From the Kenosha News on 3-2-08
Free software can help to play DVDs on a computer
If you have a DVD drive on your desktop or laptop computer, you should be able to play and watch DVD movies on that computer. In the best of all worlds, you put in the DVD and soon a window opens and plays your movie. However, this can be less than reliable. When I put a DVD into my laptop recently, absolutely nothing happened. Even double-clicking on the DVD in "My Computer" didn’t launch anything.
If you have problems playing DVDs on your computer, it's more than likely a software problem. One way around these issues is to download and install a free piece of software called VLC Media Player. To do so:
Now when I put in a DVD, I get a dialog box that prompts me what to do with the DVD. I select "Play movie using VideoLan VLC media player" and click OK. A window opens and I get the opening menu for my DVD or it begins to play.
Some advantages of this player are: A) It's free, B) It can run on a Mac, PC, or various versions of Linux and other operating systems, C) It is friendlier and more tolerant of DVDs that are home-made or encoded for other countries. The disadvantage is that there isn’t a 1-800 number to call if you need help and the menus to get the program can be a little daunting for novices.
Thanks to a work colleague – Matt – and an article by "Tech Mechanic" Rob Pegoraro for telling me about this software.
By Carol Sabbar from the Kenosha News on 3-2-08