A video codec is piece of software that compresses and decompresses the video’s images as they are stored and retrieved from the video file. If a video is recorded with a particular codec you’ll need to have the same codec installed on your computer in order to read it.

Windows is supplied with some codecs, but there are literally hundreds of them available nowadays and Windows doesn’t include them all. However, there are a number of free ‘codec packs’ available on the Internet which include most of the common codecs.

We have found the following codec packs to be quite comprehensive. (Please note these links are provided as a courtesy and we can’t accept any responsibility for any downloads you make by following them).

IMPORTANT: A word of warning; sometimes codec packs contain malware – you should subject any file you download to a thorough virus and malware scan before installing it.