How to Play 4K on VLC Smoothly without Choppy, Stutter or Lagging Issues

Posted by Candice Liu to 4K, Video Converter | Updated on Dec 26, 2019

"Can VLC play 4k ultra HD video? New to VLC & love its many options, however it doesn't start then becomes very choppy in playing 4K. No problem with other players so nothing wrong with my system or CPU. Would welcome any advice. Thanks." - andylolly

"I have been trying to watch 4K files on VLC, they play the sound but no video, windows media player plays the video but no sound, MPC and Power dvd play the videos with sound no problem, I have tried nightly VLC and there is no option for gpu accelerated on my settings. when will this problem be fixed, and my graphics card is a GTX 1060 Rog strixx edition." - kmj523

As the free and open source cross-platform media player, VLC is available to play multimedia files like DVD, CD, various online streaming videos as well as 4K videos since 2013. However, VLC video playback problems happen over and over, for eaxample, VLC won't play MKV or MP4, video lagging on VLC, VLC subtitle delay, video audio out of sync etc. And here we're talking about VLC not playing 4k problem. It's really frustrated to find your 4K choppy, stutter or lag during playback on VLC. So how to play 4K on VLC smoothly? You're suggested to enable GPU hardware accelerate decoding in VLC, compress 4K video to lower resolution, or switch to a VLC aternative.

play 4k on vlc

Best Solution for 4K Video Choppy/Stutter/Lagging

With MacX Video Converter Pro, you are able convert 4K video to MP4, MOV, AVI, MKV, FLV, AVCHD etc. and compress 4K videos to 1080p, 720p, or 640p, 480p SD videos for better playback on media players, mobiles, tvs, or so.

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Method 1: Enable GPU Acceleration to Fix VLC 4K Lag/Choppy/Stutter Problem

The 4K codec video requires a lot on computer's processor and graphic chip. And sometimes even if you computer meets the requirements, 4K playback issue also bother you because of the immense processing power required to play 4K. Nevertheless, the VLC media player framework enables GPU acceleration decoding of video streams depending on the video codec, graphic card and operating system.

How to enable GPU acceleration in VLC?

1. Open the VLC media player and click on Tools > Preferences to open the settings window of the 4K video player.
2. Choose Input & Codecs in the sidebar and tick Use GPU acceleration.
3. Remember to press Save to save VLC settings and restart VLC after that to make sure changes are enabled.

4k vlc

Method 2: Convert and Compress 4K Videos to Lower Resolution

If you're looking for an almighty but easy way to play 4K UHD videos without choppy, stutter or lagging issue, it's not to be sneezed at converting and compressing 4K videos to VLC best compatible 1080P resolution. To do that, you can rely on a powerful 4K video converter - MacX Video Converter Pro, which works on both Mac (Mac OS X 10.6 or above) and Windows 10/8/7/XP. This 4K video converter can convert and compress various different 4K codec videos like HEVC, H.264, VP9 4K, or MP4, MOV, MKV, AVI, MXF, XAVC 4K videos to H.264 1080p HD MP4 format for smooth playback. Besides compressing 4K to 1080p, you can also compress 4K to 720P, 1080p to 720p, or 640p, 480p SD videos for watching on iPhone iPad Android smartphones or tablets.

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How to Compress 4K to 1080p/720p for VLC Smooth Playback?

Step 1: Free download 4K video converter for Mac and launch it. Or if you wanna convert and compress 4K videos on Windows PCs, grab the 4K converter for Windows instead. Click "+Video" to load your 4K video files.

Step 2: Choose output format. After 4K video loaded, there pops up a window with 180+ video formats for choosing. You can continue your 4K video format, or change 4K video format as well.

compress 4k to 1080p

Step 3: Adjust 4K video resolution, frame rate, bit rate. Click on the gear icon, and you're able to compress 4K to 1080p, 720p etc. And to get best video and audio playback setting for VLC, you can flexibly adjust the output video codec, bitrate, frame rate, etc to make then fit with VLC best.

Step 4: Click Browse button to save your converted 4K video where you like. Then hit RUN icon to starting compressing 4K video for smooth playback on VLC now. It will accomplished in a very short time. Learn more tips on how to play M4V with VLC.

Method 3: VLC Media Player Alternatives

VLC alternative comes to a permanent solution to fix 4K playback issue. Throughout a myriad of 4K video players, 5KPlayer is just what you need for 4K 2160p media playing as it is tailored to ultra HD definition videos with high quality. It's accessible for kinds of media file including music, videos (UHD/Bluray/3D/VR 360), DVDs with 7 surround sound support. Meanwhile, the free 4K video player is both available on Mac and Windows platform, thus you're able to play 4K videos on Mac El Capitan/Sierra/High Sierra, and Windows 10/8/7/XP.

Play 4K videos on 5KPlayer within 2 steps

1. Free download the 4K video player for Windows or Mac version for Macbook Pro/Air, iMac etc. Launch it.
2. Click "Video" on the main interface. Browse and choose the target 4K video and double click it to play.

4k video player

Compress 4K Video to VLC Best Compatible 1080p Resolution

MacX Video Converter Pro, the best 4K video converter, which enables you to convert and compress 4K videos to VLC best compatible 1080p resolution, adjust parameters like frame rate, bit rate, codec etc. so that you can play your 4K video on VLC smoothly.

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Convert & Compress 4K Video to VLC Best Compatible 1080p