Windows 8 won't support DVD, Blu-ray playback by default

By on May 4, 2012, 1:30 PM

Microsoft has pounded another nail in the coffin for optical media with the revelation that it won't be including DVD playback support by default in Windows 8. With a post on the Building Windows 8 blog yesterday, the company explained that DVD and Blu-ray playback as well as watching broadcast TV on PCs is in decline, and thus it no longer feels that the cost of licensing specialized decoders across all copies of Windows is justified.

Windows Media Player will continue to be offered in all versions of Windows 8 and allow playback for internet video and other files, but without DVD playback capability. Instead, those who need the functionality can purchase the Windows Media Center upgrade separately, or use third-party software.

The Windows Media Center update will be available to Windows 8 customers via the Add Features to Windows 8 control panel (formerly known as Windows Anytime Upgrade), bringing full integration with DVD playback, broadcast TV recording and playback, and VOB file playback. Exactly how much the upgrade will cost should be announced closer to Windows 8's launch, but Microsoft says "it will be in line with marginal costs".

While the move might seem a bit drastic it probably will be just a minor annoyance considering there are tons of free third-party video players out there that support DVD playback, including the popular VLC. Moreover, Windows 8 will run on a variety of form factors that don’t have optical drives to play DVDs, including tablets and ultrabooks, so the decision to avoid paying licensing fees for these devices seems reasonable.

That said, faithful Media Center users will still be disappointed with news that it will be sold as a separated add-on, rather than being integrated into the OS as was the case with the last two releases of Windows.




User Comments: 40

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Littleczr Littleczr said:

Whats wrong with windows 7?

Guest said:

Mmm, I'm running out of reasons to upgrade.

m4a4 m4a4 said:

There will be a way to get it free for the faithful, but otherwise VLC is just fine.

Guest said:

Its funny, when Microsoft include a software in Windows (ex: IE) people are saying it is killing the small developers or competition. Now that Microsoft is not including a software that most people don't use, people are still complaining. Make up your mind people.

Guest said:

So it'll be cheaper than Win 7 then, without that additional licensing to pay for? Put your hands up if you think that saving will be passed on to the consumer. I'm a fan of Microsoft, but I really think they're going to struggle in the future.

howzz1854 said:

i am all for having Media Center do all the DVD, broadcast, and what not. and frankly nobody uses Window Media Player anyway (most people either use MPC HC, or VLC). but the fact that you have to pay extra for media center does not sit well with me.

Guest said:

Metro looks like a huge pile of crap for desktop users.

tomkaten tomkaten said:

I'm glad to see optical media go, it's really verging on obsolescence these days. For the price of one Blu-Ray burner drive one can get about eight 16 GB USB drives, which are faster, easier to carry around and generally more reliable. Not to mention that they can be written many times over without special software.

All software should be distributed like this, BD-ROM endures merely because it's highly controllable by media moguls.

The days of optical media are gone in my book, Microsoft's move is kinda bold, but they're merely adapting to the rapidly changing world of computing. I salute them.

taea00 said:

I think Balmer's Ouija board is channeling Jobs and he's finally getting his revenge. I'm happy to see Microsoft alienating users so much. Maybe that will push people to discover new OSes based on Linux or Mac. More people on competing OSes means more software is made for multiple platforms and more competition for Microsoft. Competition is great for consumers. Keep up the good work Microsoft!

bexwhitt said:

I have had windows 7 from launch day and never used the media center, whats wrong with vlc player?

Cota Cota said:

DVD's and Blu-ray's should die already, just saying, besides whos really going to upgrade to 8? the only way i switch to that [/sarcasm]iWindows 8[sarcasm] is if i get forced by games of some other software's :\

Guest said:

@Cota the blu rays will probably be around for a while. I mean it's Sony's main format for the ps3...

ikesmasher said:

why would you not include such a basic function, thats incredibly stupid

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Metro looks like a huge pile of crap for desktop users.

That's probably because it IS a huge pile of crap for desktop users.

Guest said:

why the **** is the title of this article so........idk. what are we reversing the technological time? no dvd or blu ray? on my computer? what kind of garbage is that.

Uvindu said:

why the **** is the title of this article so........idk. what are we reversing the technological time? no dvd or blu ray? on my computer? what kind of garbage is that.

