In the United States, DVD player software for computers costs money – software developer must pay a $2 license fee for MPEG-2 Codec and a 50 cent to $1 license for Dolby Digital Sound Codec (both necessary to view DVDs) for every copy of software sold. Microsoft will not include a DVD player in Windows 8 – one must purchase separately to avoid adding these license fee to cost of basic Windows 8.
So how can VLC Media Player be free to consumers and include the above Codecs (plus many others)? Because VLC is a French nonprofit organization and “Neither French law nor European conventions recognize software as patentable.” Interesting to see that other developed, industrialized countries do not patent software. (Source: Ed Bott at ZDnet)
So, to watch DVDs and all video formats for free (& legally) on your PC, install VLC Media Player, available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. VLC offers Blue-Ray support, can convert videos from one format to another, and provides many other features. Download from the VideoLan homepage.