimedia home computing was very much in its infancy. Unfortunately, technology and the market were not at the point where this kind of product was to prove popular. Retailers struggled to sell the product, with many being instructed to market the product as home entertainment, rather than computing.
Technically too, the specification in terms of chipset, RAM, and processor configuration is the same as the Amiga 500. The Motorola 68000 is present as well as 1mb of RAM as standard.
Adding peripherals to the CDTV meant it can be used essentially as an Amiga 500. Joysticks, mouse, keyboard and disk drives can all be added easily.
CDTV is another example of potential from Commodore, muddled with a poor reading of the marketplace. Ultimately, it was another failed system.
How to Emulate this system?
Commodore CDTV emulation is reasonably well catered for, so it is not that hard to find a good Commodore CDTV emulator. We recommend taking a look at RetroArch if you are seeking an all in one solution. RetroArch emulates a large number of systems including the Commodore CDTV. RetroArch is a front end that utilises emulator ‘cores’, it is reasonably easy to use and has lots of good supporting documentation on how to use it. RetroArch is available across a number of platforms including Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Raspberry Pi and many consoles. Take a look at our quick start guide for RetroArch which can get you up and running in 5 minutes.
The king of Amiga emulation has long reigned in the form of UAE. UAE provides emulation of all variances of the Commodore Amiga (including the CDTV and CD32). It allows emulation of all original stock hardware, but also of additional hardware such as hard drives and accelerator cards.
It is the most complete, all in one Commodore CDTV emulator you will find.
There are a few flavours of UAE available. Depending upon your platform and also skill level, you will find something that suits your needs.
The most configurable and advanced Amiga emulator. Recommended if you want to play around with depth settings and recreating your old Amiga set up more accurately. Check out WinUAE here.
This package is very much focussed on gaming and has a much more accessible interface. Definitely recommended if you want to primarily play games with minimal fuss. Check out FS-UAE here.
A really good all in one solution to experience the Amiga on your Windows PC. The package contains all you need to get running out of the box. This is the best plug and play Commodore CDTV emulator if you are not confident with setting up emulators. Check out Amiga Forever here.
A UAE port for Android. Provides a very good level of emulation of all stock Amiga hardware. But, can be used on the go on your mobile device. Check out UAE4ALL here.