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Reply 40 of 67, by vetz

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Having a closer look at that Ultra photo it isn't the same card. It does not have the C-cube chip (instead it has the EM7000) and the layout is slightly different compared to the photo I posted.

Also the PN numbers seem to indicate release/manufacture, so it's strange that 53-000411 should be released in 1996 while 53-000417 in 1995 (both say copyright 1995 on them)
I tried to Google all the PN numbers from 417 to 491 and I found 53-000467 with a reference to RealMagic ISA, but no picture or more information. I wonder if 53-000467 is the original Ultra?

Another possibility is that the photo you posted is a preproduction model.

Last edited by vetz on 2021-03-18, 11:45. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 41 of 67, by jheronimus

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Interesting thread!

I have two cards here:

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Hollywood Plus

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Some undentified card that has the pass-through cable that should probably work with ReelMagic. I didn't know the PCI versions work with the same games that are supported by the ISA cards, so I think I'll try to test the Hollywood Plus soon. Could the ISA card be a rebrand as well?

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Reply 42 of 67, by vetz

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jheronimus wrote on 2021-03-18, 11:39:

Some undentified card that has the pass-through cable that should probably work with ReelMagic. I didn't know the PCI versions work with the same games that are supported by the ISA cards, so I think I'll try to test the Hollywood Plus soon. Could the ISA card be a rebrand as well?

Should be no support of the DOS games with the PCI cards. That ISA card is not a RealMagic rebrand, it has a different design and none of the telltale chips.

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Reply 43 of 67, by Uka

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jheronimus wrote on 2021-03-18, 11:39:

Some undentified card that has the pass-through cable that should probably work with ReelMagic. I didn't know the PCI versions work with the same games that are supported by the ISA cards, so I think I'll try to test the Hollywood Plus soon. Could the ISA card be a rebrand as well?

Sadly the PCI cards would never work with MPEG RM-games... As there are no DOS drivers for them. They will work with games like 'Silent Steel' - but it works with any software or hardware MPEG decoder.

And your second card seems to be some other kind of MPEG decoder (or else) - there is no Sigma Designs chip on it, so the RM drivers won't install there.

Reply 44 of 67, by Uka

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vetz wrote on 2021-03-18, 11:38:

Another possibility is that the photo you posted is a preproduction model.

And that picture looks rather like Maxima Pro, but then it is not EM8000/53-000491, but EM7110/53-000411, instead of Ultra.
I've never seen a 53-000467...

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Reply 45 of 67, by vetz

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I did some updates to my list.

PN 53-000411 is Maxima Pro (as seen by your photo). This matches with the PRO chipset using the EM7110 chipset (https://web.archive.org/web/19970110181957/ht … rdware/pro.html)
PN 53-000417 is the "regular" Maxima using the EM7011 chipset. See attached review of the card. You can clearly see the PN.

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That leaves an unknown PN for the Ultra.

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Reply 46 of 67, by vetz

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Uka, I believe the PN 53-000491 card with EM8000 chipset is an OEM card sold as Sigma REALmagic PC-MPEG
https://wiki.preterhuman.net/REALmagic_EM8000

IBM might have used this card in their builds as I found drivers for an RealMagic IBM MPEG player card. IBM part number: 55H8615

EDIT: Seems it is based on the PRO chipset using EM7110 (which was also available for OEMs). See http://ps-2.kev009.com/pcpartnerinfo/ctstips/f962.htm where IBM recommends using the v2.34m Maxima Pro drivers.

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  • Filename
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Reply 47 of 67, by Uka

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vetz wrote on 2021-03-18, 12:40:

PN 53-000411 is Maxima Pro (as seen by your photo). This matches with the PRO chipset using the EM7110 chipset (https://web.archive.org/web/19970110181957/ht … rdware/pro.html)
PN 53-000417 is the "regular" Maxima using the EM7011 chipset. See attached review of the card. You can clearly see the PN.

Sure, I've seen that review - but I also have a Maxima card in my collection, so I never doubted it is EM7011/53-000417.

