Tech Support banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
To watch DVDs, I have read you must have some sort of decoder. Does the decoder have to be in hardware-form? Or, are there some software-only decoders out there that'll let you watch DVD movies? Someone please explain. Also, what is the purpose of a decoder card and or decoder software? What exactly is it decoding with respect to MPEG-2?
 

·
Citizen of the world
Joined
·
51,041 Posts
You can use a software decoder, I used to have the Creative hardware decoders, but any system 1gig or faster will normally work fine with a software decoder. The decoder is basically uncompressing the compressed video data.
 

·
hey
Joined
·
10,189 Posts
Here is what Pioneer has to say.

DVD was developed as an all embracing media for the storage of both Hollywood Movies and as a large capacity extension of the CD-ROM/CD-Audio format. In order to be able to play and view movie type DVD's (MPEG2) within a computer system fitted with a DVD-ROM drive, it is necessary to have some form of MPEG2 decoder installed. These decoders currently come in two forms, the first being a hardware card and the second a software only program. What decoder system to use is both dependant on the computer specifications and the features required. Below are some basic guidelines and comparisons to help make this decision.

HARDWARE DECODER PLAYER
This is a PCI plug in card that is installed within the computer.
Click image to enlarge

These cards normally provide a Composite and S-Video output connection for viewing a movie on a conventional Television with the appropriate video input connection facilities. Some cards also provide an additional output that can go to a Dolby Pro Logic decoder or Dolby Digital AC-3 system for 6 speaker surround sound.

In general the minimum system requirements are:

A Pentium® 133 MHz or higher
16MB RAM
A DVD-ROM drive
Windows 95, 98 and 2000
The Hardware method offers the greatest flexibility and works with older computer systems. Anything less than a Pentium P133 MHz would not be suitable. On some older systems the computers BIOS and Graphics adapter may have to be upgraded to achieve reliable results.

Companies that we are aware of that currently have hardware decoders are:

VideoLogic DVD Player. http://www.videologic.com
Hollywood Plus. http://www.sigmadesigns.com


SOFTWARE DECODER PLAYER
This is a DVD (MPEG2) Video decoding method that requires a DVD-ROM drive only to be installed into the computer. No other hardware is required as the DVD Video and Audio are decoded by a software program. The drawback of this method compared to the hardware system described above is that it requires a faster more up to date computer system in order to work at all.

The minimum system requirements are generally:
A Pentium® II-266 or higher with MMX™
AGP Motion Compensation-enabled Graphics Controller with 4 MB memory.
Sound Card (with 48KHz sampling rate support)
Windows 98 with DirectX* and DirectShow*
2X or greater DVD-ROM Drive with DMA enabled

As can be seen the system requirements are very demanding and would apply only to new systems being built or a system recently purchased. The minimum system requirements shown above are as a guide only and it is strongly suggested to review the exact requirements for the proposed software that is intended to be installed prior to doing so.

Software decoders are currently available from various companies however they will generally only be made available on new computer systems that have all the necessary and compatible hardware.

There is a free software DVD decoder and to download it the address is as follows:
http://www.tucows.com/preview/ Search for the program "Free DVD"

For most Operating Systems including Linux there is a free DVD Player known as VideoLAN
http://www.videolan.org/

The other web site that lists all available DVD decoders is:
http://www.digital-digest.com/dvd/downloads/playback.html

Another good web site to start with is www.digital-digest.com.
Trial versions are available for most that run for about 5 minutes.
Then you need to purchase it to player the full movie.
The most popular Software DVD players are WinDVD and PowerDVD
WinDVD http://www.intervideoinc.com
PowerDVD http://www.cyberlink.com.tw/english/index.jsp

Note: You must have DMA for your DVD-ROM drive enabled to ensure smooth DVD playback.
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top