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Author Topic: DVD playback software  (Read 15495 times)

iphigenie

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DVD playback software
« on: May 13, 2007, 08:56:23 AM »
As I am on a contract I am stuck in hotels at night, and once thing that occurred to me is that it would be nice to watch DVDs on my laptop to escape from the boredom of TV

I then realised that the standard software installed on said laptop did not include any DVD codec layer.

I tried to find free codecs/players but the results were unsuccessful - couldnt figure out how to actually make the DVD menus work on any of them.

Right not i downloaded a demo and that works, but I am curious as to what people are using since these players are not cheap!

On my other PCs I had something that came with the dvd drive, called cyberlink but for some reason this wasnt sent or installed with this laptop... I am not sure what the licensing would say to my installing those on this laptop or if it is any good.

From what I can see I have 4 options:
* continue to fight with free options until i find one that actually works through the menus to the films
* buy a standalone DVD media player program
* buy a plug in for windows media
* use clonedvd to make files from my DVDs I can watch in a normal player - seems like hard work though just to watch a film

which brings me to the question, what do people use?
« Last Edit: May 13, 2007, 09:35:36 AM by iphigenie »

TucknDar

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Re: DVD playback software
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2007, 09:07:41 AM »
I use K-Lite Mega Codec Pack with the excellent Media Player Classic. (Freeware) Works for me :)

See http://www.free-code..._Mega_Codec_Pack.htm

The K-Lite Codec packs come in a couple of versions, Lite, full, mega, or something like that. Depends on what you need. I just use the mega pack to be sure I can watch anything... I probably don't need half of the codecs, but...

Carol Haynes

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Re: DVD playback software
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2007, 09:12:04 AM »
I really like WinDVD (http://www.intervideo.com/WinDVD/)

If you don't want to buy that you can buy just the codec and watch DVDs in Windows Media Player. See http://www.intervide...owsxp/media_pack.jsp

edbro

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Re: DVD playback software
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2007, 09:14:24 AM »
VLC Player will play DVDs without any extra codecs needed and its freeware.

www.videolan.org

iphigenie

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Re: DVD playback software
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2007, 09:18:26 AM »
I use K-Lite Mega Codec Pack with the excellent Media Player Classic. (Freeware) Works for me :)

See http://www.free-code..._Mega_Codec_Pack.htm

The K-Lite Codec packs come in a couple of versions, Lite, full, mega, or something like that. Depends on what you need. I just use the mega pack to be sure I can watch anything... I probably don't need half of the codecs, but...

thats one of the freeware options i tried. I also tried videolan and a tool that started in AL (i think) - but all of them seem to get stuck on a DVD that wants you to choose a country first - no key or mouse action I could think of ever made the selector move to anything :(

I have used both media player classic and videolan for other things in the past and both are great tools which I always install, so as not to have to install realmedia and other borderline spyware systems. But no luck watching a DVD :(

The first commercialware demo I tried worked, so I suspect partly its all easier if you use some proprietary libraries
« Last Edit: May 13, 2007, 09:35:02 AM by iphigenie »

iphigenie

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Re: DVD playback software
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2007, 09:32:26 AM »
The other night trying to play a dvd in the hotel room I was almost at the ranting level... It shouldn't be possible to get a computer with an OS and a dvd drive that cannot just play DVDs, not at the price we pay for the stuff.
 
I tried just popping the DVD in, up comes windows media player, and up comes an error that i dont have the codec, with links to purchasable software from $9.99 to $29.99.
I also own jriver media center, which I love for audio, so I install that... but it seems it doesn't play DVDs without those same pay-for codecs
I download videolan, no luck, the k-... codec pack, no luck, a tool call al...something... Ah! DVD actually starts playing... no luck, can't do anything with the menu

At that point an hour has gone by and I am thoroughly annoyed, so I download a shareware tool (blaze) and that works. Too tired to watch the film though...

Things like this should be simple. The first people I will rant at are rock, who sold me a top end laptop with no DVD driver/player installed...

PS: when i first downloaded the demo of blaze dvd i thought it might be related to blaze media player, which has been around a long time, but it seems they just share the word.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2007, 09:37:25 AM by iphigenie »

edbro

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Re: DVD playback software
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2007, 09:37:06 AM »
That's because DVD codecs are licensed and must be purchased. Computer retailers would have to purchase them just like they have to purchase that copy of Windows they sell with the machine. You are purchasing a computer so you have to have an OS.

iphigenie

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Re: DVD playback software
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2007, 09:41:19 AM »
true, and if i had bought a £400 laptop i would have agreed. as it is, this is a £1500 laptop (ex vat) so they could throw something like this in so you are good to go. After all they install stupid things like a 3 month virus scanner and MS works and other crap... the OEM version of things like cyberlink costs only £4 or less!

