With a regular install of Windows XP or Vista you may and you are trying to get a DVD to play, you may find that the system will give you errors or just play the audio. What the deal is that the codecs to play your DVD are not present. You may receive an error message that it cannot locate the proper codec and the DVD won’t play. This can be frustrating because you may not have a commercial DVD player application on hand. Sometimes commercial DVD’s will have a player for you to install on your computer, but some do not.
HARK!! Who GOES THERE????
There is a solution, though…
Download and install VLC media player from here. I use this for all video formats. I will play all formats.
This is a completely free and open source media player that supports DVD decoding. It allows you to play DVDs without having to purchase a commercial codec.
Remember that you can also check your DVD collection for a commercial player. Sometimes there is a complete application included with the disc that has the codecs available. Other times you may also want to check with your video card manufacturer (ATI or Nvidia usually) to see if they supply one with the card’s software.
Otherwise you’re stuck with buying one of these commercial codecs: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/player/plugins.aspx