Avid Cinema info

This page has all the info I have collected on the Avid Cinema system that came with the 6400
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Warning! Avid no longer owns the avidcinema.com domain name and it has been purchased by another company. The site is now a search site but may display adult oriented banner ads from time to time! I just want to caution anyone trying to find info on Avid Cinema hoping that www.avidcinema.com will be the place to go. Its not! I removed any hyper links to avidcinema.com in the article below.

121/1998 Below are letters I received from people that hopefully will help answer some of your Avid questions. I don't own Avids stuff so any new info is always welcome :) Check out my Vimage compatibility page for issues running Avid with their G3 upgrade.

[Hi. Thought I may be of some help.

I run a 6400/200 Video edition (no Vimage unfortunately). Bought new.

The Avid Cinema is ok...with average results, but easy operation. The software is on the CD wich came with the computer package (a separate CD for Avid). The restore function is the same as for restoring the Performa Software.

I have upgraded to v 1.5...although I believe the G3 processors [Apples G3's - Tom] are recommended to run 1.6??...and I'm not sure about the Vimage card, although I think I read some reports of workarounds for problems regarding the Vimage and Avid.

Keep in mind that the TV/Video system Video In is used for recording from VCR, and the Avid PCI card connection is used for Video Out. (Oh yeah, they're marked..silly me!)

Well, I hope this of some help at least.

Regards, Ian Sharp]
[Go to www.avidcinema.com, if you have not upgraded to 8.5, DO NOT if you want to use the Avid Video Card.[I requested more info on this - Tom]

Avid telephone support 1 800 500-7078.

If you are running MacOS 8.0 or higher you need Avid Cinema 1.1.5. Download upgrades from Avid or Apple. They also have a manual available for $14.95.]
12/10/98 Update: Here is a letter and reply from a reader of mine sent to Avid on the compatibility issue with OS 8.5.
Can you tell me what errors are being received when running 8.5 and AC 1.1.5. I am getting CODEC timeout errors and the little samples of video in Text editing and video-in screens are totally messed up. Should I return to 8.1?
Currently we are investigating a potential patch for use of Avid Cinema version 1.1.x on MacOS 8.5. We expect to have more information within a week. Please visit our Forums section of our website at www.avidcinema.com for all of the latest information.

Best Regards,
Avid Cinema Support]
4/23/1999 Update: More Avid Cinema info: I recieved 2 letters from David that have some good info for anyone using Avid Cinema. Thanks

4/30/1999 Getting other video editing apps to work with Avids cards: Ryan wrote me in response to Davids issue with trying to get other apps besides Avids own app to work using the Avid video input card. Thanks Ryan.

10/30/1999 Avid and QT4?: A few users are having trouble getting Avid to work with QT4 installed. Keith had this setup and he said it worked for him Although he did remove QT4 for other reasons? Thanks Keith.

David also has QT4 amd Avid running together. Thanks David.

4/6/2000 Update on Avid with QT4: Avids web site specifically states that the version shipping with the 6400/6500 is not supported to run with QT4 :( Even though the above says they can work together many other people have problems and had to revert to QT3. here is one such letter from Vu Tien. Thanks. He did say that using the U3 extension did not help in his situation :(

3/31/2000 Avid crashing with Sonnets G3 fixed?: Keith was having many issues runing Avid on his 6400 upgraded with Sonnets G3. He found that disabling the backside cache with a Control Strip module called G3 Strip would help but then tried Power Logix's Cache Profiler and he said it fixed all his troubles! Thanks Keith.

4/14/2000 6400/6500's Avid Cinema and QT 4.x?: I have recieved in the past some letters from Avid users that were able to get it working with QT 4.x on their 6400's. The info I have posted on this page though does not seem to be sufficient enough for me to help others. Could anyone that has Avid working with QT 4.x please write me so we can help others out. I would really appreciate it. Here are 2 example letters I recently got from Avid users unable to get it to work with QT 4.

