Windows 8 had several serious problems when it launched.
Over the past 1.5 years, Microsoft has fixed a number of those problems –although many still remain.
One problem is that Windows 8 cannot natively play DVDs. That’s really annoying for anyone who, you know, watches DVDs.
Today, I’m going to explain why Windows 8 can’t play DVDs (there’s a good reason) and how you can easily fix this on your system:
Why doesn’t Windows 8 play DVDs?
Windows 8 doesn’t play DVDs because playing DVDs require DVD codecs. DVD codecs cost a lot of money. Adding codecs for DVDs and Blu-Rays to Windows 8 would add between $10 to $30 onto the cost of every copy of Windows 8. That’s a ton of money.
Windows 8 is made by Microsoft – an American company bound by the laws of America. America is particularly strict about copyright laws, which is why Microsoft can’t simply steal the codecs without paying for them.
How to play any DVD or Blu-Ray in Windows 8
VLC Media Player, however, is made by a French company. France – and the rest of Europe – takes a more open approach to codec laws and doesn’t strictly enforce them.
Either that, or VLC simply refuses to abide by codec laws. In either case, they exist in a grey area of the law.
Fortunately for you, you can use that grey area to play any type of media on your Windows 8 PC. To do that, follow these steps:
Step 1) Download and install VLC Media Player for Windows 8 from here (it’s totally free): http://www.videolan.org/vlc/releases/1.1.8.html
Step 2) Place a DVD or Blu-Ray disc in your disc drive (note: you have to have a Blu-Ray disc player for this to work, otherwise your disc reader won’t be able to read the data)
Step 3) At this point, a pop-up should appear prompting you to either play the disc or open the folder. If that pop-up doesn’t appear, then you can go to the My computer screen and open/play the disc manually.
Step 4) If VLC Player doesn’t automatically open, you can open the DVD in the My Computer screen and double-click the media file to play it.
Alternatively, open VLC, go to Media > Open Disc > and choose the disc you’re trying to play.
That’s it! VLC is one of the world’s most useful media playback programs. It’s exceptionally powerful and, although it may not be strictly legal, it’s not strictly illegal either. That’s the magic of the internet for you.