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You receive the "Cannot Play Video" error message when you play a video file of an unsupported format by using a Media Center Extender

Support for Windows XP has ended

Microsoft ended support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

When you try to play video files of a certain format by using Media Center Extender for Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005, the files do not play. You receive the following error message in the Preview thumbnail:
Cannot Play Video
You do not receive a warning message in a dialog box.
This issue occurs because the Media Center Extender does not support the format of the video file. The Media Center Extender supports video file formats that are a subset of the video file formats that Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 supports. Therefore, while some video files may play correctly in Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005, the files may not play at all on a Media Center Extender, and you may experience the symptoms that are described in the "Symptoms" section.
You may be able to work around this issue by using a video editing program to convert the video file to a different format that is supported by the Media Center Extender.

Media Center Extender for Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 supports the following formats:
  • Windows Media Video 9 main profile (.wmv)
    • WMA Standard audio
    • Max resolution 720x480
    • Max bit-rate 4Mbps
    • WMV content may be Windows Media DRM-protected
  • MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 standard definition (.mpg)
    • MPEG-1 layers I and II audio
  • Standard Definition DVR-MS (Recorded TV) at all quality settings (Fair through Best)
You can use Microsoft Windows Media Encoder to re-encode affected videos to the WMV 9 format with WMA 9 Standard Audio. This format will play correctly on the Media Center Extender. To obtain Windows Media Encoder, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
More information

Media Center Technical Support

Because Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition was included with your hardware device or system, the hardware manufacturer provides technical support and assistance for this software. Your manufacturer may have customized the installation with unique components such as specific device drivers and optional settings to maximize the performance of that manufacturer's hardware. If you require technical help with Windows XP Media Center Edition, contact your manufacturer directly because the manufacturer is best qualified to support the software that the manufacturer has installed on the hardware.

Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.

Article ID: 896034 - Last Review: 04/12/2013 07:48:00 - Revision: 4.0

  • Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005
  • kbtshoot KB896034