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does 770X play DVD without MPEG board?

Older ThinkPads.. from the 600, the 7xx, the iSeries, 300, 500, the Transnote and, of course, the 701
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Jefferson
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does 770X play DVD without MPEG board?

#1 Post by Jefferson » Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:52 pm

Does 770X, with P2-300Mhz, play DVD without the optional MPEG board?

I found an old PowerDVD software and it lists the minimum spec as P2-350Mhz with no mention of Videocard specs.

350Mhz isn't too far from 300Mhz...

Anybody tried it?
:banana:
With the original box and documentation : 600, 380XD, 385XD, X24, X30(10th Anniv), T42p, T43, R52, W700ds
Without : 385XD, 600X, 770X, W701, T420, T430, T520, X230
Not working & for parts : At least a dozen
Other laptops : Dell, Alienware, Lenovo
:banana:

Thinkpad4by3
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Re: does 770X play DVD without MPEG board?

#2 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Sun Sep 15, 2019 9:10 pm

Jefferson wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:52 pm
Does 770X, with P2-300Mhz, play DVD without the optional MPEG board?

I found an old PowerDVD software and it lists the minimum spec as P2-350Mhz with no mention of Videocard specs.

350Mhz isn't too far from 300Mhz...

Anybody tried it?
It will likely be a slideshow but you can always try. I played an MP4 video(which is more intensive than MP2 but still) on a Pentium 4 well surpassing 2GHz and only 256mb of RAM and it was barely ok sometimes and other times just was a complete mess. I'd say you likely need a 1GHz P3 to consider CPU driven DVD playback by my guess, but its always worth a shot.
Thinkpad4by3's Law of the Universe.

The efficiency of two screens equally sized with equal numbers if pixels are equal. The time spent by a 4:3 user complaining about 16:9 is proportional to the inefficiency working with a 16:9 display, therefore the amount of useful work extracted is equal.

Jefferson
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Location: Denver, CO

Re: does 770X play DVD without MPEG board?

#3 Post by Jefferson » Sun Sep 15, 2019 9:16 pm

Thinkpad4by3 wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 9:10 pm
It will likely be a slideshow but you can always try. I played an MP4 video(which is more intensive than MP2 but still) on a Pentium 4 well surpassing 2GHz and only 256mb of RAM and it was barely ok sometimes and other times just was a complete mess. I'd say you likely need a 1GHz P3 to consider CPU driven DVD playback by my guess, but its always worth a shot.
I don't have a DVD player for 770X and a quick search on ebay yields nothing :(

I was wondering if it was worth the shot hunting down the DVD player...

Thanks!
:banana:
With the original box and documentation : 600, 380XD, 385XD, X24, X30(10th Anniv), T42p, T43, R52, W700ds
Without : 385XD, 600X, 770X, W701, T420, T430, T520, X230
Not working & for parts : At least a dozen
Other laptops : Dell, Alienware, Lenovo
:banana:

Thinkpad4by3
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Location: N. Bellmore, ny

Re: does 770X play DVD without MPEG board?

#4 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Sun Sep 15, 2019 9:22 pm

Jefferson wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 9:16 pm

I don't have a DVD player for 770X and a quick search on ebay yields nothing :(

I was wondering if it was worth the shot hunting down the DVD player...

Thanks!
As much as it is a neat novelty, it is no more than playing audio CDs on a vintage thinkpad. At most you have an old, clunky DVD player. Personally I wouldn't.
Thinkpad4by3's Law of the Universe.

The efficiency of two screens equally sized with equal numbers if pixels are equal. The time spent by a 4:3 user complaining about 16:9 is proportional to the inefficiency working with a 16:9 display, therefore the amount of useful work extracted is equal.

Bondi
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Re: does 770X play DVD without MPEG board?

#5 Post by Bondi » Mon Sep 16, 2019 4:04 am

Jefferson wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 9:16 pm
I was wondering if it was worth the shot hunting down the DVD player...
It will play DVDs for sure if you also install a Margi Dvd-to-go Pcmcia card. I have one on my P233MMX laptop, and it works fine. And the optical drive is the one I pulled from iBook G4 :)
These cards are available on ebay for like $20, or even less
Thinkpads: 330C, 360CE, 560, 755CD, 760LD, 760EL, A21p, A31p, X60s, X230

kfzhu1229
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Re: does 770X play DVD without MPEG board?

#6 Post by kfzhu1229 » Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:38 pm

I have the original DVD drive from my 770ED before it died and while the drive works fine for reading DVD, reading CD would require you to raise the disc so that it has enough clearance to the bottom cover to spin, and playing DVD video from modern DVD discs yields an error because the drive is too old to support the region thingy. Still you can create a decrypted iso file, mount it to a virtual dvd drive and use the software to play it - if you have the DVD decoder.
Worst comes to worst if you really wanna try out how it handles a physical DVD, disassemble the machine and use an ultraslimbay or ultrabay 2000 dvd drive - they have the same connector at different places with different drive dimensions
_________________________________
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
T43 15" 1.86 XGA 2gb fp W7
T530i 15.6" i7 16gb fp W10
Flexview UXGA:
A30p PIII 1.2 1gb W7 (IDTech)
T43p 2.26 2gb fp W10

axur-delmeria
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Re: does 770X play DVD without MPEG board?

