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The five best video-related downloads

Get more from video on your PC

Your PC or laptop can be used for more than just surfing the web, checking email and work-related tasks such as creating spreadsheets or typing letters. There's a whole host of multimedia applications that allow users to watch video and TV on their PC, but check out these free utilities can help you do more when its comes to video on your computer.

1. TunerFree MCE 4.4.1 (for Windows 7)

There's nothing new about watching TV on your PC, but not everyone has access to either a TV tuner card or stick, or a convenient aerial. And while you can watch TV through the internet, your web browser isn't necessarily the best platform for doing so.

If you're lucky to be running a version of Windows with Media Center built-in (that covers most Vista and Windows 7 users), you might be thinking, why can't I watch internet-streamed TV through that instead of my clunky old web browser? You're not alone – and the good news is that TunnerFree MCE 4.4.1 is the perfect program for doing just that.

2. Fresh Video Downloader 1.50

Fresh Video Downloader is a convenient and free video downloading tool which makes it easy to grab clips from video sharing sites.

You might be browsing YouTube, for instance, when you find a clip you've like to keep. Just copy it to the clipboard, switch to Fresh Video Downloader, and the program will have picked up the URL already. Then click the OK button, choose where you'd like to save the clip, and it'll be speedily downloaded.

3. RealPlayer 14.0.3

RealPlayer 14 is a new version of the veteran media player, now enhanced with powerful features that make it even easier to transport and share your media.

There's simplified support for transferring files to and from many portable devices, for instance: the iPod, iPhone or iPad, your BlackBerry, MP3 player, Android or many other smart phones. You can now transfer music, video or pictures, too. And the system will sync playlists between your devices and the RealPlayer library, so everything stays up to-date.

4. Plastic Animation Paper 4.0

Plastic Animation Paper is a powerful and professional 2D animation package that allows you to draw directly to the screen (in video or film resolution) using a tablet. Although if you don't have one then it'll work with a mouse, too. You can even import and work with a soundtrack to ensure that your work is perfectly synchronised.

5. DAPlayer 0.9.8.3

DAPlayer is a free media player with one or two unusual extra features that you won't find everywhere else.

So it doesn't just play common video formats, there's also support for trickier file types, like FLV, RM/ RMBV, OGV and more and support for playing Blu-ray discs, both commercial and home-made.

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