What is a Timekeeper?
The Timekeeper is the CD-i NVRAM chip. It will keep the settings, time and date of your player and the saved games (storage). Hidden inside the chip, a little lithium battery is placed with a longevity up to 10 years or more if the player is stocked in optimal conditions (temperature, humidity).
This is not the place where they are stored, this it just the mechanism to keep them recorded, just like a lithium battery keep the BIOS setup in a computer.
The World of CD-i Chronicle #22
I bought a CD-i 450 player in February (when the World was still “normal”) as 2nd hand.
The player wasn’t reading any discs and the Timekeeper was dead.
Here we are going to solve all those problems, together!
This CD-i 470/20 is from Thorsbabelis, a member of our website who asked me to repair his player.
Thank you for the trust you placed on me to touch, open and fix your beautiful player!
Beside the Timekeeper, the door was also making noise and didn’t close completely, needing the help of our hand to completely close it.
Sadly, many of our CD-i players no longer have a working timekeeper. Some people have managed to fix this issue with skill and ingenuity (here, here and here), but for those people who are happy to keep their player as it is, without being able to save high scores, please note that certain titles that I’ve identified recently require you to set the time 🙂
I usually play Earth Command at Christmas! 2022 was the first year that my 740 player no longer had a working battery. For some reason, Earth Command wouldn’t play – I just had a blank screen. I realised that the game monitors how long you’re in post as Commander, and displays the date at the top of the screen – and this relates to the timekeeper! So you must set the time before loading the CD-i!!
But without a doubt, the most bizarre aspect relating to the timekeeper is that of trying to play Interactive Video Charts 1995. I first discovered these titles back in the early/mid 2000’s but for some strange reason, no 1995 discs would play on any of my machines – apart from the FW380i. Why? 1994, 1996 and 1997 discs all played fine! In the last month or so, I realised that, to play these 1995 titles, the clock must be set to the year 1995 🙂 So, if the timekeeper is still working, the CD-is won’t play! And if the time is not set, or is set to 2023, they also won’t work. Go back in time to 1995 though and, hey presto, you’ll be able to enjoy fantastic music videos from the ‘club classics’ era 😉
If there are any other CD-i titles that you know of that require setting the clock, please do let us know!