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Home > Windows XP Common Issues > Error Downloading Video Codec
August 28, 2015

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When I open an AVI video file I am told there was an error downloading the video codec

What is a video codec?

A video codec is essentially a filter, encoded information from the video file is passed through it. The codec's job is then to change this data into information that can be used by a media player to display a image.

Why does Windows Media Player not automatically download the correct codec I need?

This is because media player looks to a Microsoft controlled server to locate codec's that are not stored on the local machine. This server cannot possibly store or have distribution rights to every codec.

Where can I acquire the correct codec?

This depends entirely on what codec was used to encode the video, its very much the situation of you need this key to open this lock. The source of the video file should be able to tell you which codec you require for playback, however the most widespread codec is called DIVX, which at the time of writing stands at version 5.1.
Should the file not be encoded with DIVX you can use the 'Gspot Codec Information Appliance' application (See Here) to find more information out about the file.

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