Hardware CineMaster C


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Updated 08/22/13

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Hardware CineMaster CThe Hardware CineMaster C card is a hardware DVD decoder card with monitor display, digital audio output and TV output. However, the TV output is not available on on all revisions of the card.

The card was originally developed by Viona (the first version was released September 1997) and was manufactured by Ravisent. Ravisent was previously named Quadrant International and for a short while Divicore. In January 2002 Ravisent changed it's name to Axeda.
CIFELLI Corporation took over the Hardware CineMaster C 3.0 product in 2002 and begun marketing it as cifePEG C3.0. This card was first identical to the card from Ravisent but later revisions have an updated firmware (but same drivers).

When Ravisent manufactured the Hardware CineMaster products they where OEM products. That meant you couldn't buy them in a store like other similar products. The only way to get them was with other products like computers and DVD-ROMs. However there were some companies selling the OEM Hardware CineMaster. One of them was CIFELLI Corporation that now is selling the cifePEG C3.0.

The Hardware CineMaster C cards are also called Hardware CineMaster 98 and CineMaster II. When CIFELLI took over the product it was renamed to cifePEG C3.0.

The cards are based on a C-Cube ZiVA decoding chip and a Brooktree Video Encoder (for TV output).
There are two major revisions of the card; version 1.x and 3.0. Version 3.0 is also known as "Hardware CineMaster 98" and uses a newer version of the decoding chip.

There are many similarities to the Creative DXR2 decoding card.
The Hardware CineMaster C 1.2 card uses the same decoding chip and video encoder. One big difference is that the CineMaster cards do not use an external VGA pass-through cable. The CineMaster cards use an internal VMI cable that results in a much better image quality on the computer monitor.

There are two region hacks available, but only for RPC1 DVD-ROMs (not region protected). Both hacks uses a modified DLL file to avoid the region check. There is currently no hack that disables the Macrovision protection (a protection that prevents recording on a VCR).

Ravisent also has a software driver called Software CineMaster that uses the same player application. ATI, Matrox, Gateway, ELSA and others have licensed this software engine for use in their player software.

An older hardware decoder from Ravisent is the CineMaster S 2.x series of cards. These cards are for Windows 95 only and uses a different decoding chip (STi3520 & STi4600 from STMicroelectronics, former SGS-Thomson) and different drivers.

You can download the latest official driver and application files for CineMaster C x.x here. There's also a DOS diagnostics application available from Dell here.

The Hardware CineMaster products are no longer being manufactured since Ravisent is only working with software products now. However, CIFELLI Corporation has taken over the card.

Where can I buy a CineMaster card?
CIFELLI Corporation sells the cifePEG C3.0 card (identical to Hardware CineMaster C 3.0). They accept international orders.
Previously the only way to buy a CineMaster card was to buy a Dell computer where it was included.

Known card versions

See the Hardware CineMaster Versions page.

Driver info

CineMaster C 1.2 has drivers for Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 2000 and Windows XP. There are Windows NT 4.0 drivers included in the product DVD Maestro 2.0 from Spruce Technologies.
CineMaster C 3.0 has drivers for Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows 2000 and Windows XP.
There is a region free hack available.
See the downloads.

See my driver information about known releases.