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DVD accelerators compared

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Reply 21 of 41, by Scylla

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Sorry for reviving an old thread, but I'm building several (at least two of them) retro PCs to keep me entertained and play old games.

I have a couple of those Realmagic Hollywood MPEG-2 decoders. I've never seen them in action, and I don't know if they use any out of the ordinary cables, but I remember them being quite popular at a time.

Are they any good? I may be using them if it's so, to play some DVDs.

Reply 22 of 41, by manbearpig

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Bringing this one back from the dead.

Recently got a All in Wonder Pro / ZivaPC powered CineMaster DVD Decoder, from ebay.
It came out of a Gateway Destination, and I don't have the rear panel, so no a/v ins and outs until I can find one.

Performance is great. Although I just use Media Player Classic, it's less quirky than the original CineMaster or ATI software.

This is on a 440LX PII333 machine.

As far as the best DVD decoder goes, it should be something with a C Cube Microsystems chip on it, as they were at the top of that game. Of course, all implementations of those chips are most likely not equal.

Premio 212B motherboard (MSI MS-6112)
Intel PentiumII 333MHz Slot 1 66MHz bus
384MB ECC 66MHz
SIIG ATA133 controller --> Seagate Barracuda 80GB
SIIG Gigabit Ethernet (RTL8169) / USB 2.0 / IEEE1394 controller
ESS 1869 soundcard on board wavetable synth

Reply 23 of 41, by GL1zdA

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Does anyone know why Apple decided to ship the G3 Macintoshes with C-Cube ZiVa decoders when the ATI 128 they've used already accelerated DVD decoding?

getquake.gif | InfoWorld/PC Magazine Indices

Reply 25 of 41, by 386SX

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Trying the Dxr3 on Athlon 1000 / KT133 / Win9x/ME and for vga strenght and quality with the G400. I am using a CRT (17"), a must for these cards. Everything is compatible and no crash or problems I had with other configs.
Now through the analog pass cable and overlay chip/own filters, you could expect a bit of smoothness. It seems that the graphic card output quality plus the combination of resolution/vertical freq could improve or lower the quality a bit.
The decoding quality, with this consideration, is really good in my opinion. I like there're no external options to add more noise removing/sharpening like recent solutions to mix the already few source pixels, no octa-core processing to make it like-hd, but everything is probably done in hardware just as much as needed (the board processor is certainly working finger tested 😁). Nice is the really smooth and -stable speed- playback and lag free decoding not to mention the free cpu cycles.

Reply 27 of 41, by Skyscraper

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386SX wrote:

I am trying the EM847x Realmagic X card pci comparing to the previous EM8300 solutions. Interesting and different solution, some opinions later.

I am also testing the REALmagic Xcard right now.

Im very impressed with the DVD decoding, even with a PII @ 133 MHz with disabled L2 cache the decoding is perfect. The MPEG4 decoding is also OK but the included REALmagic MPEG4 codec is 32bit only, I have to use Virtual Dub 32bit to do the encoding on my main system running Windows 7 64. If I do not use AviSynth Im limited to 2GB AVI source files and to make matters worse 32bit Virtual Dub do not really like X264 as a source so Im using Xvid as the intermediate codec which degrades the quality. Decoding old DivX 3/4/5 files seems to work fine as long as the files are not encoded with certain advanced features.

New PC: i9 12900K @5GHz all cores @1.2v. MSI PRO Z690-A. 32GB DDR4 3600 CL14. 3070Ti.
Old PC: Dual Xeon X5690@4.6GHz, EVGA SR-2, 48GB DDR3R@2000MHz, Intel X25-M. GTX 980ti.
Older PC: K6-3+ 400@600MHz, PC-Chips M577, 256MB SDRAM, AWE64, Voodoo Banshee.

Reply 28 of 41, by 386SX

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Skyscraper wrote:
386SX wrote:

I am trying the EM847x Realmagic X card pci comparing to the previous EM8300 solutions. Interesting and different solution, some opinions later.

I am also testing the REALmagic Xcard right now.

Im very impressed with the DVD decoding, even with a PII @ 133 MHz with disabled L2 cache the decoding is perfect. The MPEG4 decoding is also OK but the included REALmagic MPEG4 codec is 32bit only, I have to use Virtual Dub 32bit to do the encoding on my main system running Windows 7 64. If I do not use AviSynth Im limited to 2GB AVI source files and to make matters worse 32bit Virtual Dub do not really like X264 as a source so Im using Xvid as the intermediate codec which degrades the quality. Decoding old DivX 3/4/5 files seems to work fine as long as the files are not encoded with certain advanced features.

Happy that someone has got it to ask some things. The latest win9x drivers are the one of december 2003 with the application a bit older?
It' really a nice card; I'm switching from the EM83xx based chipset card and I would think something changed from the old overlay crt concept for better tv/lcd experience. I've the feeling like the card not composing the video card/decoder output but more like switching between them to output a clearer/detailed picture in both desktop and full screen. But I don't understand if the 720p resolution is actually 1280x768 or what, and maybe there's a way to scale it at the exact 1024x768 to better compare them. On the CRT I would think there's a bit more aliasing in video than the EM83xx probably cause I don't find a way to set it at 1024x768 as the old but limited to the configuration options. I would have liked to have a list of possible resolutions to set but I understand that this would be needed only on the CRT that was already at its technological end.

Reply 29 of 41, by Skyscraper

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386SX wrote:

Happy that someone has got it to ask some things. The latest win9x drivers are the one of december 2003 with the application a bit older?
It' really a nice card; I'm switching from the EM83xx based chipset card and I would think something changed from the old vga overlay crt concept for better (hd)tv/lcd experience. I've the feeling like the card not composing the video card/decoder output but more like switching between them to output a clearer/detailed picture in both desktop and full screen. But I don't understand if the 720p resolution is actually 1280x768 or what, and maybe there's a way to scale it at the exact 1024x768 to better compare them. On the CRT I would think there's a bit more aliasing in video than the EM83xx probably cause I don't find a way to set it at 1024x768 as the old but limited to the configuration options. I would have liked to have a list of possible resolutions to set but I understand that this would be needed only on the CRT that was already at its technological end.

