VLC HEVC not Play Fixed Now!

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HEVC Videos Not Playing in VLC Problems Fixed

Can VLC play HEVC? Yes, since VLC 2.2.0, VLC added the support for new HD codecs including H.265/HEVC, VP9, and opus. Theoretically, VLC should be able to handle HEVC/H.265 files without a problem. However, HEVC playback with VLC is not easy. A myriad of HEVC not playing in VLC problems occur often. In this article, we're going to talk about why those problems happen and how to play HEVC videos with VLC smoothly.

VLC Won't Play HEVC Videos? Try VLC Alternative or Convert HEVC for VLC

Here comes WinX Video Tools Pack including a HEVC video converter and a HEVC video player that you can use to fast convert HEVC to H.264 for VLC to play without issues, or directly play HEVC videos up to 4K smoothly. Fix HEVC incompatiblity issues with VLC, Windows Media Player, or any other players on PCs/Macs, TVs and portable devices. No extra codecs required.

  • Directly play HEVC up to 4K very smoothly without extra HEVC codec packs.
  • Convert HEVC HVC1/HEV1 to H.264, MP4, MOV, AVI, etc. for VLC.
  • Compress 4K/2K/HD HEVC to smaller size and convert 4K to 1080p.
  • GPU-accelerated HD/4K video converter & player. 47X faster. High quality.
VLC vs WinX Video Tools

Part 1. Various VLC won't Play HEVC Videos Problems

HEVC, or H.265, is used by many advanced cameras such as GoPro, DJI, 4K DSLR cameras, iPhone, etc. Therefore, the HEVC videos often come in high specifics like 60fps, 10bit, 4K, and even 8K resolutions. As a result, even though VLC has HEVC codec built-in, you may still see different VLC problems playing HEVC files. Below we have some examples of typical VLC errors you may get during playback of the HEVC files:

  1. Blank video or gray screen but the audio keeps playing. Sometimes HEVC video is a black/gray screen or the video freezes, but you can still hear audio playing.
  2. Half of the video goes black (lower left half triangle), but the video (upper right half triangle) keeps playing and audio keeps playing.
  3. VLC won't open the HEVC file with a message saying that VLC doesn't support HVC1/HEV1 codec.
  4. HEVC videos constantly stutter in VLC, even on a high-end computer. The VLC x265 playback is choppy, freezing, and lagging.
  5. The Windows 10 system completely freezes with a blank, solid color screen and becomes unresponsive.
  6. VLC crashes soon after starting playing an h.265 encoded file.
  7. VLC window closed, but the background process remains and you cannot open a new VLC window.

To sum up, the errors are mainly caused by missing required HEVC codec for VLC, corrupted HEVC file, high-resolution HEVC video and some other reasons. To solve them, below will give you some possible solutions.


Part 2. Solutions to VLC not Playing HEVC Problems

In most cases, the HEVC not playing in VLC errors are caused by computer configuration and VLC settings. Below we have all the proven solutions to those errors, just try the following steps:

1. Disable VLC hardware decoding

If you leave the hardware acceleration in VLC to automatic, it may apply the GPU acceleration for H.264 streams instead of H.265/HEVC streams. As a result, VLC HEVC playback becomes choppy. The good news is that you can solve this problem by setting the hardware acceleration of VLC on some computers.

First, disable VLC HEVC hardware decoding: Tools > Preferences > Input/Codecs > Hardware-accelerated decoding > Disable.
Second, if the above doesn't work, set VLC to use DXVA with Direct3D11 output or D3D11VA with Direct3D9 output. To change the setting under Input/Codecs > Hardware-accelerated decoding > DVXA 2.0 or Direct3D11, and under Video > Output > select Direct3D11 or Direct3D9 output.

does vlc support hevc
Disable VLC hardware decoding

2. Increase the File caching setting in VLC

If the VLC HEVC not playing error still exists after you disable the hardware decoding in VLC, especially when the HEVC playback is lagging and freezing in VLC, you can fix it by adjusting the file caching value in VLC. When playing a video, VLC constantly preloads a certain portion of the video from the hard drive to your computer's main memory or RAM and then plays it. When you play HD, 4K, or higher-resolution videos, it needs to cache large part of videos to the memory. To increase the caching value:

  1. Open Tools > Preferences > in Show settings select the All.
  2. In Advanced settings, click on the parent option that says Input / Codecs.
  3. In Input/Codecs scroll down to the options under the heading Advanced.
  4. Change the values for File caching (ms) from 300 to a higher value like 1000 or 2000. The value is in milliseconds.
does vlc support hevc
Increase VLC caching for HEVC playback

