14.5 Keyboard Shortcuts

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14.4 Video

Windows Media Player lets you watch flicks right on your PC. This section offers a few hints on getting maximum movie-watching satisfaction.

Other DVD Software

Windows Media Player is a perfectly adequate program for watching DVDs. But if you want a player that can do things like take snapshots from a DVD movie or capture the audio, then you need a DVD-playing program with a little more juice . Here are three possibilities:

DirectDVD . This program gives you a full complement of DVD controls, including the ability to play Dolby Surround sound or capture images from a DVD in a variety of graphic and video formats. Perhaps DirectDVD's most powerful feature is its ability to rip , or copy, a DVD to the MP3 digital music format so you can play a DVD's audio on your PC or a portable MP3 player. DirectDVD (http://www.orionstudios.com) is shareware so you can try it for free, but it costs $39.95 if you want to keep using it.

Super DVD Ripper . This program can rip a DVD and save it in several PC-friendly video formats, including MPEG (Moving Picture Experts Group ) and DivX (Digital video express), which are two common formats for sharing and playing video. You can then watch the movie on a PC without a DVD drive or the DVD itself (great when you want to watch a movie while you're traveling). Super DVD Ripper can also burn movies onto a CD using the VCD (Video Compact Disc) or SVCD (Super VideoCD) formats, both of which let you watch movies using a computer's normal CD player. Super DVD Ripper (http://www.dvdtodivx.net) is shareware so you can try it for free, but if you keep it, you're expected to pay $35.95.

DVD Region-Free . This program lets you play any DVD regardless of which world region it's programmed to play in (see Hint 14-xx). DVD Region-Free is not a DVD player, but rather an add-in that works with existing DVD software. The program (http://www.dvdidle.com) is shareware so you can try it for free, but if you continue to use it, you're expected to pay $39.95.

14.4.1 Watching International DVDs

Windows Media Player does something that normal DVD players can't do: play DVDs from any region of the world.

Normally, DVDs are encoded so you can only play them in the region where you bought them. Thus, if you buy a DVD in Europe, Asia, or any other part of the world, you probably won't be able to play it on a DVD player purchased in the United States. (Table 14-1 lists all the regions .) But Windows Media Player lets you play DVDs from any region, no matter where you're located.

Warning: This trick has one significant catch: you can only change your region setting a limited number of times. The exact number of times varies according to the make and model of your DVD drive. The DVD Region dialog box, described below, tells you how many times you have remaining to change the region. If you exceed the limit, try DVD Region-Free, a plug-in described in the box on ADD-IN ALERT Other DVD Software.

To do watch a video from a land far, far away, you have to change the region setting on your player. Here's how:

  1. Open the Device Manager (at the command prompt or in the Run box ‚ choose Start Run ‚ type devmgmt.msc and press Enter) .

    The Device Manager (see Section 10.1.1) lets you change a wide variety of hardware settings, including options for your DVD drive.

  2. Find the listing for your DVD drive and right-click it. Choose Properties DVD Region .

    The DVD Region dialog box opens.

  3. Select the region your DVD came from (see Table 14-1), and then click OK .

    When you choose a country, Windows XP sets the corresponding DVD region, which lets you watch the DVD in Windows Media Player.

Table 14-1. DVD Regions

Region Number

What It Encompasses

Region 1

United States and its territories , Canada

Region 2

Europe, Japan, South Africa, the Middle East

Region 3

Southeast Asia, East Asia, Hong Kong

Region 4

Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, South America, Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean

Region 5

Eastern Europe, Mongolia, North Korea, the Indian subcontinent, Africa

Region 6


Region 7

Reserved for future use

Region 8

Cruise ships, airplanes, and any other international vessels

Windows XP Power Hound
Windows XP Power Hound: Teach Yourself New Tricks
ISBN: 0596006195
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 119

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