I'm sure people said the same thing about floppy disks at some point

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

I am all for having Media Center do all the DVD, broadcast, and what not. and frankly nobody uses Window Media Player anyway (most people either use MPC HC, or VLC). but the fact that you have to pay extra for media center does not sit well with me.

]If this year was 2009, (or thereabouts), then this would be valuable information. Windows Home Premium, includes "Windows Media Center" an no extra charge. I have seen that version of the OS for as low as $80,00.

As to whether "nobody uses WMP", I do, and it works just dandy. I just use it in a funny way, I actually buy CDs for the home, and use WMP to rip them losslessly to the HDD, (WAV files). Then, from there, I can print CDs with full text (ImgBurn), mixes, custom CDs with added or dropped tracks, etc. And, Windows keeps perfect track of the files, and includes web access for the track info and album art.

I realize many people believe it's hip to be, "too enlightened" and, "too advanced". to employ a M$ software solution. I even use VLC myself for DVD in versions of Windows that don't support DVD.

Keep in mind however, VLC support od Blu-Ray, is allegedly sketchy, ATM.

But for the rest of this nonsense with Windows 8, I just ordered a fresh copy of Windows 7, for something I may build in the future.

All of that said, it's beginning to appear that Windows 8 "Metro", should have a big, steaming pile of crap, set as its desktop wallpaper.

I'm glad to see optical media go, it's really verging on obsolescence these days. For the price of one Blu-Ray burner drive one can get about eight 16 GB USB drives, which are faster, easier to carry around and generally more reliable. Not to mention that they can be written many times over without special software.

All software should be distributed like this, BD-ROM endures merely because it's highly controllable by media moguls.

The days of optical media are gone in my book, Microsoft's move is kinda bold, but they're merely adapting to the rapidly changing world of computing. I salute them.

You seem to view yourself as some sort of "tech savant". Can you put your entire DVD and / or Blu-Ray collection on USB drives and carry it around with you? If so, you're not really working at acquiring media.

It's people like you I get the biggest kick out of, when they're trumpeting how they have it all together. As long as you have internet $50.00 a month internet to pay your bills online, you can save 45 cents for the cost of a stamp.

Here's some bad news for you sunshine, the "media moguls" are doggedly working to acquire control of the web. Every other month there's another censorship attempt. The plot's the same, just the acronym changes. So, when DVDs are outlawed, only outlaws will have DVDs. Put that in your flash drive and run it.

Anyway, After the the initial purchase of a decent burner, you can burn hundreds of Blu-Ray discs, for about a buck or so a pop. Which kind of relegates your cost assessment analysis to "crapthematics"

Guest said:

Great... my Blu-ray Drive will be obsolete, I infer.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Great... my Blu-ray Drive will be obsolete, I infer.
How did you come to that conclusion?

What I think is going to happen, Windows 8 is likely the reincarnation of Vista anyway. Buy a spare copy of Win 7. Keep it in your drawer. Hopefully it'll "get lucky" and you'll find a computer for it to mate with.

I'm not exactly what all this fuss is with Blu-Ray non-support anyway. Windows 7 doesn't support it. Were we hoping for 8 to have free software included?

It's the lack of DVD support that's rather more disturbing.

Trechie said:

"That said, faithful Media Center users will still be disappointed with news that it will be sold as a separated add-on, rather than being integrated into the OS as was the case with the last two releases of Windows."

No, I won't be disappointed because this clinches it...I won't be upgrading to Windows 8.

Guest said:

They might as well remove mouse support as well, since the disaster that is the metro interface doesn't work with it anyway. Windows 8 is going to be a disaster...

NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

Well PS3s/other blu ray players offer blu ray and regular dvds, maybe that's more to Sony's and others advantage?

tomkaten tomkaten said:

"Anyway, After the the initial purchase of a decent burner, you can burn hundreds of Blu-Ray discs, for about a buck or so a pop. Which kind of relegates your cost assessment analysis to "crapthematics"

Man, you need to chill. It's just an opinion, I didn't promote it as the universal truth or something. And as far as I'm concerned, it's just as valid as yours.

