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Assuming WMP has been enhanced for more functionality, I'd like to know for what codecs/containers WMP now has inbuilt support in Windows 8 (which weren't already there in Windows 7) since I tend to avoid installation of any more players if WMP is sufficient.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 1 down vote accepted

I don't think there are any.

In fact, in Windows 8, the Windows Media Player does not include any DVD codecs. You cannot play any DVDs, due to licensing issues. Microsoft has said:

Windows Media Player will continue to be available in all editions, but without DVD playback support. For optical discs playback on new Windows 8 devices, we are going to rely on the many quality solutions on the market, which provide great experiences for both DVD and Blu-ray.

Source: Microsoft ejects DVD playback from Windows 8

Personally, I prefer VideoLAN (free), and it appears to play anything I throw at it. Because it is open source, it also means there are no commercial subtle hints to "buy stuff from our store", which is good.

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Also see here. –  Karan Oct 27 '12 at 23:09

For limited time you can add Windows Media Center to W8 Pro for **FREE, it will add quite a few codecs and the ability to play DVD's.

Windows Media Center now supports more global TV standards and tuners, including digital and HD, further widening your choices. It also plays more popular audio and video formats, including 3GP, AAC, AVCHD, MPEG-4, WMV, and WMA, and supports most AVI, DivX, MOV, and Xvid files.

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** Windows 8 Media Center Pack is available at no charge for a limited time only through this promotional page on Windows.com. If you obtain Windows 8 Media Center Pack through any other location fees might apply. Offer valid from October 26, 2012, until January 31, 2013, and is limited to one product key per email address

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You can check with sherlock - which shows and lets you save an output of what codecs you have installed. The following are the codecs that Windows 8 comes with. There may be additional ones with Windows Media Center, but I wouldn't consider these built in. While the built in DVD codec was axed, there are other codecs built in.

 DirectShow Runtime.
 Cinepak® Codec
  XDSCodec & Encypter/Decrypter Tagger Filters.
 DirectShow Runtime.
 Intel Indeo(R) Video YUV Codec
 Microsoft RLE Compressor
 Microsoft Video 1 Compressor
 DirectShow Runtime.
 Windows Media MPEG-4 Video Decoder
 Windows Media MPEG-4 S Video Decoder
 Windows Media Screen Encoder
  PTFilter & Encypter/Decrypter Tagger Filters.
 VBI Surface Allocator Filter
 DirectShow Runtime.
 Windows Media Screen Decoder
 Windows Media Video Decoder
 Windows Media Video Encoder
 Windows Media Video 9 Encoder
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