Thursday, August 06, 2015

Don't Pay to Play DVDs In Windows 10 Use VLC Instead

In our opinion Microsoft has done a great job with the recent release of Windows 10. The new UI, return of the start menu and other updates have really impressed us over Windows 8.1 (which unlike some we really didn't mind). One thing that you may have noticed though that is conspicuously absent is the ability to play your favorite DVDs (and Blu-Rays) through any of Windows 10's default applications.

You may think it was just you, don't worry it wasn't, and of course this isn't an error or mistake. Microsoft dropped 'free' DVD support on purpose due to, I believe in part, what was seen as rising costs of continuing support and paying royalties for the rights to use the technology.

While Microsoft now offers the Microsoft DVD for Windows 10 app, which was released this week for $15, we believe there are much better alternatives that can be had for free and we all know how geeks like to save money!

There are plenty of other free options out there, however our go to option for almost all of our video needs (and by all we mean all, like all of those questionable downloaded videos you might not have been able to play with Windows Media Player, or through Windows previously all the way up to our favorite DVDs or DVD/BR rips) has always been VideoLAN's VLC desktop software.

VLC is an open-source, meaning free to use, media player that includes support for DVD media as well as multiple other video and audio file formats. You'll even find a few websites that stream content that use VLC based codecs, or codecs that you won't find WMP support for. The software is super quick and easy to setup, you'll have the option to set it up for the default media player for all your media files if you like, some of you might not want that though.

A quick Note that I DO NOT recommend the VLC app in the Windows Store, which is a separate version that does not support DVD playback. You'll need to head over to the official VLC site and get the full version.

For those of you that really really don't want to try out a third party app you may still have another free option. For some Windows 10 upgraders you can get the Windows 10 DVD Player for free -- under certain circumstances. To do so, you must upgrade to Windows 10 from one of the following previous versions: Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate, Windows 8 with Windows Media Center or Windows 8.1 with Windows Media Center. If you are eligible for the free offer Microsoft says you will automatically receive the update soon after you upgrade to Windows 10, and that the Windows DVD Player app will be automatically downloaded through Windows Update.

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