Error message: the selected file cannot play--don't have required compresser/decompresser(codec): trying to play VOB file from external hard drive on PE 14 on IMac with El Capitan....do I need to convert VOB file before it can play and what would folks recommend for converter and to what (e.g., mp4?)...home hobbyist here
Have you updated 14 to 14.1 yet using an opened project's Help Menu/Updates.
To your immediate question...what happens if you store the assumed VTS_01_1.VOB on the computer and from there import the file into the Premiere Elements project with the project's Add Media/Files and Folders/
There are thoughts by some who would have you convert this MPEG2.VOB to MPEG2.Mpeg. There are numerous software to be found online which point to software conversion MPEG2.VOB to MPEG2.MPEG rather than just renaming the file extension to give MPEG2.VOB to MPEG2.MPEG.
By the nature of the question, it would appears that you already have the copied DVD video files saved to the external hard drive. Do differently formatted files stored on that external hard drive import into the Premiere Elements project from there without issue?
Please consider and then we can suggest what next based on the details in your reply.