Windows 8 Media Center add-on to cost €9.99?

Microsoft has opted not to include Windows Media Center with Windows 8, likely to help keep costs down. The company did announce that the package would be available as an add-on but has yet to announce the price.

Step in WindowsBlogItalia who claims to have a screenshot of the price that Microsoft will charge for the premium product. That price, if the screenshot is to be believed, will be 10 Euros. Microsoft has not confirmed or announced this price as of yet, but the low price point should appease many critics.

Microsoft likely decided to omit Media Center from Windows 8 to keep the cost down for the retail price of the OS. Seeing as the add-on has support for many codecs and formats, Microsoft is required to purchase licenses for the platform. If the price is correct, it would appear that Microsoft was able to shave 10 Euros off the price point by selling Windows Media Center as an extra feature.

After seeing the price, do you agree with Microsoft's decision to omit Media Center or should they have included it with Windows 8 but charged a higher upfront cost? 

Source: WindowsBlogIalia

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Sounds reasonable, however, do you guys think 3rd party codecs developed for Win7 will work correctly in Win8? I remember those horrible x64 codecs that did not work correctly at all when Win7 came out. Hell, Ithink the only codec pack that works for everything with x64 now is the shark codec pack.

Might pick it up. That's cheap. I use it sometimes so doesn't matter to me. I hope it gets a metro...modern... er something update.

I love it and I don't have a HTPC. I have a standard Dell tower type PC purchased online. I added two dual Happauge standard TV cards (4 tuners in total). Connected it to my media centre extender for the main TV and now have tons of ripped DVDs (for the kids), all our home videos and family pictures, all our music and tons of recorded TV (wifey watches lots of everything). All for a few $$$$

We stopped using our DVR years ago and it cleared up all the clutter under the TV.

Its very very easy to navigate (the first iteration of the Metro UI I think). While it records on average over 4 TV programmes a day I still use this PC to do my office and private work and the things is lightning fast.

I won't be going to Windows 8 on this PC as it is a sweet setup for minimal effort and cost and I don't want to mess up something that works so well.

I will buy a new Windows 8 PC for the other PC wifey uses and experiment with Windows Media Centre to see how well it works and if all is well the other PC will move over also.

Does anyone know if the new Win8 media centre app will work with the original media centre extenders e.g. I have the Linksys DMA 2200?

It is great on Win 7 and sadly most people don't give it a fair shot i think.

I can't understand how it makes windows 8 cheaper though.
Does it cost them more money to add 60mb to the .iso ?
Does that mean its more cost effective for them to add it as an addon for 10 euro's ?
Don't make any sense to me.. they still hired people to write the code either way.

I will pay $100 USD for this is they include a 59/60hz bugfix for Windows 7/8. It's really simple MS come on!

Nvidia's over ride fix works but has to be applied 2-3 times a day depending rebooting/sleep cycle.

1WayJonny said,
I will pay $100 USD for this is they include a 59/60hz bugfix for Windows 7/8. It's really simple MS come on!

Nvidia's over ride fix works but has to be applied 2-3 times a day depending rebooting/sleep cycle.

I don't know what this fix is, but surely there must be some way to automate it?

kurupy said,
Won't be purchasing it, much prefer XBMC for my HTPC needs
Good luck getting live TV streams without spending hours to get it working and then ultimately giving up because your tuner isn't supported or is quirky in MythTV or whatever PVR you choose.

If you want to watch prerecorded movies/tv or listen to music then XBMC is great, if you want to use it as a PVR to record live TV without spending hours getting it to work it's not.

ahinson said,
Good luck getting live TV streams without spending hours to get it working and then ultimately giving up

Sorry, i should have stated that i don't use a tuner, only use it for streaming files locally off either an external HD or another computer connected to the network

Well, I'm not sure if it was or not a good decision, It is ok for me to pay for WMC, but it should be more compleate, seams that it still will need nore codecs to run subtitles or mkv.. If we are paying for it, it should be more compleate (.srt, mkv, Blu-ray, ...).

The price and decoupling isn't a big deal. I really do hope MS continues with the product though. Despite it not being widely used by many Windows users, those of us who do use it, love it and swear by it. It truly is the best HTPC/PVR software out there.

I use it as a HTPC/Cable box/PVR in my bedroom. With a multi channel tuner (4 tuners = 4 simultaneous channels recording), cable card and tuning adapter (which you need for a Tivo too) you can get any non-ondemand channel from your cable provider (sdv or non-sdv).

The only real issue I have with it, is that it lacks PIP support. An artifact of Extender support. Since that paradigm is pretty much dead bring on PIP!

