Is DVD playback in a Windows 98 VM possible?

Emulation of old PCs, PC hardware, or PC peripherals.

Is DVD playback in a Windows 98 VM possible?

Postby Foxhack » 2019-6-06 @ 23:52

I know this question is really out there, but please, bear with me.

I currently have a Windows 98 VM in VirtualBox. I use it to run small, early 2D Windows games that don't need much power or speed.

I'm doing some prep work for a future project of mine which involves the older PCFriendly / Interactual Player stuff that came on DVDs. The browser stuff works fine-ish, but some of these DVDs also had features where you could play back the DVD in a browser and have other stuff going on - like the screenplay or whatever. One I'm working on is Scary Movie, which let you play back the movie in the browser while also playing a trivia game.

I installed Interactual on my VM and the browser side of things worked, but when I tried to run the DVD through it, it complained about needing software or hardware to play the DVD. Problem is, I have no idea what kind of software ran DVDs on Windows 98, and their documents aren't helpful either.

So my question is - does anyone remember what software played DVDs on Windows 98? I figure I can probably track down a copy of that software on eBay or my usual flea market junk piles. I just need it to actually work. (And if this doesn't work, I guess I'll just hunt down an old junker PC and try that.)

Thanks.
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Re: Is DVD playback in a Windows 98 VM possible?

Postby DosFreak » 2019-6-07 @ 00:50

I'm not familiar with Interactual or how it finds the installed DVD software and uses it. It's possibly using Windows 98 DVD Player but that requires hardware support.

Vmware,VirtualPC,HyperV,KVM,Virtualbox,Qemu all do not offer any acceleration whatsoever for Windows 9x so you'll have to rely on software playback

I don't think pcem emulates any video cards that support MPEG but I could be wrong.

The DVD player included in Windows 98 requires a hardware card or possibly a video card that supports playback which 9x in a VM doesn't provide.

Supposedly the DVD Player in Windows ME supports software playback.

You can try VLC 0.8.6d and see if virtualbox can play DVDs in software. I doubt Interactual would load that but you should be able to play the DVDs with it.

Another option is to try playing the DVD on your host.

In the time of Windows 98 we usually used hardware cards like the Creative Labs DXR3 or similar and WinDVD or PowerDVD.
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Re: Is DVD playback in a Windows 98 VM possible?

Postby Foxhack » 2019-6-07 @ 01:40

Yeah I'm pretty sure nothing emulates a hardware card right now, which is why I'm looking for software options. (If I had to build a machine I'd definitely get a decoder card.) I don't need it to play smoothly, I only need it to work well enough for Interactual to not close down immediately. :)

Now, supposedly, this stuff used whatever MPEG2 drivers and software players were loaded onto the machine, so in theory anything that installed codecs should work. I'm pretty clueless when it comes to older stuff but I'll see if I have a demo version of those programs somewhere in my old shareware CD sets. Thanks!
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Re: Is DVD playback in a Windows 98 VM possible?

Postby kjliew » 2019-6-07 @ 04:14

Check out VoodooMovie V2.1. It can offload MPEG1/2 video playback to Glide3x and works on QEMU 3Dfx.
https://falconfly.vogonswiki.com/tools.html

It does not work with specific player software, but work well with the standard Media Player that comes with every Win98. I had used it to play VCD/SuperVCD in Win98 back then on real Voodoo1/2 cards, where the Video CD format was very popular in Asia. Never try it with DVD because DVD was very expensive and hardly available in Asia where I had my life back then.

I believe VirtualBox does not support Intel VT/AMD-V VM acceleration technologies on Win9x. Otherwise, KVM/WHPX acceleration would support great video playback on today's CPU. On WinXP/Linux, the QEMU qxl/vmware video driver has no problem getting smooth video playback at SD from Youtube.
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Re: Is DVD playback in a Windows 98 VM possible?

Postby Foxhack » 2019-6-07 @ 04:28

I'll keep a note of that one for a future test, thank you.

