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Q: PCMCIA DVD Decoder card for Windows XP ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: PCMCIA DVD Decoder card for Windows XP
Category: Computers > Hardware
Asked by: jyovanoff-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 07 Jun 2002 14:21 PDT
Expires: 14 Jun 2002 14:21 PDT
Question ID: 23674
I have a Dell Inspiron 2100 Laptop. I am currently looking for a
PCMCIA DVD decoder card with standed RCA video & audio out (for
playback on a TV). This device *must* work with Windows XP. Also note
that I am not looking for a DVD player, just a card to output the
signal to a television.

Please let me know where I can find such a device, if I will need
special software to view DVD's (currently using InterVideo WinDVD),
and a price.
Subject: Re: PCMCIA DVD Decoder card for Windows XP
Answered By: paul_b_18-ga on 07 Jun 2002 14:46 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars

I think I've found exactly what you are looking for: the Margi
DVD-to-GO PCMCIA card.
Basically, what this card delivers is a hardware decoder for DVD
(which will result in a smoother frame rate and consumes less system
resources) with audio and video outputs so you can watch DVD movies on
your television.
For sound, Dolby Digital, Dolby Surround and normal stereo are
supported and for picture NTSC and PAL are supported.

The card, software and drivers run under Windows 95/98/ME as well as
Windows NT so Windows XP shouldn't be any problem (although it's not
specifically mentioned but that's probably because the site is older).

The following is mentioned in the Margi DVD-to-GO FAQ concerning
"Does the DVD-to-Go card have Windows NT 4.0 driver? When is Windows
2000 driver available?
Currently we do provide NT4 driver for specific platfors due to Zoomed
Video compatibility with PCMCIA socket controllers, VGA adapters and
AUDIO chipets. Please contact our sales team for a compatibility test
report and to purchase a copy of our NT4 driver. We also have a "Beta"
version to support Windows 2000 and it is available for download from
our web site."

I called (which sells the card) to make certain that Windows
XP was supported but they were currently in "company meeting" and they
couldn't answer my call.
If you want, I can call them again tomorrow or you can call them
yourself at: 800-290-0189
Windows XP supports a lot more software and drivers than Windows NT
and/or Windows 2000 so I don't think you'll have any problem (usually
almost everything that was designed for Win 95/98/ME runs under XP).

The card comes with it's own playback software but you can probably
also use your own.

You can find more information here:

Ordering information can be found here:

I've tried to find similair products but I couldn't find any.

Google search terms used: +PCMCIA +"tv out"

I hope this answer is to your satisfaction!

Request for Answer Clarification by jyovanoff-ga on 07 Jun 2002 15:21 PDT
This is the decoder card I came across when running my search. In my
question I state that this device *must* work with Windows XP. However
I still am not clear on whether it will.

The tech i spoke to at remarked that this card is probably
not compatible with XP.

Please let me know if you can find a dvd-decoder that is compatible
with WinXP. It may help to know that my Laptops display adaptor is an
ATI Rage Mobility-M AGP2X (as listed in device manager).


Clarification of Answer by paul_b_18-ga on 07 Jun 2002 15:27 PDT

As my research and the comment provided by wengland points out, this
is the only PCMCIA card availible that has TV Out. That means that if
this one doesn't work for you, you are basically out of luck.
I will try to determine for 100 % tomorrow if this card is Windows XP
compatible: wengland thinks so and I think so but I will make sure for

I'll get you a sure answer on the Windows XP compatibility within a
day and I hope you are satisfied with my answer so far.


Clarification of Answer by paul_b_18-ga on 09 Jun 2002 03:26 PDT

It was a bit shortsighted of me to expect to be able to speak to a
technical or sales representitive on a saturday.
I'll have to wait untill monday to get to you a definite answer, I
hope you don't mind this.


Request for Answer Clarification by jyovanoff-ga on 09 Jun 2002 13:02 PDT
No problem. Thank you for following up.

Clarification of Answer by paul_b_18-ga on 10 Jun 2002 10:01 PDT
Hi jyovanoff,

I called Mardi. They have a WDM driver for Windows XP which runs on
most systems. You can check if this DVD-to-Go package will run on your
system by downloading and running the following file:

DirectDraw Test Application

Along come the following instructions:
"Installation Information:
Run DDTest, click on Connect then click on Video Port. The Connection
Info list should contain several entries with Port Width of 16. If you
see a Port Width of 8 then your VGA/VPE driver DOES NOT support 16bit.
Check with the VGA provider and/or your notebook manufacturer for an
updated driver."
Multimedia Product Utilities

If the test is succesful, they assured me that you can be 100 %
certain that the DVD-to-go package will work on your laptop running
Windows XP.

When you have the package, you may have to download and install the
following WDM driver: 

I hope this is a solution to your problem.
As always, ask for more information if you need it.

jyovanoff-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
After answer clarification, a solid answer.

Subject: Re: PCMCIA DVD Decoder card for Windows XP
From: wengland-ga on 07 Jun 2002 14:57 PDT
Oh, by the way, that card may not work with your laptop.  Actually,
that is the *only* card on the market, period.  And, it (and all cards
based on that chipset) require 'Zoomed Video' support.  I was unable
to determine if your laptop offered that feature.

The card mfg. website did not list your laptop as one that it has
tested to work with their card.

The card mfg. does list a driver for Windows XP / 2000 (same thing).

Before you buy, check your laptop info for Zoomed Video Support.

Good luck!

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