As it is now the second decade of the 21st century, data carriers like DVDs are slowly becoming obsolete. A growing number of laptop and desktop PCs no longer feature optical disc drives, while the discontinuation of the Windows Media Center marked the end of an era in which Windows OS offered a built-in DVD player.
The Windows 10 doesn’t have a native app that enables you to play movies or music from DVD and Blu-ray discs, and you must install a third-party DVD video player if you want to view content from these sources. Luckily there is no shortage of media players that are compatible with Windows 10, so in this article, we are going to take you through some of the best free DVD players on the market and help you choose the one that meets all your needs.
Best Free DVD Players for Windows 10
Before you opt for one DVD player or the other you must first check which audio and video file formats they support or find out if you can use them to play Blu-ray discs. You should also check a player’s compatibility with the operating system you have installed on your computer and that you have all the codecs necessary to play ISO and other image, audio and video file format. So let’s take a look at ten best free DVD players for Windows 10.
Over the course of the last two decades, VLC has established itself as one of the most versatile media players ever created. This cross-platform app can be used on Macs, PCs, Linux computers and Smartphones to play different types of audio, image and video files. In fact, VLC is probably the most reliable DVD player you can find, as it allows you to play DVD and Blu-ray discs effortlessly. However, if you want to watch videos in 4K or 8K resolution, you must install the VLC 3.0 Vetinari update of the media player.
What’s more, playing a DVD or a Blu-ray with VLC is a simple task you can complete in just a few clicks. The Open Disc option that is located in the player’s Media menu enables you to choose if you would like to open a DVD, VCD, Audio CD or Blu-ray disc. Moreover, you won’t need to install additional H.264 or MPEG-4 codecs, since VLC can play the vast majority of video files regardless of the codec they are using.
Available to all PC and Mac users for free
The most versatile media player on the market
Offers basic video editing options
Powerful subtitle syncing tools
The playback of 4K or 8K video files can be choppy
If you are looking for a DVD player that is compatible with all versions of Windows that were released since Windows Vista, PotPlayer might be one of your best options. Besides providing support for all commonly used video file formats and allowing you to play DVDs, Blu-rays or audio CDs, PotPlayer also offers support for different types of 3D glasses. This Windows-based media player is equipped with enhanced H/W Acceleration technology that enables the software to assist the CPU and GPU during the playback of demanding video files.
PotPlayer has all the codecs that are required for the playback of various types of multimedia files, so you don’t have to waste time searching for the codec packs that make possible playing video and audio content that is stored on DVDs or Blu-rays. The media player lets you choose a sound card in case you have more just than one and it supports SRT and SMI, VOB and Blu-ray subtitles.
This is a powerful multimedia player that enables you to watch even region coded and CSS-encrypted DVDs. However, the free version of BlazeDVD doesn’t allow you to open region coded DVDs and Blu-rays or add subtitles to your files. So if you want to gain access to all the features this DVD player has to offer, you must make a one-time payment of $49.96 and upgrade to its Pro version. Both versions of BlazeDVD let you play DVDs, VCDs or SVCDs and allow you to choose between different playback modes.
The Surround Sound support enhances the audio playback and provides a theater-like experience to the viewers. Moreover, you can choose between ten audio filters you can apply to media files you open with BlazeDVD or use the Parental Control feature if you want to restrict the access to violent content to your children. Creating slideshows from still images or recording videos in an MPEG2 file format are also among the options you are going to have at your disposal if you opt for the paid version of BlazeDVD.
Excellent audio playback capabilities
Features a learning mode
Equipped with the Smart Stretch technology
Multi-core CPU acceleration features enhance the video and audio playback
The free version of BlazeDVD offers only limited DVD and Blu-ray playback options
In case you are looking for a perfect DVD player for your home theater, 5KPlayer is probably one of the best options you can find on the market. PC and Mac users can install this DVD player on their devices for free and even use it to capture screens in 4K resolution. The AirPlay technology enables mirroring, while you can also use 5KPlayer to download videos from more than 300 websites including platforms like YouTube or Vimeo.
This media player offers a smooth playback of 4K, Full HD and 360° videos, and it enables you to stream audio and video via its DLNA and AirPlay features. Its DXVA2 hardware acceleration helps render HDR 4K and 8K videos in MTS, MKV H264/265 or VR 360° formats. What’s more 5KPlayer can detect and play stereo, Dolby or DTS multichannel surround sound in MP3, WMA, FLAC or AAC file formats. This cross-platform multimedia player is equipped with a built-in radio player and it supports all common subtitle file formats.
Offers support for a broad range of audio and video files
Excellent screen capturing tools
Enables users to download video content from Facebook, Dailymotion, YouTube or Vimeo
Over the years, GOM has emerged as one of the most versatile DVD players for Windows 10 and all other earlier versions of the OS. Its video playback features are nothing short of amazing since GOM enables you to play videos in various resolutions and file formats. However, if you would like to use this media player to open Blu-ray discs you must ensure that you have the necessary codecs. Even so, GOM features a variety of built-in codecs such as Vobris, H263, H265 MP42 or XVID that ensure you can open almost all types of video files.
