Video Repair

8 Methods to Play 4K Ultra HD Video in VLC Player

Table of Content

    Summary: Are your 4K videos lagging, stuttering, or not playing at all in VLC Media Player? Here are the various methods to make your 4K ultra HD videos play smoothly in VLC Media Player. This post also shares how Stellar Repair for Video can repair 4K videos if they turn corrupt and don’t play in any media player including VLC.

    Recording high-definition 4K videos is the new norm. You have all the latest cameras — DSLRs, action cameras, drone cameras or even mobile phones — supporting 4K resolution.

    The 4K UHD video content is gradually making inroads into TV channels and streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Sling TV, and Hulu etc.

    In such a scenario, you would want your highly compatible and thus favorite VLC Player to play all your 4K movies and videos. However, several VLC users complain that they cannot play 4K ultra HD videos in the media player, with lagging and stuttering reported as common issues.

    So here, we bring the various methods you can use to fix VLC 4K lag and play high definition videos in  the media player.

    Methods to play 4K ultra HD videos in VLC Media Player

    1. Update VLC Media player
    2. Increase Cache Value
    3. Change Video Output Settings
    4. Disable Hardware-accelerated Decoding
    5. Change ‘Skip H.264 in-loop Deblocking Filter’ Setting
    6. Update Graphics Card Drivers
    7. Convert to compress 4K UHD videos
    8. Repair corrupt 4K UHD videos

    1. Update VLC Media player

    The VLC Media Player, in its latest version 3.0, comes with better support and capabilities for playing 4K UHD videos. Therefore, the first step to  fix  VLC 4K media playability issues is to download the latest version of VLC 3.0 Media Player and try it out to watch high-definition videos without any disturbance.

    2. Increase Cache Value

    This method works when your 4K UHD videos stutter or lag in VLC Media Player. Try increasing the Cache Values in the software settings.

    Note – If you do not find Cache option in your VLC Player, update it.

    Steps to increase Cache Value in VLC Media Player:

    • Open Tools > Preferences
    • In Show settings,select the All option
    Steps to increase Cache Value in VLC Media Player
    • In Advanced settings, click Input / Codecs
    • Under the Advanced heading, change the value of File caching (ms) from 300 to a higher value like 10,000 or 20,000.
    Tip – you can also change Network caching (ms) and Disc caching (ms) to higher values and check which one setting works best to fix 4K videos issues.

    3. Change Video Output Settings

    For many users, switching the video output to DirectX DirectDraw or OpenGL makes the 4K HD videos playable in VLC Media Player.

    Steps to change Video Output settings in VLC Player:

    • Click on Tools > Preferences> Video
    • Under Video Settingsin Output, change Automatic to DirectX (DirectDraw) video output. You can also try OpenGL.
    • Click Save 

    4. Disable Hardware-accelerated Decoding

    With hardware accelerated decoding, the task of playing certain videos (usually H.264 MP4 videos) is taken off from CPU and handed over to GPU of your computer. VLC Media Player can use computer’s GPU to accelerate decoding of some type of video codec streams. If you are facing video problem in playing any 4k video file in VLC, try once by disabling the hardware-accelerated decoding.

    Steps to disable hardware-accelerated decoding:

    • Open VLC Media Player.
    • Click on Tool > Preference>Input /
    • Click on box across the Hardware-accelerated Decoding option and choose Disable.
    Steps to disable hardware-accelerated decoding
    • Click Save Next restart VLC Player and play 4K video.

    5. Change ‘Skip H.264 in-loop Deblocking Filter’ Setting

    One way to fix video lagging while playing high-definition video files in VLC is by changing ‘skip h.264 in-loop deblocking filter’ setting to ‘All’. Although this will lower the video quality but make the playback smooth.

    Steps to change ‘skip h.264 in-loop deblocking filter’:

    • Open VLC Media Player.
    • Click Tool > Preference>Input / Codecs.
    • Go to Skip H.264 in-loop deblocking filter option, and change it to All.
    Steps to change ‘skip h.264 in-loop deblocking filter’
    • Click Save. Restart VLC player to play 4K video again.

    6. Update Graphics Card Drivers

    You can update graphics card drivers by using Windows Update feature. Simply go to Start menu. Click on Settings > Update and Security and click Check for Updates button. This will automatically perform regular Windows Updates and also check for new drivers.

    Windows - Update Graphics Card Drivers

    You can directly update drivers by visiting the manufacturer’s website and follow the graphic card driver update guide. For instance, Nvidia users can refer Nvidia Update from here.

    7. Convert to compress 4K UHD videos

    Even when your computer meets the intensive graphics and processor requirement, large-sized 4K videos may not play in VLC. You can compress your videos to a smaller size with the help of online video compressor tools.

    These tools can convert and compress 4K UHD videos like H.264 MP4, MOV, AVI, etc. to HD format for smooth playback on VLC Player.

