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Video Clips for The Grid 2

The Grid 2 plays video clips through Windows Media Player. This has evolved through many versions and it is not always possible to predict which clips will play on a computer. To play a video clip, the computer must have the correct codecs installed. Unfortunately there are many codecs and it is not always possible to determine which are installed. The result is that sometimes a clip will play on one computer but not another.

The Quick Solution

Many problems with Grid 2 being unable to play video clips can be solved by installing a freeware VLC video player. Although you don’t need to use the player, installing it also installs a bundle of common codecs that can be used by Grid 2. These instructions show how to install it and still retain Windows Media Player as your default player.

Advanced information

Video clips can be saved in a number for formats such as AVI, MOV and MPG. Unfortunately the file format is only a wrapper around the true video format. This is specified by a ‘codec’, a small piece of software that is used to decompress the file when it is played. Codecs come from many sources. Some are installed with Windows, some when Windows Media Player is installed or updated and some are proprietary and distributed with camera or player software. When Windows Media Player encounters a video encoded with a codec that is not installed, it tries to locate and download a suitable codec. Codecs may also be manually downloaded and installed from a number of sources.

If you are having problems playing media files, there are various ways to try to locate an appropriate codec. First, try playing the file in Windows Media Player. For some formats this will download and install an appropriate codec. If this fails, Wikipedia maintain an article on Video Codecs with a section on “Missing Codecs and Video File Issues”. The section contains links and suggestions about how to diagnose problems and locate appropriate codecs.

Video clips in MPG or MPEG format often use a codec intended for use with DVDs. Many of these codecs are proprietary and get installed with software for playing DVDs are bundled with the machine when it is bought. Microsoft have a help page with links to some commercial products and a diagnostic tool here.

Please also note that if you are playing video clips on a low powered machine you should ensure that the folders containing the clips (and also the Sensory Software folder) are not be compressed. Compressed folders are shown in blue on file explorer. You can uncompress folders via the folder properties dialog.

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