I bought a Playstation 2 in 2000, which famously included a DVD drive capable of playing DVD movies. I wanted the same movie playback capability on my Windows 98 PC.
As I recall, I mistakenly thought this would mostly be a matter of just upgrading my PC's optical drive to a DVD-ROM. I did so, but never had working DVD video playback. I don't recall whether it was an issue of my PC specs, or needing some additional hardware or software for video decoding. I never upgraded beyond Windows 98 and switched to a PowerPC Mac around 2005, which by then had DVD playback out-of-box.
I'm sure there must have been a moment when PC & video card specs and Windows software (ME?, XP?) came into alignment for easy DVD playback on most Windows PCs. And I do recall there was a brief craze over "Home Theater PC's" (HTPC) in the early 2000's. Now, I am thinking about accessing this feature on a retro PC.
Which version of Windows first supported DVD movie playback out-of-box, using what included playback software, and with what required PC specifications?