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File Formats and Codecs You Need to Know When Working with Video

Many of us have run into the complication of receiving a file format or DVD that our computer can t play. Usually you ll get an error message  codec not supported  or  can t find file codec  and not knowing what a  codec  is you give up and think something is broken. Unfortunately, that s not the case at all, instead your computer is missing a simple, but key element needed to play your video.

Watching DVDs and video on your computer is easy if you just have the right players and a little knowledge about codecs. There are many different kinds of video file formats and codecs. Here, we are going to explain some of the most common formats and where you can download small plug-in codecs and players for free.

DVD Video/MPEG-2

DVDs are made up of many file types, but the portion that contains the video is usually an MPEG-2 or VOB file. Out often you ll place a DVD in your DVD drive expecting to watch a movie and nothing happens, or if you re using Windows Media Player and computer with Windows XP you receive an error message, usually something about codecs, and unable to read the disc. This is because you are missing a DVD decoder or sometimes called an MPEG-2 decoder. This is a little piece of information that your media player is missing keeping it from recognizing the disc in your drive. It s like the key fits in the slot, but won t actually open the door.


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