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HP PCs - Resolving DVD and Blu-ray movie problems in Windows

This document is intended to help you fix problems that can happen when playing DVD or Blu-ray movies on a computer. If you cannot find a section that fits your situation, try reinstalling the DVD or Blu-ray software to resolve the problem.

Note:

If your computer did not come with a DVD drive installed, there may not be a software application capable of playing DVD or Blu-ray movies installed on your computer. Windows 10 does not include a preinstalled app for DVD or Blu-ray movie playback. Third-party solutions for DVD and Blu-ray movie playback are available for download on the Internet.

Note:

Depending on your version of Windows, some graphics and information in this document may vary. You can get the latest version from the Microsoft Store.

The movie skips, temporarily freezes, or the playback is not smooth

If your movie is skipping, freezing, or playback is not smooth, you might need to clean the disc, log off the internet, wait until your virus scan completes, turn off extra connected devices, or make sure your optical drive and software have the latest updates.

Cleaning the movie disc

A dirty or scratched disc surface is the most common reason for a movie to skip when played on a computer.

Because the reading area on a disc is much smaller, DVD and Blu-ray movies are more susceptible to skipping and playback problems than CDs. Skipping is much more likely to happen with movies that have been handled frequently.

To fix playback problems, clean the disc. Clean discs with filtered water and a lint-free cloth. Wipe from the center of the disc to the outer edge. If cleaning does not work, buy a CD/DVD repair kit available at electronics stores.

If cleaning and repairing the disc does not work and all discs play erratically, try logging off the internet. If one or just a few movies have problems, the discs may be bad. Data on discs can degrade over time.

To increase the life of DVD and Blu-rays discs:

  • Keep discs in their cases when not in use.

  • Avoid exposing the discs to direct sunlight.

  • Never slide or rotate discs across any surface.

Logging off the internet while playing a movie

Software applications can access the Internet or network while a movie plays. This can disrupt the movie. Disconnect from the Internet and turn off your computer's wireless Internet connection before playing a movie. If you are not connected to the Internet while playing movies and movies still skip, be sure that you are not playing a movie during a virus scan.

Avoiding playing movies during virus scans

Do not watch movies when the computer is performing a routine system scan for viruses. Instead, change the virus scan time to a time that does not interfere with your viewing. Or, if you disconnect from the Internet, disable your security software temporarily. Be sure to re-enable it when you are finished watching the movie.

Turning off connected devices

Disconnecting nonessential devices that are connected to the computer can free up valuable system resources and can result in better movie performance.

Turn off printers, multifunction devices (or all-in-ones), and scanners and unplug cameras, thumb drives, and portable music devices.

If the issue persists, you might need to make sure that your DVD or Blu-ray drive and player software have the latest updates.

Making sure that your optical drive and player software have the latest updates

Some models of DVD or Blu-ray drives show improved video playback after upgrading the drive firmware.

If you are having trouble playing Blu-rays or DVDs, try installing the latest optical drive and player software. The latest DVD or Blu-ray player software for your computer might contain updates that address playback performance problems. Use the HP Support webpage to find and install DVD or Blu-ray drive firmware updates. Check for software updates from the manufacturer of the media player software you have installed.

Copy of a DVD or Blu-ray movie does not play

The data stored on most DVD or Blu-ray movies is encrypted and does not allow a playable movie to be copied. Making a normal disc copy of a commercial movie produces a disc that cannot be played - this is normal. Unprotected DVD or Blu-ray movies, such as home videos, can be copied and played.

Testing the optical drive for movie playback in Windows

If the optical drive cannot read the files stored on any DVD or any Blu-ray movie discs, you need to troubleshoot the CD/DVD drive, rather than the discs and movie player software.

Complete the following steps to make sure that your drive is capable of reading the file structure of a disc.

  1. Insert a DVD or Blu-ray movie or data disc into the optical drive. If a window opens automatically, close it.

  2. In Windows, search for and open File Explorer.

  3. Right-click the drive icon and select Open.

    Exploring a Blu-ray disc

    If the tray ejects or a message appears asking to insert a disc, the drive is not recognizing the disc. Try another disc and make sure that the drive is truly a DVD or Blu-ray drive.

