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Andycraig618Flag for United States of America asked on

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

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.
MultiMedia ApplicationsWindows XP

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Merete

8/22/2022 - Mon
ASKER CERTIFIED SOLUTION
LeeTutor

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SOLUTION
Merete

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ASKER
Andycraig618

I solved my problem but from another source.  I Googled and found a web page with help for WMP issues:

http://zachd.com/pss/pss.html

and it mentioned disabling video acceleration.  I went to the menu it told me to go to in WMP ("More Options"-->>"Performance") and there is a slider bar there that goes from "None" to "Full". Mine was all greyed out.  Underneath were two buttons, "Advanced" and "Restore Defaults". I restored defaults (which enabled the slider bar) and now it's fine, even with the acceleration set to "full".

I don't know exactly what I fixed by doing this but I did.  

That being said, Lee: your suggestion to use the GSpot utility didn't fix the problem but is neat to use anyway; I was able to verify that the clips I was trying to view did indeed have the correct codecs present to play them, so at least it ruled out other sources (i.e. missing codecs) from being the problem. Of course with a name like that my wife will think I'm doing something naughty on the computer so I'll have to explain to her what the program does--and doesn't do! ;)

Merete, I gathered you were suggesting that the Power DVD codec was troublesome. I tend to agree, it seems somewhat buggy. It also appears that when I installed the other program/codec from Roxio, it automatically uninstalled PowerDVD because it seems to be gone now.  Maybe that has something to do with this working now, who knows?!

Anyway thanks to both of you for your assistance.  I'll split the points between you.  Have a good night, I appreciate your help!
ASKER
Andycraig618

Didn't directly solve my problem, but provided invaluable assistance that helped point me in the right direction, where I ultimately did find a solution.  Good job!
Merete

Right, hadn't occured to me that could be the problem based on the facts you gave, codecs are the first stage to playing mpg mpeg in WMP any version.
Obviously roxio's cinema codecs solved it they are the same as Power DVD, in simple language media players other than Microsft WMP such dvd media players give the codecs mpeg to WMP.
I see your running xpsp3, that's more than likely the second cause, installing Roxio may also produce some problems for you.
Install only the very basics has a reputation for being unreliable and as you  can see removed associations to necessary software so that it has the default association to everything.
Xpsp3 also has a lot of bugs unless you really want to be a tester for this beta service pack I recomend you roll back to sp2 and wait on using Sp3 or just leave it all together until Microsoft puts out windows7
Glad you solved it
Thanks!!


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rwheeler23
ASKER
Andycraig618

Well, I recently upgraded to Windows 7 from XP, so a clean install done. Was forced to reinstall Sony's Picture Motion Browser software so I can import video clips from my camera to the PC. Again, they play fine in Sony's proprietary program, but no audio when viewed in other video editing programs (Pinnacle Studio, Adobe Premiere Elements, etc.).

However, I have uncovered a solution by diligent search of the web, which I am sharing now for the benefit of others. I found a program called AC3 filter. It is freeware and once installed resides in the background. It appears to be a codec translator--It tweaks audio/video settings so footage will work with different programs. Once I installed it on my PC,I was able to view video clips with sound in both Windows Media Player and Adobe Premiere Elements.  It works great and it's free.

Here is a link to it:  

http://www.free-codecs.com/ac3_filter_download.htm

Cheers!
Merete

Thanks !!
yes I know of it ffdshow also assists with this problem.
Well done.
Cheers