Going back to the dvr provided by the cable company that I have in another room is dreadful since it's a lag fest.

Edited by ahinson, Aug 10 2012, 5:34pm :

Good move by MS but theres only one slight gripe. It's no improvement from what people have said over the version in windows 7. So whilst I support the modularisation method i'd like to get something as a perk when running windows 8 as a media centre.

Also because you are forced into Metro (sorry windows 8 mode) will it allow you to boot up directly into WMC mode?

If they include it then they have to pay a fee for every single copy of windows sold which adds up to a lot of money for something very little people use. Why raise the cost for people who will never use it. Therefore, I think they should not include it and let people who want it to buy it.

People who need codecs that are not included in the OS know how to buy the codecs they need or get free ones.

I'm just wondering. All the people that said removing the medica center and the codecs wouldn't result in a cheaper windows in the previous topics...

Where are you now that windows is not just 2.5 dollars cheaper but less than half the cost it used to be...

kraized said,
Is the £49.99 price for Win 8 Pro the upgrade price or the price to buy the full version?

Full, upgrade is even cheaper.

kraized said,
Is the £49.99 price for Win 8 Pro the upgrade price or the price to buy the full version?

£49.99 is the price just for a full copy legit serial for Win 8 Pro. £11.99 extra for a DVD of it.

torrentthief said,

£49.99 is the price just for a full copy legit serial for Win 8 Pro. £11.99 extra for a DVD of it.

Nice! So how much is an upgrade price?

torrentthief said,

£49.99 is the price just for a full copy legit serial for Win 8 Pro. £11.99 extra for a DVD of it.

So, I guess we aren't one of the "131 markets" getting it for $49.99. Yet again we get shafted if that's the case.

bougibouga said,

it's 14,99€ but I don't know it in dollars


You are talking about a temporary price (it ends in feb 2013). Also why are you talking about dollars and not pounds is beyond me, along with your incapacity to search for an online converter, lolz.

metallithrax said,

So, I guess we aren't one of the "131 markets" getting it for $49.99. Yet again we get shafted if that's the case.

According to one of Microsoft's post:
£25 (or rounded) is the price of an online only 8 Pro upgrade key, with WMC being a FREE add-on.
£44 (or rounded) is the price of a upgrade DVD in store.
£14.99 is the price of an upgrade 8 Pro key for users who bought a existing Windows PC in the last few months.

Unconfirmed:
£49.99 for a full version/system builder key
£11.99 for a full version/system builder DVD copy

Anthonyd said,

You are talking about a temporary price (it ends in feb 2013). Also why are you talking about dollars and not pounds is beyond me, along with your incapacity to search for an online converter, lolz.

Anyway, £14.99 is the price ONLY if you bought a new computer lately.
£25 (or so) is the price for anyone else.

Anthonyd said,

You are talking about a temporary price (it ends in feb 2013). Also why are you talking about dollars and not pounds is beyond me, along with your incapacity to search for an online converter, lolz.

Maybe because the prices are not the same in Europe and America. uh

correct me if I'm wrong, but doesnt the media center pack include all the codecs that make windows media player work? on windows 7 by default you have H264 and similar, I think they removed that from windows 8, right?

this is the GPU accelerated codec for h264 although I guess others like mpeg-2 would be affected as well.

even internet explorer taps into this codec to show h264 codec.

so to those saying "i never used media center anyway", you are most likely still using the codecs bundled with this.

Im not sure tho, I could be wrong.

Julius Caro said,
correct me if I'm wrong, but doesnt the media center pack include all the codecs that make windows media player work? on windows 7 by default you have H264 and similar, I think they removed that from windows 8, right?

h.264 is built-in. MPEG2 support has been removed in Win8 so dvd's won't play unless you buy MCE or use a 3rd party application.

update: yeah, I am wrong. all the codecs are available on windows 8 for use in metro apps, and most likely in media player as well. only DVD playback and the media center app are missing. IE10 will also work correctly with the h264 codec

which means that yeah, this "media center pack" is pretty useless.

Curious to see what Media Center looks like on 8. I've been using it since XP Media Center Edition. Vista Media Center was an amazing improvement, and the version that comes with 7 managed to improve on it by that much again. I don't know how anyone can have a HTPC without it. Completely agree that it's a niche market though, and useless for anyone who doesn't have a HTPC, so why include it by default?

rosszone said,
Curious to see what Media Center looks like on 8. I've been using it since XP Media Center Edition. Vista Media Center was an amazing improvement, and the version that comes with 7 managed to improve on it by that much again. I don't know how anyone can have a HTPC without it. Completely agree that it's a niche market though, and useless for anyone who doesn't have a HTPC, so why include it by default?