TucknDar

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Re: DVD playback software
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2007, 09:42:01 AM »
Don't know what you're doing wrong, but I have no problems navigating the menus in Media Player Classic with K-Lite mega codec pack... :huh: I just choose Open DVD from File menu, and that's about it. I don't think I did anything special when I installed the software either

lanux128

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Re: DVD playback software
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2007, 10:41:26 AM »
KMPlayer is quite popular among DC'ers.. there is a thread about the program here and here..

ws-kmplayer-1.png

iphigenie

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Re: DVD playback software
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2007, 12:05:21 PM »
Don't know what you're doing wrong, but I have no problems navigating the menus in Media Player Classic with K-Lite mega codec pack... :huh: I just choose Open DVD from File menu, and that's about it. I don't think I did anything special when I installed the software either

i wonder if maybe it was some interaction between anydvd and the players, I will try again just to check.

NigelH

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Re: DVD playback software
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2007, 07:58:30 PM »
IphigeniePickup, how about a copy of PowerDvd 6 (OEM) for $5.99  (free shipping)

It probably excludes some of the enhanced audio modes, but this should be absolutely fine for a laptop.

http://www.surplusco...il&item=SWW12418 

Darwin

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Re: DVD playback software
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2007, 11:03:13 PM »
Both KMPlayer and GOMPlayer are free alternatives that should do the job. I can confirm that both will play DVDs, but haven't actually sat down and watched a DVD straight through on either of them.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

lanux128

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Re: DVD playback software
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2007, 11:14:37 PM »
Darwin, it was your post that made me notice KMPlayer.. :) due to its portability and internal codecs, i can watch movies at any pc, thanks for the pointer.. :Thmbsup:

Darwin

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Re: DVD playback software
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2007, 11:59:11 PM »
Glad to help! Thank my Korean brother in law, though!
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
« Last Edit: May 14, 2007, 12:03:53 AM by Darwin »

Hirudin

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Re: DVD playback software
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2007, 05:08:06 AM »
I'll have to thank your brotha in la too(2). I'm digging KMP!

I think Windows Vista has a DVD codec included. I've watched parts of a couple DVDs with WMP, but after I started using KMP WMP suddenly doesn't think it has a decoder any more... I don't know if it's a conflict, some trial thing ended, or if it a bug, but WMP doesn't work no mo, KMP does though.

lanux128

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Re: DVD playback software
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2007, 05:12:50 AM »
i too don't much about KMPlayer's internal workings but so far, it has played everything that i throw at it.. :) Korean video technology must be way up.. :Thmbsup:

mikiem

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Re: DVD playback software
« Reply #17 on: May 27, 2007, 09:47:37 AM »
Besides the excellent free solutions already posted, I've found the OEM version of Power DVD 6 very inexpensive (just a couple of bucks) & very capable.

2 notes:
I'd suggest being very careful installing too much DVD playback software. VLC seems cool, & kmp is probably also, but otherwise the files used for decoding mpg2 & AC3 are registered in Windows, & you can get into a nightmare of conflicting/competing Direct Show "filters" (files) making playback impossible. In other words, if you try something & don't like it, uninstall & use system restore before going on to try the next.

Convenience wise I'd recommend looking at stand-a-lone DVD players. I received a small, portable one as a gift a few years back, & the laptop's never seen video since.  :D I mean I never considered the laptop heavy or booting up to play a video a chore -- until I didn't have to deal with it.  :-*

Carol Haynes

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Re: DVD playback software
« Reply #18 on: May 27, 2007, 10:16:05 AM »
i too don't much about KMPlayer's internal workings but so far, it has played everything that i throw at it.. :) Korean video technology must be way up.. :Thmbsup:

Whether it is a codec conflict I don't know but I can't get KMPlayer to do much without crackling sound - on on video files the sound drifts out of sync as well as distortion.

techidave

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Re: DVD playback software
« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2008, 06:21:12 PM »
I was just searching the net today lookng for some DVD playback software.  I did download AVS DVD player which is free.  You can check it out here http://[url]http://w...DVDPlayer/index.aspx[/url] .  It does work but I haven't watched a whole movie with it either.

I have also heard that VideoLAN will work and it also is free.  http://www.videolan.org/


Josh

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Re: DVD playback software
« Reply #20 on: March 17, 2008, 06:32:10 PM »
VideoLan is great but I cannot use it without support for global hotkeys. I wish I could because it works the best out of any other player, to include winamp which I keep returning to. This is the only feature that would cause me to dump winamp for good.