Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Windows Media Center Unable to Play DVDs

  1. #1


    Tracy, CA, USA
    Posts : 9
    Windows 8 Pro (64-bit)

    Windows Media Center Unable to Play DVDs


    I'm running Windows 8 Pro (32-bit) on a Lenovo ThinkPad T60 laptop. I installed the Windows Media Center Pack today from the Microsoft promotion that allows you to get it for free until January. When I try to play a DVD through Windows Media Center, I get this error message:

    "Cannot Play DVD
    The DVD may be in use by another application. If all other applications are closed, the video resolution may need to be lowered or the display connection type may not support playback of the DVD."

    The DVD player in my laptop is a MATSHITA DVD-RAM UJ-826 ATA Device. There are no applications open other than Windows Media Center. The resolution for the player is set to my current, and recommended, screen resolution (1400 x 1050). The DVDs that I'm using aren't ripped (I bought them). My DVD player is set to the proper region for the United States (region 1). The driver for the DVD player is up-to-date. I also have VLC Media Player on my laptop and it plays DVDs just fine, so I'm guessing that the problem is with Windows Media Center, not my DVD player.

    I'm out of ideas on what to do.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 1,127
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    DVD works for me in WMC or any other media player I have. Did you try installing a codec pack like K-Lite? Does the DVD work in any other media player for you such as Windows Media Player?

    The reason VLC works for you is because VLC has the codecs built into it. However, I find it better to have codecs installed systemwide so that any media player will work (since they all can access the same codecs).

    Sure, if you want to play everything through VLC, then you don't need to worry. But by installing codecs systemwide, no matter what program you happen to be using, the movie/video will work.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Tracy, CA, USA
    Posts : 9
    Windows 8 Pro (64-bit)


    Quote Originally Posted by dirtyvu View Post
    DVD works for me in WMC or any other media player I have. Did you try installing a codec pack like K-Lite? Does the DVD work in any other media player for you such as Windows Media Player?

    The reason VLC works for you is because VLC has the codecs built into it. However, I find it better to have codecs installed systemwide so that any media player will work (since they all can access the same codecs).

    Sure, if you want to play everything through VLC, then you don't need to worry. But by installing codecs systemwide, no matter what program you happen to be using, the movie/video will work.
    Thank you for the reply, dirtyvu.

    I wasn't aware that you're able to play DVDs through Windows Media Player if you're running Windows 8. From what I read, that option is no longer available to Windows 8 users, even if you have the Windows Media Center Pack (Windows 8: Clarifying Codecs, Compiling, And Compatibility :). However, you're saying that it's possible to do that, so maybe I was misinformed.

    Installing a codec pack didn't work for me. I still get the same error message in Windows Media Center. I thought that Windows Media Center was supposed to have the codecs in order to play DVDs, or at least play standard movie DVDs. However, I honestly don't know much about Windows Media Center since this is the first time I've ever had to use it.

    It's not a huge deal if I can't find a solution. I'm content with playing DVDs through VLC. I'm just trying to figure out why I can't play DVDs through Windows Media Center.
    Last edited by basportsaddict; 20 Nov 2012 at 06:04.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Quote Originally Posted by basportsaddict View Post
    I wasn't aware that you're able to play DVDs through Windows Media Player if you're running Windows 8. From what I read, that option is no longer available to Windows 8 users, even if you have the Windows Media Center Pack (Windows 8: Clarifying Codecs, Compiling, And Compatibility :). However, you're saying that it's possible to do that, so maybe I was misinformed.
    This doesn't solve your problem, but installing the Windows Media Center allowed my PC to play DVDs. (No other movie codec packages were installed at the time.)

    I tried a DVD before downloading the Media Center package. It wouldn't play, as expected. I don't recall the exact error message, but it may have been about the format not being supported.

    I see that your laptop has Radeon Mobility X1300 graphics. That's an oldish graphics adapter. Do you get full driver support for that? (It may even be an HDCP issue.)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Tracy, CA, USA
    Posts : 9
    Windows 8 Pro (64-bit)


    Quote Originally Posted by bobkn View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by basportsaddict View Post
    I wasn't aware that you're able to play DVDs through Windows Media Player if you're running Windows 8. From what I read, that option is no longer available to Windows 8 users, even if you have the Windows Media Center Pack (Windows 8: Clarifying Codecs, Compiling, And Compatibility :). However, you're saying that it's possible to do that, so maybe I was misinformed.
    This doesn't solve your problem, but installing the Windows Media Center allowed my PC to play DVDs. (No other movie codec packages were installed at the time.)

    I tried a DVD before downloading the Media Center package. It wouldn't play, as expected. I don't recall the exact error message, but it may have been about the format not being supported.

    I see that your laptop has Radeon Mobility X1300 graphics. That's an oldish graphics adapter. Do you get full driver support for that? (It may even be an HDCP issue.)
    The current driver that I'm using for that graphics card is Microsoft Basic Display Adapter. Unfortunately, drivers for that card only go up to Windows Vista, so I just keep the adapter that is currently installed.

    It very well could be a graphics card problem. As you said, it's an old card. The player also runs very sluggish when I navigate through menus, though I don't have a problem with any other aspect of Windows 8 running slowly. I can't find any specific system requirements for just Windows Media Center.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by basportsaddict View Post
    The current driver that I'm using for that graphics card is Microsoft Basic Display Adapter. Unfortunately, drivers for that card only go up to Windows Vista, so I just keep the adapter that is currently installed.

    It very well could be a graphics card problem. As you said, it's an old card. The player also runs very sluggish when I navigate through menus, though I don't have a problem with any other aspect of Windows 8 running slowly. I can't find any specific system requirements for just Windows Media Center.
    The Basic Display driver could very well be the source of your trouble.

    Win8 is supposed to support drivers that are WDDM 1.0 (Vista) or later. I wonder if you could use them. I had to do something similar in the early days of Windows 7 with the NVidia 8200M graphics of my 2008 vintage laptop. (More recently, support has been through Windows Update.)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Tracy, CA, USA
    Posts : 9
    Windows 8 Pro (64-bit)


    Quote Originally Posted by bobkn View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by basportsaddict View Post
    The current driver that I'm using for that graphics card is Microsoft Basic Display Adapter. Unfortunately, drivers for that card only go up to Windows Vista, so I just keep the adapter that is currently installed.

    It very well could be a graphics card problem. As you said, it's an old card. The player also runs very sluggish when I navigate through menus, though I don't have a problem with any other aspect of Windows 8 running slowly. I can't find any specific system requirements for just Windows Media Center.
    The Basic Display driver could very well be the source of your trouble.

    Win8 is supposed to support drivers that are WDDM 1.0 (Vista) or later. I wonder if you could use them. I had to do something similar in the early days of Windows 7 with the NVidia 8200M graphics of my 2008 vintage laptop. (More recently, support has been through Windows Update.)
    That was indeed the problem.

    I updated my ATI Mobility Radeon X1300 graphics card driver to it's most recent release, which was for Windows Vista. The driver is indeed supported by Windows 8 and now Windows Media Center plays DVDs and runs smoother.

    Thank you very much for your help, bobkn!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Windows Media Center Unable to Play DVDs
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