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· hey
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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.

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
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.
Hollywood Plus.

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: Search for the program "Free DVD"

For most Operating Systems including Linux there is a free DVD Player known as VideoLAN

The other web site that lists all available DVD decoders is:

Another good web site to start with is
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

Note: You must have DMA for your DVD-ROM drive enabled to ensure smooth DVD playback.
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