Its exactly the same as on Windows 7, they have basically stopped development on it sadly.

InsaneNutter said,

Its exactly the same as on Windows 7, they have basically stopped development on it sadly.

That's too bad. Not that I'm not actually perfectly happy with it on Windows 7. Although of course that means I'll be staying with 7 on my HTPC.

rosszone said,

That's too bad. Not that I'm not actually perfectly happy with it on Windows 7. Although of course that means I'll be staying with 7 on my HTPC.

Indeed, it would be a waste of money sadly to upgrade your HTPC to Windows 8. Would have been great if it got all the media apps that are on Xbox Live.

Plus another downside is Windows 8 forces you to boot to the Metro interface, you cant go directly to the desktop meaning you cant set Media Center to auto start.

Had my HTPC on Windows 7 since it was in beta, i guess it will not change until Windows 9, thats if Media Center is not killed off.

InsaneNutter said,

Indeed, it would be a waste of money sadly to upgrade your HTPC to Windows 8. Would have been great if it got all the media apps that are on Xbox Live.

Plus another downside is Windows 8 forces you to boot to the Metro interface, you cant go directly to the desktop meaning you cant set Media Center to auto start.

Had my HTPC on Windows 7 since it was in beta, i guess it will not change until Windows 9, thats if Media Center is not killed off.

Good point. Totally forgot about that whole 'boot to Metro' thing. Just adds to the reasons.

InsaneNutter said,

Indeed, it would be a waste of money sadly to upgrade your HTPC to Windows 8. Would have been great if it got all the media apps that are on Xbox Live.

Plus another downside is Windows 8 forces you to boot to the Metro interface, you cant go directly to the desktop meaning you cant set Media Center to auto start.

Had my HTPC on Windows 7 since it was in beta, i guess it will not change until Windows 9, thats if Media Center is not killed off.

Wouldn't it be better to just put your HTPC to sleep instead of turning it off. That way it could wake from sleep if a recording is scheduled. You can get directly to the desktop from sleep.

I would think that Metro is actually a good thing for a HTPC. Nice, fullscreen apps, with big fonts and easy to click targets.

Jose_49 said,
Well... There's something called XBMC which just rocks

IF you can get XMBC it to work. Here's my experience with XMBC vs. WMC (obviously I understand that each person's experiences may differ)

Here is me installing Windows 7 and Setting up WMC this last time:
Install Windows.
Launch WMC.
Enter zip code.
Choose 'Why yes, that is my cable company and cable box model that you've auto-detected! How smart!'
Choose 'Why yes, that is my remote you've detected! Amazing!'
Install the 'MyMovies' addon and sync my collection.
Start Enjoying!

Setting up XMBC:
Install Windows 7/WMC.
Muck about for several days trying to get XMBC to recognize my tuner cards. (Unsuccessful: only one tuner recognized.)
Muck about for several more days trying to get it to work with a remote. (Unsuccessful: XMBC doesn't actually support remote commands, seemingly only keypress actions, so not all remote functions work properly.)
Muck about for several more days trying to find a theme that isn't butt ugly. (Unsuccessful: Never found one as clean and simple, or functional, as WMC.)
At this point wondering why I am bothering with XMBC... since that tempting 'Launch WMC that is already installed so why don't you just use me' button is calling me.
Finally, after a week of messing around, I get a mostly workable XMBC install.
Two days later, while watching a movie, it suddenly quits working. And refuses to even launch.
Do a clean install of the OS just to get the vile thing completely off my computer and just use WMC, and up and running 20 minutes later.

I thought that Media Center had a pretty awesome UI. But the content execution just isn't there. If MS could have secured deals with all the cable and satellite television providers (and not just a few of them), Media Center would be directly competing with TiVo today. Instead its an OK living room interface, but the XBox is an even better one. The "Media Center Extender" paradigm has also shown to not be very effective. I think that "remote desktop" type interactions are done in desperation, but don't make very good long term solutions when compared to installed software on a device that processes remote media.

Shadrack said,
I thought that Media Center had a pretty awesome UI. But the content execution just isn't there. If MS could have secured deals with all the cable and satellite television providers (and not just a few of them), Media Center would be directly competing with TiVo today. Instead its an OK living room interface, but the XBox is an even better one. The "Media Center Extender" paradigm has also shown to not be very effective. I think that "remote desktop" type interactions are done in desperation, but don't make very good long term solutions when compared to installed software on a device that processes remote media.

Cable companies are not willing to part with what is essentially free money from DVR rentals. That's why it never got off the ground in any serious way.

