Choppy 4K video playback in VLC on Mac (masOS High Sierra)?

John Salley

Jun 12, 2017 06:34 am / Posted by John Salley to 4k, Media Players, Top Review, VLC

Choppy 4K video Playback in VLC Media Player on Mac (masOS High Sierra)?

VLC does a remarkable job on playing video, best of all, the popular 4K video is also supported by VLC. However, 4K video playback is not as easy as HD video, most users complain the choppy 4K video on VLC, for example: When users are attempting to play back full 4K movies in VLC media player, but when open and play the files, they are extremely choppy, sometimes, it’s completely unwatchable. Have you found the way to fix the 4K lag issue on VLC? If not, you can refer to the below solutions and have a try.

Solutions for Fixing Choppy 4K Video Playback in VLC

Solution 1: Enabling the GPU Accelerated Decoding Feature in VLC

As known to all, 4K video playback on VLC has strict requirements on the computer’s processor and graphics chip. Even your VLC can play 4K video, but you need to consider the the immense processing power. VLC can provide users the GPU acceleration setting, in other words, you can enable the GPU accelerated decoding feature in VLC, because you can take full use of the processing power of the graphic card to lighten the load on the processor of the system. You can follow these step:

1. Open VLC and click on Tools >Preferences or press Ctrl-P to open the settings on Mac. Then click on Input &Codecs on the left sidebar and check the Use GPU accelerated decoding box.

VLC 4k hardware accelerated decoding setting

2. If you are using the “all” interface, you can select Input/Codecs >Video Codecs >FFmpeg >Hardware decoding to set the VLC GPU acceleration.

vlc gpu accelaration

After the setting is done, you can restart the VLC again, and import 4K video and play on VLC. At most condition, you can enjoy the smooth 4k video on VLC

Solution 2: Downscale 4K video for VLC Playback

Some users can solve the 4K lagging on VLC by enabling the GPU accelerated decoding in VLC, but some users feedback that Turn on HW acceleration, VLC crashes. So terrible! According to VLC’s GPU decoding page, VLC only can support H.264 streams. In addition, as the data is decoded in the GPU at the decoding stage and then transferred back to the player so that the other stages, filtering and streaming for instance, can be processed, this process can under under circumstances be slower than without gpu acceleration enabled.

Is there any way to fix this trouble? Compared with 4K video on VLC, HD video is a better choice, also you can find there is not much difference between 4K and HD on VLC. Pavtube iMedia Converter can solve 4K video lagging on VLC, you can download the Trial version which is free, also if you are a Windows user, you also can choose the Windows version. This 4K to VLC Converter can compress 4K to 1080p video with much quality loss, you don’t worry about the video playback.

At the same time, you can input any 4K video in any video formats, such as: 4K H.264, 4K MP4 , 4K MOV, 4K AVI, 4K WMV, etc. This software provide you the HD video profile, you can choose any HD video formats you like. like: MP4, MOV, AVI, etc. By the way, If you have the 4K Blu-ray movie, you can enjoy the Blu-ray dsic on VLC with this software. More information, you can read this review, following will help you to master this video converter quickly.

4k to vlc converter buy

Best Way to Solve 4K Lagging on VLC: 4K to 1080P

Step 1. Load 4K Video

Download and install the video converter on your Mac. Launch it and click “File” to import the 4K video. If you want to save much time and energy, you can add a folder and put multiple 4K videos into it, then choose “Load from folder”, This software allows you to do batch video conversion.

load video

Step 2. Choose 4K to VLC acceptable video format.

Click “Format”, from its drop-down option, there are many category, you can choose one video formats from them, for example: Choose “H.264 HD Video (*.mp4)” from “HD Video” main category. You also can choose: MOV, AVI, MP4 from “Common Video”.


Tips:  If you choose the video format from "Common Video" instead the "HD Video", how to make sure the output video is HD video? You can click “Setting” button to adjust the video video resolution from 3840*2160. to 1080P. You can find other video and audio parameters, you can adjust them for better playback on VLC.

Adjust output profile parameters

Step 3. Carry 4K to VLC Conversion.

After other setting is finished, go back to the main interface and hit right-bottom “Convert” button to start the 4K video to VLC compatible video conversion : 4K to 1080p video. Thi time is short, wait for a while, you can get your desired video.

Finally, you can import the 4K video to VLC: Open VLC Media Player on Mac——>Click “Browse” and choose the videos——>Click “Open” to play the converted 4K video on VLC. You won’t meet the 4K choppy playback on VLC any more, it’s fluid.