3. Check the De-interlacing settings

When VLC won't play HEVC videos, don't forget to check the de-interlacing settings. For example, with DirectX11 encoding on, if the de-interlace setting is set to "On" with Yadif (x2), the HEVC won't play smoothly in VLC. You can adjust the settings: Tools > Preferences > Video > De-interlacing, change the setting to Automatic, or you can select another de-interlacing mode like Blend.

can vlc play HEVC x265
Set deinterlacing in VLC

4. Upgrade your hardware configuration

Playing HEVC, especially HEVC videos in 4K/8K high resolutions @60fps 10bit, is very CPU demanding. If you have an old computer, you should try to increase the built RAM to 4GB or higher, and upgrade the graphics card to one that supports VLC HEVC hardware decoding (more than that, Windows 10 requires more powerful hardware than Windows 7). Besides, during the VLC HEVC video playback, close any other active tasks that may occupy your CPU.

5. Download the libde265 for VLC

In some cases, the VLC won't play HEVC videos with a particular codecs, i.e., HEV1 or HVC1. And you may see an error mesage like "No suitable decoder module: VLC does not support the audio or video format 'hev1 (hvc1)'. Unfortunately there is no way for you to fix this." To fix the VLC HEVC not playing error, you simply need to install the libde265 decoder plugin for it. Here is how you can do it:

  • $ sudo apt-add-repository ppa:strukturag/libde265
  • $ sudo apt-get update
  • $ sudo apt install vlc-plugin-libde265

6. Try another video track

If your video has multiple video streams encoded in HEVC codec, such as an MKV video, you may fix the VLC HEVC/H.265 playback error by switching to another video track. To change the video track in VLC: puse the video and right click on the middle of the screen > select Video and then Video Track as depicted in the picture below. Select another video track and try again.

VLC not playing HEVC H.265
Change video track in VLC

7. Compress 4K HEVC to HD H.265 or H.264

If playing 4K/8K HEVC using VLC is too heavy for your computer, and you don't want to upgrade the hardware for your budget, you can downgrade HEVC videos from a higher resolution like 4K/8K to HD 1080P, or convert the HEVC files to H.264 for easier playback in VLC without stutters or freezes. What you need is an HEVC converter with high performance and high output quality.

No matter you have an Intel, AMD, or Nvidia graphic card, you can enjoy high performance with HD Video Converter Deluxe. It takes advantage of Intel QSV, AMD, and Nvidia Nvenc/Cuda hardware acceleration to convert HEVC to MP4, H.265/H.264, other formats at a fast speed, even you're running on a lower-configuration computer. It provides options to downscale 4K/8K HEVC to 4K, 2K, or SD MP4 videos. You can also convert HEVC videos to other less CPU-intensive formats for VLC Media Player.

HD Video Converter Deluxe well balances the converting speed, output quality, and file size. Don't worry about the quality or size of the HEVC converted videos.

Step 1: Download the HEVC video converter and run it. Then click +Video to import the HEVC videos that won't play on VLC.

Step 2: After the video is loaded, it will pop up an output format window. Now you can select General Profiles > convert HEVC videos to 4K MP4, 2K MP4, or MP4 at original resolution; you can convert HEVC to HEVC but lower the resolutions as per the guide below; or you can also convert the HEVC videos to other VLC supported formats like MPEG4, MKV, WebM, WMV...

Convert HEVC videos to VLC h.264
Convert HEVC to VLC H.264

Step 3: Back to the main interface, click the gear button beside the selected output profile. Here you can lower the resolution, frame rate, etc, of the HEVC videos. For example, if you want to downscale HEVC from 4K to HD, click Resolution and select 1920x1280. Then click OK.

VLC HEVC crashes problems fixed
Fix VLC won't play HEVC videos

Step 4: After the above settings, click Run to start. Before that, don't forget to enable the Hardware Accelerator and High Quality Engine boxes on the right lower part of the interface. After the conversion, you should be able to play the HEVC converted video in VLC without problems.

Video Tutorial: 4 Ways to Play HEVC Files without Lags and Stuttering


author - Kaley Torres

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Kaley Torres is a self-motivated, creative editor with eight years of marketing and SEO experience, specializing in writing on DVD, video, audio, images, new digital contents etc. With a partiality DVD collection, Kaley also enjoys digitizing DVD and is keen to share her DVD video conversion solutions as well as video sharing tips on social media.

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