Microsoft says that Windows 8 will focus primarily on online and downloadable media, and it will support a variety of codecs right out of the box: H.264, VC-1, WMA, MP4, AVI, MPEG-2 TS, ASF, AAC, WAV, M4A, MP3, PCM and Dolby Digital Plus. “These decoders are optimized for system reliability, battery life, and performance, and cover all key playback scenarios for mainstream content” — the company says. Moving forward, how are you going to play DVDs or watch live TV in your Windows 8 PC? -There are many ways to do this. if you want to go the Microsoft road, you’ll need to upgrade to the “Media Center pack” via the “Add Features to Windows 8” from the Control Panel. This is if you are using Windows 8 Pro, if you are using just Windows 8 — get to know the editions –, you’ll need to upgrade to the “Windows 8 Pro Pack” which will include Media Center, DVD playback support (only from Media Center and not from Media Player), TV recording and playback (DBV-T/S, ISDB-S/T, DMBH, and ATSC), and VOB file playback — Pricing to be announced. Now, you can also opt to use third-party solutions software to play DVDs in Windows. The most common solution will be getting a free open source application like VLC and Media Player Classic among others. What is your take on Windows 8 DVD playback support? Let us know your favorite way to watch DVD and Live TV.

May 5, 2012 update

Microsoft addressed concerns on Windows 8 dropping DVD playback support

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