This is a tricky question to ask whether your VLC can support 4K movie playback. As you are much aware of, the 4K UHD video content is gradually making inroads into TV channels and streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Sling TV, and Hulu etc. Undoubtedly, 4K is dominating our life already. The fact is not every device or player will support 4K natively. For example, you would want your familiar VLC player to stream 4K movies naturally. However, it is not that simple and you may probably experience 4k video lagging on VLC if you don’t take extra steps to make it play 4K movies smoothly. Don’t let this bother you anymore! With this article, you will have free access to play 4K movies on VLC as well as other players.

Part 1: Can VLC Play 4K Movies

VLC is an open and free source platform that incorporates the capability to support playback of DVDs, CDs, audio CDs, VCDs, and various kinds of media protocols. It is a widely used media player and video converter. To be honest, VLC has added the support of 4K playback since the early years but the performance is not that satisfactory indeed.

It is very common to come across the issue that when you stream 4K movies on VLC, errors such as stuttering or lagging will happen and interrupt your movie experience. This does not necessarily mean that VLC cannot play 4K movies natively but to be specific, some VLC needs extra steps to smooth the process for playing 4K movies without troubles. VLC does include its support of 4K playback in recent versions release, however, this does not resolve all outstanding issues yet and some errors still persist and turn out to be quite annoying. If you have only VLC with you, you may take some extra efforts to enable your VLC to play your 4K movies smoothly. But in most cases, you may find another alternative to resolve the 4K video lagging VLC issues. Simply find a media player that has the ability to support 4K will be fine!


Part 2: How to Play 4K Movies Smoothly on VLC

First of all, make sure your VLC is the latest version, which means VLC developer has already resolved some issues and ensure users will be able to play 4K movies without disturbance.
Secondly, if your VLC still fails to play 4K movies, you may need to take some actions to enable GPU acceleration or increase your cache value, both of which are practical actions to allow you play 4K movies within VLC. To accelerate your computer processing capability, you may go to Tools and choose Inputs&Codecs under Preference and tick the box in front of Use GPU acceleration decoding. Then save the settings and exit. When you restart your VLC, the settings will take effect immediately. Otherwise, you might try to increase the cache value by entering Inputs&Codecs and under the Advanced heading, change the value of File caching (ms) from 300 to a higher value like 10,000 or 20,000. This will help increase cache in your VLC player so that you can play 4K movies more smoothly.

Another alternative is to convert 4K movies to VLC compatible files so as to stream 4K movies on VLC. This is also worth the try even though you might possibly lose 4K quality. It all depends on the video converter. Anyway, the best solution is to find an alternative player that supports 4K playback natively. I will give you my recommended player in the next part.


Part 3: Alternative Way to Play 4K Movies – Leawo Blu-ray Player 

Talking about media players that have the ability to handle 4K movies, you would not miss Leawo Blu-ray Player. Being developed by a leading software developer – Leawo Software, Leawo Blu-ray Player is believed to be one of the most prominent programs in Leawo family. This Leawo Blu-ray Player provides comprehensive solutions for you to playback Blu-ray, DVD, ISO files, common video, HD video and audio files on Windows PC smoothly. It could play back all Blu-ray and DVD discs in the market from various movie studios, even they’re just released. What’s more, it’s a totally free DVD player, video player and audio player combo.

What’s more, the additional features it provides to do the playback settings will give users more freedom and preference choices. For example, users may set their playback options, including adjust display refresh rate to match video, pause during refresh rate change, sync playback to display, A/V sync method, allowed error in aspect ratio to minimize black bars, display 4:3 videos as, activate teletext, and scale teletext to 4:3 or not. All these settings are available when you click on the wheel icon to enter the settings page. You may also get down to the subtitle setting to set subtitle font, size, style, color, character set, allow overriding ASS/SSA subtitles fonts, and determine subtitle fonder and location.

Simply put, this free media player is impressive and powerful for playback of any media files.


Part 4: How to Play 4K Movies on Leawo Blu-ray Player

To give a more direct example to show you how to play 4K movies within Leawo Blu-ray Player, I will present the step-by-step guide here. You may follow it to perform the procedure immediately.

Step 1: Install Leawo Blu-ray Player to your PC.

Click the button here to download and install the player free. Note that Windows and Mac versions are provided separately so don’t get it wrong during download.

Step 2: Load the source 4K movies to the player.

Click Open File on the home interface to navigate and browse your 4K movie folder, which will be loaded to the player later. Note that you can load a bunch of files at one time so that you can enjoy the movies without being stopped and you are not necessary to load the movie one by one.
It is worth mentioning that you may also stream Blu-ray or DVD disk directly within this player.


Step 3: Set playback preferences.

Once your files have been loaded successfully to the player, you may click on the target file to play directly or you may choose to set the playback settings before or even during your movie enjoyment.

To edit the playback settings such as subtitles, audio, video parameters, and others, hit on the wheel icon to enter the settings page and do the settings one by one. Or you may set the playback preference during your playback by right clicking the video to enter the settings page. Both ways are available for you to do the playback settings.


Step 4: Enjoy the 4K movie.

Now you have finished the playback preference settings and your source 4K movies have been loaded successfully to the player, you may click on the target file from the playlist to stream the movie directly. All you have to do now is sit comfortably and enjoy the supreme movie experience with the most advanced media player.


If you are looking for a method to convert your Blu-ray or DVD to MKV for smooth playback, you may simply upgrade the Leawo Blu-ray Player to the premium version. That means, Leawo Blu-ray Player also serves as a powerful Blu-ray/DVD to MKV converter functioning remarkably to convert Blu-ray/DVD disc, folder and ISO image to MKV with lossless quality and 6X higher speed. Being capable of converting protected Blu-ray/DVD discs of all regions and from all movie studios, this program could also preserve all the original subtitles and audio tracks for output MKV.

Part 5: Conclusion

In closing, if you fail to stream your 4K movies within VLC, you may start with the above mentioned methods to detect and fix the issues, such as update the VLC to its latest version, accelerate GPU and increase cache value for VLC player, all of which are proved to be effective to some extent. That also being said, you don’t need to feel sorry for VLC because it sometimes shows stuttering or lagging during 4K movie playback, you can now try to fix the persisting issues by yourself.

Another solution to tackle VLC media player 4K support issue is to change your playback to other media players which may natively support 4K playback. Luckily, we do have many capable media players, for example, Leawo Blu-ray Player. As a top-ranking Blu-ray player, it supports a wide range of video files, DVDs, and ISO image files. It gives the supreme movie experience for users just like they are enjoying movies in the theater. If you ever experience VLC 4k video lag, the best alternative is to use Leawo Blu-ray player instead, which won’t stop you for 4K enjoyment.
Just have fun and enjoy your 4K movie within Leawo Blu-ray Player.