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Windows Media Player has no audio or plays noise

Symptom

When a DVD Video is played back using Windows Media Player, either no audio is heard, or a static sound is heard.

A message may appear at the beginning of playback 'This player is not able to play DVDs. Please Press Ok to use WinDVD to play the disc'.

Affected Systems

The above symptom may occur on the following systems, but not limited to the following:

  • All ThinkCentre: A62, A57e, A58, M58e, M58, M58p,
  • All Lenovo 3000 E100
  • All ThinkStation: D10, D20, S10, S20
  • All ThinkPad: T61, T61p, T400, T400s, T500, R61, R61e, R61i, R400, R500, X61, X61s, X200, X300, X301, W500, W700, W700ds, SL300, SL400, SL400c, Sl410, SL500, SL500C, SL510

Applies to the above systems with the following operating systems:

  • Microsoft Windows 7 Home Basic
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Starter
  • Microsoft Windows Vista Business
  • Microsoft Windows Vista Enterprise
  • Microsoft Windows Vista Home Basic
  • Microsoft Windows Vista Starter
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition

The system is configured with a DVD-ROM, DVD/CD Combination, or DVD-RW/CD-RW combination

Fix

The problems are caused by the system having no Dolby Digital (AC-3) decoder that is compatible with Windows Media Player. Microsoft only provides an AC-3 decoder for Media player in some editions of Windows 7 and Windows Vista.

Before August 2008, third party software such as WinDVD could take over the Windows Media Player AC-3 function and provide sound. Dolby Labs changed the licensing method for AC-3 decoders to prevent this behavior in newer systems. Silence occurs when no AC-3 decoder can be found at all.

The static noise is caused by Windows Media Player trying to play the compressed AC-3 audio through an incorrect third party decoder.

The pop-up message is installed by WinDVD as an alert to users who may not know why there is no sound. Not all versions of WinDVD are enabled for this pop-up.

Limitation and Workaround

This behavior is a current limitation of some versions of Windows.

A third party DVD player is included in all Lenovo systems that have this problem. Use it instead of Media Player for DVD playback.


  • #Alias ID#:SF09-D0141
  • #Document ID#:HT004425
  • #Last Updated# :6/17/2014 10:34:13 PM
  • #Copyright#