I would happily go with Windows XP for this project, but the version of Internet Explorer that's included in there is well, too new! I've had issues getting these early web pages to work right in those. :D
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Re: Is DVD playback in a Windows 98 VM possible?

Postby Jo22 » 2019-6-07 @ 09:39

Is DVD playback in a Windows 98 VM possible?

Yes, I believe. I got Windows XP to play DVDs in a VM once. I used Virtual Box and Power DVD 2.x or 3.x..
These versions do run fine under Windows 9x, too. :)
"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

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Re: Is DVD playback in a Windows 98 VM possible?

Postby Foxhack » 2019-6-07 @ 22:57

Jo22 wrote:
Is DVD playback in a Windows 98 VM possible?

Yes, I believe. I got Windows XP to play DVDs in a VM once. I used Virtual Box and Power DVD 2.x or 3.x..
These versions do run fine under Windows 9x, too. :)

Wow, how many frames per second did you get with that? :D
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Re: Is DVD playback in a Windows 98 VM possible?

Postby kjliew » 2019-6-08 @ 00:59

If it's Windows XP, then it would get Intel VT/AMD-V acceleration from VirtualBox. The frame rate should be decent just from the prowess of CPU pushing the pixels at SD 480p.
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Re: Is DVD playback in a Windows 98 VM possible?

Postby Jo22 » 2019-6-08 @ 06:26

Hmm. My mind is a bit sketchy when it comes to that time frame. I'm sorry. :(
I either had my "old" Via C7 PC with S3 Chrome graphics card still (that I bought because it had awesome DVD/MPEG-2 support) -or- that PC with AMD E-350 APU..
The C7 had no support for AMD-V/Intel-VT yet. I guess that's why switched to the E-350. The E-350's graphics core also supported Flash acceleration of Flash 10.2+, afaik.
Anyway, I had at least 4GIB in both PCs installed and had used lots of VMs before since I had got that previous PC with nforce4 mainboard..
"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

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Re: Is DVD playback in a Windows 98 VM possible?

Postby Foxhack » 2019-6-09 @ 01:57

Tried: PowerDVD 1.5 and 3 - Both gave a need acceleration error. Tried 2.55 and it said it could not find a decoder. I tried installing Interactual on my older XP VM and it ran the browser portions -much- faster (no doubt because of virtualization like y'all said), but it still couldn't find a decoder.

I tried it again after installing PowerDVD 2.55 on XP and... this is the error I got.

Image

ARGH. So close.

Edit: This HP support topic suggests the issue is with the older, outdated version of the player.

Edit edit: Installed a trial version of DVD Region-Free (a program that we used back in the day to remove Macrovision and DVD region limits) and ... it kinda worked! I got about half a second of video before it crashed.

I think I'm leaving it at that. I'll just have to get a junker PC, this stuff is not going to run right on a VM, I'm afraid. But thanks for the help, everyone! I'm amazed I made it this far. :)
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Re: Is DVD playback in a Windows 98 VM possible?

Postby Jo22 » 2019-6-09 @ 11:15

Wait, the DVD drive wasn't patched to RC0 yet ? Well, that could be the cause, yes. Sorry for the trouble. :(
When DVDs were new, my family and me bought region free players only, so I completely did forget about this fact.

Edit: Whatever, I'm glad it works now! :D
"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

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Re: Is DVD playback in a Windows 98 VM possible?

Postby galland101 » 2019-6-22 @ 17:13

I was watching DVDs on my Pentium II 400 desktop in the late nineties running Windows 98 SE. It had a Voodoo3 3000 video card and a Sound Blaster Live Value. I used PowerDVD and it all used software decoding or very limited hardware acceleration. I believe it was barely enough at the time.

I don’t think PCem is efficient enough to emulate something like that. You can try VMWare Workstation set to an older virtual hardware spec and maybe you can get VMware Tools to work with Windows 98.
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