Windows 8 won't support native DVD playback, Media Center explained

Windows Media Center support in Windows 8 has been something of a tricky subject for Microsoft. The company admits that Windows Media Center in Windows 7 wasn't used that much but it still has a very loyal and very vocal following. When Microsoft announced its lineup of Windows 8 SKUs, it also announced that Windows Media Center would be available, but only as an add-on.

Today, the official Windows 8 blog revealed that Windows 8 owners will be able to access and install Windows Media Center via the "Add Features to Windows 8" option in the control panel. If you have the regular Windows 8 SKU, you can choose to install the Windows 8 Pro Pack for Windows Media Center. Windows 8 Pro users will install the Windows 8 Media Center Pack. The end result is that both versions will then have the Windows 8 Pro with Media Center SKU.

The actual pricing for the Media Center packs has not been announced. However, it will allow users to have DVD playback in Media Center, along with broadcast TV recording and playback and more. The regular Windows Media Player, which will be in all versions of Windows 8, won't be able to play DVDs anymore like it can with Windows 7. Microsoft states, "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."

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I can't believe they are doing this to Windows 8, I mean it's already got so much negative feedback from general public except for die-hard-fan-boys. And I thought Windows 8 is suppose to be an upgrade not an downgrade. Microsoft mehhh!

Microsoft is making a huge mistake with Win 8 re DVD playback and WMC. The ONLY reason I would have upgraded to Windows 8 would be easy integrated playing of my recorded TV over my home network to bedroom, lounge room and from time to time the kid's rooms using window media center. This will be the first edition of Windows I will be sticking with Windows 7 it seems. Every pc in our house is a potential media extender of our main recording TV machine in my home office. Why would you make it non standard. Stop skimping on the cost.
And can you imagine buying a notebook etc and putting in a DVD and your computer not playing it as standard. I mean they are not supporting Blu-ray but DVD really? Well it's going to be lost income for microsoft. I purchased two of their win 7 home premium packs family version. I won't be going Windows 8 as they seem to be sidelineing the pc desktop and laptop which is what I'm sticking with.

The odd occasion I used WMC was to watch a DVD I was travelling, so it was useful to me. I'm glad I made the switch to Mac now.

Dear Microsoft,
Why not just come right out and say you are getting out of the laptop and desktop business? This will give someone else the opportunity to serve those users. Clearly, you have decided that your future is with smartphones and tablets. Taking the "high road" is always the best way, especially in the long-run.

but how much will be saved on the royalty fee? a few quid at most.

this seems more like an exercise to increase margins in the consumer segment where microsoft must fear a loss of market share to tablets, mobile and other apple devices.

i'm not sure i really see the logic in removing it. most people don't see the full cost of a windows licence anyway as they buy it OEMd with a new computer and so even if the cost of a windows licence dropped by £20, many OEMs would just gobble it up and the consumer wouldn't even notice.

I think most people expect Windows to play and open common formats like DVDs, CDs, jpegs, pngs, etc etc.

This seems like a regression back to 'Plus Packs' (remember those). Windows 8 is looking more like one to give a wide berth.

Mr Winkle said,
i'm not sure i really see the logic in removing it. most people don't see the full cost of a windows licence anyway as they buy it OEMd with a new computer and so even if the cost of a windows licence dropped by £20, many OEMs would just gobble it up and the consumer wouldn't even notice.

I think most people expect Windows to play and open common formats like DVDs, CDs, jpegs, pngs, etc etc.


Those people who buy OEM systems will not be affected by this, as the OEM will install playback software/codecs if they include an optical drive.

gingerbill said,
windows 8 , oh dear , it's just like vista or ME .

Windows 8 will never be another Vista for the simple fact of Windows 8 having all the background goodness of Windows 7. In Vista the HDD would churn forever for no reason. It gets bogged down over time, something Win 7 never seems to do and im sure will carry over to Win 8. Win 8 will never have the sort of driver problems that Vista had in the beginning. Win 8 will never be WinME for one its NT and not 9x like ME is and for another it won't be as slow and buggy especially around System Restore. The installation of Win8 compared to Vista or WinME are no comparison.

Oh and Win 8 has a desktop just like Win 2008, 7, Vista, XP, Me/2000, 98SE, 98, NT, and 95.
End of story...

What all the whiners above are actually saying... "Waaaaahhhh I can't play DVDs even though I hate WMP / WMC, and use VLC to watch everything I torrent anyways."

Get over it. DVD is dead, Bluray is dead. Streaming is the way of the future.

butilikethecookie said,
They tryin' to drive me to Mac?

Haha Good one. Mac is certainly looking more inticing the more I read about Windows 8.

I dont even use windows media player to play DVD. VLC is free and the best.

However, removing this DVD playback feature is kind of a limitation they should not do...

Just another reason why Windows 8 would be a downgrade for me. Ugly and stupid interface, fewer features, more annoyances, and nothing that Windows 7 can't already do for me. No thanks Microsoft, take Metro 8 and keep it.

Microsoft are f**kin idiots!!! Have they not noticed the flood of media-centric advances in the home?! Or, as usual, are they gonna turn up to the party after everyone has gone home? Absolutely useless!!

I can't stop laughing at all the people who actually think Microsoft will make Windows cheaper because of this! Do you also think the moon is made of cheese?

Were you born yesterday or something?

HA HA HA HA

3rd impact said,
who plays dvd's on their pc?

I do when Im traveling, especially air travel...
I like that Apple at least is keeping the dvd player app in OS X

bull****, this isn't about cost cutting, its because Cyberlink cracked the ****s that Microsoft stomped all over their rip off scam.

Acquiring either the Windows 8 Media Center Pack or the Windows 8 Pro Pack gives you Media Center, including DVD playback (in Media Center, not in Media Player)

So I have to buy the Media Center Pack, and then buy a separate DVD Codec from Cyberlink. One of the reasons I loved Windows 7 was because I didn't have to install their crappy products, it just worked.

Of course, then I got a Blu-Ray Drive, and re-entered Cyberlink Hell, but it was nice while it lasted.

Here I was expecting the Media Center Pack to include stuff like native Blu-Ray support, but I guess theres no chance of that now. Is it just me, or is that absolutely no reason at all to upgrade to Windows 8 from Windows 7?

they should just give us an option to unlock dvd playback in WMP by paying say £2 to cover the cost of the royalties.

