|Did your Nero software come bundled with a new DVD drive? If so, you may be out of luck. The software contains a crippled version of Showtime. This has been a problem for years – as long as the program has existed, apparently. |
Nero knows this problem exists. They’ve known it for years. It’s disingenuous in the extreme for Nero to keep telling angry/disappointed buyers that it’s the hardware manufacturer’s fault you bought cripple ware. And cripple ware is exactly what it is: software that’s been deliberately disabled so it doesn’t function fully until you buy the “full” version.
Nero should be ashamed of itself for allowing this kind of cheap trick to go on for so long. Nero is making money on these package deals. They’ve already been paid for the software by the drive manufacturer, who passes the cost on to the consumer. It is absolutely reprehensible for Nero to continue to allow cripple ware to be sold for which there is no cure other than to spend another 50 bucks. You have, btw, already paid about 40 bucks for the crippled software. I just got two DVD drives. The one that came with no software cost me 20 bucks. The one that came with Nero 8 Essentials cost $60.
Nero needs to step up to the plate and either refuse to allow manufacturers to sell Nero Showtime as cripple ware, or begin offering the necessary video plug-in as a free download. However, if you're using any version of Windows between Win 98 and XP, I can help you.
Since there’s nothing you can presently do to make Nero Showtime work when it came to you as cripple ware, my advice is that you simply not install it. Why endure the frustration and resentment?
You can play DVDs on your computer without Nero’s help. Going back to Windows 98, there is a version of Windows Media Player that comes with a built-in DVD player. It’s called Media Player Classic, and is version 188.8.131.52, revision 82. You can download and install it very easily, and it works with no additional codec. You can download it here http://download.cnet.com/Media-Play... or here http://www.free-codecs.com/download...
Windows Media Player 9 will play DVDs if your download and install the proper codec. Windows 10 will play DVDs with the same codec. Windows Media Player 11 is a truly full-featured media player, and there is a version available for XP. You can download it from Microsoft’s own web site. You’ll need DirectX 9 in order to use either Media Player 11 or the codec pack I’m going to tell you about.
Microsoft offers a free codec download that does very little for you, regardless which version of Media Player you’re using. Download it from Microsoft and install it for the 2% of DVDs it will allow you to play, but you’ll need a broader spectrum codec to play the other 98% of DVDs you encounter. You can download Media Player Codec Pack 3.8.0 from trusted sites like cnet (http://download.cnet.com/Media-Player-Codec-Pack/3000-13632_4-10749065.html) and softpedia (http://www.softpedia.com/get/Multimedia/Video/Codec-Packs-Video-Codecs/Media-Player-Codec-Pack.shtml) Just be careful where you click when you’re ready to download – there are ads on the pages that offer software for sale, and the download links might be confusing if you don’t look at them carefully.
Media Player Codec Pac 3.8.0 will allow you to play about 99% of DVDs you come across. Just be aware that nothing comes without a “cost” of some kind, so be careful when you install it. The codec pack, itself, is not and does not contain adware, but there is adware attached to the install file, and you have to be sure not to install it.
After you’ve downloaded the codec pack, double click on the file to open it. You will see a fairly classic install screen. DO NOT SELECT THE DEFAULT “EASY INSTALLATION.” CLICK THE “EXPERT INSTALLATION” and then click “next.” You will see two check boxes, one above the midline of the install screen, and one below the midline of the install screen. BE SURE BOTH BOXES ARE UNCHECKED. One will install Yahoo search toolbar, and the other will install Dealio toolbar. You don’t want either. With both boxes blank, click “next,” and install the codec files. You may need to restart your computer, but Windows Media Player will now be set up to play your DVDs.
Unlike version 9, in which the video screen is small, Media Player 11 is a full-screen player. It’s like watching a DVD on a standard TV.
Until Nero is ready to stop poosyfooting around over crippled versions of Showtime being passed off to end users, I suggest everyone avoid using Showtime at all. I certainly urge you to download and use freeware rather than pay for an entire program just to get a missing plug-in.