Philips CD-i 601

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The CD-i 660 is the first professional and institutional CD-i-player that was primarily introduced for education, training and point of sale techniques. In practice, however, this model was mainly used for software development and debugging.

The 601 had twee extension slots for adding memory and communication extensions, like servers, SCSI (Hard-disc), Ethernet, Centronics Port and additional memory. It used a caddy loading system. Dedicated Philips caddy’s, equal to the CD-i 180/1 caddy system, were necessary for inserting disc’s.

Caddy system on my 601

The 601 is identical to the 602 except for the lack of a floppy disk drive. Both systems came bundled with a CD-i mouse, but could also accept wired inputs and infra-red inputs. It was even advertised that touch screens and tablets could be attached to the system. A novelty at the time.

The 601 could not be extended with a Digital Video Cartridge (DVC). Although it was advertised that full-motion video could be produced by an extension kit, in line with the CD-i concept. I don’t know if this was meant to be the latter introduced DVC.

The System supports PAL and NTSC signals and 110-120/220-240V. The voltage could be changed with a small physical switch at the back of the console. TV’s with either 525 or 625 scan lines were accepted.

The 601 could be connected to a TV via RGB-scart, Y/C or CVBS inputs. The RGB-scart is a special version connection because the cable has a scart-output and a dedicated VGA-input.

With only between 100–500 units produced, it is one of the rarest consoles ever produced. Prove that it is one of the first CD-i models and also not consumer orientated is provided in the fact that no model number is displayed on the box (only on the sticker) and that it came with an ‘erratum’ for the manual to repair text-mistakes.

NameCD-I 601
TypeProfessional Console
Year of introduction1990
Rarity score
92: epic
SuccessorCD-i 602
RAM1 mb

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