Why can't I play DVDs on my Windows 7 computer?

Episode 1470

David from Los Angeles, CA

David has high end 17" Windows 7 laptop, but he's having issues with his optical drive after being reinstalled. Leo says there's a bunch of things it could be, like a damaged player or a broken cable. Since it happened after a reinstall, it may have missed the DVD player driver. David should check his device manager to see if Windows sees it. If it's not in there, then he'll need to install the drivers in order to use that player.

Can I get a laptop with a DVD player built in?

Episode 1469

John from Montana
Lenovo 17" laptop

John wants a device for watching DVDs with a large screen. Leo says that optical media have disappeared and large screen laptops are rare as well. Dell and Lenovo still sell 17" laptops, though. But he won't have a DVD drive with it. He could get an external DVD drive. They're cheap and he can plug it in when he wants it. Leo also recommends getting a larger external monitor. He should just use external peripherals when he wants to watch DVDs. That will give him the best of both worlds.

How can I edit my home movies?

Episode 1467

Richard from Los Angeles, CA

Richard has some old 8mm home movies that were transferred to DVD. They were transferred out of order and he wants to redo them, re-edit the video files, etc. Leo says that those DVDs are a treasure chest but he'll need to make sure he gets those videos off them and onto a hard drive, because sooner or later that DVD may not be playable. Is there something online that he can use? Leo says that video files are too big to upload to the cloud.

How can I rip a DVD?

Episode 1462

Dan from New Jersey

Dan wants to rip some old DVDs so he can stream them on the Apple TV using Plex, but he's having trouble with Handbrake. Leo says that he can rip it and then keep it on his computer, or use a network attached storage device running the Plex server. Leo says that Handbrake should have an Apple TV profile. He also needs to be sure he's using VLC to break the DRM.

How can I burn a DVD?

Episode 1218

Jan from Jacksonville, FL

Jan wants to know how she can watch all of her videos on the TV by making a DVD. Leo says that things are changing and less people are relying on optical media. If she wants to burn a DVD, she'll need software that will import all the videos and craft a disc to burn it. Is Nero still good for that? Leo says that Nero is fine, but almost all video editing software will burn DVDs now.

Should we do online tutorials or create DVDs?

Marilee from Highland, IN

Episode 1188

Marilee and her husband are both artists and they'd like to use the Internet to earn a living with her art. They're looking to do tutorials. Should they create a DVD or do online training? Leo says that online training is definitely the way to go, buy why not do both? There will be older people that want to do it as a DVD, but also have an online option for the younger crowd. Leo recommends checking out Lynda. Then Lulu for DVDs on demand.

(Disclaimer: Lynda is a sponsor)