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What's the best "free" PC DVD Player viewer?

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5 replies to this topic

#1 of 6 OFFLINE   Alf S

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Posted July 31 2003 - 02:23 PM

The subject says it all.

I have two DVD players in my HP Pavillion (parents passed it down to us recently). One is a a standard DVD player and I recently installed a NEC 1300a combo DVD burner.

For some reason neither player will playback DVD movies. Especially the ones I've burned (which work fine in standalone players BTW).

I had "Interactual/PC Friendly" brand viewers installed, but they constantly froze up or had error messages so I uninstalled them.

I thought Windows Media Player 9 would play DVD, but I haven't figured out how as of yet.

Is there a decent free downloadable DVD viewer I can load onto my PC? Nothing fancy, but I just want to review movies I've burned etc w/o having to go to the standalone player.

Thanks in advance



#2 of 6 OFFLINE   Matt DeVillier

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Posted August 01 2003 - 03:21 AM


you can't find a free dvd playback program. dvd playback requires the decoding of the mpeg-2 video and dolby digital (or dts) audio stream. that requires license fees.

PC friendly (one of the worst programs every written) and media player 9 won't be able to play back dvds until there is a decoder engine installed. those programs are just viewers which latch on to another program's components to do the decoding.

your best bet would be to buy Sonic's WinXP dvd decoder pack, which will let you play dvds using any front end (like PC Friendly, media player 9, or better yet Zoom Player). It's $15 last time I checked. Or you could probably pick up an OEM copy of powerdvd for about the same price.

#3 of 6 OFFLINE   Rob Gardiner

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Posted August 01 2003 - 05:04 AM

Many graphics cards also come with DVD software. My Sapphire Radeon came with PowerDVD.

I'm using Windows 2000, but doesn't Windows XP include MPEG-2 decoding?

#4 of 6 OFFLINE   Rob Gillespie

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Posted August 01 2003 - 05:42 AM

My Media Player 9 in XP plays DVDs fine. I don't remember having to install anything else. It might have downloade the bits automatically. I certainly didn't pay for anything.
No longer here.

#5 of 6 OFFLINE   Jonathan Burk

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Posted August 01 2003 - 06:29 AM

You can get WINDVD and POWERDVD off Ebay for super cheap. Both are currently at version 5, but version 4 should be good enough for you.

I you can get Windows Media Player to play DVD's if you add a $15 filter pack from Sonic.

#6 of 6 OFFLINE   Reece


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Posted August 01 2003 - 07:48 AM

I can't attest to the quality or the ease of use of these players (I've never used them), but just doing a quick google search turned up xine and maximus.