I've seen it all happen before.. People burning hundreds of CD's of crap only to have them decorate their tool sheds as soon as the next optical media support came along. Which will probably happen to the huge blu-ray collection you advocate when 4k video will become the standard... And that day doesn't seem so far away. And as for gaming... My internet speed is way above puny optical media speeds, so why would I want to install stuff from the little circle that makes my computer vibrate like a tractor ?

See, not everyone does things the way you do them, just as sure they don't do it my way. So learn to chill and ignore what seems to be "background noise", from your perspective.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

so why would I want to install stuff from the little circle that makes my computer vibrate like a tractor ?
Spoken a true "expert" from Newegg. I used to enjoy wholeheartedly them running their mouths about how "noisy" brand "X" hard drives were. Then you buy them, put them in, and can't hear them. So, when I became a man, I put aside such childish opinions. You should get out of the house more, change a tire with an impact gun. try a couple of shot bursts with a jack hammer. It'll desensitize you to the "horrific noises" that an optical drive makes.

See, not everyone does things the way you do them, just as sure they don't do it my way. So learn to chill and ignore what seems to be "background noise", from your perspective.
Trust me, I know full well how to chill, just not as the Cylons say, "by your command".......

tomkaten tomkaten said:

Thinking that I'm the Newegg expert when you don't know the first thing about me kinda shows who's the man and who's the child here.

And driving myself deaf with jackhammers so I don't hear the optical drive in the house is not my idea of fun, but if it suits you, go for it. I already have a moderate case of tinnitus and it's not drug-induced.

Guest said:

Back on topic...

I don't think this was a surprise to anyone who saw the underlying reasons for the metro interface with windows 8 nor will the other changes incoming be a surprise.

I couldn't care less tbh Win 8 offers nothing for my buisness and its 48 employees we will stick with windows 7, the general feeling among the IT staff is also that Windows 8 will be another move MS's bean counter dept think is good yet the underlying features of windows 8 offer little and only end up costing a buisness or a end home user more expenditure aswell as more time re learning a cumbersome interface.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

I read about 20% of these replies, so if you guys want to tear me a new one for missing something, go ahead.

IMO, great. I know I've been a pretty big supporter of Win 8 here, but I supported it before this was announced. The fact is, tech moves, people get pissed, tech still moves, people adapt. Everyone hates Apple here, but they never used a 2 button mouse, they killed floppies earlier than PCs did, and they got rid of CD/DVD drives before everyone.

So what I want to say is, for all of you defending this move by Microsoft, what was your stance on similar moves by Apple? If you didn't support Apple's decision, then man up and give an explanation why, because otherwise you are just a hypocrite.

nismo91 said:

there was one time WMP11 refuse to play a DVD because it's region restricted. Opened up PowerDVD and it plays perfectly. From that moment I'm not going to bother playing DVD using WMP anymore. plenty of free software and codec packs are available for you to literally play anything, including bunch of formats that Windows Media Center does not support.

Guest said:

This means nothing to me since I made up my mind long ago that windows 8 will NEVER be on my PC. Think of Intels "tic-toc" and wait for the toc. Vista = tic, 7 = toc.

3DCGMODELER 3DCGMODELER said:

I still running Windows XP Professional 64 bit....

I have Windows 7 as a secound booter...

All though, 99 % of the time, I boot up in Win XP Pro 64, Windows 7.

I boot into that JUST to see if it os STILL there and has not disappeared,

or I might accidentally delete it..

Opps I deleted Windows 7 by accident... Oppss.. oh well never use it any ways..

To much of a resource hog any ways...

Guest said:

To the guest above: You're doing something wrong because 7 runs MUCH better than XP on the same hardware.

Phraun said:

I still running Windows XP Professional 64 bit....

I have Windows 7 as a secound booter...

All though, 99 % of the time, I boot up in Win XP Pro 64, Windows 7.

I boot into that JUST to see if it os STILL there and has not disappeared,

or I might accidentally delete it..

Opps I deleted Windows 7 by accident... Oppss.. oh well never use it any ways..

To much of a resource hog any ways...

If you were a real badass, you'd upgrade to DOS. XP is a total resource hog, and GUIs are SO passť.

Guest said:

Peeps r always unwillin to embrace d future, optical drive has seen its maturity.

