If you use VLC as a primary media player for your Windows 10 machine, by default it will use hardware acceleration to give you more battery life. But what is hardware acceleration exactly? Do know that there are several ways to play back a video, and one of them is through software decoding. This is when the video player will read the video file and then decode the information using the computer’s processor or CPU. If the CPU isn’t up to snuff, then it might make the computer work even harder, and thus shorten the battery life. With hardware acceleration, on the other hand, it is a more efficient method for video playback since the bulk of the decoding work is done by the GPU instead of the CPU.
Enabling Hardware Acceleration for VLC
Step 1 – In order to enable hardware acceleration for VLC for your laptop or tablet, head on to the Tools menu, then click on Preferences. Within the new window that pops up, click on the Input/Codecs tab, then click on the Hardware-accelerated Decoding box which is found under Codecs. Clicking on the box will give you some options. Selecting “Automatic” will allow you to access hardware acceleration for the media player.
Step 2 – Do note, however, that not all formats are supported by this feature. According to VLC’s wiki page, it has a list of the video codecs or formats that it can accelerate. For the Windows platform, these are H.264, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, VC-1, and WMV3. For Mac computers, only the H.264 format can be hardware accelerated. For the videos that will not be hardware accelerated, they will still play normally. However, there won’t be a battery life improvement.
Step 3 – If you want to play other formats but unfortunately VLC does not support hardware acceleration for your chosen video formats, then you can always use the “Movies & TV” application which should be included with Windows 10. Even though it has such a name, it is not just for watching your favorite TV episodes or playing movies, as you can even pay to rent or download footage straight from Microsoft. This is also the default video player for Windows 10. In other words, if you haven’t chosen another program to become the default video player, then clicking on a video file in your system will automatically open up this default Windows 10 app instead. Selecting another program to become the default will override the base video player for Windows 10 and will let the new video player become the new default program instead.
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