Given the changing landscape, the cost of decoder licensing, and the importance of a straight forward edition plan, we’ve decided to make Windows Media Center available to Windows 8 customers via the Add Features to Windows 8 control panel (formerly known as Windows Anytime Upgrade). This ensures that customers who are interested in Media Center have a convenient way to get it. Windows Media Player will continue to be available in all editions, but without DVD playback support. For optical discs playback on new Windows 8 devices, we are going to rely on the many quality solutions on the market, which provide great experiences for both DVD and Blu-ray
The media pack installs Media Center, but this implies that third-party software will be needed for DVD playback. VLC media player should do it for free.
Correct. They have removed DVD playback from Win8. As I understand things this isn't a big loss as you can still use GOM/VLC to play DVDs. I also have PowerDVD that came with my blue ray player to handle DVDs so its not a big deal. Not sure what else is changed in the media pack.