Reply from Vu on using Premiere LE with QT 4: Vu, who wrote the letter above gave me some more info on using Premiere and the Apple video card with QT 4. Seems this works much better for him then the Avid software. Thanks Vu.

3/23/2001 Link to Apples web site for downloading Avid Cinema: The following link was posed in my forums the other day. It links to Apples software download server that hosts Avid Cinema 1.1.3 and 1.1.5! The readme states that 5500/6500 owners need to install the original Avid software that came with their Macs in order to run this update? I think the original installer must have some drivers for the Avid hardware that comes with some 5500/6500 Macs? I'm not sure if it works without that? I did try to run the application but it requested I turn off Virtual Memory before it would run and I have not tried that yet.


4/21/2001 Avid Cinema, 6400, QuickTime and System 8.6: Charlie sent word on how he fixed getting Avid to run under OS 8.6. Thanks Charlie.

[I'm sure I'm not the first to tell you what a great site you have. But it's a great site, and one that helped lead me to the solution to my Avid Cinema problem. I've come up with a compromise solution that seems a little more manageable than those you've posted. If it can help any of my fellow 6400 users to prolong the lifespan of the Avid software, please feel free to post it.
Best wishes,

Worked out a solution for getting Avid Cinema to work with System 8.6, thanks to help from <************>, who wrote:

> If you have updated your quicktime, > that could be the problem. The fix was to trash quicktime, and > reinstall off of the original Avid Cinema disks. I don't recall what > version of quicktime AC came with, but that is the last version that > it works properly with.

Reluctant to make quite so drastic a move, I tried an intermediate measure.

* From my System 8 CD, I copied two extensions -- QuickTime and QuickTime PowerPlug (v. 2.5) -- into the "Extensions (disabled)" folder of my computer's active System 8.6 folder.

* Creating an Avid Cinema set in Extensions Manager, I disabled later versions of QuickTime extensions and activated the two older versions.

When I restart with the Avid Cinema set (still under System 8.6), the Avid software works as it used to.

Two notes:

* I believe later versions of QuickTime (v. 3+) may also do the trick; the conflict seems to have arisen with QT v. 4+

* I've also installed the Avid Cinema U3 Beta extension, which is not specifically recommended for the Performa 6400. It didn't fix the problem on its own, and I don't believe it makes much difference for 6400s. But those for whom the QuickTime extension swap doesn't work may want to try it anyway. Details at http://www.avidcinema.com/support/downloads/ppcdownloads.html

I think I might have info similar to this above? But it never hurts to reinforce it :) Basically he says that reverting to QT 2.5 or possibly 3.0 will allow you to run Avid in OS 8.6.

6500/300 and Avid info: Marc sent me some info on how his 6500/300 with the Avid hardware is working compared to an iMac for audio/video capture. Thanks Marc. His email was pretty long so I put it on a different page.

4/20/2008 Avid Cinema forums: Stephen writes to let everyone know that he has created an Avid Cinema community web site www.avidcinema.org. Thank you Stephen!

Getting Avid Cinema to work with a 3rd party graphics card9/14/98

I have received many inquiries on how to get Avid to run when you install a graphics accelerator card to get better performance. Here is one such letter.

Let me start by stating that I do not own Avid Cinema or Apples Video system but I do have experience with video input and running monitors from both the stock port and from ATI's VR card. Avid will only run if it detects a video source from which it can grab something to work with. Apples Video Player is the same way. On the hardware side, Apples Video system will only allow video input if a monitor is plugged into the stock port. Here is the problem, if you want to get better graphics performance you have to buy a PCI graphics accelerator card and plug your monitor into this card thereby leaving the stock port empty which in turn deactivates Apples Video input card. There are a few solutions to this ranging from $20-$50 all the way to $200-$400.

Solutions for 6400 owners that have already purchased a PCI card that does not have video input.