I have been using the 21/2.1 driver from 2002 as it came in a complete package with the Xmedia player and configuration utilities. I do not know what the 21w1/2.1W1 driver from 2003 improved but I have it downloaded. Im using a 1280*1024 17" TFT to show the video using the Xcards "VGA 720p/60Hz" output setting. I have no idea what exact resolution the output is but it looks sharp with a good DVD and definitely better than the 480P output setting, at least with a screen that cant show any of the output resolutions pixel perfect.

In case someone needs it this is the package for Windows 9x Im using.

Filename
Xcard_9x._full_package_tested_working.zip
File size
3.3 MiB
Downloads
48 downloads
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

New PC: i9 12900K @5GHz all cores @1.2v. MSI PRO Z690-A. 32GB DDR4 3600 CL14. 3070Ti.
Old PC: Dual Xeon X5690@4.6GHz, EVGA SR-2, 48GB DDR3R@2000MHz, Intel X25-M. GTX 980ti.
Older PC: K6-3+ 400@600MHz, PC-Chips M577, 256MB SDRAM, AWE64, Voodoo Banshee.

Reply 30 of 41, by 386SX

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I am using the late 2003 one and the only newer I have found. I can't compare the best setting (720p/72hz, using CRT the 60hz will be difficult) if I don't understand the exact resolution. It look like 1024x768 or ...x720 but, probably it's my cheap crt monitor the aliasing would seems to be still a bit more than the overlayed. It's great let me say, sharp, stable and clear but I would like to find a way to better configure 4:3 CRT output.
In your case I imagine your TFT monitor scaler doing some processing to full-screen the final image, doesn't it?

Reply 31 of 41, by Skyscraper

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386SX wrote:

I am using the late 2003 one and the only newer I have found. I can't compare the best setting (720p/72hz, using CRT the 60hz will be difficult) if I don't understand the exact resolution. It look like 1024x768 or ...x720 but, probably it's my cheap crt monitor the aliasing would seems to be still a bit more than the overlayed. It's great let me say, sharp, stable and clear but I would like to find a way to better configure 4:3 CRT output.
In your case I imagine your TFT monitor scaler doing some processing to full-screen the final image, doesn't it?

If the Xcards 720p output isnt 1280*1024 (which it isnt) my Acer TFT will do some processing and scaling, this screen wont show anything that isnt its native resolution without scaling.

At high resolutiuon (720P) the scaling wont degrade a low resolution source like a DVD as much as it does at the lower 480P resolution output setting though.

New PC: i9 12900K @5GHz all cores @1.2v. MSI PRO Z690-A. 32GB DDR4 3600 CL14. 3070Ti.
Old PC: Dual Xeon X5690@4.6GHz, EVGA SR-2, 48GB DDR3R@2000MHz, Intel X25-M. GTX 980ti.
Older PC: K6-3+ 400@600MHz, PC-Chips M577, 256MB SDRAM, AWE64, Voodoo Banshee.

Reply 32 of 41, by 386SX

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Skyscraper wrote:

If the Xcards 720p output isnt 1280*1024 (which it isnt) my Acer TFT will do some processing and scaling, this screen wont show anything that isnt its native resolution without scaling.

At high resolutiuon (720P) the scaling wont degrade a low resolution source like a DVD as much as it does at the lower 480P resolution output setting though.

Update: problem solved, as I thought it was my CRT monitor the problem going out of standard resolution! Now is running as the desktop and quality is impressive! I always liked these hw decoder cards and this is great.

Reply 33 of 41, by dr.zeissler

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Hi is there any solution that does not require a vga-pass-through and does not use a vga/vesa feature connector?
In my setup I route the VGA-Signal from the onboard-gpu (matrox G100a) to the voodoo1 card. If the VGA-signal must be routet through another vga-loop-cable the image-quality will be worse.

I have a PCI or an ISA Slot free.

I want to get Hardware MPEG Video Acceleration for retro-games and for single video-files (not only for full-dvd playback)

Thx
Doc

Retro-Gamer 😀PowerMac 6100-66/Houdini 486/66 - G4 Cube 450/Rage128pro OS9.0.1 - Macintosh LC/Apple IIe Card OS6.0.8 - Acorn A4000 Archimedes - Unisys CWD 486/66 + Aztech Washington

Reply 34 of 41, by NJRoadfan

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Skyscraper wrote:

The MPEG4 decoding is also OK but the included REALmagic MPEG4 codec is 32bit only, I have to use Virtual Dub 32bit to do the encoding on my main system running Windows 7 64. If I do not use AviSynth Im limited to 2GB AVI source files and to make matters worse 32bit Virtual Dub do not really like X264 as a source so Im using Xvid as the intermediate codec which degrades the quality. Decoding old DivX 3/4/5 files seems to work fine as long as the files are not encoded with certain advanced features.

Use AviSynth as a frameserver for VirtualDub to handle the h.264 files. 32-bit VirtualDub works fine with 2+GB AVI files, the problem is that you are working with files on a FAT32 partition that only supports 2GB max files.

Reply 37 of 41, by elianda

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I am not 100% sure, but
ftp://retronn.de/driver/Creative/PC-DVD_DXR2/
and this player
ftp://retronn.de/driver/Creative/DVD_Player_3.50/

Retronn.de - Vintage Hardware Gallery, Drivers, Guides, Videos. Now with file search
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