Windows Media Player 11: Setting up DVD Playback


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Windows Media Player 11 does not come with the codecs needed to play DVDs on a fresh install.  Codecs are various software needed to play different formats of video files. For example, DVDs require the MPEG-2 codec.  If you try and play a DVD without having the MPEG-2 codec installed, an error message such as this one should appear:

Screen shot of Windows Media Player error

In order to download and install the right software to play DVDs on Windows Media Player 11, Microsoft provides a list of approved commercial codecs found HERE.

Refer to the individual codec documentation for instructions on how to install them, but it should be rather straightforward.

After installing the codec, DVDs should be able to play. 

If you are still having problems playing DVDs (such as no sound or stuttering video), try downloading a different codec to see if it works better.  Updating video and sound drivers may also help.

If you are running Windows XP and still have problems after installing a codec, download the Video Decoder Checkup Utility from HERE.  This program will show a list of all MPEG-2 compatible codecs installed on your computer.  Click on the one you wish to use and press the 'Set as Preferred' button.  Even if it warns that the codec is not compatible with certain features of Media Player 11, it may still be able to be used to play DVDs.

NOTE: Only original DVDs may be used in Windows Media Player 11. Windows Media Player 11 does not allow for the ripping of movies to a separate DVD, due to encryption and copyright codes/laws.  However DVD data discs, containing music and video files, are capable of being ripped. Many home DVD players are not compatible with data DVDs, and the DVD player credentials should be consulted for further details.

1/26/2015 10:50:35 AM