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Chapter 11. Sights and Sounds: Music and... > Making Multimedia Whoopee with Media... - Pg. 121

Sights and Sounds: Music and Other Multimedia 121 DVD Hardware In the currency of computing power, the bells and whistles that comprise the Windows DVD expe- rience don't come cheaply. Pushing around all those pixels and belting out all those notes puts quite a strain on a machine. So, as you can imagine, specialized hardware for DVD is a must. Unfortu- nately, how Windows XP reacts to DVD hardware is weird and confusing. Let's start with the easy part: the basic requirements. The basic needs are a DVD drive and a sound card/speakers combo. Not too bad, so far. Where things get twisted is in the add-on--called a decoder--that your system requires to process the video and audio torrent that the DVD drive sends its way. There are two kinds of these decoders: · Hardware decoder--This is a device--usually a circuit board--that attaches to your computer. This is the kind Windows XP prefers. In fact, the DVD Player only plays DVD movies if your system has a hardware decoder and if it's a decoder that Windows XP recognizes. · Software decoder--This is a program that performs the translation from DVD to video and audio output. This requires a reasonably powerful computer: at least a Pentium II machine running at 266 MHz or better. If your machine qualifies, your DVD drive should have a disc that includes a setup program for installing the decoder. Windows Wisdom