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Reply 48 of 67, by vetz

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I found some more hints to the PN for Ultra in the FCC register https://fccid.io/D87

Using Uka's release dates we correspond them to the FCC dates:
REALMagic Maxima (53-000417) - 06.11.1995 - FCC D87-0417 1995-11-06 (You sure this release date is correct, it is the same date as in the FCC register)
REALMagic Maxima Pro (53-000411) - 13.12.1996 - FCC D87-0411 1996-01-24
REALmagic Ultra II / NetStream 1 (53-000517) - sadly don't know about that: somewhere in 1997. Not on FCC list, but the EM8000 based 53-000491 is on as D87-0491 1996-12-13

So that leaves REALMagic Ultra - 21.05.1996. Here we have several possible PN's

  • D87-0467 1996-04-30 (this is most likely too late if 21-05 is correct as release date). Found a reference to 53-000467, but no picture or information beside that its an ISA card. Also the FCC specifies as Audio/Video card with 1280x1024 resolution, but we know the Ultra can do 1600x1200 and is an MPEG card.
  • D87-0427 1996-01-16 Most likely contender, but cannot find any reference to 53-000427 on Google.
  • D87-0407 1995-08-14 This seems to be too early, 14th of August 1995 would be almost 10 months before actual release. Also can't find any reference to any product with that PN.

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Reply 49 of 67, by Uka

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OK, some things are clear now 😀
Still, many mysteries remain.

53-000366 - vetz, fo you have a picture of this one?
I have pictures of 53-000331 being BOTH ReelMagic and ReelMagic Lite, with CDs etc. missing in the latter case. Probably Sigma did not bother making separate board models at first.

53-000347 - it would be nice to see some pictures with actual 'ReelMagic 2' label. All pictures I have of 347 "Rev.B" are rebranded HTM models.

53-000387 - you are right, it is some later model of REALmagic Lite.

53-000417 and 53-000411 - I am curious how 417 could predate 411 by a whole year?

RealMagic Ultra - yes, the biggest mistery.
Why would the official Sigma site list pictures of Maxima and Ultra with Sigma 7000 chip instead of CL-450 we see on actual cards?
Sadly, the only certain way to know the exact model is either opening a sealed box of it or testing it on old PC. I remember bying a RM-card designated as 'Maxima Pro' on eBay - and discovering that no Maxima Pro drivers work with it, and the card is denoted by Windows as 'Ultra II'. That was the only way to discover it is actually Netstream 1, as only those drivers worked with it 😀

53-000569 - are you sure that's a kind of Hollywood Plus? I thought that was Ventura Plus?

Netstream 4000 - are you sure that's 53-000694? I thought it was 53-000663 (although that could be 'Dragon II"). And this picture shows it is 626, the same as NetStream2000!

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RealMagic X-Card - you list it as EM8475LF, but my card has no LF.

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Reply 50 of 67, by vetz

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Uka wrote on 2021-03-19, 06:59:

53-000366 - vetz, fo you have a picture of this one?
I have pictures of 53-000331 being BOTH ReelMagic and ReelMagic Lite, with CDs etc. missing in the latter case. Probably Sigma did not bother making separate board models at first.

Yes, see attached. Notice it only has the PN as a sticker, but is using the 53-000331 (RealMagic CD) as base.

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Uka wrote on 2021-03-19, 06:59:

53-000347 - it would be nice to see some pictures with actual 'ReelMagic 2' label. All pictures I have of 347 "Rev.B" are rebranded HTM models.

I own this board myself. There is no sticker saying ReelMagic 2, but if you look into the drivers there is a folder for RealMagic2 and in other sources they do mention RealMagic 2. It has sound input/output and MIDI (w/ MPU401 through the gameport) capabilities along with multiple CD interfaces. This has to be this card. I haven't seen anything else.

