Codec Guide, your source for quality codecs.

Back to FAQ index

Windows Media Player

Q:How can I play DVDs with Windows Media Player?

To play DVDs in Windows Media Player you need a MPEG-2 decoder that is capable of decoding DVD video and is also compatible with WMP. The K-Lite Codec Pack contains a compatible decoder for Windows XP/Vista/7.

On Windows 8 and 8.1 you can only plays DVDs in WMP if you install the Media Center add-on from Microsoft. This is not a matter of missing codecs, so you can't solve it by installing any codecs! Microsoft has intentially disabled this functionality until you upgrade your Windows license.

Windows 10 doesn't not provide any DVD playback ability in WMP, and this can't be fixed by installing additional codecs.

DVD playback will work normally on any version of Windows in other players, such as Media Player Classic and VLC.

Q:WMV HD videos play slow and without sound in Windows Media Player

If one or more of the following filters is installed on your computer, then disable or uninstall them:

- Matrix Mixer
- Morgan Multimedia Stream Switcher

Slow response when seeking certain WMV videos is another common problem. That is not caused by specific codecs, but is due to limitations of the Windows Media container format. A solution could be to remux the video into another container format, such as Matroska (.mkv). A free tool for that is MkvToolnix.

Q:I get the following error message when trying to play a DVD: "Windows Media Player cannot play DVD video. You might need to adjust your Windows display settings. Open display settings in Control Panel, and then try lowering your screen resolution and color quality settings."

This is a generic error message that WMP displays when it fails to play a DVD. Ignore the remark about display settings and resolution. Those usually have nothing to do with the actual cause of the problem.

This error message is usually displayed when there is no MPEG-2 video decoder installed that is compatible with WMP. Another cause can be a buggy or old graphics driver.

The K-Lite Codec Pack contains a compatible decoder. Make sure you have that enabled during installation of the pack.

Q:Why isn't ffdshow getting used by WMP and WMC on Windows 7?

Windows 7 comes bundled with decoders for several video formats, including H.264 and Xvid. These decoders from Microsoft are used by default by most DirectShow applications, including Windows Media Player and Media Center.

If you prefer using LAV Video decoder, ffdshow, or some other third party decoder, then you can use Codec Tweak Tool to adjust the preferred decoder settings in Windows 7. This tool is included with the K-Lite Codec Pack and is also available as a standalone application.

The K-Lite Codec Pack automatically adjusts the preferred codecs settings for the most common video formats. It uses specials settings to make Windows select the decoder based on the filter merit. This is similar to how things work on older Windows versions.

Sometimes it is also needed to disable the Microsoft audio and video decoders.

The Microsoft players use the new Media Foundation playback framework for playing certain file types, such as AVI, MP4, M4V, MOV, M2TS, and WMV. To force the use of DirectShow filters, you may also need to disable Media Foundation with the Codec tweak Tool.

Q:Some videos play very pixelated on Windows 7

This is a bug in your graphics driver. Updating the driver usually fixes this problem.

Possible workarounds:
Codec Tweak Tool > Various Tweaks > disable DXVA hardware acceleration
Codec Tweak Tool > Win7DSFilterTweaker > MS Codec Tweaks > Disable the Microsoft DTV-DVD Video Decoder

Q:I am unable to seek within .ts files with WMP12

Codec Tweak Tool > Win7DSFilterTweaker > MS Codec Tweaks > Disable Media Foundation

Q:.m2ts files that contain VC-1 video do not play with WMP12

Codec Tweak Tool > Win7DSFilterTweaker > MS Codec Tweaks > Disable Media Foundation

Q:AVI files that contain AC3 audio give noise in WMP12

Codec Tweak Tool > Win7DSFilterTweaker > MS Codec Tweaks > Disable the Microsoft DTV-DVD Audio Decoder

Q:I am unable to seek within files when played from the WMP library

This is a bug in WMP. It may happen with any file type that WMP does not support natively.

There are two workarounds:

  1. Play the file by clicking on it in Windows Explorer instead of opening it through the WMP library.
  2. Add the file to a playlist in the library. When played from a playlist, the duration of the file is shown correctly and seeking works normally. Note that with a playlist we mean an actual saved playlist, not the Now Playing list of WMP.



Back to FAQ index