1. Buy a 2nd monitor and plug it into the stock port which will activate the Apple Video card and allow for video input for Avid and Apple's Video player. This is expensive and does take up a lot of desk space. Running 2 monitors is nice also for putting all your tool pallets from applications such as Adobe Photo shop on so your main monitor won't be so cluttered but this does not get by the original problem that you bought the accelerator card for. Your still stuck using the stock 1M VRAM for your video viewing. Don't think you can move the window from the 2nd monitor back to the monitor on the PCI card either as performance will go down the tubes. The reason Apples Video system will not run unless a monitor is plugged into the stock port is because it feeds video directly to the monitor bypassing the CPU and system bus. If you move the window to the other monitor then the data must travel thru the CPU thru the system bus thru the PCI bus and out the PCI card. As you can imagine this is really a strain on your computer.

2. Buy a PC-to-Mac monitor adaptor and plug it into the stock port. This gives you the same advantage as having 2 monitors and dragging the window to the monitor on the PCI card. It will activate Apple's Video card but since there is no real monitor plugged into for viewing, you have to view the image on the PCI card. This is very inexpensive but video performance suffers. Some people can live with it like for watching TV. Frames will be skipped but at least its watchable. Don't expect to get quality video capture as you're already dropping frames just viewing it let alone trying to capture it to disk.

Solutions for 6400 owners that have not yet purchased a PCI card.

1. Buy a card that does not support video input and follow one of the 2 solutions above.

2. Buy a PCI card that does support video input like ATI's Xclaim VR card. This is probably the best solution I can think of. With a PCI card that has video input, Avid, Apples video player, and any other video capturing software can use the PCI cards on board video. This allows you to get a card with 2M or more for full screen video at thousands or millions of colors and not drop any frames (better get 4M or more if your serious about video). You also don't need anything plugged into the stock port. The only drawback to this is you already spent money on Apples Video system but won't be using it any more :( Well, maybe you can sell it?

I hope this explains everything clearly. It is a very complicated topic to try to explain without being able to show you in person. If you need more help, feel free to write me. Apple tech info library, ID 20691 explains why you cannot use your stock video but I think I explained it pretty good. Sorry I don't have a link for the TIL but if you visit Apples Site and then their tech info site you can do a search for it.

(I have a question of my own. I have heard that the 6400/VEE has not only Avid software but also an Avid PCI card? if this is true can one of you that owns this setup please tell me what that Avid card does? can Avid Cinema run without this card? I would like to know because if you install a graphics card then both your PCI slots will be used up. I think the Avid card is for video input but I could be wrong. It might have hardware acceleration for some of Avids features.)

2/28/2004 6400 Avid Cinema software not working on a 6500: Alec sent me news that he got a 6500 mother board that also has the Avid card on it but could only locate a 6400 version of the software. Needless to say it did not work on the 6500 MB but worked fine on the 6400 MB. Thanks for the info Alec.

[Hi Thomas,
Just been looking at the Avid Cinema information on your site as I've been having a problem. I upgraded one of the 6400's to a 6500 and the board came with an Avid Cinema card in, but no software. I was able to get the Cinema CD for a 6400 which installs and runs but any video captured will not play back correctly, the image scrolling around in the window. It would appear from your info and the readme's on Apples site that the 6500 requires something extra to run Cinema. I'm guessing that this is due to the ATi graphics chip in these machines in some way, whatever it's most annoying. I've given up trying to locate the appropriate version of Cinema and put the card in the 6400 where it does work correctly.

Just noticed a difference between to two machines I have here. The 6400/200 has a sheet plastic lining to the pocket that contains the logic board. This even partially covers the air intake in the base of the machine, reducing the area by about half. The 6400/180 does not have this feature and neither did another chassis that I had. Do you know if this is connected with cooling problems of some sort. A trivial question I know but I'm curious as to which is the best one to house the 6500 logic board, or does it not matter.

Alec was nice enough to send me a copy of the 6400 Avid Cinema 1.1 restore CD as well. Please email me if you are interested in it. I'll only charge a few dollars for shipping.

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This page last updated 5/25/2004