Uka wrote on 2021-03-19, 06:59:
53-000417 and 53-000411 - I am curious how 417 could predate 411 by a whole year? RealMagic Ultra - yes, the biggest mistery. W […]
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53-000417 and 53-000411 - I am curious how 417 could predate 411 by a whole year?
RealMagic Ultra - yes, the biggest mistery.
Why would the official Sigma site list pictures of Maxima and Ultra with Sigma 7000 chip instead of CL-450 we see on actual cards?
Sadly, the only certain way to know the exact model is either opening a sealed box of it or testing it on old PC. I remember bying a RM-card designated as 'Maxima Pro' on eBay - and discovering that no Maxima Pro drivers work with it, and the card is denoted by Windows as 'Ultra II'. That was the only way to discover it is actually Netstream 1, as only those drivers worked with it 😀

I did some searching on usenet posts on Google Groups. Here I found that RealMagic Maxima was released november 1995 and the PRO chipset was announced at this time. The difference between Ultra and Maxima PRO is that Ultra has TV-out and Windows PCM sound support. People on Google Groups also mention RealMagic Pro and RealMagic Pro TV products which sometimes is references to Maxima Pro and/or Ultra. The first user to claim to have bought a Pro/Ultra card is in april 1996. First user to claim to have bought a Maxima Pro is in spring 1997. Also notice that this fits with archive.org's snapshot of sigmadesigns.com from april 1997. There is no mention of Maxima Pro on their website untill the next snapshot of desember 1997.

My point is that I believe 53-000411 was sold way earlier as the Pro (as well as the IBM OEM card). This makes the delay just a couple of months instead of a year. It also fits nicely with the FCC registration dates of 411 and 417.

Also seems Ultra was sold with the C-cube chip, see here:

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Uka wrote on 2021-03-19, 06:59:

53-000569 - are you sure that's a kind of Hollywood Plus? I thought that was Ventura Plus?

Yes, see picture. Ventura plus is a different card with feature connector. There is a picture of it on the old webpage of sigmadesigns.com at archive.org. I'll see if I can find it.

Uka wrote on 2021-03-19, 06:59:

Netstream 4000 - are you sure that's 53-000694? I thought it was 53-000663 (although that could be 'Dragon II"). And this picture shows it is 626, the same as NetStream2000!

They reused the same base board. The sticker on the backside says 53-000694. See photo:

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Uka wrote on 2021-03-19, 06:59:

RealMagic X-Card - you list it as EM8475LF, but my card has no LF.

Strange, can't find any reference to this and all the pictures, including the card I own show EM8475. I'll change it.

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Reply 51 of 67, by Uka

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vetz wrote on 2021-03-19, 15:37:

Yes, see attached. Notice it only has the PN as a sticker, but is using the 53-000331 (RealMagic CD) as base.
EM7000-53-000366-01 RL LITE.jpg

vetz wrote on 2021-03-19, 15:37:

They reused the same base board. The sticker on the backside says 53-000694. See photo:
Netstream 4000 5.jpg

Ah, you meant those stickers. Yes, I've seen them - but I thought only the actual 'ebmossed' board number counts.

vetz wrote on 2021-03-19, 15:37:

I did some searching on usenet posts on Google Groups. Here I found that RealMagic Maxima was released november 1995 and the PRO chipset was announced at this time. The difference between Ultra and Maxima PRO is that Ultra has TV-out and Windows PCM sound support. People on Google Groups also mention RealMagic Pro and RealMagic Pro TV products which sometimes is references to Maxima Pro and/or Ultra. The first user to claim to have bought a Pro/Ultra card is in april 1996. First user to claim to have bought a Maxima Pro is in spring 1997. Also notice that this fits with archive.org's snapshot of sigmadesigns.com from april 1997. There is no mention of Maxima Pro on their website untill the next snapshot of desember 1997.

My point is that I believe 53-000411 was sold way earlier as the Pro (as well as the IBM OEM card). This makes the delay just a couple of months instead of a year. It also fits nicely with the FCC registration dates of 411 and 417.

Could be!
Still, the best way to prove is to try the drivers on actual cards.

Reply 52 of 67, by psychoticgiraffe

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Uka what is your full library of reelmagic software you've uncovered?

wondering which games and programs are still lost to time and if anyone here has any of the ones you haven't found.

