Codec Guide, your source for quality codecs.

Back to FAQ index

Windows Media Player

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

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
A:

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

- Matrix Mixer
- Morgan Multimedia Stream Switcher
- DC-DSP

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."
A:

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 are LAV Filters and ffdshow not getting used by WMP and Media Center on Windows 7/8/10?
A:

Windows 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 7/8/10. This tool is included with the K-Lite Codec Pack and is also available as a standalone application.

The K-Lite Codec Pack already 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.

However, the preferred decoder settings only have effect when WMP uses DirectShow for playback. In many cases it actually uses a different type of codec from Microsoft, namely Media Foundation. It does that for example for AVI, MP4, M4V, MOV, M2TS, and WMV files. On Windows 10 also for MKV files.

There are several ways to make WMP use DirectShow instead of Media Foundation:

  • Rename your file. Give it a file extension for which Media Foundation isn't used.
    For example .video instead of .mkv
    Or .mpv4 instead of .mp4
  • Disable Media Foundation with the Codec Tweak Tool. This is not recommended, because some application and games require Media Foundation for video playback. Unlike WMP, those are not capable of falling back to using DirectShow.
  • Disable decoders from Microsoft with the Codec Tweak Tool. Also not recommended.
Q:Some videos play very pixelated on Windows 7
A:

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
A:

On Windows 7/8:
Codec Tweak Tool > Win7DSFilterTweaker > MS Codec Tweaks > Disable Media Foundation

On Windows 10:
Codec Tweak Tool > Win7DSFilterTweaker > Media Foundation > Disable for .ts

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

On Windows 7/8:
Codec Tweak Tool > Win7DSFilterTweaker > MS Codec Tweaks > Disable Media Foundation

On Windows 10:
Codec Tweak Tool > Win7DSFilterTweaker > Media Foundation > Disable for .m2ts

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

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
A:

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