Do you know you can play DVD on your laptop? Of course, you can if you know the right steps to take. Now here, let’s explain this. Windows running laptops can play DVDs, but the software and permissions required to make it work may differ between operating system versions. For example, even though Windows 7 included built-in DVD compatibility, the preceding and superseding versions will require you to use an additional software or pay for an upgrade. Your laptop needs to have access to a DVD drive in order to play discs. However, you can rip any DVDs and play them back as media files on devices that do not have optical drives.
Play DVD Optical Drive
Before you think of software, your laptop must have either a built-in or externally connected DVD. This will make it compatible with DVDs (Blu-ray drives are backward compatible with DVDs). If you are using a Windows 8, you can upgrade to the Media Center Pack to add DVD playback. You can do this through the “Add Features” menu. But note that you will only be able to play DVDs on the Media Player. Also, RT devices do not support DVD playback. Thus in order to play the DVD after it has been installed, you are to:
- Load the Media Center
- Insert the DVD in the optical drive
- Choose the “Movies” option
- Then “Play DVD”.
Using Third-Party Options
Do you know that you can watch DVD movies on a laptop without spending any extra money by using a third-party player? You can do this by using the open-source VLC media player for free DVD playback. You can download this media player at the VideoLan Organization website. After you have successfully downloaded VLC:
- Start playing your DVD by selecting the “Open Disc” option from the Media Menu.
- Alternatively, the GOM Media Player and MPC-HC (Media Player Classic Home Cinema) programs also provide free DVD playback.
Playing a Ripped DVD
Before you can play a DVD on a computer hard drive after you have copied it, you have to convert the video. If the DVD in question does not include a streaming or file-based version, you can try ripping the movie from the DVD disc. Note, however, this process may be illegal, depending on the content of the disc and the national law that guides you. To this end, you can use a program like HandBrake in ripping and converting DVDs to the Windows Media Player compatible MP4 format. You can also watch a DVD that comes with “Digital Copy”, “Ultraviolet” or similar service by redeeming the download code or copying the video file to your computer from the included backup copy disc.
Region Codes and Compatibility
Do you know that some disc will only play if it matches your laptop’s DVD player region code? Why is this so?. This is because manufacturers use Region Codes in controlling which countries can play specific DVDs. While the United States and Canada are within “Region 1”, Japan and most of Europe fall under “Region 2”. Now the simple logic behind the different regions, is that the studio may want to restrict someone from one country, where a movie is still in theaters, from importing a copy of that movie from another country that has completed the theatrical run.