Alot of novice users won't know about vlc/mpc-hc etc.

torrentthief said,
they should just give us an option to unlock dvd playback in WMP by paying say £2 to cover the cost of the royalties.

Alot of novice users won't know about vlc/mpc-hc etc.

They could show you a list of alternatives when you try to play a DVD, or maybe they'll sell the option like you said. They didn't say, and actually, maybe it wouldn't be MS selling the DVD playback to you but whoever MS licensed it from originally.

GP007 said,

They could show you a list of alternatives when you try to play a DVD


They probably will. For instance, on Windows Phone, when you try to open a PDF, it says something like "you need to install this app" and installs it for you. Same thing to play YouTube content. On Windows 8, it'll probably bring you to the Windows Store with suggestions if you don't have a program install for default playback of DVD's.

sanke1 said,
Who uses DVDs anymore? At least I don't. This is a great move if it reduces the actual price of W8 copy.

I do, I have around 1,500 DVDs and I enjoy watching them whenever I want, without issues or concerns about availability, available connections, connection speeds and ISP CAPs.

The future? The future is cheap HDs: My collection will be stored on My media and will be available to me when I want in the way I want.......

They pay extra royalties at present to include DVD support. That and they probably want to push online distribution of movies in a big way via their online store - it's probably for much the same reason as you already can't buy a Mac with Blu-Ray - since it would compete with iTunes.

It does seem like this move is a few years' premature. One compromise that seems obvious to me would be to include the DVD support in upgrade installations from 7/Vista, since the biggest issue is likely to come from users suddenly losing DVD support they were already using - and I think they would be able to implement such a solution by importing the already licensed components that are in 7/Vista and possibly avoid further royalties.

singularity87 said,
They pay extra royalties at present to include DVD support. That and they probably want to push online distribution of movies in a big way via their online store - it's probably for much the same reason as you already can't buy a Mac with Blu-Ray - since it would compete with iTunes.

It does seem like this move is a few years' premature. One compromise that seems obvious to me would be to include the DVD support in upgrade installations from 7/Vista, since the biggest issue is likely to come from users suddenly losing DVD support they were already using - and I think they would be able to implement such a solution by importing the already licensed components that are in 7/Vista and possibly avoid further royalties.

But too be honest I don't know many places in the UK that stock videos and movies apart from iTunes. Amazon is even limited here, and we don't have Hulu, we have a limited selection on Netflix etc.

And if there is only iTunes, not only are they increasing support for their rivals, iTunes limits the devices you can play them on anyway.

P1R4T3 said,
No native DVD playback, didn't see that one coming.

You didn't see dropping support for a peripheral that will only be installed on 15-20% of the devices manufactured.

Considering that the royalties for those 20% would have to be paid for each license sold, it doesn't make fiscal sense to keep native support in the OS.

deadonthefloor said,

You didn't see dropping support for a peripheral that will only be installed on 15-20% of the devices manufactured.
Considering that the royalties for those 20% would have to be paid for each license sold, it doesn't make fiscal sense to keep native support in the OS.

I think you are alittle confused. If I understand you correctly, you are saying that out of the entire market that Windows 8 will be installed on only 15-20% will have a physical DVD player/writer. What are you smoking. Maybe the other way around, only 15-20% will be tablets which will not have a physical DVD player/writer..

That's even if this off the wall 15-20% is even correct.

I don't think I've ever really... touched Media Center. I was planning to once I got a TV Tuner card because I liked the idea of recording things with an MS Product already built in. (I never did buy a tuner card.. I just plum forgot about it...) I don't see the need to use it to watch video files I normally just double click on from the shortcut of a folder on my desktop. Or to even use it to watch DVDs as the main player? It's gonna be a weird experience. Guess I'll try it out on Win7 and see how I like it?

Izlude said,
I don't think I've ever really... touched Media Center. I was planning to once I got a TV Tuner card because I liked the idea of recording things with an MS Product already built in. (I never did buy a tuner card.. I just plum forgot about it...) I don't see the need to use it to watch video files I normally just double click on from the shortcut of a folder on my desktop. Or to even use it to watch DVDs as the main player? It's gonna be a weird experience. Guess I'll try it out on Win7 and see how I like it?

I wouldn't use Media Center to play normal content or DVD's, but it's great for recording content, browsing the TV guide, and playing live content. And with a remote control, it's just like using a normal TV with a set-top box. There is a reason your TV doesn't include a mouse.

thenetavenger said,
And after a month of Motorola filing lawsuits on the BluRay codec, people are surprised or don't get this?

Really?

Sure MS made the decision a month ago...…

Really?

I am sure it will work like this:
Windows 8 on x86 will support DVD playback with Windows Media Player
Windows 8 on ARM (RT) won't support DVD playback

bluefisch200 said,
I am sure it will work like this:
Windows 8 on x86 will support DVD playback with Windows Media Player
Windows 8 on ARM (RT) won't support DVD playback

Learn to read

sorry

Well, in that case, they better start allowing us to move our mouse to our main screen when Media Center is maximised on another screen. I would hope that is just a bug with the Consumer Preview that they have now fixed, but obviously I don't know whether it is. If this problem still exists in the final release, that is yet another issue that will entice me to switch to Mac OS X.

Calum said,
Well, in that case, they better start allowing us to move our mouse to our main screen when Media Center is maximised on another screen. I would hope that is just a bug with the Consumer Preview that they have now fixed, but obviously I don't know whether it is. If this problem still exists in the final release, that is yet another issue that will entice me to switch to Mac OS X.

The same issue was present in W7, I do not remember about Vista, so I am afraid it will not fixed. IMO MS abandoned, wrongly I would add, Media Center years ago and boosted XBox. Problem is that there are plenty of people who do not care to play games on a console therefore they do not need an additional device.
Besides ISP are putting more and more CAPs on connections and surely all this emphasis to stream everything will result in lower CAPs and higher prices.

Fritzly said,

The same issue was present in W7, I do not remember about Vista, so I am afraid it will not fixed. IMO MS abandoned, wrongly I would add, Media Center years ago and boosted XBox. Problem is that there are plenty of people who do not care to play games on a console therefore they do not need an additional device.
Besides ISP are putting more and more CAPs on connections and surely all this emphasis to stream everything will result in lower CAPs and higher prices.


