60 Hz Modification Tutorial for Philips CD-i Player CDI 220

When looking for a modification to improve the video size/quality of DVC games on my PAL CD-i player I’ve found that two tutorials only are covering that kind of modification (here / here and here). The modification enables PAL player to display full screen video without the black bars on top and bottom. NTSC players benefit from this modification too as there are PAL exclusive software titles that already have full screen video (e.g. De Zaak van Sam) – without the modification parts of the screen are cut off.

Unfortunately the mainboard of my CD-i 220 differs to those used in the tutorials, so I had to get a service manual to figure it out myself. The service manual I found is valid for the Philips CD-i players CDI 220/20 220/25 220/39 (PAL) and CDI 220/31 220/37 (NTSC). It says there is an unimplemented connector 1201 in square C6 of the mainboard:

C6 schematic view

Next to it are two spots for 1k resistors that set the video output of the CD-i player. Resistor 3246 is for NTSC and 3243 is for PAL. According to the blueprints the spots are on the bottom side of the mainboard:

C6 blueprint top side  C6 blueprint bottom side

Parts and equipment needed for the modification

  • a 1kΩ resistor
  • a  SPDT (single pole, double throw) switch, DPDT is fine too
  • a 3-way ribbon cable
  • heat shrink tube
  • a Torx T8 or T9 screw driver
  • solder and a soldering iron
  • a sharp knife and rotary tool to cut a hole in the front panel

Tutorial

Philips doesn’t use Philips screws but Torx screws, a T8 or T9 screwdriver is fine to open the case. Note: I didn’t mark all screws in the pictures!
First remove seven screws to open the outer shell and then six screws to remove the DVC slot. The DVC can stay in the slot.

CDI 220 back view   CDI 220 inside view

When the DVC slot is gone you have access to the mainboard. Next remove the connector to the power supply PCB (yellow circle). The thing in the red circle is a ghetto repair of the infamous timekeeper chip. At least it keeps the settings/high scores again but the clock stops when the player is turned off – I’ll have to look into that sometime.
The yellow circle in the right picture marks the target area (C6).

CDI 220 mainboard   CDI 220 mainboard C6

Next remove eight screws from the backside and four screws / three connectors from the front panel.
Pay attention when working with the disc drive: First remove two screws, then pull out the tray until two holes align above two more screws. Remove them and carefully lift the disc drive, it is attached with three connectors to the mainboard. One connector is a very fragile flex cable.

CDI 220 disc drive   CDI 220 disc drive

The mainboard is secured with two screws, take them out and you can finally have a look underneath it.

This is a close-up of the target area. Remove resistor 3243 (marked with a red X):

CDI 220 mainboard C6

Solder the ribbon cable to the spots shown (+5V, * and ground). You can also solder them on the top side of the mainboard – just follow the * point and use any +5V and ground point available.

CDI 220 mainboard C6

Now connect the mainboard to PSU, disc drive and front panel to test your modification. When the player is turned off connect * with a 1k resistor to +5V, then start up a DVC enabled game and check if the black bars are gone. Turn off the player, connect * with the 1k resistor to ground and check if the black bars are there again.

When everything works as expected then disassemble the front panel to find a place for the PAL/NTSC switch. The display PCB is held by seven screws and the input/phones/volume knob PCB by two screws. Be careful when assembling it later, don’t put screws into the two holes marked with red circles – you could possibly damage the display!
I have marked a place to cut out the hole for the switch on the right picture.

CDI 220 front panel PCBs   CDI 220 front panel

A good place for the switch is behind the small front panel door. As there is limited space I had to cut off some plastic of the switch until the door would close again. When it fits then solder the 1k resistor to the middle pole, * to the resistor and +5V/ground to poles left and right. Optional: Isolate resistor and cables with heat shrink tube.

CDI 220 front panel door   CDI 220 front panel door

Check again if the switch works and then assemble everything,
Done – you can now enjoy full screen DVC games as they were intended to be!

CDI 220 new front

32 thoughts on “60 Hz Modification Tutorial for Philips CD-i Player CDI 220”

  1. Could you by any chance mail it to me or give a link? 🙂

    My model is a 210/20, but the differences can’t be too big, right?

    1. Unfortunately I can’t help you. It’s a printed manual and I haven’t found a digital copy yet.
      According to this list the 210/20 has the same mainboard as the 220/40. The other two tutorials mentioned above should be ok for your model.

