I recently purchased an XP8500 with all the bells and whistles including a blu ray player. Today I tried to play a DVD that I originally burned. It would not play. I then inserted it into my laptop with windows 7 and it played just fine. I also tried to play a DVD movie that I purchased and that also wouldn't play. I contacted tech support and they informed me that I would have to upgrade to windows 8 pro to have this capability. You mean to tell me that Dell sold me a Blu Ray player that doesn't even play DVD's? They're now going to send me some 3rd party software to do an end around. This is so wrong!!!!! How can you sell something that you know isn't going to work out of the box? I have had SO many problems with windows 8. I've already had to do two factory re-installs on this computer (with the help of tech support) and my first XP8500 was DOA. (this is my 2nd) I've contacted dell customer service about all of my issues and as of right now I've had no response. I think windows 8 was released well before all of the bugs were worked out. I asked if I could go back to windows 7 and they said that was not allowed. I"M VERY FRUSTRATED!!!!!!!
Windows 8 by default does not play dvd discs.
Windows 8 PRO by default does not play DVD discs.
ONLY Windows 8 Pro Media Center Edition plays DVD
Aside from the removal of the Start menu, several notable features have been removed in Windows 8. Support for playing DVDs has been removed from Windows Media Player due to the cost of licensing the necessary decoders (especially for devices which do not include optical disc drives at all) and the prevalence of streaming services such as Netflix. For the same reasons, Windows Media Center will no longer be included by default on Windows 8, but the software (which also includes support for DVD playback) can be purchased in the "Pro Pack" (for the base version of Windows 8, which also upgrades the system to Windows 8 Pro) or "Media Center Pack" (for Windows 8 Pro) add-ons.
Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search. If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, and then click Search.
Enter add features in the search box, and then tap or click Settings .
Tap or click Add features to Windows 8 and then do one of the following:
If you need to purchase a product key, tap or click I want to buy a product key online.
Follow the steps to purchase and enter a product key.
If you already have a product key, tap or click I already have a product key.
Enter your product key and click Next.
Read the license terms, select the check box to accept the license terms, and then click Add features.
If you were running Windows 8, your PC will restart automatically and Windows 8 Pro With Media Center will be available for use.
If you were running Windows 8 Pro, your PC will restart automatically and Windows Media Center will be available for use.
* To install Windows 8 Pro Pack, you must be running Windows 8; to install Windows 8 Media Center Pack, you must be running Windows 8 Pro.
Microsoft removed the bundled (with all but the Starter editions of 7) MPEG-2 codec due to royalty issues. Blu-ray playback involves royalties, too, and adding Blu-ray functionality to Windows has always required the addition of third-party software.
XP, apart from the Media Center Edition, didn't have one bundled and users were expected to buy one separately. This is traditionally how Windows home theater PC and media center users enabled DVD playback on their machines. There's nothing 'band-aid' about using third-party software for DVD playback, especially considering that it is absolutely necessary for Blu-ray playback.
Arcsoft TotalMedia Theater is a better buy than updating to Windows 8 Pro.