A DVD decoder is a type of software used to uncompress or undo the encoding process done on media files in DVD discs. Common examples of media files stored in DVDs are full length movies and videos. DVD decoders enable DVD drives in computers to access these types of data.
DVD decoders perform a number of unique functions. Unlocking the copy protection of DVDs is the first. Copy protection is a security mechanism created and placed on DVDs by major film studios. This mechanism makes it difficult for users to copy the data on the DVD. Decoders can unlock the copy protection, which then enables DVD players to view the files. DVD decoders also recreate the data. Since most DVDs have encoded videos, the image quality of these files is oftentimes modified. By recreating the data, DVD decoders allow DVD players to display the original images of the video.
The type of DVD decoder needed normally depends on the data encoded in the disc. For instance, data Digital Theater System, or DTS, requires a decoder compatible with the said type of data. Also, DVD decoders may decode audio, video, or both. Almost all DVD decoders support MPEG-2 because it is the most popular video format.
DVD decoders generally need to be purchased. Most video formats require licensing; hence, royalties must be given to copyright owners before the data can be decoded. There are, however, DVD players that have decoding capabilities included in them.