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VideoNow logo.jpg
Media typeOptical disc
Capacity450 MB,[1] up to 30 minutes.
Developed byHasbro
DimensionsVideoNow: 85 mm (3.3 in) diameter
VideoNow Color: 4.25 in (108 mm) diameter
UsageVCD/DVD/CD players
Extended fromCD
ReleasedOctober 1, 2003[2]

The VideoNow is a portable video player produced by Hasbro and released by their subsidiary Tiger Electronics in 2003. The systems use discs called PVDs (which stands for Personal Video Disc), which can store about 30 minutes (half an hour) of video,[3] the length of an average TV show with commercials (a typical TV episode is about 20–23 minutes without them), so each PVD contains only one episode, with trailers at the end to use the leftover time on most PVDs, including Nickelodeon PVDs. Video data is stored on the left audio channel with audio on the right channel, thus making it impossible to achieve stereo sound on the system, which only plays in black and white. The video plays at 15fps. Most of the shows were from Nickelodeon, such as SpongeBob SquarePants and The Fairly OddParents,[4] and later they released shows from Cartoon Network, such as Ed, Edd n Eddy and Dexter's Laboratory, Disney only mostly released episodes of America’s Funniest Home Videos and one Hannah Montana music video. A small amount of movies were also released on the system, but due to the limited space on a PVD, said movies would have to be released on at least three discs, depending on the length of said film.

Hasbro also produced editing software for creating custom VideoNow Color PVDs called the VideoNow Media Wizard in 2005, which came with blank PVD media. A number of unofficial solutions are available for creating the oddly-formatted VideoNow files, including a plug-in for the popular video processing program Virtual Dub. The files can then be burned to a CD-R using standard CD burning software, and the disc cut down to the required size.

As the VideoNow Color does not accept standard 8 cm mini-CDs, some creative users have resorted to cutting down standard 12 cm CD-R discs, though not without problems. Hasbro made recordable PVDs available without the Media Wizard from their online store. However, at least one video has been posted on YouTube showing how VideoNow Color players can be easily modified to accept standard-sized CDs with a bit of cutting and gluing.[5] Full-sized CDs can hold roughly 42 minutes of total video, and play with no difference in the modified player.

Because VideoNow uses video discs and has very little skip protection, it is more prone to skipping if the VideoNow is touched, bumped, or shaken while playing a PVD. It was discontinued in 2010.[citation needed]


Standard Models[edit]

  • VideoNow - The first model, released in 2003. Its screen has a resolution of 80×80, is black and white, and isn't backlit.[4] Instead, users would need to buy an official light accessory to use the device in the dark. PVDs made for this model are also much smaller than those made for later models. It uses 85 mm (3.3 in) discs.[3]
A VideoNow Color without a disc inserted.
  • VideoNow Color - The second model, Released in 2004. Its most notable improvement over the original model is the screen, which along with the ability to display in full color, now has a resolution of 240×160 and a backlight. Another improvement is the ability to fast forward and rewind the video, while the first model only allowed for going between chapters. It is also backwards compatible with the original model's PVDs, though the image is cropped due to differing resolutions. It uses 4.25 in (108 mm) discs.[6]
  • VideoNow Jr. - The third model, released by subsidiary Playskool in 2004. It is a variation of the VideoNow Color designed for preschoolers, with a more childish design, rubberized corners, bigger buttons for ease of use, and two eject hatches which have to be pulled at the same time to minimize the risk of opening the disc tray by accident. The PVDs for this system are also heavily flexible in order to prevent them from breaking when bent. Despite this, they can be played in a VideoNow Color and vice versa.
  • VideoNow XP - The fourth model, released in 2005. It uses a clamshell design, has a larger screen than the VideoNow Color, and was designed with functionality for FMV games. Standard PVDs released during the XP's lifespan would also feature a simple trivia game with questions about the episode included, which could only be played on the XP. If a PVD game is put into a VideoNow Color or Jr, the footage will play in the order it is stored on the disc.
  • VideoNow Color FX - The fifth and final model, released in 2006. It is effectively a rerelease of the VideoNow Color that uses translucent plastic.

Special editions[edit]


  • VideoNow Light was a light accessory made for the original VideoNow, as it didn't have a backlight or its own. It requires a separate AA battery.
  • A carrying case was made to store VideoNow and 5 PVDs in. There are 4 types, one each model.
  • VideoNow-branded headphones were available with a standard 3.5 mm audio jack.
  • VideoNow Media Wizard included basic editing software used to make custom PVDs to play on a Color/fx, XP, and Jr.
  • VCamNow was a VideoNow-branded camcorder that came with a copy of the Media Wizard.

Shows included on VideoNow XP[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Personal Video Disk (PVD) (2003 – 2006)". Museum Of Obsolete Media. Retrieved 1 July 2017.
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b Children's Software & New Media Revue. Active Learning Associates. 2004. p. 5.
  4. ^ a b Forgotten Media: VideoNow. 2011-09-18. Archived from the original on 2021-12-13.
  5. ^ VideoNow Color Mod Uncut Cdr. 2007-02-07. Archived from the original on 2021-12-13.
  6. ^ Laporte, Leo; Miller, Michael (2005). Leo Laporte's 2006 Gadget Guide. Que. p. 149. ISBN 978-0-7897-3395-5.

External links[edit]