Project: CD-Online internet service, TV-based
browser, and TV-optimized web site
was a London-based internet service for owners of Philips
Compact-Disc Interactive (CD-I) players. Consumers
needed only a standard modem and a special cable to
turn their CD-I players into the world's first TV internet
browsers. The service was launched in September 1995.
All application software (web browser, email client, and newsgroup reader) was resident on the CD-I discs.
As part of their subscription, consumers received quarterly update discs containing updated software as well as new editorial content including animations and MPEG-1 motion video.
| Geared for "surfing
on the sofa" by nontechnical users, the browser
interface was easy to use and graphically elegant.
The CD-Online web site was optimized for television through the use of strong forms, unsaturated colours, and special fonts. Site graphics from the CD-Online site and other recommended sites were cached on the CD-I disc for faster loading.
Focusing on London entertainment, the site included links about upcoming movies. Clicking a link on the site could trigger a MPEG movie trailer to play instantly from hidden files on the disc.
|For email, consumers composed
messages offline using an on-screen virtual keyboard
or an optional hardware keyboard.
When viewers logged on, the system uploaded any waiting outgoing messages, downloaded new messages, and deleted messages so marked still residing on the server.
(The duck in the upper right corner is a user token up to four household members could have a token, set of preferences, and list of favorite sites.)