Besides stunning video playback capabilities that even allow you to view 360° VR videos, GOM also features an extensive subtitle library. The media player searches for subtitles automatically and if it finds a subtitle for a particular video it adds them automatically. Upgrading to the paid version of the GOM media player can be a good idea if you want to get rid of ads or make sure that the playback of 4K UHD video files is smooth.
Quick and easy installation process
A rich subtitle library
Supports a broad range of audio and video files
Low system requirements
Additional codecs are required for the playback of Blu-ray discs
Even though it has been more than two years since the last and probably the final version of MPC-HC has been released, this media player is still one of the best ways to play DVDs and Blu-rays on Windows 10. The video and audio playback tools MPC-HC has to offer cannot be compared to those provided by VLC or even GOM media player as it only features the basic options you need to play a DVD or a Blu-ray disc. Moreover, the process of playing a DVD with MPC-HC is quite technical as you must adjust the media player’s settings in order to play content from that source.
The codecs you will have to install on your PC depends on the type of content you would like to watch. MPC-HC provides support for H.264 or H.265 codecs, but it is better to install a full codec pack and ensure that you have all the codecs you need to play audio and video files. Furthermore, playing videos in 4K resolution with MPC-HC is not possible, but you can use it as a DVB player if you want to broadcast videos from your PC to other devices.
This modernly and elegantly designed media player lets you watch 3D, 4K or UHD videos regardless of the format in which they are saved. The KMPlayer features all codecs it needs to play different types of audio and video files, so you don’t have to look for codecs you need to open a particular media file. You can choose between 32-bit and 64-bit PC versions of KMPlayer, or opt to use this media player on an Android or iPhone device.
Adding subtitles to a video in KMPlayer is an effortless process that won’t take more than a couple of clicks. Besides the remarkable video playback options, KMPlayer also allows you to listen to music through its music player and enables you to download videos from Instagram, Daily Motion or YouTube. The media player also lets you capture audio and video files and save them in virtually any format you want.
Displays high-resolution files accurately and without delay
PowerDVD is arguably the best DVD player for Windows ever created, and it is no surprise that its latest version offers a wide range of audio and video playback options. PowerDVD 19 is available in Standard, Pro and Ultra versions that are all differently priced and provide different video and audio playback features. The Standard version of PowerDVD 19 can run on Windows 8.1 or Windows 7, but you can only play 4K videos with this media player if you have Windows 10 installed on your PC.
In addition to playing DVD and Blu-ray discs you can also use PowerDVD 19 to download videos, 360° VR videos, audio or image files and stream videos from PowerDVD to your television set. This iconic media player offers HDR support and it is True Theater technology enhances the colors in videos you play with it. However, if you would like to watch 8K or HDR content with PowerDVD 19 you must purchase its Ultra version.
If you are looking for a media player that can open both Blu-ray and DVD discs, you should look no further, because Leawo Blu-ray player is equipped with a plethora of features that make every home theater experience more enjoyable. The player lets you open DVD files, DVD folders, as well as DVD ISO and IFO files, however, you cannot use it to play videos in resolutions larger than 1080p.
Leawo Blu-ray player enables you to watch or listen to the content from Blu-ray discs on Windows 10 and all other versions of the OS up to Windows Vista. Adding subtitles or selecting the audio track of a video file is easy and optionally you can search through the DVD player’s subtitle library if the original video doesn’t have built-in subtitles. More advanced video playback options like screencasting or screen capturing are not available, which means that you can only watch the videos that are stored on DVDs or Blu-rays from your computer.
Allows users to load multiple files simultaneously
Compatible with all versions of Windows OS since Windows Vista
Even though this media player is primarily designed for macOS, the manufacturer announced that the Windows version of the app is going to become available soon. The Macgo Windows Blu-ray player is expected to offer support for a broad range of Blu-ray file formats and video files, which should enable its users to watch or listen to content without any restrictions. The media player can also display a variety of photo file formats, including CR2 files, and its users can utilize it to browse through their photo collections and ever view RAW files.
The current Mac-based versions of the software offer support for Dolby TrueHD Audio DTS-HD Master Audio and DTS 5.1 codecs that ensure you can hear every sound in a video accurately. Macgo Windows Blu-ray should also be equipped with a range of subtitle options that allow you to customize the color, size or the font of a video’s subtitles.
Supports nearly all Blu-ray and video file formats
Powerful audio playback features
Displays image files
Offers online video playback options
This Blu-ray and DVD player is still in Beta stage
Even though Windows 10 doesn’t have a native DVD or Blu-ray players, finding a media player that enables you to watch video and audio content from Blu-ray or DVD discs shouldn’t be too difficult. Media players like Pot Player or VLC are powerful enough to provide smooth playback of all audio and video files for free, while DVD players like PowerDVD or KMPlayer are a better option if you are looking for a true home theater experience. Which DVD player for Windows 10 are you going to choose? Leave a comment and let us know.
Ollie Mattison is a writer and a lover of all things video.