Ravisent Software is a name unknown and yet very highly visible in the PC DVD world. You may not know Ravisent, but
their family of products includes such OEM names as ELSA Movie, ATI DVD, Gateway DVD, and
Software CineMaster to name a few.
Originally Quadrant International, they were a manufacturer of Hardware DVD add-in cards (The Hardware Cinemaster
series). Over time, they expanded into other digital video fields, and decided on a company name change to reflect
the changed lines and goals. They first changed to Divicore, but a name conflict arose, and shortly
thereafter, Ravisent was born.
Still, Ravisent provides one of the most widely used OEM DVD products in the world. The OEM's aren't stupid.
The CineMaster brand is highly respected, and have performed well since PC DVD began its climb.
CineMaster didn't always have to share the PC DVD crown with PowerDVD and WinDVD. Not so long ago, the crown had a
single home. As recently as mid-99, CineMaster was simply the best software DVD player there was. With the right
hardware (ATI Cards especially), it is still the player of choice for many users with Celeron/K6 processors or
multitasking requirements on Win 9x. You could play smooth DVD on it, and it looked/sounded great; even on a Pentium 233
PC (Overlay capable video card with iDCT acceleration support was needed).
Times change. Generic new PC's now run at speeds that were unattainable just two short years ago without selling some
vital organ to afford one. Even low-end new machines with DVD drives are now capable of smooth DVD playback using almost
ANY major DVD software, and without requiring DVD hardware assistance (As always, your mileage may vary). Quadrant became
Divicore and then Ravisent. Has their player become a new player for the ages? Has it stepped up to battle PowerDVD
and WinDVD at the game it was so recently the sole master? Read on and find out!