Why won't DVDs play?

If you insert a DVD into your computer and it doesn't play, you may not have the right DVD codecs installed, or the DVD might be from a different region.

Installing the right codecs for DVD playback

In order to play DVDs, you need to have the right codecs installed. A codec is a piece of software that allows applications to read a video or audio format. If you try to play a DVD and don't have the right codecs installed, the Movie Player should tell you about this and offer to install them for you.

DVDs are also copy-protected using a system called CSS. This prevents you from copying DVDs, but it also prevents you from playing them unless you have extra software to handle the copy protection.

Checking the DVD region

DVDs have a region code, which tells you in which region of the world they are allowed to be played. If the region of your computer's DVD player doesn't match the region of the DVD you are trying to play, you won't be able to play the DVD. For example, if you have a Region 1 DVD player, you will only be allowed to play DVDs from North America.

It is often possible to change the region used by your DVD player, but it can only be done a few times before it locks into one region permanently. To change the DVD region of your computer's DVD player, use regionset.