RealMagic Dragon DVD - Part 1

By Boon Kiat

Hardware One

1. First Looks
Apparently, Sigma Designs had gone back to the drawing board and incorporated the latest algorithms in MPEG-2 decoding and had come up with a new card. What was amazing about this new design was the cost. It would sell for less than S$100 (US$1 is about S$1.6). The original Hollywood card (which I reviewed as part of the Sony Maximum DVD Kit a while ago) is currently selling for about S$140.

I was naturally curious to see how they managed this feat.

As you might have read about, even Creative has dumped their original Dxr2 series of decoder chips, and gone with Sigma Designs’ in their latest Dxr3 cards. This is a good testimony of how good their designs are.

The kit itself is a very still quite early in its development. There are apparently only about 20 such cards in existence, and I was one of the few given the chance to have a look at it.

The kit came in a brown, unmarked box and the following:

  • Dragon decoder card
  • S-VHS to RCA adapter cable
  • Mini-stereo audio cable
  • Driver/ program disks
  • RCA Video Cable
  • Pass-through cable

As you may have noticed, there aren’t even any manuals.


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Special Thanks To Convergent Systems