Good afternoon. Thanks for using JustAnswer. I'm Bruce Mitchell, aka "DrKlahn."
H.264, while a good solution for video, is not a widely used codec, and it became much less popular after Chrome dropped support for it. I encountered this same problem myself a few months back.
I solved it by downloading the DivX H.264 codec from this site: http://www.free-codecs.com/DivX_H264_decoder_download.htm. There is also an alternate codec, if the DivX codec does not decode properly: http://www.free-codecs.com/download/x264_video_codec.htm
I also use Media Player Classic (http://mpc-hc.sourceforge.net/) instead of VLC or VideoLAN, but that is purely personal preference.
Try this solution, and see if it works for you.
That is the correct behavior. Codecs install and then disappear from view. Once the codecs are installed, Media Player Classic should be able to open a video file created using an H.264 codec. However, the files must have the .AVI extension. Any other extension (.MPG, .WMF, .FLV, ...) won't work.
You'll need to change the file type to .AVI in order for Media Player Classic to recognize it as a video file.