Thanks for letting me know. That's very disappointing to hear. I didn't use Windows Media Center in Vista or 7 because Windows Media Player played my DVDs for me.

Ahh well, Mac OS X looks more appealing to me by the week

Calum said,
Ahh well, Mac OS X looks more appealing to me by the week

I find this change in mind so nice

The average user purchases an OEM PC with drivers loaded for the hardware included. MS decided that instead of charging everybody for something that is not included on all devices (tablets no DVD bruh), it is only fair that DVD wanters pay.

DClark said,
The average user purchases an OEM PC with drivers loaded for the hardware included. MS decided that instead of charging everybody for something that is not included on all devices (tablets no DVD bruh), it is only fair that DVD wanters pay.

Not just MS, remember it's OEMs that pay that extra for their devices (like tablets). Like you said, this will cust costs for MS AND OEMs installing Win8 on tablets or netbooks with no optical drive. Then on systems OEMs DO build with a optical drive they'll go ahead and install what is needed for the user to support DVD and or BD playback, and charge you the extra for it in the end.

This will help make tablets a bit cheaper in the end I'd say.

DClark said,
The average user purchases an OEM PC with drivers loaded for the hardware included. MS decided that instead of charging everybody for something that is not included on all devices (tablets no DVD bruh), it is only fair that DVD wanters pay.

So what about all the existing computers? Paying to upgrade and losing the use of hardware.

Possession said,

So what about all the existing computers? Paying to upgrade and losing the use of hardware.

I don't know about upgrades but what do you use for media playback? Are you talking about losing DVD playback or Media center? And besides, if you're paying for the non-pro/media center version then that should be reflected in the price. This being a computer if I decided to ditch Windows and switch over to some other OS i could very well (and probably will be) loser the use of a portion of my hardware.

Since they haven't talked about upgrades we'll just have to wait, but I figure, seeing how upgrades are done, that whatever you have installed already should stay installed in the end. That should cover Media Center to, but who knows.

GP007 said,

I don't know about upgrades but what do you use for media playback? Are you talking about losing DVD playback or Media center? And besides, if you're paying for the non-pro/media center version then that should be reflected in the price. This being a computer if I decided to ditch Windows and switch over to some other OS i could very well (and probably will be) loser the use of a portion of my hardware.

Since they haven't talked about upgrades we'll just have to wait, but I figure, seeing how upgrades are done, that whatever you have installed already should stay installed in the end. That should cover Media Center to, but who knows.

I generally use WMP12 for my DVDs, and it'll be annoying to purchase 8 and having to get all the codecs to get it working. I know there's alternatives but I just like the look and feel of WMP.
Perhaps they should allow you to keep the codecs if you upgrade from 7.

Possession said,

I generally use WMP12 for my DVDs, and it'll be annoying to purchase 8 and having to get all the codecs to get it working. I know there's alternatives but I just like the look and feel of WMP.
Perhaps they should allow you to keep the codecs if you upgrade from 7.

I don't see why they'd remove codecs in the upgrade process, that's really not how upgrades work so if you have them install they should carry over, now if for some reason they don't work, dunno why, then that's a different issue. They shouldn't be deleted or lost in the upgrade though.

I think that it is smart. Why pay high licensing fees for something not everyone is going to use. Most people have some other software that will install codecs required anyway.

I can't remember the last time I watched a DVD or Blu-ray movie on my computer. I download or stream everything online now. In fact the only thing I even use my optical drive for is to install Windows, though Windows 8 fully supports installation from USB pen-drive. I'm tempted to disconnect my optical drive altogether and plug in another hard-drive, as at least it would actually be used.

theyarecomingforyou said,
I can't remember the last time I watched a DVD or Blu-ray movie on my computer. I download or stream everything online now. In fact the only thing I even use my optical drive for is to install Windows, though Windows 8 fully supports installation from USB pen-drive. I'm tempted to disconnect my optical drive altogether and plug in another hard-drive, as at least it would actually be used.

That's really the case for more and more people, and besides, it seems most have forgotten that XP never supported native DVD playback either. You had to go and install a DVD player iirc. Just like Win7 doesn't support BD playback either, you again have to install a BD player (also then get DVD ofc). In the end those who do will have a player that supports BD/DVD and or install the codecs needed for WMP to play those back. Those who want to use WMC will install it, those, like me, who never used it will not have to pay extra for it and it's list of royalties/licenses.

I use media player classic and ZoomPlayer for my video playback needs btw, and the Zune client for my music. I haven't used WMP in years.

Don't care. Weening myself from Microsoft and their nonsense as much as possible has freed much from soooo much frustration.

I don't enough people utilize it for MS to take a hit. Also, there are other ways to watch DVDs. I used to use WMC a lot and still do at times but it's slow and unresponsive. It's a great thing but it needs work. I'm hoping that there'll just be a better way of doing things moving forward.

So many choices, so many headaches. Compare to Apple, they only have 2 versions. Desktop and a server.

Microsoft on the other hand needs alot of versions to generate profit. If they stick with one they will be doomed.

Chica Ami said,
So many choices, so many headaches. Compare to Apple, they only have 2 versions. Desktop and a server.

Microsoft on the other hand needs alot of versions to generate profit. If they stick with one they will be doomed.

Just like Windows 8. Two choices. W8 and W8 Pro. Simple.

Chica Ami said,
So many choices, so many headaches. Compare to Apple, they only have 2 versions. Desktop and a server.

Microsoft on the other hand needs alot of versions to generate profit. If they stick with one they will be doomed.

What?

Do you have any capacity for thought in that cranium of yours?

If you walk into a PC store for an upgrade disk to windows 8 there will be 2 versions on shelves, also PC suppliers (the self build shops) will have these 2 versions available as OEM copies (the only difference is no MS Support, OEM means your the system builder so you get it cheaper but support is your responsibility)

One SDK aimed at business - this has the bit for company network connectivity that is absolutely not needed at home
One SDK aimed at home users - this is what you'll get when you walk into a PC store and buy a PC for the most part.

There will then be the enterprise version, that is only available to volume license customers and 99% of people will never see, hear, feel or touch - its an option for companies that need to handle hundreds of licenses and want centralisation - it will also provide a few enterprise type features that smaller companies simply wont have the infrastructure to support (things like direct connect etc.).

