Last week a universal app version of VLC for Windows was released which for the first time works on Windows Phone, Intel powered Windows 8.1 and ARM powered Windows devices like the Surface 2. VLC for Windows finally brings a media play that will most of the video formats you would want it to. For the first time you can play Windows Media Center TV files (WTV) on a Surface without transcoding (as long as they are not locked with DRM), it will also play MKV files, DVD files (MPEG 2) and many others. You could probably say that the app is a couple of years as it finally makes the devices like the Surface 2 capable of playing all the video formats devices that other devices can play.
Windows Media Center files on Windows RT
I took a Windows Media Center WTV file recorded from my Media Center PC (Channel 4 via Freeview HD) and put it on an external hard drive and the file played perfectly with VLC. So you should be able to share out your Recorded TV folder and it play the TV files via VLC using it as an extender. It won’t work for recorded TV shows with DRM on them (a lot of US channels use DRM, in the UK is not really used).
MKV and other files
VLC will also play many other formats including MVK files, Windows 10 will play them out of the box but that is not the case Windows 8.1 so VLC does a great job playing them, I tested MKV playback on a Surface 2 and it played all of my test files.
So on my Surface 2 at least I can play any video file I want, unfortunately it has come too late as for the RT devices but the good news is that on Intel powered Windows devices VLC is a very capable app and will play everything I have already talked about.
VLC is a great example of a universal app that works on any Windows devices and is exactly what they are pushing in Windows 10.