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Help! I Can't See Or Hear My Video!

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Gender: Gender:Male Age: 42
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Post: 1   Posted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 8:06 pm   Help! I Can't See Or Hear My Video! Reply with quote

Lately, we've been getting complaints almost daily from people who have downloaded the videos listed on this site and when they go to watch them receive problems including no audio and/or no video and/or it simply won't play.

A geek will immediately know this is a codec issue, but sadly, not everyone on this site is a geek (terrible, I know).

So first, a quick explanation, in non-geek, of what's going on:

(For folks geekier than me, just deal with my terminology, kthx.)

Videos can be created with hundreds of different formats and options, generally called codecs. This can apply to the video or audio portion of the clip, or both!

So, you could have:

WLIIA US 1x01.avi
WLIIA US 1x01.wmv
WLIIA US 1x01.mpg
WLIIA US 1x01.asf

All seemingly the same file, but all five encoded very differently. Same results (to you), but created under wildly different settings.

Therein, lies the problem. Very few video players know how to play every file known to man (even the venerable VLC player fails at times).

So here are your options:

1) Install the VLC player. VLC will play almost everything out there without having to download anything extra. It truly is an amazing player. Very simple and to the point.

2) If you like Windows Media Player, make sure you have the latest version and then install the XViD codec.

3) Media Player Classic. Another great option.

4) Download all three options from above and have them ready, as needed. That way, you won't be scouring the net at the exact time you'd rather be watching a clip.

5) Other people will tell you to install a codec pack, but only do this as a last resort. Codec packs include several, if not dozens of codecs all in one shebang. The problem with this is you sometimes will install conflicting codecs and you could be worse off than you were before you started. Thus, I am not listing any codec packs here.

Actually, I will. If you must install a codec pack, go find ffdshow. It's one of the best.

6) If you're trying to play a .rar or .zip file, you can't. Zips and Rars are compression techniques with the actual file inside them that needs to be extracted first. To do that, find WinZip or WinRAR.


I got a one word answer, "improvedy" and haven't looked back.

Last edited by Henway on Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:44 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post: 2   Posted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 8:23 am   Reply with quote

Good advice, Henway. These days I have a Boxee box, that way I can wirelessly stream any vieo or audio file type from my HDDs and play it on my TV and sound system. Very useful.
Fry: Isn't there anything else you can tell me?
Vogel: Nah. Nothing that wouldn't be a waste of your time.
Fry: That's impossible because my time is worthless!

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Post: 3   Posted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 11:12 am   Reply with quote

Thanks, Henway! I'm hopelessly technologically-impaired, so this is a big help.
"500 points a peach." - Drew Carey

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