How Do I Play DVD Videos On My PC?

by on October 20, 2006

Q: I have a Sony Handycam. I am trying to view the DVDs on my computer’s DVD player but I do not seem to have any software that can support this type of video. What do you suggest?

A: Playing DVD movie disks require a DVD drive and DVD decoder software. This special software is required to handle the decryption, audio/video decoding, and display of the video on your screen. Many major Windows PC manufacturers pre-load some form of DVD decoder software on computers sold with DVD drives. However, if you purchased your PC from a smaller vendor or built it yourself you might lack it.

There are several options available to you. VLC Media Player is your only free option. It will play DVD videos and can run on a huge number of operating systems including Widows, Mac OS X and Linux. The next option is a DVD-decoder plug-in. These run around $10 to $15 and enable DVD playback through programs like Windows Media Player. Microsoft has a list of options to choose from on this website.