Computer

Play 4K videos on Windows without cuts, crashes or pixelations

Why a 4K Video Can Look Bad

There are many reasons why video can be played with problems. One of the most common is because the computer itself cannot decode the video. This is very common in 1: 1 dumps of 4K Blu-ray, or videos that take up a lot of space and have a very high bitrate. If we have a mid-range or low-end hardware, it is very likely that, when playing these videos, we will experience problems such as cuts or jumps, among others.

It is also possible that the problems are caused by using a low-quality media player, which is not optimized for these types of videos, or has outdated or outdated codecs. If we have manually installed the codecs on the computer, it may also happen that they are causing conflicts with others.

If we experience this problem when watching 4K streaming videos (from YouTube, Netflix, Disney +, etc.), then the reasons may be either using an outdated and outdated browser, or having a poor Internet speed. To fix it, we must update the browser and make sure that no program is using our bandwidth. It also helps to get closer to the router to have better coverage, and even connect the PC by cable.

Finally, the reason may be some other program running on your computer. For example, it may be that the antivirus is triggering the use of resources from time to time (causing a small jump in the video), or that some program that we have open (a chat program, a download client, etc.) may be using more CPU than it should and therefore does not leave enough power for 4K playback.

Play 4K Videos Smoothly on Windows

If we have problems when playing this type of videos, both our own and downloaded from the Internet, then we are going to explain several ways to solve them.

Do you really need 4K video?

Many times we tend to download the videos in maximum quality, thinking that they will be seen better, when we really do not have an appropriate screen for it. For example, surely we have ever downloaded a 4K movie, with HDR10 and Dolby Atmos sound, and we have seen it on our laptop, with a 720P screen and normal stereo sound. And of course, it is very likely that, for this reason, the videos look bad.

If we are not going to see the video on a 4K screen, we do not have to download it to this resolution. It is much better to search for video at a lower resolution, such as FullHD 1080p, and at good quality rather than at full resolution. Not only will we make the video play more fluidly, but it will also occupy less on our hard drive.

Update the GPU drivers

Most video players make use of hardware acceleration to better decode multimedia files. Therefore, if we have outdated drivers, or simply do not have the drivers installed, it is possible that they look bad for it. In that case, what we need to do is make sure we update the drivers, especially those for the graphics card and chipset, to the latest versions. In this way we can take full advantage of the hardware and make the videos play in the best possible way.

It may also happen that other programs are making use of hardware acceleration and therefore the videos cannot be played well. Therefore, we must also make sure that either the browser is completely closed (no process remains in the background) or that hardware acceleration is disabled.

Update the media player

The multimedia player is one of the great forgotten when it comes to updating the computer. Since it is not a security-critical program, and it usually “works well,” we don’t tend to pay much attention to it. However, using an outdated player is one of the reasons why we may have more problems.

It does not matter if the player we use is VLC, Windows Media Player or any paid media player. Always installing the latest versions is very important to ensure that this runs smoothly. Each update usually updates the player codecs and fixes any errors that may appear. Therefore, it is the only way to ensure that we get the most out of the power of the PC and the player.

Use another program to play 4k

Sure, most of us use the VLC player. This is one of the best known that we can find on the market, an open source player, totally free and compatible with literally any format. However, it is not the best, nor one of the best. And if we have ever tried to play 4K videos with it, we will have realized it. Something similar happens with the Windows 10 video player itself, which, although it is very comfortable and simple, usually causes problems when playing certain formats or very large videos.

Both the Windows player and VLC can be very good for some things, but we should never close ourselves to trying other browsers. If we really want to play 4K videos without problems in Windows, one of the best works is MPC-BE. This player is a continuation of the Media Player Classic – Home Cinema original after its developers abandoned it. This program has new functions and features in addition to correcting a large number of errors. Among its main strengths we find a sublime performance when it comes to playing 4K, and a thumbnail view when moving through the playback bar, very useful to locate specific points in the video.

And if we are looking for much more professional options, and we do not mind paying a license to use the programs, then we can opt for two of the most popular players: CyberLink PowerDVD or Corel WinDVD Pro.

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