One more version you'll never see available so wont confuse is the ARM build, that will be preinstalled on tablets powered by ARM chipsets and MS have stated they will be clearly differentiated in stores.

2 versions of windows 8, with 2 others that are essentially hidden from view to most.

duddit2 said,

What?

Do you have any capacity for thought in that cranium of yours?

If you walk into a PC store for an upgrade disk to windows 8 there will be 2 versions on shelves, also PC suppliers (the self build shops) will have these 2 versions available as OEM copies (the only difference is no MS Support, OEM means your the system builder so you get it cheaper but support is your responsibility)

One SDK aimed at business - this has the bit for company network connectivity that is absolutely not needed at home
One SDK aimed at home users - this is what you'll get when you walk into a PC store and buy a PC for the most part.

There will then be the enterprise version, that is only available to volume license customers and 99% of people will never see, hear, feel or touch - its an option for companies that need to handle hundreds of licenses and want centralisation - it will also provide a few enterprise type features that smaller companies simply wont have the infrastructure to support (things like direct connect etc.).

One more version you'll never see available so wont confuse is the ARM build, that will be preinstalled on tablets powered by ARM chipsets and MS have stated they will be clearly differentiated in stores.

2 versions of windows 8, with 2 others that are essentially hidden from view to most.

FYI

It is SKU NOT SDK

SDK = Software development kit

SKU = Stock keeping unit

SharpGreen said,

Just like Windows 8. Two choices. W8 and W8 Pro. Simple.


Except you now only have one version of OS X. The server apps are available through the App Store. And you don't have to download and pay for yet another SKU that brings you something as basic as DVD playback.

.Neo said,

Except you now only have one version of OS X. The server apps are available through the App Store. And you don't have to download and pay for yet another SKU that brings you something as basic as DVD playback.

But you pay a 30% premium on hardware which covers MPEG licensing and lines the pockets of the company with the largest market cap in the world.

And people complain about MS being money hungry.
Their model is cheaper.
This is a good thing.
It's not like optical drives come without software. Once software is installed, playback works, big deal.

Ci7 said,

FYI

It is SKU NOT SDK

SDK = Software development kit

SKU = Stock keeping unit

****, I know this but always seem to muddle the two up! doh

parengputik said,
If this will make windows 8 cheaper, then why not? There are thousands of programs available which is free and better.

Except it won't.

I don't understand why I would want Windows 8. I don't have a touch computer so why do I want to scroll in metro to find a app? Now I can't play a DVD a format that been around for years. How does Microsoft know no one uses media center does it call home every time it is launch? I personally use XBMC.

Randall_Lind said,
I don't understand why I would want Windows 8. I don't have a touch computer so why do I want to scroll in metro to find a app? Now I can't play a DVD a format that been around for years. How does Microsoft know no one uses media center does it call home every time it is launch? I personally use XBMC.

It won't have "native" playback. You can still use the boatload of other programs out there to play your DVDs. Fine by me, I hate using WMP/WMC for DVD playback. I just use WMC to stream my crap to my XBOX.

They don't really care what YOU the customer wants, they're used to dictating what you WILL like, or get used to, or tolerate. Windows 8 and metro will be forced down your throat and many will hate it, can't wait to see how they handle it.

Randall_Lind said,
How does Microsoft know no one uses media center does it call home every time it is launch? I personally use XBMC.
Yes its part of the anonymous telemetry that they collect that you opt-in to with the setting called the Customer Experience Improvement Program.

Hahaiah said,
They don't really care what YOU the customer wants, they're used to dictating what you WILL like, or get used to, or tolerate. Windows 8 and metro will be forced down your throat and many will hate it, can't wait to see how they handle it.

No one is forcing you to buy it.MS is a company and they make products.You like it?You buy it.You don't like it?You don't buy it.

Randall_Lind said,
I don't understand why I would want Windows 8. I don't have a touch computer so why do I want to scroll in metro to find a app? Now I can't play a DVD a format that been around for years. How does Microsoft know no one uses media center does it call home every time it is launch? I personally use XBMC.

#1 - You don't need a touchscreen computer, it works flawlessly with mouse and keyboard - I love using it on my laptop, very smooth and quicker to find apps in general than 7 (the whole experience is quicker than 7) - honestly this argument does my head in and is usually found by people that haven't really given it a go (not saying you haven't, just what I find in general).
#2 - You can play a DVD, but if you build your own system you might need to install a 3rd party codec (ready built systems will include this by the OEM), but even then if your self built system has a non OEM DVD drive you'll find you already have a DVD playback program on disk with a system codec that all apps can use
#3 - if you buy the cheapest version of windows 8, which will be cheaper than the home premium version of 7, then yes you'll need the addon for WMC, but it will give you more as it'll upgrade you to the pro version.

Randall_Lind said,
I don't have a touch computer so why do I want to scroll in metro to find a app?

You can scroll the huge metro start screen - large in size, so it shows more content, and you have to scroll less. Or you can scroll the tiny classic start menu. Either way, you have to scroll.

But Windows 8 is start screen is mouse-smart. You don't actually have to scroll, just move your mouse in that direction, towards the side of the screen you want it to scroll. It will automatically pan in that direction.

rfirth said,

You can scroll the huge metro start screen - large in size, so it shows more content, and you have to scroll less. Or you can scroll the tiny classic start menu. Either way, you have to scroll.

But Windows 8 is start screen is mouse-smart. You don't actually have to scroll, just move your mouse in that direction, towards the side of the screen you want it to scroll. It will automatically pan in that direction.

Very good point there, no matter what your scrolling to 'find' something (please don't say taskbar pins, you'd have these apps right in front of you on the start screen (or/and on the taskbar on the desktop)).

Windows 8 with mouse, on the start screen, is smooth as butter. Use it and stop regurgitating nonsense.

Yet, another "improvement". MS is really shooting themselves in the foot with this one.

I think it's an interesting move. The regular Windows price would be cheaper as it's Windows price - licensing fees. So Windows is less expensive. If you chose to get the Media pack, it would be about the same as buying Windows as it is now as the price already covers that.

Panda X said,
I think it's an interesting move. The regular Windows price would be cheaper as it's Windows price - licensing fees. So Windows is less expensive. If you chose to get the Media pack, it would be about the same as buying Windows as it is now as the price already covers that.

