need help with dvd players & codecs, which ones?


Active Member
Hi, have built a server htpc loaded xp and cannot play dvd's.
What are the best payers and codecs and how do i go about configuring, i downloaded codec pack from "free-codecs" but this has stumped me how all this fits together.


Standard Member
Did you not get any free DVD player with your motherboard or your graphics card? Usually they bundle entry level players with the hardware. If you did but don't like the limitations (some of them can only play 2 channel sound), you can download Zoom Player ( Plug in ("register") the video codec from your free player and e.g. AC3 Filter (just type in "AC3 Filter" in Google) for the sound (freeware) in Zoom Player. If you didn't get any freebies with your hardware, you may need to buy a codec. And after a trial period, you are also requested to pay for the Zoom Player. But the costs are pretty moderate.


Active Member
The htpc is based on a asus pundit r which has a 9200ati built in, power dvd is the player but when i tried to play got an error message about incompatability with video codecs or something so i thought i would post as there lots of different players etc and i don't know whats best.


Active Member
If you told us the error you're getting in detail it'll probably be possible to figure out the problem, certainly if it came with the board it's intended to work. :)

There's really no one 'best', your PC, display and own tastes all contribute to what looks best to you.

There are 4 main ways you can go:

1) TheaterTek 2
2) PowerDVD 6, several people around here like this
3) WinDVD 6, another popular player
4) ZoomPlayer, either using commercial codecs such as nVidia's, or the alpha version of the DScaler 5 codec which is free (though you'll need the 'Pro' version of ZP to play DVDs).

There are other options such as VLC+DScaler 5 for one which is totally free, but to be honest until you have some exeperience such avenues are likely to be frustrating, even the ZoomPlayer option isn't without a learning curve.

You could buy the nVidia codecs and use them in Windows Media Player but few people do that as WMP is pretty weak in terms of the facilities it offers, the codecs are the same as those which come with TheaterTek.

All the rest are commercial, I think you can get trials of PowerDVD and WinDVD but TheaterTek comes with a 7-day refund which is less than idea but I've never seen anyone complain they didn't get a refund when asked for.

Beyond the players is FFDSHOW, of which you will have read a good deal. Some people don't see it making much difference (in some systems that's the case), however IMHO you certainly don't want to even think about using that until you've got a stable system using just the player and codecs. I'm not sure if FFD works with PowerDVD, it does with the other 3.


Active Member
The error message is that i do not have mpeg2 decoder.
I currently have wmp and interactual; Powerdvd free trial has expired although never used but as i mentioned i do not have a decoder so back to the original question


Active Member
Have now downloaded codec pack from microsoft but still can not play a dvd the message is same as before "a compatible decoder is not installed on your computer" i am usinf wmp10 if thats any help.
help me :lease:


Distinguished Member
Go to and download the nvidia dvd decoders trial version. That should solve your immediate problem, they're probably about the best decoders available so you could buy them or alternatively buy Theatertek which includes them anyway.



Active Member
am i niave, i thought that they would be included with either xp or come on the barebones (asus pundit r) so i really need to purchase some then do i.


Active Member
Sorry, I missed your post on Saturday.

Sadly M$ don't included an MPEG decoder, no idea why except for the 'not invented here' syndrome.


Active Member
Hope you can help again downloaded the Nvidia codecs and can now play dvd and files etc, but have dowloaded hi-def clips off m$ and cannot play them as error message says problem with either the video or sound device, so have been to ati website and updated graphics driver but still will not play
Any ideas.


What HiDef material is it i.e 720 or 1080, if it is 1080 you need media player 10 i believe.

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