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T2x Series DVD Video Playback

T20-T23 Series and T30 specific matters only. NOT for T25-Retro.
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Summer Deep
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T2x Series DVD Video Playback

#1 Post by Summer Deep » Sun Nov 22, 2020 9:34 pm

Just wondering about this. Are these machines supposed to be able to play DVD video properly?

My T23 with 1GB RAM and running Linux Q4OS struggles with DVDs. In VLC Media Player and SM Player the video is unwatchable, either freezing completely or lurching along at around 3 or 4 frames per second, though audio is fine. On a T21 with Windows XP and 512MB RAM I get a similar outcome in both VLC and Windows Media Player. Significant improvement can be gained on both laptops by reducing the playback window to around 20% of the screen size, in which case something like 10-12 FPS is possible, but this is not exactly a satisfactory solution.

I would have put this down to the technological limitations of the hardware, but for the fact that I have a T20 which played DVDs perfectly at a normal frame rate, despite having just 128MB RAM and running Windows 98. The DVD player was called 'DVD Express', which I'd never heard of before. Sadly the T20 succumbed to the dreaded 'Blink of Death' after just a couple of weeks, and so is out of commission for the foreseeable future. And surely DVD was an established technology by the early years of the 21st Century, and any laptop equipped for DVD, as the T2x series was, should have been expected to play them without issues?

Any thoughts most welcome!

ajkula66
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Re: T2x Series DVD Video Playback

#2 Post by ajkula66 » Sun Nov 22, 2020 10:46 pm

The OS is a part of the problem in both cases, IMO.

I'd venture a guess that you'd have better pluck with a lightened XP on a system with 1GB RAM, using a later version of DVD Express. Unfortunately, I don't have a standalone file but it should be included in IBM recovery media for any machine from this era.

I can't offer any advice on what would work in Linux environment since I haven't ran a *nix on something of this vintage for a very, very long time.

Good luck.
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cadillacmike68
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Re: T2x Series DVD Video Playback

#3 Post by cadillacmike68 » Mon Nov 23, 2020 12:30 am

Another possibility is W98 with the mediamatics or whatever it was called. That ran OK on my T21s and T22s. It's on the recovery discs, but the recovery won't install it unless you have a DVD drive in the system. There was another DVD player, it ran well to but I can't remember the name offhand and my T22 needs a new CMOS battery to start up correctly. It might have been DVD express.
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760LD FUBARd
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T30 2366-88U 2GHz; 2366-83U 1.8G; 5@ 2366-LU0/66U; 2367-KU6 FUBARd
T41 T42 T43
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Re: T2x Series DVD Video Playback

#4 Post by RealBlackStuff » Mon Nov 23, 2020 1:07 am

I've also never heard of DVD Express.

If you are talking about DVD Xpress, check this: https://download.cnet.com/ADS-DVD-Xpres ... 61345.html
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Re: T2x Series DVD Video Playback

#5 Post by kfzhu1229 » Mon Nov 23, 2020 12:16 pm

On T2x, I just used the default pre-installed application WinDVD and it works perfectly fine.
On T23, even in Windows 7 with MPC it works just fine too.
Dell Lat CP MMX-233 64mb 40gb W2k
600 PII-266 416mb 40gb WXP
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
Precision M4300 X9000 8gb 160gb WUXGA Ultrasharp fp W10
T530i 15.6" i7 16gb fp W10
UXGA:
A30p PIII 1.2 1gb W7 (IDTech)
T43p 2.26 2gb fp W10 (Sharp)
Lat C840 P4-2.5 2gb 60gb W7 (Ultrasharp)

Summer Deep
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Re: T2x Series DVD Video Playback

#6 Post by Summer Deep » Mon Nov 23, 2020 10:00 pm

Thanks all for those interesting views.

I did try twice to install a 'lightened' version of XP on one of my T23s, namely the 'FLP' edition ('Fundamentals for Legacy PCs'), and it was an absolute disaster: insisted on me providing a tough password, then repeatedly refused to accept it at login, so no opportunity to find out whether it could play DVDs more effectively. Would be interested to hear from anyone who's got this thing to actually work...

T23 with Windows 7? Yes, I did run that combination once, and it was surprisingly usable. Might give it a try again and see how it handles DVD playback.

I've just ordered an IBM Windows 98 reinstallation disk for a T21 (my own has a Win 98 product key), so that has possibilities.

The best news is that my Windows 98SE T20 has started to boot up again, after spending a few days of solitary confinement in the punishment block. I've watched a couple of movies on it, and can confirm that it uses a system called Mediamatics DVD Express. Once again, I'm mightily impressed at how this setup can play these DVDs with no compromises in full screen, on just 128 MB RAM.