Exactly, and it's OEMs that don't want to pay extra when using Windows 8 on devices that don't have the hardware to support DVD/BD or Media Center type playback. This will help make things like tablets with Win8 cheaper in the end, something I think most people will actually like.

Rule No. 1

Do not remove features from an OS, only add or improve. do not remove.

This is bad, I use MCE for watching television, i don't particulary want to have to buy it just to do that. Same goes with watching DVDs, though I use powerDVD for that since I required it to play BDs

Happy_Camel said,
Rule No. 1

Do not remove features from an OS, only add or improve. do not remove.

Depends. When things are obsolete, such as 16 bit driven applications, must be removed to advance in OS progression.

Happy_Camel said,
Rule No. 1

Do not remove features from an OS, only add or improve. do not remove.

Depends. When things are obsolete, such as 16 bit driven applications, must be removed to advance in OS progression.

But certainly, DVD playback removal is a ridiculous movement from their part.

Happy_Camel said,
Rule No. 1

Do not remove features from an OS, only add or improve. do not remove.

This is bad, I use MCE for watching television, i don't particulary want to have to buy it just to do that. Same goes with watching DVDs, though I use powerDVD for that since I required it to play BDs

I don't use media center at all, or watch DVDs on my computers, why should I pay extra for my copy of Windows? There was a reason that MS first had a seperate edition of XP with Media Center which cost more yet decided to just add it into every version to probably not have to keep an extra SKU around (though that didn't much help any).

Fact is, if a windows 8 license costs less after this I think more people would be happy of that. Besides, as far as DVD playback goes, if you do want to do that and you do buy a PC/laptop with a BD/DVD drive then chances are what you need to in order for the movies to play will already be installed by the OEM.

Happy_Camel said,
Rule No. 1

Do not remove features from an OS, only add or improve. do not remove.

This is bad, I use MCE for watching television, i don't particulary want to have to buy it just to do that. Same goes with watching DVDs, though I use powerDVD for that since I required it to play BDs

So this affects you how?

If Windows is cheaper overall and the added cost is about what you paid for Windows 7, how this affects you eludes me...

Happy_Camel said,
Rule No. 1

Do not remove features from an OS, only add or improve. do not remove.

This is bad, I use MCE for watching television, i don't particulary want to have to buy it just to do that. Same goes with watching DVDs, though I use powerDVD for that since I required it to play BDs

Yeah, because bloated OS is what everybody wants, right?

It's kind of cute how many people on this tech news site seem so married to a dying concept. People who still care about playing DVD's and Blu-Rays on their computers are kinda oldschool.

Digital Copies or streaming or gtfo.

MrHumpty said,
It's kind of cute how many people on this tech news site seem so married to a dying concept. People who still care about playing DVD's and Blu-Rays on their computers are kinda oldschool.

Digital Copies or streaming or gtfo.

Not everyone has the neccessary bandwidth or unlimited data. Now you GTFO.

MrHumpty said,
It's kind of cute how many people on this tech news site seem so married to a dying concept. People who still care about playing DVD's and Blu-Rays on their computers are kinda oldschool.

Digital Copies or streaming or gtfo.


So you want me to pay (again) to watch a movie I already have? That's even more stupid then removing built-in support for DVD playback.

SharpGreen said,

So you want me to pay (again) to watch a movie I already have? That's even more stupid then removing built-in support for DVD playback.

Generally, I'd advise you to not build your own computer with an OEM dvd player. Because if you buy a computer, or buy a retail dvd/blu-ray player for your new whitebox PC you'll find that, magically, you'll have the ability to play a DVD.

Lulz.

MrHumpty said,
It's kind of cute how many people on this tech news site seem so married to a dying concept. People who still care about playing DVD's and Blu-Rays on their computers are kinda oldschool.

Digital Copies or streaming or gtfo.

Mr. Murphy, nothing against you, and although I also use streaming media in a regular basis, streaming media only comes only with 5.1 channel. As for BD disc, it really gives you the full HD experience because even the sound is in HD, and DVDs can at least go to 7.1.

I am into HTPC, and I hardly use WMC. I prefer to use Cyberlink PowerDVD or ArcSoft TotalMedia to play my DVDs and BDs.

I don't really believe that optical media is a dying breed when it comes to movie watching because if you will notice, people are still lining up on RedBoxes out there. Now, I do believe that optical media is on its way to becoming a dying breed when it comes to storage.

MrHumpty said,

Generally, I'd advise you to not build your own computer with an OEM dvd player. Because if you buy a computer, or buy a retail dvd/blu-ray player for your new whitebox PC you'll find that, magically, you'll have the ability to play a DVD.

Lulz.

Point was I shouldn't need to care whether my DVD drive is OEM or not. Windows should be able to play a DVD out of the box without extra third party crap.

SharpGreen said,

Point was I shouldn't need to care whether my DVD drive is OEM or not. Windows should be able to play a DVD out of the box without extra third party crap.

Windows can't, and never will probably, support playing Blu-ray movies out of the box without 3rd party crap, and for the most part people didn't care or have a fit over that. The thing is, OEMs don't want to pay more for "default" support of things that the hardware they're selling (tablets, netbooks) can't even physically support anyways.

If you do get a laptop or desktop with a optical drive, well, like he said, guess what, it'll support DVD playback. The MS post didn't flat out say Media Player won't play back DVDs if you install the codec for it (as with other formats it doesn't support OOB), so on those systems OEMs will either install the software anyways or install a another DVD player (which many do/did before).

xiphi said,

Not everyone has the neccessary bandwidth or unlimited data. Now you GTFO.

So a 32gb SD card to replace your DVD/BluRay is crazy too? Redbox and others already have SD media options coming as the optical Disc days are over.

Bandwidth restrictions are NOT an issue here.

Wow, ignorance and arrogance, with a reductive GTFO added for 'charm'.

thenetavenger said,

So a 32gb SD card to replace your DVD/BluRay is crazy too? Redbox and others already have SD media options coming as the optical Disc days are over.

Bandwidth restrictions are NOT an issue here.

Wow, ignorance and arrogance, with a reductive GTFO added for 'charm'.

You act as if there are Redboxes everywhere. There are not. Not everyone has or can afford the means to travel to one. With that said, ignorance and arrogance must be your best friends.