#7 Post by axur-delmeria » Wed Sep 18, 2019 1:44 am

The CPU may be fast enough, with the right software. I don't have anything that old or slow to test though.
Daily driver: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

Backup: X601 Core 2 Duo T8100
Toy: X60F Core Solo U1300
On loan: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M
In pieces: two retired but working X61Ts
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E; X61 7676-A24; and a BOE-Hydis HV121P01-100 in failed SXGA+ mod
:cry:

kfzhu1229
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Re: does 770X play DVD without MPEG board?

#8 Post by kfzhu1229 » Wed Sep 18, 2019 1:00 pm

axur-delmeria wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 1:44 am
The CPU may be fast enough, with the right software. I don't have anything that old or slow to test though.
I have a ThinkPad 600 with Pentium II 266mhz and a Ultrabay 2000 DVD-ROM modded to work with Ultraslimbay (it's really easy) and no matter what software I used (new or old), it won't do it enough to keep up with the original playback speed. My 770ED with the same CPU has the decoder card for a reason.
_________________________________
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
T43 15" 1.86 XGA 2gb fp W7
T530i 15.6" i7 16gb fp W10
Flexview UXGA:
A30p PIII 1.2 1gb W7 (IDTech)
T43p 2.26 2gb fp W10

pkiff
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Re: does 770X play DVD without MPEG board?

#9 Post by pkiff » Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:08 pm

I had the most success using either Media Player Classic or Mediamatics DVDExpress to play DVDs in my 770E/ED (PII 233Mhz) and 770Z (PII 366MHz) machines, but neither were able to play DVD's smoothly enough to be acceptable to me without the help of the DVD MPEG Card. After upgrading my 770E/ED to a PII 400MHz, things were a bit better without the card, but if I recall correctly, they still weren't quite smooth. I spent considerable time watching and re-watching a particular chase scene from a then-new DVD of the movie The Matrix. Scenes with intense movement would still show clipping or stuttering.

After adding the DVD card to my 770E, I began referring to it as a 770ED, since the presence of the MPEG decoder card is really the only difference between those two models. And DVDs would in fact run smoothly on my 770ED with a PII 400MHz along with the card. I'm not sure about a PII 300MHz. Though I would guess it is possible, with the right software and a clean setup.

A couple notes on this, though:

1. The MPEG decoder card requires specific software in order for the laptop to make use of the hardware decoder:
  • Mediamatics DVDExpress (my preference)
  • SoftDVD (?) - this was only compatible with Windows 98 maybe?
  • Windows 2000 (support came built in to Microsoft's own Media Player with the Windows 2000 factory install of 770X/Z machines I think?)
  • Some later versions of MS Media Player, maybe?
And that's it. If you're not running one of those programs, then you won't be able to make use of the hardware decoding.
SoftDVD I think came with the factory install disks for Win98 for some 770 machines. DVDExpress came as a separate disk I think with some 770X/Z machines that shipped with Windows 2000 maybe? Or maybe it came with the DVD MPEG hardware card itself. Regardless, the version of DVDExpress that you want is not the one available on any disk. All you need the disk for is to install an earlier version so that you can then upgrade it to the final version that IBM distributed as a free upgrade file. The upgrade file requires that you have DVDExpress installed in order to upgrade it. If you want a copy of DVDExpress, send me a PM.

2. I think there are two versions of the MPEG Decoder card?
You'll want the later version for the 770X. Though I forget whether the newer version won't run in the 770E, or if it's the reverse: that the older version won't run in the 770X/Z.

3. You will need to run as clean a system as possible if you are barely at the minimum spec
By "clean", I mean, you can't be running any other unneeded processes or monitors or anything. No virus scanner, no scheduler, no nothing.

4. You should be able to replace your internal DVD drive
Most of the built-in CD or DVD drives on 770X machines were just standard drives using standard connectors that were then placed inside a proprietary Thinkpad drive case along with a specially sized Thinkpad faceplate. In my 770Z, I replaced mine with a very nice CDRW/DVD drive and matching faceplate that was very close to a drop-in replacement once I found the exact right model with a closely matching faceplate:
http://thinkpads.kiff.ca/770z/cdrw_matching_bezels

5. My impression is that the Margi DVD-to-Go PCMCIA cards were indeed a good option
They were widely praised and seemed to be much less finnicky in terms of software support for playing DVDs.Though I personally recall having to do a bit of running around to find a working driver for Windows XP. I think they probably had better actual hardware design than the Thinkpad MPEG Decoder card.

Phil.
X1 Carbon Tablet (3rd Gen) · W520 · T60p UXGA · Legacy: X61T SXGA+, X60T, 600X, 770Z SXGA
Nostalgic for: 600X PIII 850MHz in a SelectaDock III with 64MB Voodoo 5 5500 and Sound Blaster Audigy 5.1.

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