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Watching Movies & TV Shows on Your Computer

Apr 27, 2008
Watching free movie downloads and TV shows on your computer can be fun and convenient, as well as a great way of catching up if you miss something on TV or forget to record it. However, you will need to have certain tools installed on your machine before you are able to watch anything, and here are some of the most important.

Media Player

Most Microsoft Windows based systems already have 'Windows Media Player' installed on them, for which you will need to install a codec pack (explained below). But if you want a good free alternative with codecs built in, you should try VLC Media Player (recommended for beginners).

Codec Pack

To be able to watch a movie on your computer after you have downloaded it will require that you have the correct codecs installed. These are small programs used to compress and decompress audio and video.

Most people are familiar with MP3s, and to listen to them on your computer you must have the MP3 codec installed. So it is with video; you must have the right codecs for it to play. There are many codec packs that you can download for free, and one of the most popular is the K-Lite Codec Pack.

How to watch

This depends on your equipment, but the choices are:

(1) Playback on your computer, and view on your monitor.

(2) If you have an LCD monitor, it should have a response rate of 12ms or less to avoid motion blur check your manual).

(3) Playback on your computer, and view on your TV.

(4) Don't bother unless you have an LCD or Plasma. Check your manual for compatibility and instructions.

Food for thought

Since it began, free movie downloads have been blamed for a reduction in revenue from cinema and DVD sales, but is this true?

If fewer people are going out to the cinema, it would seem far more likely that this is due to the vast improvements in home-cinema. We now have huge affordable Hi-Def flat screens with Surround Sound, so for many people waiting for the DVD or Blu-ray isn't a problem.

As for DVD sales, couldn't it be due to a massive increase in the second hand market brought about by a certain Internet auction site? Many millions of used DVDs are sold there every year, and none of that money will go to the studios.

Whatever your feelings are on the subject, remember downloading may infringe copyright.
About the Author
Jon Mills has created the TotalDownloader website which provides information on downloading techniques, increasing your speeds, maintaining anonymity, and much more. So get started now with your free 6 part course at TotalDownloader.com
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