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

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 15 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 21 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].