troubleshooting Question

Can't play MPEG-2 videos in Windows Media Player 11

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Andycraig618Flag for United States of America asked on
Windows XPMultiMedia Applications
7 Comments1 Solution7269 ViewsLast Modified:
OK, I'm stumped. I bought a HDD video camera 5 months ago and it saves the video I shoot onto the hard disk as .MPG files, apparently MPEG-2 format. It's a Sony camcorder that came with a proprietary video browser for viewing the clips you shot. I can view my video in that program just fine. But when I try to view it in Windows Media Player 11 (WMP11), it doesn't work. I get a split second of audio from the clip, no video, then I get a dialog box telling me Media Player encountered a problem and needs to close.  I get this on any of the video clips I shot with my video camera and saved. After checking, I can view some video formats and not others:
--I can view WMV files.
--I have 2 AVI files; one is a joke clip off the web (plays fine). The other was shot with a digital still camera (does not play in WMP11, though I'm almost certain it used to a while back)
--I can view older MPG files in MPEG-1 format
--I can view a file with the 4 letter MPEG extension.

I chatted with Sony tech support and they told me I needed to add a codec. I went to Microsoft's website and saw Cyberlink's Power DVD SE listed. Well I already have that, but I uninstalled and reinstalled it anyway. But I can't seem to find any link to run Power DVD from any of the menus in Wondows, and when I try to run the executable directly by clicking on it in C:\Program Files, it gives me a message that my trial period has expired (even though I paid for the full version and got an unlock key).

I have 2 other PCs in the house and I copied one of the videos I couldn't get to come up onto a thumb drive.  I CAN view this video from the other two PCs just fine.

I tried uninstalling Windows Media Player 11, which actually just rolled it back to version 9.  Once I did, I was able to successfully watch the video clips.  But I want to be able to do this with Media Player version 11, and I don't understand why I can't--especially since my other 2 PCs (one desktop, one laptop) play it just fine.  After I did a reinstall of WMP 11, same problems resurfaced.

I tried to think of what's different on this PC. All that comes to mind right now is that it has an NVIDIA GeForce 7600GS video card (512 MB, AGP 8X). It also has Quicktime viewer installed.  All 3 PCs use Symantec Endpoint Protection (client version) for AV, firewall, and antispyware. Again, it doesn't seem to affect anything on the other 2 PCs, so I don't expect it to be causing a problem on this one. I do have a program only on this PC called Privacy Controls from Pareto Logic, and I know it's a bit aggressive with it's removal of stuff; whenever I run it I have to reinstall Adobe Flash and some of my HP Printer software (PanoStandAlone) afterwards.

The laptop (which plays the video fine) is running Windows XP Media Center Edition, SP3. The other PC (which also plays the video fine) has the same OS as this one that I'm having the problem with (XP Pro SP3).

I downloaded a different product just to see if it would help: Cineplayer DVD decoder pack from Roxio. Same problem, though at least I have a little icon on the right lower corner of my screen that let's me know it is there.  

As an audio player, Media Player 11 seems to be fine; I use it all the time to play tunes and sync them to my PDA and it does this without trouble.

I had some trouble on this PC when it upgraded to XP Service Pack 3 a few weeks ago; the other 2 PCs seemed to do it just fine but this one got hung up and kept trying to install "something" (never found out what) from the Windows Installer afterwards. I had to run the Windows Installer Cleanup Utility to fix that. Not sure if it's related but I have my suspicions.

Many thanks in advance for any help you can provide.
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