    8. Repair corrupt 4K UHD videos

    None of the above methods worked?

    Then your videos might have gone corrupted. To rule out the video damage or corruption issue, try to play them in another supporting media player like 5KPlayer or DivX Player. If they still do not play, then you need to repair your 4K UHD videos with a secure video repair tool such as Stellar Repair for Video.

    Free Download for Windows Free Download for Mac

    Watch the Video on “How to Repair a Corrupt Videos” with Stellar Repair for Video

    Steps to repair 4K HD videos not playing in VLC Media Player:

    • Download Stellar Repair for Videoon your Mac or Windows system.
    • Click on Add File to add problem video file.
    • Click on Repair.
    • Preview and click on Save Repaired Files.

    The software can easily repair high-definition 4K video files that got corrupt during any of the several stages of video production namely shoot, file transfer, editing, converting or processing of videos etc.

    It is a widely used video repair software, which has up to 30% faster repair speed compared to other repair programs. Once repaired, you can seamlessly play your 4K video in VLC Media Player.

    To Sum Up

    You love VLC as a free and open source Media Player. However, the player might annoy you when it comes to watching 4K ultra HD videos and movies.

    Rather than half-heartedly switching over to a new media player, try out the above methods and play your 4K videos smoothly in your all-time favorite VLC Media Player.

    Also read

    How to Repair Corrupt MP4 and MOV File using VLC

    How to Fix Video Lag, Stutter or Glitches?

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    About The Author

    Sumona Chatterjee linkdin

    Sumona is a tech blogger, avid photographer, & technogeek with vast experience in writing about media file recovery tips and tutorials. She has over 10 years of experience in media file recovery/media file repair technology. She is passionate about Photography, Creative Designing, Music, and Exploring lesser-known destinations.


    1. I have a question regarding Screenshots from 4K videos/movies. When I take a screenshot in the VLC Media player from 4K videos/movies the picture comes out looking low quality. Is there anything I can do to make the pictures come out in the 4K quality just like the video/movie I’m capturing them from?

      1. Hi Justin, Thank you for reaching out to us.
        To answer your query, I would say that taking screenshots from a video inherently captures a single frame, and it may not always match the exact quality and clarity of the video’s motion. Additionally, the resolution of the screenshot may be limited by the capabilities of your computer’s display. You may try from the following solutions:

        1. Pause the video at the desired frame: Before taking a screenshot, pause the 4K video at the exact frame you want to capture. This ensures that you capture the image at its highest quality, without motion blur.

        2. Use a dedicated screenshot tool: Instead of relying on VLC Player’s built-in screenshot function, you can use third-party screenshot tools specifically designed for capturing high-quality images from videos. These tools often provide more control over the screenshot process and may yield better results.

        3. Enable hardware acceleration: VLC Player supports hardware acceleration, which offloads the video decoding process to your computer’s graphics card. Enabling hardware acceleration in VLC Player’s settings can enhance the overall video playback quality, which might also improve the quality of screenshots.

        4. Adjust video settings: In VLC Player, you can experiment with adjusting various video settings such as contrast, brightness, and saturation. By fine-tuning these settings, you may be able to improve the quality of the screenshot. However, keep in mind that modifying these settings can affect the overall visual experience while playing the video.

        5. Consider alternative media players: If VLC Player’s screenshot quality still doesn’t meet your expectations, you could try using alternative media players that provide better screenshot capabilities. Examples include PotPlayer, MPC-HC, or KMPlayer, which may offer more advanced screenshot options.

        I hope it helps!
        -Team Stellar

      1. Hi Armando, Thank you for your comment on the blog post about playing 4K Ultra HD videos in VLC Player.

        To answer your question, increasing the RAM on your computer may help with 4K video lag, but it’s not the only factor that affects video playback performance. Other factors that can contribute to video lag include the graphics card, CPU, and hard drive speed.

        Having 16GB of RAM is generally sufficient for most tasks, including playing 4K videos. However, if you’re still experiencing lag, you may want to check if your graphics card is capable of handling 4K video playback, as this can have a significant impact on performance.

        You can also try optimizing your computer’s settings for video playback by closing other programs and processes that are running in the background, disabling hardware acceleration in VLC Player, and adjusting the video output settings in VLC Player.

        I hope this helps! Let us know if you have any other questions or concerns.

    2. Your site always shares fantastic information. A very informative site. I will surely recommend it to my friends and others.

      1. Hi Dalton,
        We are glad to be of help. We believe in professional ethics to be on our toes for our customers and come up with a solution to their problems.

      1. Hi Jiju, No , you can’t. it’s depend on your System GPU, there is no reason to play a 4K video when you don’t have the hardware that supports 4K video output neither you have the monitor that supports 4K. Thanks!

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