Guest said:

from looking at this article...windows 8 sucks....stay with windows 7 or better yet xp. protect on win8 to let them know we mean business so they don't try to cut back. Win7 needs a patch because windows explorer keep fading the screen. Not sure if this is a bug. win 7 can do a lot of stuff vista cannot...just bring out 1 high end version and stop shipping pc with home premium version that high % of your stuff won't work. with win 8 you will be lucky anything you now have will work. With win7 I was very surprise many (but not all that I tried ) software made for 3.1 and me was working I got back many good oldie program I thought I never will see myself using it again. fyi: for windows 7 all fonts (ttf) from windows 3.1 was working especially those you once used for many years and want to keep them but for windows 8 who knows? forget 8 stay with 7 or xp.

now if you are running a pc with 2 or more language other the English how is this win8 is going to support it where your software or whatever you are running was made for xp and down? will it work? sorry many tested and do work with windows 7 and lower.

stay with 7 and lower forget 8.

The rule of the game is if you have a computer and is running what you want no problem stay with it don't mess around....Any ohhhh ahhhh or sales person talk attacking at you may end up in financial hardship and worst yet if you are not it or technical you better have a lot of $ for tech support and guess what those tech will be and may be new to win8 too. worth this risk?

EEatGDL said:

<p>Its funny, when Microsoft include a software in Windows (ex: IE) people are saying it is killing the small developers or competition. Now that Microsoft is not including a software that most people don't use, people are still complaining. Make up your mind people.</p>

Absolutely agree, why everyone complains if stadistically almost noone uses Microsoft's Media Center unless they intend to use the PC as such. For DVD, well, there's a lot of non-physical options people are adopting like streaming or buying the movie in iTunes, not to mention the illicit sources.

Guest said:

I don't mind buying WMC as an add-on, I understand. Licensing codecs costs money. If I DO buy a media center add-on it at least should give me the ability to play Bluray disks in addition to DVD

Memphis Eddie Memphis Eddie said:

Should it? Yes. Will it? No.

Microsoft is not anti Blu-ray

And if it were me producing an OS My answer would be

No way No how, Nada, Zip

I want the lowest cost OS

Low $$$

If I or Microsoft added DVD or Blu-ray I and Microsoft has to charge more

Not just a little more

A lot $$$$ more.

Let me chose which software I want to add to my OS

I and Microsoft want to give the world the cheapest OS with the lowest $

I want the lowest cost OS. And if that means nixing DVD and Blu-ray so be it!

Oh

I have a 1080p 50" plasma viewing Blu-ray or DVDs with windows 8 or windows 7 or my Blu-ray players I see no or very little improvement. I rent Blu-ray's but it more for kicks not for a better viewing.

Guest said:

So DVD/Cd media should just die because it's so much nicer to buy compressed music and movies from a smaller vendor pool? Because monopolies such as Apple and Amazon being our only source of these low quality compressed movies/music is a desired thing? Sorry, I like freedom of choice and the ability to go purchase a physical copy of movies or music that I can play in my computer, a friends DVD player, or in my car and buy it wherever and from whomever I choose. When was the last time you bought a used MP3 on e-bay for a bargain price? And 3rd party software? On Windows? I guess no one here ever tried to burn a DVD using 3rd part software on Win. XP and then found that half the DVD players out there wouldn't even play it. And the stability issues that InCD and DLA created were a whole other migraine to deal with. My computer is my entertainment center, DVD player with surround sound speakers. I find the whole Television, DVD player, receiver and surround sound speakers to be very 1990's. Very soon I will be buying a copy of Windows 7 and sticking with it for a very long time.

Guest said:

The user license for windows 8 is way cheaper than any other version of windows so I have no problem with them not including the playback software. there are numerous other choices out there that work better than media player anyhow.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

The user license for windows 8 is way cheaper than any other version of windows so I have no problem with them not including the playback software. there are numerous other choices out there that work better than media player anyhow.
Well.....the Windows Media Player in Windows 7 is pretty damned good. And, I've seen W7 Home Premium for as low as $80.00.

Keep looking though, I'm sure you'll find a flimsy reason to justify M$'s direction, or a relatively lame excuse to use W 8 on a desk top....

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