RommelS said,
I don't really believe that optical media is a dying breed when it comes to movie watching because if you will notice, people are still lining up on RedBoxes out there. Now, I do believe that optical media is on its way to becoming a dying breed when it comes to storage.

I respectfully disagree. My home town no longer has any video rental outlets.
So, when I want to watch optical media I have to buy it, and that is unacceptable.

Streaming is the future.

DJGM said,
All the more reason to use 3rd party media software like VLC and Media Player Classic . . .

Nope, those aren't Media Centers. I listed the free Media Center alternatives at the top, 3rd row comment ^

thenonhacker said,

Nope, those aren't Media Centers. I listed the free Media Center alternatives at the top, 3rd row comment ^

You missed PS3 Media Server, and Serviio.

DJGM said,
All the more reason to use 3rd party media software like VLC and Media Player Classic . . .
and also my old xp runs with VLC loke a charme;)))

I've really started to use Media Center with Windows 7. Bought a HDHomeRun and use Media Center every night. Great as DVR. Over the air HD is fantastic and easy.

I think the main reason of doing this is the introduction of the Video App. I can bet my money that the Video App will subdue the Media Center in every way and the first one to implement it and see its glory will be the xbox 360, which knowing Microsoft, will release another huge dashboard update this fall (maybe great under the hood changes) that will sync it with Win 8 and have a better experience than we had before.

Jose_49 said,
I think the main reason of doing this is the introduction of the Video App.

You're absolutely right. Xbox Live already has the TV Streaming subscription service thing they're working on, and they've said many times they're bringing over a lot of what Xbox Live brings to Windows 8. So essentially this is another cash grab.

They want people to sign up for the TV Streaming service and not use their TV Tuners with Media Center.

HolyLiaison said,

You're absolutely right. Xbox Live already has the TV Streaming subscription service thing they're working on, and they've said many times they're bringing over a lot of what Xbox Live brings to Windows 8. So essentially this is another cash grab.

They want people to sign up for the TV Streaming service and not use their TV Tuners with Media Center.

They state outright that more and more people use one of the TV streaming services online and fewer record TV and or rent DVD/BDs to play on their PC. Hell, if you're going to rent a BD anyways I'd rather play it on my big screen tV and not watch it on my 22" monitor.

I also expect that like with Media Center, Media Player is also, slowlly, on the way out in favor of the metro versions of different apps, (music app, video app etc). Also, people shouldn't count out the Zune client. MS will rebrand the service but I fully expect a new v5.0 of the software (with the new naming etc) to show up and actually replace Windows Media Player for more people.

HolyLiaison said,

You're absolutely right. Xbox Live already has the TV Streaming subscription service thing they're working on, and they've said many times they're bringing over a lot of what Xbox Live brings to Windows 8. So essentially this is another cash grab.

They want people to sign up for the TV Streaming service and not use their TV Tuners with Media Center.

Ya it is a cash grab...

I has NOTHING to do with the licensing fees, and the new tricks of the fees that Motorola has been demonstrating in the courts the last month.

If you want to really understand do this math...

1 = Microsoft's additional fees are then passed on to the OEM and Consumer costs of every Windows 8 version.

2 = Motorola and others have sued the HELL out of Microsoft on licenses they HAVE PAID FOR ALREADY but didn't kick in the extra extortion fee. It is one thing to not have paid for licenses, it is another to come back several years (5 even) later as ask for more money on a licensing to a standards group you provided your work to. H.264 was paid for in Windows 7 and the XBox, yet somehow Motorola gets a double dip, that even the other contributing members don't get.

3 = The world is moving to online media, and most users never even use their optical players. If this was a major issue, Apple would have native BluRay support on Macs, which doesn't seem to have hurt them? Especially when it is not just lacking playback support but the whole protected path that BluRay requires of HDCP that Macs have trouble with.

So they're dropping support for DVD and Blu-ray play back?

Might as well just include it in Windows 8 normally. Why remove it? It's not harming anything and it just destroys support for TV tuners...

Royalties, I suspect this is a cost cutting measure and hope that Windows 8 will be cheaper than previous versions of windows.

djdanster said,
So they're dropping support for DVD and Blu-ray play back?

Might as well just include it in Windows 8 normally. Why remove it? It's not harming anything and it just destroys support for TV tuners...

The whole blog post basically says why, OEMs, and to a lesser extent MS, doesn't want to pay the licensing and royalties they'd have to for DVD/BD and all the other support Windows 7 has built into it's price for devices that don't support that playback model anyways.

Think of it like this, all those copies of Windows 7 sold on netbooks that have NO optical drive at all, well OEMs have to pay for DVD and other codecs yet those devices can't play DVDs anyways. So they don't want to pay now with Windows 8. In the end, like with everything, it's about costs and money. For users who do want to support those it'll just be another little download to them, not much issue. People forget Windows XP doesn't support DVD playback OOBE so this isn't really a new move.

In the end if, and it should, Win8 costs less then I'm fine with it. I haven't played a DVD movie on my PC in so long I can't even remember. Everyone is using one of the streaming services online now, more and more, so DVDs are on the chopping block like VHS before them.

djdanster said,
So they're dropping support for DVD and Blu-ray play back?

Might as well just include it in Windows 8 normally. Why remove it? It's not harming anything and it just destroys support for TV tuners...

$$$$ Even the original XBox didn't have inherent DVD playback without the $20 kit, as it was big licensing chunk and the 'who you paid' has conflicts in the computer world that a licensed chipset doesn't have to worry about.

Right now we are watching Motorola try to rip Microsoft out of Germany for this EXACT issue and licensing dispute. Even though Microsoft paid for MPEG4, Motorola wants more money for their contribution (which ironically was built on Microsoft codec code from the early 90s).

Online and SD distribution is the future, I myself haven't put an optical disc in a computer in years to watch a movie, and phones and tablets don't have a bulky pptical media player.

As flash prices drop, we are already close to 32gb USB/SD that is getting close to blank BluRay production costs.

Optical Media was a way to jam a ton on information in a small space. BluRay NO longer does this, and in fact is one of the more Bulky Mediums now. If there was a new technology that would hold 5TB of data on a Disc, it might be an alternative, but when SD cards and USB Flash cards are tiny and becoming as disposably cheap, and have inherent security, we have no need to optical media anymore.

