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How to Play HEVC/H.265 4K Videos with HEVC Player VLC?

Written by Kaylee Wood | Last updated: April 30, 2020

Inevitably, more and more videos are encoded with HEVC/H.265 codec as this compressing method will halve the video size while keep the same quality. However, this type of media file also requires highly-equipped HEVC/H.265 player to play it successfully. Here, we will introduce VLC HEVC player and its best alternative for you to play HEVC/H.265 videos up to 4K smoothly.

VLC not Playing HEVC/H.265 4K? Try Best Free VLC Alternative

VLC HEVC washed out colors? VLC H.265 4K crashing? VLC not playing 4K HEVC from GoPro or DJI? Try the one-stop solution 5KPlayer to play HEVC/H.254 4K videos smoothly without stutter, choppy and mosaic. As the best VLC HEVC player alternative, 5KPlayer also allows for HD/MKV/VP9/MP4 etc playback, YouTube download and media streaming.

VLC MOV Player

VLC media player has HEVC/H.265 support for a very long time, that could be proved by its change log.

VLC version 2.1.1: Added HEVC/H.265 decoding support in MKV, MP4 and raw files.
VLC version 2.1.2: Fixed the playback problem of some HEVC samples.
VLC version 2.2.0:
Added support for HEVC/H.265 encoding using x265.
Added HEVC raw packetizer and demuxer.
Added HEVC muxing in MP4 and TS.
VLC version 3.0.0:
Added Hardware Decoder to support HEVC hardware decoding on Windows, using DxVA2 and D3D11, support HEVC hardware decoding using OMX and MediaCodec (Android), improve VAAPI for 10bits, HEVC, direct-rendering support, and support OS X and iOS based on Video Toolbox for H.263, H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, H.265/HEVC, MPEG-4 Part 2, and DV.
Fixed HEVC packetization mostly.
Improved the HEVC support and support raw H265/HEVC files in Demuxers.
VLC version 3.0.1:
Improved Hardware Decoder HEVC 10bit performance with Videotoolbox on macOS.
Fixed HEVC decoding with some files on Android/macOS/iOS.
VLC version 3.0.2: Fixed snapshot and filters with HEVC hardware decoding.
VLC version 3.0.3: Fixed VideoToolbox with some invalid HEVC streams.
VLC version 3.0.4:
Blacklist some intel GPU when decoding HEVC.
Improved support for broken HEVC inside MKV.
VLC version 3.0.5: Fixed decoding of some HEVC streams with macOS hardware decoding.

From the VLC update log, we can see that VLC media player developer has done a lot of changes, improvements and fixes to make H.265/HEVC player VLC much better.

How to Play HEVC/H.265 Videos with VLC HEVC Media Player?

Step 1. Free download H.265 HEVC player VLC, install and launch it on your computer.

Step 2. Play your HEVC/H.265 video by dragging and dropping the file to VLC, clicking on Media on the menu bar to choose Open File to open a file, or just right clicking on the H.265/HEVC video to open with VLC HEVC player.

Step 3. Now, VLC media player will automatically play the HEVC/H.265 video.

However, if the HEVC/H.265 video bit rate or resolution is too high, VLC won't play it smoothly but with some lag or mosaic. I have tested MKV videos encoded with HEVC from 3mbps to 400mbps, but only find that HEVC/H.265 player VLC plays 30mbps and lower smoothly.

VLC Codec Support

Despite the fact that VLC developer has done a lot of work to improve VLC HEVC feature, it doesn't mean that VLC handles any HEVC/H.265 files very successfully. VLC not playing HEVC/H.265 4K video is a big headache from the very beginning, but there are seldom ways to solve it completely. If you are annoyed by VLC HEVC drop frames, choppy playback, 4K crashing or HEVC black screen, 5KPlayer is here to offer help.

How to Solve VLC not Playing HEVC/H.265 4K Videos? Try 5KPlayer

VLC HEVC/H.265 playback error will ends here by using VLC alternative 5KPlayer. 5KPlayer is the best free VLC media player alternative as of now to play HEVC/H.265 videos up to 4K without any trouble. Besides the best HEVC player, 5KPlayer also powers itself with YouTube video download, AirPlay mirroring, M3U8 streaming and Android/smart TV DLNA to offer every user an unprecedented media experience.

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