How to play MP4 files in media center

Written by bey wesley
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How to play MP4 files in media center
Windows Media Center requires add-ons to play MP4 files. (video montage image by Oleg Verbitsky from Fotolia.com)

MP4 (or MPEG-4) is a widely used video container format. However, it is not a format supported by Microsoft's Windows Media Center. To enable Media Center to play MP4 files requires a media demultiplexer, sometimes called a file splitter because it splits the MP4 into parts: audio, video and subtitles. The process also requires a video codec to read the media after the MP4 container format has been opened. Each of these types of software are available to download for free on the Internet.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Media demultiplexer (splitter)
  • Video Codec

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Download and install a media splitter (see Resources for links).

  2. 2

    Open Windows Media Center. Select "My Videos" and navigate to the MP4 you want to open.

    (If you are using Windows 7, you may be able to play the MP4, as Windows 7 supports some MPEG file types.)

  3. 3

    Close Windows Media Center, if you were unable to open the MP4.

  4. 4

    Download and install a codec (see Resources for links). The codec software should load with a default setting that will allow it to open an MP4.

  5. 5

    Open Windows Media Center. Select "My Videos" and navigate to the MP4 you want to open. The MP4 should now play.

Tips and warnings

  • Be careful when downloading a codec installers; use only reputable sites that offer software that has been highly rated. Verify any site you are considering using by consulting independent references.

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