Windows 8 will not play DVD discs anymore, unless you pay for the Media Center pack

Windows 8 will not play DVDs anymore

Here is something interesting: You may already know that Microsoft plans to sell Windows Media Center as a separate paid pack, but now the company has just revealed that Windows 8 will also stop the support for DVD playback. This won’t be the case of course, if you upgrade to the Media Center pack that you only will be able to install if you have the Pro edition of the upcoming OS or installing a third-party DVD application, which we have tons.

In the Building Windows 8 blog announcement, the software maker explains that most of the videos played today on the PC and mobile devices come from online sources such as YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, etc., and it continues to grow in a rapid pace. On the other hand DVDs and TV broadcast are “in sharp decline”, even Blu-ray is losing momentum on the PC, which translate into “a significant amount in royalties” to continue the support for these playback scenarios.

Microsoft says that Windows 8 will focus primarily on online and downloadable media, and it will support a variety of codecs right out of the box: H.264, VC-1, WMA, MP4, AVI, MPEG-2 TS, ASF, AAC, WAV, M4A, MP3, PCM and Dolby Digital Plus. “These decoders are optimized for system reliability, battery life, and performance, and cover all key playback scenarios for mainstream content” — the company says.

Moving forward, how are you going to play DVDs or watch live TV in your Windows 8 PC? -There are many ways to do this. if you want to go the Microsoft road, you’ll need to upgrade to the “Media Center pack” via the “Add Features to Windows 8” from the Control Panel. This is if you are using Windows 8 Pro, if you are using just Windows 8 — get to know the editions –, you’ll need to upgrade to the “Windows 8 Pro Pack” which will include Media Center, DVD playback support (only from Media Center and not from Media Player), TV recording and playback (DBV-T/S, ISDB-S/T, DMBH, and ATSC), and VOB file playback — Pricing to be announced.

Now, you can also opt to use third-party solutions software to play DVDs in Windows. The most common solution will be getting a free open source application like VLC and Media Player Classic among others.

What is your take on Windows 8 DVD playback support? Let us know your favorite way to watch DVD and Live TV.

May 5, 2012 update

Mauro is a technology writer at and He’s been recognized as a Microsoft MVP, he’s also a technology enthusiast and enjoys writing content about Microsoft, Google, Apple, and other interesting technologies. Got a hat tip? Send him an email with your rants, rumors, tips and tattles.

Email @Pureinfotech
  • FTWinston

    Well, if it actually made the “standard” windows 8 package cheaper as a result, that could be argued to be a good thing. I doubt it will, though.

    • mhweb

      I agree, thank your for your comment!

    • Woundedfuzz

      Mac OS, 1 version one price.

  • Kohenkatz

    Considering that more and more laptops ship without optical drives these days, it doesn’t make sense for the DVD codecs to be included by default.  That said, I’d also like to know how much money they are saving per copy sold and how much of that savings they are passing to the consumer.

  • Forusoenlamesites


  • Toddrmoore

    This is a non issue.

    10 to 1, this price increase is because MS is getting shaken down for the a DVD decoder licensing fee for every copy of MS Windows.  This is a not a new situation.  Windows 2000 did not come with a DVD decoder either, and every PC manufacturer simply bundled WinDVD or PowerDVD with their computers.  They will just start doing the same thing again.

  • Woundedfuzz

    Or People will be forced to make a better choice.  Buy a Mac!

    1 Version, 1 Price!  $29 per upgrade version, not $200+

    • random guy

      that’s wrong.  It is $29 for minor upgrades, major ones cost more.  The $29 one only went from 10.6.x to 10.7.x.  Learn about it.

    • Meh

      You’re kidding right?  How about Linux?

    • Greg Rinehart

      $2000 up front cost, no thanks

    • Macsucks

      Worthless OS is worthless. If its cheaper for people like me who do not plan to play DVD/Blu ray… then so be it. Otherwise keep your childs OS out of here.

    • lol

      except you cant upgrade becuase your mac is lasts years models and this years OS doesnt support it.

    • KomradKratz

       Or, we could all stop being lazy corporate tools and start using Linux.

    • Adam Largaiolli

      But Apple updates their OS every 6 months to a year. Windows makes one OS almost every 4-5 years.
      Also, you’ll be paying much more for a Mac, which are $2000+ for what you could get the same specs of but for $500.

  • Bobby Kristensen

    Didn’t know people still used DVDs…. wtf?

  • Greg Rinehart

    I don’t really think it matters since most people probably have codec packs and third party software anyways.

  • SlickR

    Skip Windows 8? Let Microsoft bankrupt and hope and pray someone picks Linux, updates the interface go modern standards, adds CL support to play games and we have a free or at least very cheap OS that is faster and more secure than Windows operating systems.

  • Billy

    So far nothing about W8 is wowwing me right now. They can keep the Metro UI, do not like it at all and besides it can be duplicated with a few 3rd party apps. If I had a way of extricating windows media center and player I would replace with XBMC and VLC as I use now anyway. 

  • Topgun966

    False, media player is still with Windows 8. Why don’t you do some research before you troll. 

  • Guest


  • Macser

    Get a MAC!, bb

  • Terry Jabado

    VLC problem solved

  • Terry Jabado

    VLC problem solved

  • brunnegd

    XP forever!!