I can truly empathize with Microsoft on this... They are screwed no matter which way they go with this, and they are taking the path of least resistance.

Besides, playing optical media natively has hurt Apple or Macs, now has it?

GP007 said,

People forget Windows XP doesn't support DVD playback OOBE so this isn't really a new move.

A 11 year old OS is not the thing I expect Microsoft to use as measurement for Windows 8...

MFH said,

A 11 year old OS is not the thing I expect Microsoft to use as measurement for Windows 8...

No, their measurement is the number of people who use services like netflix over renting DVD and BDs. I state the XP bit as it's a precedent, Windows 7 doesn't support natvie BD playback either, did that become an issue? I don't think it did.

The fact is that as time passes we're going to be streaming and or downloading movies right to our systems more and more and not rent/buy a disc etc. Sure for now bandwidth isn't great for everyone but that won't always be the case. Regardless, I think the stance of "why should I pay more for licensing/royalties on things I've stopped or never used (DVD/BD playback and Media Center)?

I bet Media Center on it's own adds ~$20 to the cost of Windows 7 by itself. Also, and call me crazy, I think that MS will rather have you use something like the Xbox as your "media center/htpc" going forward. Though I don't expect the Xbox to support things like cable cards they are already adding more and more live tv to the system so then just like with people who buy a boxee or some other device they'll use the Xbox in the future as the "HTPC" replacement.

For those who do want to use media center or play back dvd/bd then you can still do that, lots of free players out there, I use media player classic and zoomplayer personally.

bdsams said,
Royalties, I suspect this is a cost cutting measure and hope that Windows 8 will be cheaper than previous versions of windows.

When pigs fly. This is Microsoft.

Since Media Center costs money now, I'd like to see Blu-ray support added. It's a natural progression of features for the product.

ahinson said,
Since Media Center costs money now, I'd like to see Blu-ray support added. It's a natural progression of features for the product.

Agreed, and it's not like the work wouldn't be able to be reused in things like the next Xbox, which I'm sure will support Bluray...

ahinson said,
Since Media Center costs money now, I'd like to see Blu-ray support added. It's a natural progression of features for the product.

It's not like it was free before, the general price of Windows covered it.

Stupid move on their part. Why do I want to either purchase software... or install more software to watch a damn dvd?

Brandon said,
Stupid move on their part. Why do I want to either purchase software... or install more software to watch a damn dvd?

Another excellent reason to stick with Windows-7; until MS recognizes the errors of their ways and comes up with a solution--Windows-9.

TsarNikky said,

Another excellent reason to stick with Windows-7; until MS recognizes the errors of their ways and comes up with a solution--Windows-9.

is it really that much of a drama to download the needed decoders to watch a dvd/bluray
right now you have to do that for bluray and not many people seamed to care you had to do it in xp to watch a dvd.
one of the first things i do when i do a fresh install is install k-lite codec pack.

thats just me. i understand your point, but it doesnt seam like a big deal.

Let us stop being bitter about it, and instead, show them that the world doesn't revolve around Windows Media Center, ok?

Best FREE Alternatives for Windows Media Center:

XBMC (this is what's Boxee is based on)
http://xbmc.org/

MediaPortal - Everything else is just a media center
http://www.team-mediaportal.com/

NextPVR - A free PVR and Media Centre application for Windows
http://www.nextpvr.com/

TVersity - The leading UPnP/DLNA Media Server
http://tversity.com/

MythTV - Open Source DVR
http://www.mythtv.org/

dafin0 said,

is it really that much of a drama to download the needed decoders to watch a dvd/bluray
right now you have to do that for bluray and not many people seamed to care you had to do it in xp to watch a dvd.
one of the first things i do when i do a fresh install is install k-lite codec pack.

thats just me. i understand your point, but it doesnt seam like a big deal.


Maybe not for you, but it certainly will be to the average user... This is a really poor decision on Microsoft's part. People want things now that will "just work"...

Brandon said,
Stupid move on their part. Why do I want to either purchase software... or install more software to watch a damn dvd?

last time i checked windows 8 was more tablet driven. and last time i checked i didnt see any dvd drives on a tablet.

M_Lyons10 said,

Maybe not for you, but it certainly will be to the average user... This is a really poor decision on Microsoft's part. People want things now that will "just work"...

lets be honest, the average user doesn't even know media center exist

M_Lyons10 said,

Maybe not for you, but it certainly will be to the average user... This is a really poor decision on Microsoft's part. People want things now that will "just work"...

as for bluray/dvd play back, if they buy a pre-made system from say HP it will come with the software needed (like does does with win 7). and if it doesnt then media play will most likely say what you need to do to get dvd/bluray working and if it doesnt well then i agree with you.

Brandon said,
Stupid move on their part. Why do I want to either purchase software... or install more software to watch a damn dvd?

Not really stupid, the price of Windows itself will be cheaper as it doesn't include licensing fees. Which works for some users who might not use it, and for those who do use Media Center they can get a free alternative as noted above and they would pay less that they would have originally if they bought Windows and it already included MC/Codecs

Panda X said,

Not really stupid, the price of Windows itself will be cheaper as it doesn't include licensing fees. Which works for some users who might not use it, and for those who do use Media Center they can get a free alternative as noted above and they would pay less that they would have originally if they bought Windows and it already included MC/Codecs

K-Lite Codec pack anyone?

M_Lyons10 said,

Maybe not for you, but it certainly will be to the average user... This is a really poor decision on Microsoft's part. People want things now that will "just work"...

Average users tend to rent from RedBox and watch it on their television at home, and not on a small screen from their laptop or PC. Granted there are people there that does that.

In long flights, there are only a handful of people that will use their laptop to watch a movie or two, rather than they would rather watch the inflight movie. Now with the introduction of DirectTV on some airlines, you can watch television while your traveling.

thenonhacker said,
Let us stop being bitter about it, and instead, show them that the world doesn't revolve around Windows Media Center, ok?

