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Why 4K Videos Are Choppy/Lagging on VLC and How to Fix

Choppy 4k playback on VLC. wasabi error: cannot negotiate audio format (error 0x88890008): digital pass-through not supported; main error: module not functional; main error: failed to create audio output; main warning: picture is too late to be displayed (missing 59 ms); avcodec warning: More than 11 late frames, dropping frames.

VLC is a popular free video player, however, it doesn't handle 4K videos perfectly. Many users complained VLC 4K choppy/stuttering/lagging issue. Figure out why 4K videos are choppy on VLC Media Player and how to fix the error.

Click to see the complete complete 4k video errors and solutions >>

Why 4K Videos Are Choppy/Lagging on VLC

There are several possible reasons why 4K videos get choppy/jerky when playback on VLC Media Player. Below are some of the main causes of the VLC player 4K choppy problem.

  • The 4K videos are CPU intensive and the video frame rate is too high.
  • Outdated VLC Media Player version you are using.
  • Poor computer performance. GPU and CPU need to be improved.
  • Improper VLC Media Player settings, such as hardware decoding, caching value, video output module.

Click for the detailed reasons why 4k video playing is choppy or laggy >>

Possible Fixes to VLC 4K Choppy/Jerky/Lagging Issues

1. Update VLC to the Latest Version

The latest version of the VLC media player surely gives the best video playback performance. Try updating VLC to a newer version when VLC 4K choppy issue appears. To update VLC Media Player t the latest version on your computer, open VLC Media Player, click on Help > Check for Updates, if there's an update, it will display a message "A new version of VLC (version) is available. Download the new version and install it on your computer.

2. Change VLC Media Player Caching Value

Launch VLC player on your device, head to Tools > Preferences > Show Settings > All to open change the Preferences window. On the Advanced Preferences window, check the box Input / Codecs and choose File caching (ms), set the value to 600 or higher, and click the Save button to save the changes. This way works for the choppy 4K video files stored on your PC. For the 4K video file shared on the network, choose Locate Network caching instead of File caching and other steps are the same. Now, open a 4K video file on the VLC media player to see if the 4K choppy playback on the VLC issue is resolved.

Change VLC Media Player Caching Value

3. Change Skip the Loop Filter for H.264 4K Decoding

This way is proved to be effective for fixing 4K choppy on VLC. To do this, go to Preferences > Input / Codecs > Video codecs > FFmpeg, select Skip the loop filter for H.264 decoding > All, click the Save button to save the settings. 4K video quality can be degraded to ensure a smoother playback. If you don't want to sacrifice the video playback quality, it's not the best option.

4. Disable VLC Hardware Decoding

Hardware decoding can cause choppy 4K video playback. Try disabling the setting on the VLC media player. Open Preferences window. Select Input / Codecs > Hardware-accelerated decoding, and set the option to Disable. Click the Save button to save the settings. Try to open the choppy 4K video on the VLC media player to check the results.

5. Change the Video Output Module in VLC

Sometimes, a different video output module can fix 4K video choppy/jerky/lagging on VLC. This can be set on the Advanced Preference window. Go to Preference > Video > Output modules, try a different Output module, and go back to test with a 4K video until the 4K video plays smoothly on VLC. There are many different Output modules, such as Automatic, Direct3D video output, DirectX video output, Windows GDI video output, Video memory output, to name a few. Good luck!

6. Change FFmpeg Threads to 2

Try to change the FFmpeg treads settings if VLC is lagging/stuttering/jerky when playing 4K videos. This can be done on the all Preferences window. Go to the Preferences window, select Input / Codecs section > Video codecs > FFmpeg. Find Threads settings and set its value to 2. Now, the 4K choppy playback on the VLC issue might be fixed.

7. Convert 4K Video to 1080p or Lower Resolution

Most video converter programs have the function to change video resolution. WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe can process 4K video smoothly with fewer CPU usage. The software converts 4K HEVC to H.264, and convert among other formats, lower down 4K to 1080p, 120/60FPS to 30FPS, download the tool and use the steps below to quickly change 4K to 1080p.

Free Download For Win 7 or later
Free Download for Mac OS X 10.6 or later

For Windows and Mac only. If you are a mobile user, please click here.

Open WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe on your computer, click "+Video" button to import the 4K video that is choppy on VLC media player. Set the output format and 1080p resolution on the popping up Output Profile window. Click gear-shaped Setting icon to get more options to adjust video audio parameters, including video frame rate. Click the OK button to save the changes and close the Window. Click the RUN button to process the 4K video. Go back on VLC player and open the converted 4K video.

convert 4K to 1080p

8. Try Another 4K Video Player

VLC is not the only 4K video player on the market. There are tons of video player capable of playing 4K videos smoothly, for example, 5KPlayer, KMPlayer, Potplayer, RealPlayer. Check out the review of the top 8 4K video player for Windows 10 and pick the best program to play 4K videos fine on your device.


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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