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Windows 8 to ship without DVD, Blu-ray support


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Windows 8 to ship without DVD, Blu-ray support

posted by Thom Holwerda on Fri 4th May 2012 18:16 UTC

While it's technically a regression, and while it will surely make those of us who remember having to install DVD support on Linux from third-party repositories smile, it's still a major change and a sign of things to come: Windows 8 will ship without support for DVD and Blu-ray playback.

Back in the day, you had to manually enable DVD playback after installing Linux. Distributions based out of the US were unable to include the required libdvdcss (or libdvdcss2), so users had to manually install the package afterwards. Smaller distributions, or those based outside of the US, were more liberal with including libdvdcss. The end result was loads of articles on the web detailing how to enable DVD playback support on Linux. It was a ritual of some sort.

In a way, it's kind of poetic justice that Windows users will now have to jump through the same hoops. To cut costs, and since its use was declining anyway, Windows 8 will ship without support for DVD and Blu-ray playback. To enable it, you have to buy/install Windows Media Center, or rely on one of the many third party solutions. The same also applies to support for DBV-T/S, ISDB-S/T, DMBH, and ATSC.

"Globally, DVD sales have declined significantly year over year and Blu-ray on PCs is losing momentum as well. Watching broadcast TV on PCs, while incredibly important for some of you, has also declined steadily," Microsoft details, "These traditional media playback scenarios, optical media and broadcast TV, require a specialized set of decoders (and hardware) that cost a significant amount in royalties."

This should reduce the cost of a Windows license, and considering Windows 8 has a tablet-focus, it makes sense not to force OEMs to pay for something tablets won't have anyway (optical drives). It's a good thing for me - I haven't had an optical drive in any of my PCs for years, and I wouldn't be surprised if the same applies to more of you. Just ask yourself: when was the last time you really used your optical drive?

It's also a sign of something larger within Microsoft: the company has become incredibly willing to cut cruft from their operating system, even when it comes to support for hardware. This is a good sign, since if there's one thing that's held Microsoft and Windows back, it's that.

As far as the entire industry goes, it's obvious that optical media are on their way out. Apple never even supported Blu-ray to begin with, and with more and more laptops being sold without an optical drive, it only makes sense to start phasing it out. Let's face it - it's never been a particularly good storage medium, in terms of capacity, reliability, and speed.

So, raise a cup of coffee, and good riddance, I say.

SOURCE: http://www.osnews.co...Blu-ray_support


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Oh dear.... sometimes the way to watch a movie is via computer if one does not have a DVD player! I hope there will still be software available to install so that one can play a DVD on the PC. Also they had still better have a CD/DVD drive so that that will be possible!

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  • Root Admin

Well the article title is a bit misleading.

No version of Windows natively supports Blu-ray playback and there is no Microsoft update or package to provide Blu-ray playback support. All Blu-ray support comes from 3rd party vendors.

What Microsoft is removing is native DVD playback not Blu-ray playback (which it never had)

There are good free and open source players such as VLC that can play a DVD for you on your PC so not that big a deal that they will no longer natively support DVD.

There are hacks to play Blu-ray on your PC but that is another topic that Google can assist you with.

If you want to legally play Blu-ray movies on your PC then you have always had to buy player software to do so.

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What Ron said, and in addition to that, most PC's as well as PC DVD-ROM's come with software which enables DVD playback, which installs the necessary codecs to enable Windows to natively play DVD's (all that's needed is the codec, you don't even need to play your DVD's through the software itself, as once installed, the codec enables playback of DVD's through Windows Media Player and Windows Media Center).

The same is true for Blu-ray with regards to the software being provided by the manufacturer/device, though I do not believe the codecs will enable playback through other software like DVD codecs do (though I may be wrong on that).

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Thank you Ron & Exile for that excellent information!

We do not have any Blu-Ray movies so I did not know that Windows never played them natively anyway, but good informaton to have nonetheless. VLC is definitely a good option, and I have used it myself for DVD playback when WMP would not play a movie.

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  • Root Admin

The heated discussion continues...

Building Windows 8

An inside look from the Windows engineering team

Steven Sinofsky - Microsoft Corporation

Friday, May 4, 2012 9:16 PM

FAQ - DVD playback and Windows Media Center in Windows 8


HTML5 and Web Video: Questions for the Industry from the Community


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