The Spectravideo SV 328 was the ancestor of the Spectravideo MSX SV-728 (it had the same case and almost all its features) and the successor of the SV-318.
This computer wasn't a MSX machine, even though its hardware design was almost the same as MSX computers. Its Microsoft Extended Basic was also close to the MSX Basic but not fully compatible. The cartridge slot couldn't use MSX cartridges. However, Coleco cartridges could run thanks to an optional card.
The SV-328 ran CP/M 2.2 or 3.0 when connected to the 5.25" 360 KB floppy drive unit. Several well known CP/M software were adapted to the SV328; i.e. dBase II and WordStar.
Several expansion devices were developed for this computer. Among them, the SV-605B expansion box which offered a 10 MB hard disk, two 5.25" DSDD floppy drives, one Centronics port and six expansion slots.
Some other peripherals were released: Graphic Tablet, 80-column card, 1200/75 modem card, RS232 interface.
More information from Taneli Lukka (Finland):
There were two different versions of this computer. They could be identified by a very small red MK II-logo beside the SVI-328 logo on top of the machine. The older MK I version had no built in RF-modulator, it was a separate box that you had to connect to a DIN-socket on the back of the machine.
The MK II model had the modulator built in and it also had RCA-jacks for composite video and sound output. A much simplified motherboard consisting of three small PCB's joined together by many cables was introduced to cut costs and the PCB quality was generally worse than on MK I machines.
The older SVI-318 also got a similar treatment, but I don't know anything about the details. All I know is that its MK II version was quite rare in most countries because it was introduced when the machine was already pretty dead.
Jules Allen memories:
The keyboards on these things were terrible! The action was like typing on a sponge. My guess is they had the same underpinnings as the 318 (equally bad) but with plastic keycaps on top.
Rather than being a successor to the 318 it was positioned as a higher end machine. They were produced prior to MSX standard and MSX software wouldn't run on it. The machine looks a lot like the 318 without the expansion box that you have pictured here.
Spectravideo in Australia by Mark Dodd:
The Spectravideo User Group Of Australia ran for many years and the SV318 and SV328 were very popular with hobbyists and professionals alike.
Unfortunately some resellers advertised and sold the machine as MSX compatible or upgradeable.
I appeared as an expert witness in several consumer complaint cases where the machine had to be replaced, free of charge, for the later MSX compliant models.
When MSX took of the User Group supported bith the older SV models and all MSX machines form different manufacturers.
Contrary to other postings, I loved the keyboard on these PCs!!
Please consider donating your old computer / videogame system to Old-Computers.com or one of our partners.
How much did it cost when it was released?
Wednesday 8th January 2020
SVI-609 (SVI-605 with 10MB harddisk),
Tuesday 20th September 2016
David Otter (New Zealand)
I have a large amount of SVi $ 738 Info, software $ games..
also have 318,328 mk2, 738 that i am upgrading to msx2 (easy)