DScaler - vital
ZoomPlayer - vital for best picture and sound quality with out buying Theatertech
WinAmp - Great for music
YXY - Vital if you don't use TheaterTech or ZoomPlayer
SmartRipper - especially useful for keeping those unused Gigs of hard drive space warm.
Since I've got ton of HD space, I normally create an image of my DVD files and use www.daemon-tools.com (D-Tools is freeware) to mount the DVD movies. It also supports ISO,Svcd's,Vcd's, and a whole lot of other formats.
This is the total list of recommendations I've seen so far. Now, out of these, are there any software programs that people recommend NOT using?
MicroSoft Windows XP
Dscaler 3.1 (Dscaler 4 Alpha)
Nimo Codec Pack
ZoomPlayer 2.50 Final
ATI MMC DVD Player 7.5 (or 7.6)
DVD Genie 4.05
Sach's Serenescreen Marine Aquarium
ATi Multimedia Center 7.1
Another nifty utility for batch downloading of album and DVD covers is Gotcha Covered, which is still in beta - but is pretty functional. It isn't hard to figure out, and it got about 80% of my 200 albums in about 7 minutes (broadband is a must!). Works great if you use 4AM Music Console or something and need cover art...
Since I saw that a codec-pack was mentioned on the first page, I want to add ReClock. If you want to get "a giant leap" near judder-free playback (if you have judder-problems at all) than this is the prog to go for.
"I'd rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy..." (Paul Auster, Timbuktu)
-myHTPC ->fanatastic and easy to use frontend
-Zoom Player->enough said
-Girder ->for total control
-DVDdecrypter->if you want ISO files, this is the program
-Daemon Tools ->no use having ISO files without it
-Powerstrip ->didn't make top 5 because it's really shareware not free...
-Winamp ->didn't make top 5 because, well technically, it's not for hometheater, it's for home media!
-NetRemote -> not in top5 because the setup isn't that easy...