How to Play DVDs in Windows XP Media Player
"I just got a DVD drive for my computer. I have Windows XP and I can't get Windows Media Player to play any of my DVDs. What do I need to do to enable DVD playing in Windows Media Player?"
Windows Media Player requires a specific codec pack to be installed on your computer in order for DVD playback to work. There are several companies that offer this type of codec pack for sale.
One of my favorite codec packs for DVD playback in Windows Media Player is the Sonic CinePlayer DVD codec pack. According to their own tests, the CinePlayer codec pack uses considerably less CPU than competing products, which helps reduce jittery playback of your movies. While their results are certainly biased, I have tended to see similar CPU usage results, although I do also find Cyberlink's products to be quite reliable. Sonic also makes many of the DVD authoring tools used in making Hollywood DVDs, which may have something to do with their claim about getting better performance compared to competing codec packs from Intervideo and Cyberlink.
If you're feeling brave, this video shows you a way to enable DVD playback by editing the Windows registry. Keep in mind you can break Windows if you improperly alter entries in the Windows registry, so proceed with extreme caution if you choose to attempt this alternative.