  4. You should see a listing of files/folders in the right pane of File Explorer. If you inserted a conventional DVD movie, you should see the folders VIDEO_TS and AUDIO_TS. If there are no folders or an error message opens, the following problems might exist:

    • The disc may be bad; try another disc.

    • The disc type may be incompatible with the type of drive in the computer. For example, the drive may be designed to read DVDs, but not Blu-ray discs.

    • The drive may need to have the firmware upgraded. Use the HP Software & Drivers webpage to find and install drive firmware upgrades for your computer model.

    • After trying multiple discs , if the problem still occurs, see HP PCs - CD/DVD Drive Cannot Read Discs (Windows 10, 8).

A specific movie title does not play

While the drive might read or play some movie discs, others might not play.

If a specific movie title does not play, try the following steps to solve the issue:

  • If you cannot play a specific movie title, but other movie titles play, the most likely problem is that the movie disc is defective - scratched, dirty, sun damaged, or it has a manufacturing flaw. To try to recover a disc, clean the disc with filtered water and a lint-free cloth. Wipe from the center of the disc to the outer edge. If cleaning does not work, buy a CD/DVD repair kit available at electronics stores.

  • If the movie that does not play is a Blu-ray title, and other Blu-ray movies play, then the Blu-ray compatible software might need to be updated. Blu-ray content protection can be updated by the movie industry, which requires new codes before the title can be viewed. Connect to the internet, open the software, and use its update feature to install the latest update. For example, if your HP computer came with a Blu-ray compatible drive and HP MediaSmart software, go to Settings and click Update to get the latest updates. If problems persist, see Checking Blu-ray hardware and software requirements.

  • The optical drive's firmware might need to be updated if the movie is using a disc format the drive does not currently recognize. To make sure that the drive firmware is updated, see HP Software & Drivers to find and install any available drive firmware updates from HP that match the type of drive installed in your computer.

Checking Blu-ray hardware and software requirements

Before you can watch high-definition Blu-ray movies, all the hardware and software components in the system must meet basic minimum requirements.

  • The optical drive in your computer must be compatible with the Blu-ray disc format, also known as BD format. You can look for a Blu-ray label on the front of the drive, or look up the product specifications for your computer to find out whether the drive is Blu-ray compatible. If the laser element of your drive is visible, check the number of lenses. Blu-ray disc drives have two separate laser lenses.

    Blu-ray disc drive with dual laser lenses
  • The computer must have movie player software that supports Blu-ray playback. Windows Media Player and Windows Media Center do not play Blu-ray movies in Windows. If your computer did not come with Blu-ray player software, you might need to install third-party software to play Blu-ray movies.

  • The monitor or HDTV should support High-Definition Content Protection (HDCP). You can view the movie on non-HDCP display devices by setting the monitor or TV to a display resolution of 480p or less.

  • A DVI cable or HDMI cable connection is required for viewing resolutions beyond 480p.

  • The disc must be a Blu-ray movie disc (you cannot use an HD DVD in a Blu-ray drive that does not also support the HD DVD format).

  • An internet connection is required to view Blu-ray movies for an extended period of time (for AACS key renewal). It is not needed for initial setup and viewing, but is required for continued use. The player software automatically performs the updates when connected to the internet.

  • The optical drive's firmware might need to be updated if the movie is using a disc format the drive does not currently recognize. To make sure that the drive firmware is updated, see HP Support. Click the Software & Drivers tab, and enter your product name/number to find and install any available drive firmware updates from HP that match the type of drive installed in your computer.

  • If the movie is a newer Blu-ray title and other Blu-ray movies play, the Blu-Ray compatible software might need to be updated. Blu-ray content protection can be updated by the movie industry, which requires new codes before the title can be viewed.

    Use the following steps to check for Blu-ray playback software updates:

    • CyberLink PowerDVD: See the CyberLink Update Center website (in English) to check for updates.

