Watching Videos in Windows Media Player - dummies

Watching Videos in Windows Media Player

By Andy Rathbone

You can use the Windows Media Player to play videos and TV shows in Windows Vista. Playing videos works much like playing a digital song. First, switch to the video library by choosing Video from the Library button along Media Player’s top. Double-click the video you want to see and start enjoying the action.


That will get you started, but there are several things you can do to ensure your video viewing pleasure when using Windows Media Player.

  • Change the size of the video. Press Alt+Enter to make it fill the screen. Repeat those keystrokes to return to the original size.

  • Make the video adjust itself automatically to the size of your Media Player window. Choose View→Video Size and select Fit Video to Player on Resize.

  • When downloading video from the Internet, make sure that it’s stored in Windows Media format (WMV). Media Player can’t play videos stored in QuickTime or Real Video.

  • When choosing video to watch on the Internet, your connection speed determines its quality. If you have a dialup connection, watch the video’s 56K version. Broadband users can watch either the 100K or 300K version. You can’t damage your computer by choosing the wrong one; the video just won’t look right.

    When you stream a video over the Internet, the computer downloads the video in little pieces (called buffering) and then plays the pieces back for you. If you have a slower connection or you choose the wrong connection type in Windows Media Player, the playback can look choppy because there isn’t enough bandwidth to buffer the files and play them at the same time.

  • You can also use Media Player to watch TV shows recorded by Windows Vista’s Media Center as long as you know the location of the TV show on your computer.