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© 1997-2006
Gareth Knight
All Rights reserved

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Wonder TV A6000 and A6060

Developer: Lotus Pacific
Launch date: 1998

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It came as a surprise during late 1997 when Chinese company, Lotus Pacific announced they had bought the Amiga patents. The Western world had focussed upon the Gateway acquisition and were shocked at the thought of the machine being sold again. The basis of this announcement was investigated by Gateway, who took legal action against the company. Lotus Pacific's claims stemmed from a 1995 deal between Newstar/Tianjin Family Electronic and Escom to sell Amigas in the Japanese market. When they went into liquidation the company was bought by Rightiming Electronics Corporation (REC), which in turn was taken over by Lotus Pacific. The newly-formed Amiga International disputted this, stating the previous agreement could not be transferred to another company. An examination of the original Escom press release indicates a licence was only given for production and trading, not complete ownership of Amiga patents in that area of the world. For a time there appeared to be a huge court battle looming over the Amiga again, until the two companies reached an agreement and Lotus Pacific appeared on the list of official licenses at the beginning of 1998.
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The WonderTV A6000 and A6060 machines appear to be based upon a custom Amiga motherboard, designed by several ex-Commodore employees and DCE of Germany. They represent one of many attempts at bridging the gap between computer and information appliance, combining the following functions:

  • Amiga Computer
  • Fax Machine
  • Internet Box
  • Audio CD and CD+G Player
  • MPEG Video CD Player
  • Karaoke Player
  • PhotoCD Viewer (optional)
  • Access to the REC TeleWeb broadcast information system(A6060 only)
The system specification for the machine are nothing special but do provide a relatively low-cost machine for Internet browsing
  • 68020 CPU (68030 Optional)
  • AGA Chipset
  • 2 Megs Chip/ 7 Megs Fast
  • MPEG Decoder Board
  • "High Speed" IDE CD-Rom
  • PC HD Floppy
  • Ports for:
  • VGA, RF (NTSC or PAL),
  • S-Video and RCA Composite
  • PC Keyboard
  • Serial and Parallel Devices
  • Amiga Joystick and Joypad
  • REC IR Remote (like CDTVs)
  • 2 Microphone Inputs
  • R-L Audio Out

TeleWeb Broadcast Information Service

During October 1997, Lotus Pacific announced a cooperation with the Chinese Central Television Teletext based upon the Wonder TV A6060 that would give subscribers access to cable channels and the internet. This eventually led to the development of the TeleWeb broadcasting network. This is an Internet based system that broadcasts information to the home user through the cable TV network. It is similar to schemes throughout the US and European market; a "small" monthly fee is required, allowing access to community networks, providing local information, as well as programme information, shopping, finances and education. A present the system is only available to Shanghai residents, although it seems likely that this could be expanded to other regions, or even countries in the future.

WonderTV Screen

Desktop Model

In the past REC have referred to an A5800 desktop model that was just waiting for certain patents to be registered in China. It seems that with the confirmation of Gateway as the legal owner, REC were forced to back off and only release the systems in production at the time. Later versions of the WonderTV - the A8000 and A9000 - were designed around an x86 CPU and used the Windows CE operating system.

Related Links
Read review of the WonderTV (Local Link)
4th Quarter 1997 Report (Local Link)
Gateway dispute Lotus Pacific's purchase of the Amiga (Local Link)

 


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