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Re: T2x Series DVD Video Playback

#7 Post by BillP » Mon Nov 23, 2020 10:46 pm

You can download DVD Express here: www.metzomagic.com/Help/download/DVDExpress.zip

This is not a Thinkpad =specific version but it runs on my T23. You can convert it to the version intended for the T23 by clicking on Drivers at the top of this forum and navigating to the T23 drivers page. Under the Software and Utility heading there is a Mediamatics DVDExpress update file. This file requires that DVDExpress already be installed so use the link above to get that done first. Then install the update. DVD's play fine on my T23 with both versions of DVDExpress.
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kfzhu1229
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Re: T2x Series DVD Video Playback

#8 Post by kfzhu1229 » Mon Nov 23, 2020 11:30 pm

Summer Deep wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 10:00 pm
T23 with Windows 7? Yes, I did run that combination once, and it was surprisingly usable. Might give it a try again and see how it handles DVD playback.
Well in my opinion what is really holding the T23 back in Windows 7 is the graphics chip. The S3 Savage driver just doesn't work well in Windows 7 and just isn't smooth and also gives interlacing kind of problems when I drag around a window for example.
The Radeon 7000 on the A30/p in Windows 7 is just a country mile better with Radeon 9000 drivers.
Summer Deep wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 10:00 pm
Once again, I'm mightily impressed at how this setup can play these DVDs with no compromises in full screen, on just 128 MB RAM.
You see, these things don't use software decoding to play DVD. The S3 graphics has built in MPEG2 decoder for the DVD playback, so RAM isn't the problem.
This is also why a ThinkPad 770ED with a DVD decoder card can also play back DVD with just the onboard 32MB of RAM.
Dell Lat CP MMX-233 64mb 40gb W2k
600 PII-266 416mb 40gb WXP
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
Precision M4300 X9000 8gb 160gb WUXGA Ultrasharp fp W10
T530i 15.6" i7 16gb fp W10
UXGA:
A30p PIII 1.2 1gb W7 (IDTech)
T43p 2.26 2gb fp W10 (Sharp)
Lat C840 P4-2.5 2gb 60gb W7 (Ultrasharp)

theterminator93
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Re: T2x Series DVD Video Playback

#9 Post by theterminator93 » Tue Nov 24, 2020 12:21 am

Even my plain ol' 770 with the DVD card, a lowly Pentium MMX 233, and 32 MB RAM on Windows 95 can play a DVD just fine too. :)
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axur-delmeria
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Re: T2x Series DVD Video Playback

#10 Post by axur-delmeria » Tue Nov 24, 2020 6:27 am

Over a decade ago, I had an HP Omnibook XE3 with less RAM (160MB), similar graphics (S3 Savage/IX) to your T23.
It ran Debian Etch and IIRC it played DVDs well, though I can't remember if I watched in full screen mode.
The video player I used was xine.

On Linux, you could try mplayer and set the output to XvMC instead of Xv or OpenGL.
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cadillacmike68
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Re: T2x Series DVD Video Playback

#11 Post by cadillacmike68 » Wed Nov 25, 2020 12:55 am

Summer Deep wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 10:00 pm
Thanks all for those interesting views.

I did try twice to install a 'lightened' version of XP on one of my T23s, namely the 'FLP' edition ('Fundamentals for Legacy PCs'), and it was an absolute disaster: insisted on me providing a tough password, then repeatedly refused to accept it at login, so no opportunity to find out whether it could play DVDs more effectively. Would be interested to hear from anyone who's got this thing to actually work...

T23 with Windows 7? Yes, I did run that combination once, and it was surprisingly usable. Might give it a try again and see how it handles DVD playback.

I've just ordered an IBM Windows 98 reinstallation disk for a T21 (my own has a Win 98 product key), so that has possibilities.

The best news is that my Windows 98SE T20 has started to boot up again, after spending a few days of solitary confinement in the punishment block. I've watched a couple of movies on it, and can confirm that it uses a system called Mediamatics DVD Express. Once again, I'm mightily impressed at how this setup can play these DVDs with no compromises in full screen, on just 128 MB RAM.


OK, so Mediamatics DVD Express is one of the applications that I used and the other must be WinDVD. The Mediamatics player worked well on My T21s and T22s back in the day.
600, 600X
760LD FUBARd
T21 2647 T22 2647 1@ 1GHz SXGA+ 4 more; T23 2647 1@ 1.2GHz SXGA+ 3 more
T30 2366-88U 2GHz; 2366-83U 1.8G; 5@ 2366-LU0/66U; 2367-KU6 FUBARd
T41 T42 T43
T61 8897 2.4GHz SXGA+; 8898 2.4Ghz; 6463 2@ WSXGA+; 7658 2.5GHz; T61p; 6 more T61s
T500 2
T530 W530

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