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Playing DVD movies in Windows 8

For Windows 8, Microsoft dropped DVD support from Windows Media Player due to licensing issues and says that it is in the interests of customers since they can thus pay less for Windows/systems.

Obviously third-party software (including free ones like VLC) can be used to play DVDs, but using third-party software is not always easy/possible for everyone (particularly in business environments).

Is there (or are there plans to provide) any way to play DVDs in Windows 8 without third-party software? For example, while it is no longer supported “as standard”, is it possible to download an update from the Microsoft Downloads site or Windows Update to add the functionality?

I know that Media Center is available for purchase for those who have the Pro version. But what about a free solution; something for example, for novices and such who get a “Home” version pre-installed on their laptops.

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marked as duplicate by Karan, Synetech, Mehper C. Palavuzlar, Moab, nhinkle Oct 20 '12 at 21:28

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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The free solution is to use VLC. –  nhinkle Oct 20 '12 at 21:22

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

According to the Building Windows 8 Blog, by default, Windows 8 does not come with DVD codecs. This is because codec licensing costs are non-trivial, and many computers no longer come with a DVD drive in the first place.

Windows Media Center is an optional add-on for Windows 8 Pro, and will support DVD playback. If you already have Windows 8 standard installed, you will be able to purchase a Windows 8 Pro upgrade pack through the Microsoft Store (currently available for pre-order), which will enable you to install Media Center. This feature is not pre-installed with Windows 8 Pro though.

If you're currently using Windows XP, Vista, or 7, you can upgrade to the full Windows 8 Pro for $40, which includes Media Center for free through January at least.

It's unclear whether Windows 8 Pro editions that come from MSDN or boxed retail include Media Center, or if they will require an additional update.

Regardless of how you're getting Windows 8, the Media Center add-on won't be available until October 26th, at which time it will be made available for upgrades.

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So basically, businesses have to pay more money (presumably much more than the cost of the codec) and consumers who get a laptop with the basic version have to buy a third-party software? –  Synetech Oct 20 '12 at 21:17
    
@Synetech it's not quite clear. For volume license agreements that most businesses have, they'll be using Windows 8 Enterprise, which to my knowledge does not include the media center. I'm trying to find some more info. –  nhinkle Oct 20 '12 at 21:21
    
Or download a free third party package. Since VLC is stable (now years ago) I never used the ones which came with windows. And I am sure it is not the only free one. :) –  Hennes Oct 20 '12 at 21:21
    
@Hennes, yes, obviously for myself, I use VLC (and have uninstalled WMP a long time ago). But for people like my mother, I would have to personally, manually download and install it for her since she is not going to be able to play DVDs by just popping in the disc like you can with Windows 7. As for businesses, schools, etc., well they have all kinds of policies about installing software. –  Synetech Oct 20 '12 at 21:28
    
@Synetech FYI I edited some of the info from this answer into the accepted answer on the original duplicate. –  nhinkle Oct 20 '12 at 21:35

Media center still supports it.

Here's the blog article supporting this: FAQ - DVD playback and Windows Media Center in Windows 8.

Relevant sections:

Will devices with Windows 8 pre-installed be able to play DVDs out of the box?

This is ultimately an OEM choice for what peripherals and software to include in a given system.

What if I upgrade to Windows 8 on my current Windows 7 PC with a DVD drive?

... Alternatively, you can acquire the Windows 8 Media Center Pack or the Windows 8 Pro Pack post upgrade. Both Packs include Windows Media Center, including the ability to play DVDs.

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"I think" is not an answer. Either provide proof/backup or make this a comment. –  studiohack Oct 20 '12 at 21:09
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Going to need some more details than that... –  nhinkle Oct 20 '12 at 21:09
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What evidence do you have to back this up, considering the OP states that Microsoft have removed DVD playback in the question? –  ChrisF Oct 20 '12 at 21:09
    
Updated my answer. Frankly I think these kind of information has been covered many times in technology blogs. I think I learned this from Engadget. Normally good news writers will not just tell you one side of the storey, i.e. if they say something is removed, you'll normally also touch on alternative ways to get it. –  billc.cn Oct 20 '12 at 21:13

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