      1. Okay 🙂 What I needed the manual for isn’t for this modification.

        Do you know how many volts the power supply output to the mainboard?

          1. Thanks a lot! 🙂 That really helped. Seems like my CD-i’s power supply is broken. All pins show correct voltage, except for pin 5. It shows 0 instead of 25v.

            Do you know how I could go about repairing or replacing the power supply? 😉

          2. All I can tell you is to look for broken components and to replace them.
            Maybe it’s easier to buy another 210 for replacement parts, it’s the basic model and very cheap.

  2. Well, I would love to just buy another one, but it’s nearly impossible to find CD-i’s around here. This one is the first I’ve seen in my life…

    Do you know if any other old Philips products (maybe VCRs) use the same power supply? 🙂

    1. Don’t know about other Philips products, but I’m pretty sure it’s a custom module for this CDI player.
      Have a look at ebay.nl or .de, the 210 is very cheap there. Maybe a seller is willing to send you just the power module – this should keep the shipping costs low.

  3. Awesome mod! Works like a charm on my 210! 🙂

    On another note, I have a 220 here which has one curious issue – the “open”-button doesn’t work properly!

    If you press the button (at any time) it will not open the tray – the belt has been replaced, so it’s not the problem. BUT, if you manage to open the tray (e.g. with the casing open), the button will actually CLOSE the tray when pressed.

    Any idea what’s wrong here?

    1. Thanks, good to hear! 🙂

      Sounds like a sensor or logic issue to me.
      Some things you can check:

      – When you gently pull the closed tray out for about 1cm (e.g. with the help of a screwdriver) it should continue to open by itself (It’s the same behaviour as when the Eject button is pressed.)

      – When you have the case open check the wires and and connectors from and to the CD drive.

      I’ll post instructions on how to start the built-in self-test routines at a later time…

  4. Hi rosewood!

    Yep, pulling out the tray (or pushing it, when the casing is off) will have the result you described.

    Checking the cables between the drive and the main-pcb… no difference!

    Except for the eject the console is working properly. No other issues.

    1. I’ve added instructions for testing the front panel buttons here.
      When the test confirms that all buttons work as intended then open the drive tray by hand.
      Push the button to let the tray close just a little bit, imediately push the button again and see if it opens again. If it does then repeat opening and closing the tray with the button. Let it move in a little further each time until you find the position where it gets stuck.

  5. OK. Next round!

    I open the tray by pushing it a little from behind (with the casing removed). It opens automatically without any slowing down. If I press the OPEN-button during this phase it will (only) close.

    Once opened, I can close the tray normally by pressing the OPEN-button. THE TRAY WILL NOT OPEN IF I PRESS THE BUTTON AGAIN!

    Next thing – the self test. This does not seem to work on my unit as I have attempted it several times now. The player only starts up normally, no change on the display.

    Is it possible that this is could be a promotional unit with a special firmware installed?

    I remember a very similar behaviour on a car radio I bought some years ago on eBay. They had installed/activated a special firmware or function that would shut down (most of) the front panel’s buttons. Once you flashed it to a “standard” firmware it would function normally (again).

    1. Now that you mentioned promotional unit, there is a lock function that is supposed to prevent you from opening the tray, to enable or disable it hold ‘STOP’ when turning on the player. I haven’t thought of it because on my player it only hides the ‘open’ command on the screen, the button still works.

  6. That fixed it. 🙂

    Well, and it explains a lot. Because the 220 still contained a demonstration disc + the original cdi-advert-sticker was still on the display.

    Most likely a demonstration unit of sorts.

    Anyway, thank you for your help! 🙂

  7. Hi,

    Is there any info or specs for the little belt that drives the cd tray in and out?

    Great info! Thanks!

    1. The part number for the belt in CDI220/20 is 4822 358 31168. A rubber band found in the kitchen does the job as good as the original belt though.

  8. Please. Help me.

    Do you have the mainboard and servo circuit diagrams of philips cdi 220?

    1. The CDI220 was built with five different mainboard layouts – which revision are you having trouble with?

  9. Dear Friend, maybe you could help me.

    Do you know if the tension from mainboard that feeds the optical pick-up unit doing it to emit laser light is +5v? (Optical Unit is CDM12.4)

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