Best FREE Alternatives for Windows Media Center:

XBMC (this is what's Boxee is based on)
http://xbmc.org/

MediaPortal - Everything else is just a media center
http://www.team-mediaportal.com/

NextPVR - A free PVR and Media Centre application for Windows
http://www.nextpvr.com/

TVersity - The leading UPnP/DLNA Media Server
http://tversity.com/

MythTV - Open Source DVR
http://www.mythtv.org/


Bitch please,

Media Player Classic:
http://mpc-hc.sourceforge.net/

Nothing can beat it

Edit: Read your post below, and you were posting Media Center direct alternatives. Yup, MPC does not qualify.

RommelS said,

Average users tend to rent from RedBox and watch it on their television at home, and not on a small screen from their laptop or PC. Granted there are people there that does that.

In long flights, there are only a handful of people that will use their laptop to watch a movie or two, rather than they would rather watch the inflight movie. Now with the introduction of DirectTV on some airlines, you can watch television while your traveling.

You've been able to watch movies/music videos/a few shows on certain flights for years way before airlines started getting DirecTV. As far back as 2004.

dafin0 said,

lets be honest, the average user doesn't even know media center exist


Yes but the average user does however expect DVD playback in Windows Media Player...

ShareShiz said,

last time i checked windows 8 was more tablet driven. and last time i checked i didnt see any dvd drives on a tablet.

You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

Brandon said,
Stupid move on their part. Why do I want to either purchase software... or install more software to watch a damn dvd?

After a week of litigation with Motorola over H.264 and BluRay playback, and patent claims that go OUTSIDE the MPEG group for MPEG 2 and MPEG 4 that are trying to keep Microsoft from selling XBox or Windows in Germany...


How can ANYONE here be asking WHY or NOT GET IT?

Yes it sucks, but here are the hard facts...

Few people are using Optical Media on Computers, the Licensing is INSANE and Even after paying, doesn't cover all the side patents as MOTOROLA has proven with their infusion of Google Money.

Microsoft tried HARD with Windows 7 by supplying a new variation of plugging in GPU assisted codex and paid licensing on a TON of them, as the 'open and free' don't work that way when a COMPANY like Microsoft wants to use them, without publishing the entire code base of Windows NT just to provide the codec.

Windows 7 supports a ton of codecs inherently and has been getting sued up the rear for some of them.

So if you don't like it, be sure to Thank Google and stop using their crap.

Time to Bing stuff and forget Google....

Brandon said,
Stupid move on their part. Why do I want to either purchase software... or install more software to watch a damn dvd?

I watch DVD's in VLC Media player anyway, as it skips and bypasses all the bull**** Copyright "Don't Steal this DVD" warnings and takes you right into the menu.

ShareShiz said,

last time i checked windows 8 was more tablet driven. and last time i checked i didnt see any dvd drives on a tablet.

I do have one on my Toshiba Tablet M400..........

Jose_49 said,

Bitch please,

Media Player Classic:
http://mpc-hc.sourceforge.net/

Nothing can beat it

Edit: Read your post below, and you were posting Media Center direct alternatives. Yup, MPC does not qualify.

Was going to say the same thing. Who even needs to install codecs when MPC-HC does it all a whole lot better.

Brandon said,
Stupid move on their part.

Windows 8 is going to be the next Windows Vista. It'll be a total failure.

Microsoft are stupidly "dumbing it down" so it can run on phones and tablets, and to hell with the desktop!

RommelS said,

Average users tend to rent from RedBox and watch it on their television at home, and not on a small screen from their laptop or PC. Granted there are people there that does that.

In long flights, there are only a handful of people that will use their laptop to watch a movie or two, rather than they would rather watch the inflight movie. Now with the introduction of DirectTV on some airlines, you can watch television while your traveling.

Can't for the life of me figure out why anyone would want to watch a movie or tv show on a computer? I don't care what size screen you have or anything. total waste of a computer, IMO.

Panda X said,

Not really stupid, the price of Windows itself will be cheaper as it doesn't include licensing fees. Which works for some users who might not use it, and for those who do use Media Center they can get a free alternative as noted above and they would pay less that they would have originally if they bought Windows and it already included MC/Codecs

You actually believe Windows will be cheaper because of this? HAHAHAHA, oh wow!

rpsgc said,

You actually believe Windows will be cheaper because of this? HAHAHAHA, oh wow!

Let me guess, you're one of those M$ people. Eyes are rolling.

cork1958 said,

Can't for the life of me figure out why anyone would want to watch a movie or tv show on a computer? I don't care what size screen you have or anything. total waste of a computer, IMO.

Then you haven't used your head. Find someone who knows what they are doing and try their setup. Anything but an HTPC just feels primitive and "minivan."

thenonhacker said,
Let us stop being bitter about it, and instead, show them that the world doesn't revolve around Windows Media Center, ok?

Best FREE Alternatives for Windows Media Center:

XBMC (this is what's Boxee is based on)
http://xbmc.org/

MediaPortal - Everything else is just a media center
http://www.team-mediaportal.com/

NextPVR - A free PVR and Media Centre application for Windows
http://www.nextpvr.com/

TVersity - The leading UPnP/DLNA Media Server
http://tversity.com/

MythTV - Open Source DVR
http://www.mythtv.org/


When I installed Windows 8 DP on my HP Touchsmart, I spent hours to find any working alternative to WMC. The key thing I needed to get to work is TV. I spent long time just to get the list of existing alternatives (ones that you listed pretty much) and try each one, but nothing worked. It was also due to OS incompatible in some cases, but anyway I was shocked there wasn't any adequate alternative to WMC even in terms of user experience. Either sh*tty UI or device support or occasional errors or all combined.

TsarNikky said,

Another excellent reason to stick with Windows-7; until MS recognizes the errors of their ways and comes up with a solution--Windows-9.

who uses media center to watch a DVD:: Media Player - Home Cinema FTW

TsarNikky said,

Another excellent reason to stick with Windows-7; until MS recognizes the errors of their ways and comes up with a solution--Windows-9.

question is.. does that mean dvd movies or dvd general? I should assume they'll still be able to install stuff from dvd. and why pick on dvd's? no cd's now? Like when Dell lost Michael Dell and they got him back, Microsoft seriously needs Bill Gates back (like Apple's Steve Jobs) company is just gonna wither and die

Athlonite said,

who uses media center to watch a DVD:: Media Player - Home Cinema FTW

well I was using Gom, but something of late won't play HD right. so PowerDVD usually.. cept PowerDVD loves upgrading twice a year..... crazy $$