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Aren't modern OS already packaged with the basic and most used codecs? Is there any reason to install a codec pack on a Windows 7?

What are those reasons? Where can someone look for safe codec packs? I ask this because there are a lot of codec packs on the internet and some of them are just a package of malware. I had some troubles with Shark007's codecs... and I thought I could call it secure, but not anymore.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

The main problem with supporting all the different video decoders is a matter of licencing. Most video codecs require some kind of royalty to be paid to whoever developed the encoding scheme. While h.264 is royalty free many are not and it can be a painful and annoying process to find and licence all the codecs you may need in order to support the majority of media.

That said, for a nice "standard" and respected codec pack, I recommend getting the DivX Plus Codec Pack pack from DivX, which allows Windows Media player to support most current generation video containers (mkv, and so on) and codecs such as h.264, AAC and other major formats used for HD video.

While not as complete as some codec packs it has meant that my machine at least is able to play all the major formats I need to use regularly and is from a well known source.

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Actually, K-Lite and CCCP are both good and safe codec packs for Windows. – slhck Sep 7 '11 at 21:25
I use CCCP myself. It's had every codec I've ever found I needed. – music2myear Sep 7 '11 at 23:27
I'd second (third?) CCCP with a craveat- with intel video adaptors, the h264 implementation in windows is significantly better than both the CCCP and VLC implementation (due to hardware acceleration). I'd say cccp is probably good enough, unless you use intel for video, in which case, switch to the native DXVA codec – Journeyman Geek Sep 8 '11 at 0:36

Like mentioned earlier, licensing is an issue. And like anything Microsoft does, it ends up being a huge political battle with every special interest group threatening to sue if they don't get their way.

I recommend Shark's Codec pack. Unlike KLite and CCCP, it doesn't try to do everything but rather tries to make as few changes to your system as possible. A great solution for the minimalist.

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I'm assuming you are using Windows Media Player. I really hate WMP and use MPlayer and VLC. I haven't found a format that MPlayer or VLC can't play.

I vastly prefer the MPlayer to VLC, and the builds by mulder are definitely free of any malware or anything. He's been doing this for a long time.

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