Hopefully some folks out there can give me some assistance with properly formatting the playback of consumer DVDs via WMP (any edition, I've tried Windows Media Player version 8 - 11) while using Windows XP Pro 32-bit. When viewing DVDs, the image in squashed, as if the video is in 4:3 format and not 16:9 (ish). I have confirmed that this is not an issue with my monitor (BENQ G2220HD, for the record), as I'm able to properly view DVDs when I plug this monitor into my laptop (the problem is with my desktop). It's my desktop that I'm having issues with. I'm certain it isn't an issue with my video card, as I'm using a Sapphire HD4870 512MB. I have mpeg-2 decoders installed, as well (nVidia's PureVideo AND InterVideo's DVD Xpack give me the same squashed DVD video playback!). This is a common problem, as I have found many thread discussing this issue on various tech websites but I cannot find a solution. Anyone have the answer? I have already spent a few hours online trying to figure this out and the solution keeps evading me. On the bright side, I initially couldn't playback ANY DVD video, and then when DVD finally did play (after downloading and installing mpeg-2 decoders which I thought I had!) the color quality was terrible... now the color seems alright, but the image format is off.
Why stick to windows media player, you can use the free VLC player. It is capable of reading most audio and video formats (MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264, DivX, MPEG-1, mp3, ogg, aac ...) as well as DVDs, Audio CDs VCDs, and various streaming protocols.
You can download it here http://www.videolan.org/vlc/
Thanks for the reply, Scott. I'll give it a shot. Hopefully I can simply use the codec included in the VLC application for use with WMP. I like WMP's user interface and would prefer to use it successfully with DVDs, if possible.