If you’ve looked at Windows 8 at all, you may have noticed that the standard version comes with a limited Windows Media Player that can’t handle DVDs. Is this the end of the DVD? Not quite. The lack of DVD support in Windows 8 might be a step closer to the death of the DVD, but your film collection doesn’t need replacing quite yet.

Before release, Microsoft announced Windows Media Player will not contain the CODECs needed to play DVDs in its standard version. In a blog post Microsoft outlined their reasoning; the increase in web streaming, the high cost of DVD decoders and a general plan to include Media Center as an added feature and not in the base versions. An image on the Microsoft website outlines the availability of the media Center Pack for end-users.



 

The good news is that the Media Center add-on is currently free for early adopters. If you own a copy of Windows 8 before January 31 st , 2013, you can request your free license key from the Windows website. After this time, you may need to buy the $9.99 Media Center upgrade in order to play DVDs. We recommend that every Windows 8 user takes advantage of the free upgrade while it’s available, but if you miss the upgrade and don’t want to pay, you’re still able to use one of the several free media players available that offer full DVD support.