Reply 53 of 67, by vetz

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psychoticgiraffe wrote on 2021-04-04, 19:09:

Uka what is your full library of reelmagic software you've uncovered?

wondering which games and programs are still lost to time and if anyone here has any of the ones you haven't found.

The current known library of reelmagic games are in the first post. There are probably some more, but they have not been found so far.

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Reply 54 of 67, by Uka

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psychoticgiraffe wrote on 2021-04-04, 19:09:

Uka what is your full library of reelmagic software you've uncovered?

wondering which games and programs are still lost to time and if anyone here has any of the ones you haven't found.

Here is the list of RM games I have composed: Re: Reelmagic/Realmagic MPEG games
I have only six games on disks in my collection: 'Return to Zork', 'Dragon's Lair', 'Space Ace', 'The Horde', 'The Psychotron' and 'Silent Steel'. Although the last one is not RM-exclusive (it works on any MPEG card or software); and the versions of 'Return to Zork' and 'Space Ace' I have are later versions (1994/1995), while there were 1993 versions as well, - and on the contrary my 'Dragon's Lair' is 1993, while there was a later 1994 edition.

All of these are available on the net.
Besides, there are also three more games now available from other collectors: 'Flash Traffic', 'Prince Interactive' and 'Entity'. Unfortunately the latter one does not work for me with RM cards - it seems that something is wrong with the disk image available...

There are also some multimedia programs I have on disks and/or Archive.org has as images, but they are not games. Like different media clips collections by Aris, 'Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia' etc. They are all general MPEG as well, not RM exclusives (although some have an RM-only player).

Last edited by Uka on 2021-04-05, 06:49. Edited 4 times in total.

Reply 56 of 67, by vetz

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Warlord wrote on 2021-04-05, 05:50:

if I were to want one or a few of these things, is there any practice use for the isa cards besides those 10 games, which I may or may not want to play.

Beside MPEG1 video acceleration, no, there is not.

MPEG-1 was considered the new thing in the 90s, but computers didn't have the horsepower to display it, atleast not in software mode. Hardware acceleration cards became readily available from multiple vendors and also started to get incorporated into video chipsets. By the time acceleration had become mainstream enough through with video cards/or the CPU had gotten quick enough for software rendering, the world had moved on (now MPEG-2/DVD was the new quality standard). In Asia MPEG was a bigger thing through karaoke and VideoCD.

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Reply 57 of 67, by Uka

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Warlord wrote on 2021-04-05, 05:50:

if I were to want one or a few of these things, is there any practice use for the isa cards besides those 10 games, which I may or may not want to play.

Well, Sigma advertised 'hundreds of titles', but those were mostly Video CD etc., no practical use for them after the arrival of DVD-MPEG2, HDTV etc.
Now, games are another matter - there are 10 confirmed, but even more advertised (that could exist as well).
Of those 10 available games, titles like 'Dragon's Lair' or 'Space Ace' are not interesting as well - because there are better DVD, HD remastered etc. later versions.
The best game for RM is 'Return to Zork'! There was never a better version released, so for me being able to play it justified byuing several RM cards 😀

Reply 58 of 67, by 386SX

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But did someone tested the EM8470 cards? How much better are compared to the usual EM8300 chip based cards?

To jheronimus: the second ISA card image above has that STM ic that seems like a MPEG1 decoder, I didn't find any info on that chip but I suppose it should decode probably on the same concept of most others video decoders of that time while cable compatibility I'd not be sure about and certainly I think it might need its own drivers.

Reply 59 of 67, by vetz

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386SX wrote on 2021-04-05, 13:50:

But did someone tested the EM8470 cards? How much better are compared to the usual EM8300 chip based cards?

To jheronimus: the second ISA card image above has that STM ic that seems like a MPEG1 decoder, I didn't find any info on that chip but I suppose it should decode probably on the same concept of most others video decoders of that time while cable compatibility I'd not be sure about and certainly I think it might need its own drivers.

I haven't yet, my X-card is still at my brother's. I will when I get hold of it (corona restrictions make it hard for me to visit him).

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