Shadrack said,
I thought that Media Center had a pretty awesome UI. But the content execution just isn't there. If MS could have secured deals with all the cable and satellite television providers (and not just a few of them), Media Center would be directly competing with TiVo today. Instead its an OK living room interface, but the XBox is an even better one. The "Media Center Extender" paradigm has also shown to not be very effective. I think that "remote desktop" type interactions are done in desperation, but don't make very good long term solutions when compared to installed software on a device that processes remote media.

Cable companies are not willing to part with what is essentially free money from DVR rentals. That's why it never got off the ground in any serious way.

dagamer34 said,

Cable companies are not willing to part with what is essentially free money from DVR rentals. That's why it never got off the ground in any serious way.

Not sure what your talking about really. Any cable company that offers cable cards (I think it is mandatory now) will work with Media Center. I currently use an HDHomeRun Prime and 2 xboxes and it works flawlessly. I also use the computer in my home office with media center on a second monitor and that works great as well. So if you have a computer with Media Center already, $200 per tv, $150 for the cable card tuner and your rid of cable box rentals forever. Unlimited DVR storage, 3 or more tuners, watch recordings from any tv and an interface to watch all your ripped DVD's is pretty awesome. I love it and the fact I get to deny Comcast box rentals and additional outlet charges is icing on the cake.

Ashpian said,

Unlimited DVR storage, 3 or more tuners, watch recordings from any tv and an interface to watch all your ripped DVD's is pretty awesome. I love it and the fact I get to deny Comcast box rentals and additional outlet charges is icing on the cake.

That's exactly what he's talking about..it hasn't taken off because the cable companies aren't wanting it to. They lose money if you use a media center PC because they aren't getting $15 per cable box.

I know in my case, I have one cable card that costs me $2.50/mo and have access to it on three TVs through extenders. That's a lot of missed revenue from me not paying to have a cable box at each TV. That's got to be at least $40/month that Time Warner's missing out on because of my media center PC.

The Laughing Man said,

Wouldn't be much of a media center then lol

I heard they were disabling a lot of the DVR functionality awhile back, good to know.

shockz said,

I heard they were disabling a lot of the DVR functionality awhile back, good to know.

So then they've basically made it Windows Media Player, which out of the box cannot play DVD's or Playback TV'or even DVR anything. Quite disturbing.

I always agreed with the decision. I'm a firm believer that many of the components that ship with Windows should be optional extras (not necessarily chargeable ones). When I first install windows I should have nothing other than what is necessary to support the operating system and user interface. Even the likes of notepad and paint should come as part of a (free) accessories pack that OEMs can choose to preload.

)-(orus said,
I always agreed with the decision. I'm a firm believer that many of the components that ship with Windows should be optional extras (not necessarily chargeable ones). When I first install windows I should have nothing other than what is necessary to support the operating system and user interface. Even the likes of notepad and paint should come as part of a (free) accessories pack that OEMs can choose to preload.

Reminiscent of the Windows 95 (or was it 98 too?) where you could choose to uncheck a ton of stuff even before install?

Q9650 said,
Media Center is useless for me never used it since vista and i am not willing to use it on 8

Cool story, bro.

I DO use it on my HTPC which runs Windows 7. If I get enough free licenses of Windows 8 I will upgrade my HTPC. $10 isn't much to pay for Media Center.

Q9650 said,
Media Center is useless for me never used it since vista and i am not willing to use it on 8
I use it for cable TV with Cable Card. It's great and fluid like..

I use it Cable Card (HomeRun Prime) and there were some hickups, but for $4 a month to Verison I have all the control and space and I prefer the UI to Verizon's on Time Warner's DVR. So, it can be worth wild and for me $10-ish is fine by me

Q9650 said,
Media Center is useless for me never used it since vista and i am not willing to use it on 8

Yea, why use media center and a tuner card when you can easily give your cable company $20 a month to lease a DVR.

reaper1576 said,
£6.99 for the uk.

Seems pretty cheap for such a great piece of software. I just wish MS would continue developing and improving it.

They should have left the codec support to third parties and included it by default, although the amount of people who actually use Media Center (I use it for my TV - FreeSat, it's great, recording and pausing is pretty much perfect) is obviously going to be very much in the minority.

PsYcHoKiLLa said,
They should have left the codec support to third parties and included it by default, although the amount of people who actually use Media Center (I use it for my TV - FreeSat, it's great, recording and pausing is pretty much perfect) is obviously going to be very much in the minority.
You missed the part where they don't have to pay royalties if they don't include codec into Windows.