"Can Windows 8 play Blu-ray disc? – I just purchased some wonderful movies in Blu-ray discs from Amazon. I would like to know whether Windows 8 Media Player plays Blu-ray disc or not. If Windows 8 can’t play Blu-ray, how to play Blu-ray on Windows 8 and what I need to prepare?"

Since Windows 8, while Microsoft brings a number of new features in its new Windows operating systems, it still gives us a big frustration – no Blu-ray playback support yet. If you are a Blu-ray movie addict and wanna play Blu-ray on Windows 8/8.1/10, this post should be where you stop. It introduces 3 ways to play Blu-ray on Windows 8/8.1/10.

Part 1: Play Blu-ray on Windows 8 Media player with Codec Pack Installed

Microsoft didn’t do away with DVD/Blu-ray playback in Windows entirely – they just moved it to the for-pay Windows Media Center pack, which costs $10.

If you have the basic version of Windows 8, you can’t download Windows Media Center without also paying $100 to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro. Use the Add features to Windows 8 control panel to upgrade. To open it, press the Windows key, type add features, tap or click the Settings category, and tap or click Add features to Windows 8.

Considering the cost, if you’re just looking for DVD/Blu-ray playback and could care less about Windows 8 Pro’s other special offerings, you’re recommend just going with the free Blu-ray player for Windows 8 mentioned below.

Part 2: Play Blu-ray on Windows 8/8.1/10 with Free Windows Blu-ray Player Software

Before you upgrade tothe for-pay Windows 8 Pro or buy some paid Blu-ray player software from developers, I should remind you to check out whether or not a software Blu-ray player pre-installed on your PC. Actually, if you’ve bought a standalone Blu-ray drive, it almost certainly came bundled with some software to help you play Blu-ray on Windows 8.

But there is always an exception. If your Blu-ray drive comes with no software, Blu-ray player software from other developers will be helpful when you want to play Blu-ray on Windows 8. Right here I should mention about VLC – a free, open-source media player that could play unencrypted Blu-ray movies. But for those people who would like to play commercial and encrypted Blu-ray discs on Windows 8, a better free Blu-ray player software program is highly recommended – Leawo Free Blu-ray Player.

Leawo Free Blu-ray Player

As the best free Blu-ray player software for Windows 8, Leawo Free Blu-ray Player provides multiple useful features and advantages. You could learn the main features of this free Windows 8 Blu-ray player software below:

Supported Media
Blu-ray BD50/BD25 disc, folder and ISO image file
DVD DVD-9/DVD-5 disc, folder and ISO image file
Video 4K video, 1080P/1080i video, 720P video and videos in MP4, AVI, MKV, FLV, M4V, WMV, and 180+ other formats
Audio .AAC, .AC3, .APE, .DTS, .FLAC, .M4A, .MID, .MKA, .MP2, .MP3, .MPA, .OGG, .TTA, .WAV, .WMA, etc.
Main Features
Play commerial Blu-ray/DVD disc
Change region codes of player for Blu-ray discs of various region codes
Support BDJ disc menu playback
Support 4K/1080P video playback
Play audio lossless Dolby, DTS, AAC, TrueHD, DTS-HD, etc.
Power manager to manage battery
Virtual remote control upon disc menu
Customize player skin
Supported OS Windows XP and later, Mac OS X 10.6 and later

It should be noted that Blu-ray drive is required to use 3rd-party free Blu-ray player software to play Blu-ray on Windows 8. Meanwhile, most 3rd-party Blu-ray player software requires internet connection to decrypting commerial Blu-ray discs for playback. Leawo Free Blu-ray Player is one of the best Windows free Blu-ray player software programs you could get online. For more Blu-ray player software for Windows, you could check Top 5 Best Blu-ray Player Software for PC.

Video Tutorial on Playing Blu-ray on Windows with Free Windows Blu-ray Player

Part 3: Rip Blu-ray on Windows 8 and then Play Blu-ray on Windows 8

Using free Windows 8 Blu-ray player software to play Blu-ray on Windows 8 is without doubt the most effective and cost-saving solution. However, some people not only need to play Blu-ray on Windows 8 computer, but also some other devices like Surface, iPad, iPhone, etc. In such condition, ripping Blu-ray to video on Windows 8 with a Windows 8 Blu-ray ripper software program is the best choice. The Blu-ray ripping software could decrypt, rip and convert Blu-ray to video in multiple formats for diverse uses: playback on Windows 8 computer or mobile devices, uploading to blog, YouTube or other video sharing sites, importing to video editor software for editing. Leawo Blu-ray Ripper is such kind of software.

Supported Input Media
Blu-ray BD50/BD25 disc and folder
DVD DVD-9/DVD-5 disc and folder
Images (watermark) TIFF, TIF, GIF, PNG, BMP, JPEG, JPG, ICO, EMF, WMF
Supported Output Media
Video 3D video formats: 3D MP4, 3D WMV, 3D AVI, 3D MKV, 3D YouTube video, etc.
HD video formats: HD MP4, HD AVI, HD MOV, HD TS, HD TRP, HD VOB, HD MPG, HD WMV, HD ASF
Common video formats: MP4-AVC, MP4-XviD, MP4-H.264, AVI, ASF, WEBM, MOV, RMVB, FLV, F4V, TS, DAT, WMV, MKV, XviD, DV, MPEG-1 NTSC, MPEG-1 PAL/SECAM, MPEG-2 NTSC, MPEG-2 PAL/SECAM, DVD-Video NTSC, DVD-Video PAL/SECAM, 3GP, 3G2, DPG
Audio FLAC, AAC, AC3, AIFF, AMR, M4A, MP2, MP3, OGG, RA, AU, WAV, WMA, MKA
Images(snapshot) PNG, BMP, JPEG
Main Features
Decrypt commerial Blu-ray/DVD disc
Rip and convert Blu-ray/DVD to video
Extract audio off Blu-ray/DVD
Edit Blu-ray/DVD for customization
Adjust video and audio parameters of output profile
Select subtitles and audio tracks
Create 3D videos out of 2D Blu-ray/DVD
Quick Profile Search bar
GPU accelerating technology 6X faster: NVIDIA CUDA, Intel Quick Sync, AMD APP
Play Blu-ray/DVD disc
Multi-lingual interface
Decrypt full Blu-ray/DVD movie content
Decrypt main movie of Blu-ray/DVD
Supported OS Windows XP and later, Mac OS X 10.6 and later

How to Rip Blu-ray on Windows 8

1. Click the "Add Blu-ray/DVD" button to import source Blu-ray movies into this Windows 8 Blu-ray ripping software.
2. Click the button next to "Add Blu-ray/DVD" button and then select "Change" option to select output profile.
3. Click the big green "Convert" button on the top-right of the main interface to set output directory in the "Save to" box.
4. Click the "Convert" button on the sidebar to start converting Blu-ray on Windows 8/8.1/10.

Conclusion

Leawo Free Blu-ray Player offers direct media playback service for you to play Blu-ray/DVD/4K video/1080P video/audio/ISO image files on Windows 8/8.1/10/7/XP/Vista for free, while Leawo Blu-ray Ripper offers you excellent service for ripping Blu-ray/DVD movies to video and audio files in 180+ formats for playing Blu-ray/DVD movies on Windows computer and mobile devices.