    • Other Blu-ray software that came with your computer: Check the program for a way to update the software. You can also check the software and driver download page for your computer model by visiting the HP Support webpage and entering your product name/number in the Software & Drivers tab.

    • Blu-ray software you installed yourself: Check the software application for a way to update the software. If you cannot find a way to update the software, check the website of the software manufacturer.

Once these components are connected and turned on, adjust the display resolution on the computer to match the best possible HDTV resolution on your display device - preferably 1080p or 1920 × 1080. If your TV or monitor is not compatible with HDCP, you must use a lower display setting of 480p or less.

Viewing Blu-ray movies on a notebook PC causes errors

When viewing Blu-ray movies on a notebook PC, some errors can occur.

  • The Blu-ray movie does not play on the notebook display and an external display at the same time. The message The content is protected. The content is not allowed to play in current display mode. might appear when playing a Blu-ray movie in dual display mode. This behavior is intentional. For copy-protection purposes, viewing a Blu-ray movie is limited to only one display at a time. Therefore, you must choose either the notebook display or an external display device to view the output from the Blu-ray video. In Windows, press the Windows key + p key to open the Second screen menu on the right side of the notebook screen. Select Second screen only to transfer the display from the notebook to the desired external display.

  • The Blu-ray movie play menu cannot be controlled from either the touchpad or an attached mouse. This behavior is intentional. The Blu-ray movie assumes that you are using either the keyboard or PC remote (if included with the system) to select play.

  • Sporadic horizontal lines appear when playing a Blu-ray movie if the notebook PC wireless is turned on. The lines on the display are caused by interference from the wireless network. To resolve the issue, close any open applications and turn off wireless by pressing the notebook PC wireless button. This should prevent any further wireless network interference.

Checking 3D Blu-ray hardware and software requirements

Before you can watch high-definition Blu-ray movies in 3D, all hardware and software components in the system must meet basic minimum requirements.

  • The optical drive in your computer must be compatible with the Blu-ray disc format, also known as BD format. You can look for a Blu-ray label on the front of the drive, or look up the product specifications for your computer to find out whether the drive is Blu-ray compatible. If the laser element of your drive is visible, check the number of lenses. Blu-ray disc drives have two separate laser lenses.

    Blu-ray disc drive with dual laser lenses
  • The computer must have movie player software that supports 3D Blu-ray playback. Windows Media Player and Windows Media Center do not play 3D Blu-ray movies in Windows. If your computer did not come with 3D Blu-ray player software, you might need to install third-party software to play 3D Blu-ray movies.

  • Use a 3D Vision-ready PC display, such as a monitor or HDTV, with a High-Definition Content Protection (HDCP) compliant input. The refresh rate will probably need to be set at 120 Hz (or multiples of 120 Hz) and the resolution set to 1080p.

  • Make sure that you have Blu-ray 3D movie playback software installed on your computer. Standard media players might not play 3D movies.

  • Use 3D glasses that are compatible with your software.

  • The graphics card in your computer must also be compatible with the type of 3D technology used by the software. For example, if you use NVIDIA 3D Vision technology, the software, glasses, and graphics adapter all must conform to this technology. You can look up the specifications for your computer or your graphics card to find out whether the graphics card is compatible.

  • The processor in your computer must be fast enough to support Blu-ray 3D. Usually, if your graphics card is compatible with Blu-ray 3D, your processor can support 3D.

  • The optical drive's firmware might need to be updated if the movie is using a disc format the drive does not currently recognize. To make sure that the drive firmware is updated, see HP Support. Click the Software & Drivers tab, and enter your product name/number to find and install any available drive firmware updates from HP that match the type of drive installed in your computer.

Error: DVD decoder not found

A decoder is software that tells Windows how to put the movie image back together from the DVD files for playback. A "DVD decoder not found" error occurs when the decoder is not installed or not properly registered with Windows.

In the United States and many other countries, DVD decoders are not free and are not legally available for free download from the Internet. The only ways to legally fix this error are to reinstall the DVD software or purchase new DVD player software. See Reinstalling movie player software in Windows for more information.

