DVD ROM upgrade

Definitely a newbie here. I recently bought 2 used dell latitude c610’s that had cd-rom’s in them. I swapped them for dvd/cd-rw’s(hl-dt-st rw/dvd gcc-4240n is the model number). It looks like they might be working with windows media player to play cd’s and roxio to burn cd’s but won’t play dvd’s. With the research I’ve done, it looks like I need a dvd decoder. If this is correct, where do I get one and what should I expect it to cost? Hardware or software? I’ve been told I might need new firmware and bios. I’ve downloaded both to flash drive from dell but don’t want muck around with stuff I’ve never done before unless it’s really neccesary. Thanks for any and all help. Steve

First thing to try is a software dvd decoder. There are several commercial dvd players you can buy, WinDVD and PowerDVD are two of the most commonly used. There should be a trial for each of them if you want to try them before buying.

There is one free player also, called VLC. Found here: http://www.videolan.org/vlc/
I’m not all that fond of it, but many people use it.

Edit: I think Media Player Classic can also play dvds. Check it out at Free-Codecs.com: http://www.free-codecs.com/download/Media_Player_Classic.htm

The Roxio is the part that worries me I haven’t heard much good things about that software working well with other player or burner software in windows-but I could be wrong. But did you also check to see if the drives had firmware you can update-this always helps to improve media readings and burning on various medias. I am in agreement with Kerry56 to give another dvd player software a try to see if that doesn’t improve your media play quality. I have Windvd 8 plat. and have been happy with it but the first rev of it did give me trouble but not the latest version.