Did you install 8.1 via DVD so you know the DVD was functional in the new OS? I do remember some DVD players had problems with Windows 7 and in some cases needed a firmware upgrade. The same thing may be happening with your system since Windows 8 would probably exhibit the same symptoms.
Are you using more one type of blank media, and at what speeds will that media burn.
Would like to thank those of you who offered suggestions. After my post, I did some more searching and read that Microsoft omitted the codecs in some versions of windows 8. Apparently, I purchased one those versions. One of the recommendations was to purchase Media Center which I have not done as I am still exploring other options.
Once again, thank you for taking the time to reply to my question.