Resolving region errors when playing a DVD or Blu-ray movie in Windows

When attempting to play a DVD or Blu-ray movie in Windows, a region error might appear and the movie might not play.

Note:

The following information applies to Region 1 DVDs. Depending on country/region, laws and drive behaviors may differ.

  • Illegal DVD Region
  • The region of the DVD movie you are trying to play does not match the authorized region of the DVD.
  • 0x80004003
  • 0x80034013

Region errors occur when the DVD or Blu-ray movie does not match the country/region in which it was intended to be sold. The optical drive is matched to the region where it was sold. If a movie from a different country/region is placed in the drive, a message appears and the software may not let the movie play.

Region table for standard DVDs

Countries/Regions

Country/Region Codes

Countries/Regions

1

United States and Canada

2

Europe, Japan, Near East, South Africa

3

Southeast Asia (including Hong Kong SAR)

4

Australia, Central and South America, Mexico, New Zealand

5

Eastern Europe, North Africa, Northwest Asia

6

China

Region table for standard Blu-rays

Region Code

Countries/Regions

A

East Asia (except Mainland China and Mongolia), Southeast Asia, the Americas and their dependencies.

B

Africa, Southwest Asia, Europe (except Russia), Oceania and their dependencies.

C

Central Asia, East Asia (Mainland China and Mongolia only), South Asia, central Eurasia and their dependencies.

Blu-ray regions as defined by the BDA

Blu-ray regional map

Commercial DVD and Blu-ray movie discs contain a region code. For example, if you play a DVD disc from Region 1, and the DVD player is set to Region 2, a dialog box appears that states a disc has been inserted from a different region. This dialog box displays the region for the inserted movie disc and the current player region, along with a list of new player regions and countries available to select. At this time you can elect to change the region.

Most disc players play up to three non-region titles before they stop playing non-region titles. When a new region is selected, a warning appears, stating the number of region changes remaining before the change is written. This is designed to prevent illegal selling of software titles between regions. Use compatible DVD or Blu-ray movies for the region where you are located or replace the drive with one from the same region where the movies are sold.

If you live in a region other than what the drive is set to, you can change the drive to match the region in which you live. For example: If a computer is purchased in the United States (part of Region 1) and is then moved to the Netherlands (Region 2), the drive region setting should be changed to match the new region. Changing the drive region setting can be done a limited number of times. Follow these steps to change the drive region setting:

  1. In Windows, search for and open Device Manager.

  2. Double-click DVD/CD-ROM drives.

  3. Double-click the name of the disc drive, and a properties window opens.

  4. Click the DVD Region tab, select a geographic area, and then click OK to make the change.

    DVD Region tab in Device Properties

Unable to view movies in Windows Media Player

If Windows Media Player does not play DVD or Blu-ray movies, look for third-party solutions or use the support included with Media Player.

The Windows operating system does not include a preinstalled software application for DVD and Blu-ray movie playback. Windows Media Center is available as an add-on feature after upgrading Windows, and provides playback and encoding support for DVDs but not Blu-ray discs. Third-party solutions for DVD and Blu-ray movie playback are available for download on the internet.

Troubleshooting audio playback

Windows includes a troubleshooter that checks for problems playing sound.

Follow these steps to use the audio playback troubleshooter to check for problems:

  1. In Windows, search for and open Find and fix problems.

  2. Under Hardware and Sound, click Troubleshoot audio playback.

    Troubleshoot audio playback
  3. If you are prompted for an Administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

  4. Click Next.

  5. Windows checks for problems. If the troubleshooter detects problems, follow the instructions to fix the problem.

Reinstalling movie player software in Windows

Reinstalling the DVD or Blu-ray player software can resolve a variety of problems, including missing file messages, encoder not found messages, and errors involving device library (.dll) files.

Use Recovery Manager to reinstall the DVD or Blu-ray player that came with your computer. For more information, see HP PCs - Using Recovery Manager to Restore Software and Drivers (Windows 10).


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