Can't Play H.264 in VLC? Try These Solutions to the VLC H.264 Issue

VLC is a mighty media player that is supposed to play every video you throw into. Nevertheless, sometimes people encounter playback failure when playing the most widely used H.264 files. How to fix VLC H.264 playback error and watch your videos without hassles? Here are some workable remedies.

Vita | August 19, 2021

Common Solutions to H.264 VLC Playback Issues

1. Update VLC to the Latest Version

2. Change VLC Demux module option

3. Disable Hardware-accelerated Decoding in VLC

4. Convert the H.264 Files to VLC Supported Videos

5. Switch to Another Media Player

As a well-known video compression standard for digital video files, H.264 is adopted by many modern devices and platforms. Videos encoded with the H.264 method can be found everywhere and it is never tricky thing to open this type of videos with VLC media player, one of the most renowned free media players in the field. However, there is one exception. If you get some H.264 files exported from a CCTV camera, IP camera, or CCTV camera, you may fail to open them. VLC offers native support for H.264 for sure. The main causes resulting in the VLC H.264 error are improper settings in VLC or unsupported video container. Accordingly, you can try the following fixes.
Also Read: Stream IPTV on VLC l Play DAV in VLC l Fix VLC Lagging l Play HEVC in VLC

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Common Solutions to H.264 VLC Playback Issues

1. Update VLC to the Latest Version

Firstly, make sure you’re using the most recent VLC media player to avoid any possible bug. On the top menu bar, click Help > Check for Updates….

It will display the current version. But if there are new version available for download, it will recommend you download it. Click Yes. The download process will start.

2. Change VLC Demux module option

Still on the top menu bar, go to Tools > Preferences, move to the bottom section of the Preferences interface, and select All.
Head to Input/Codecs > Demuxers, open the Demux module on the right section, and select H264 video demuxer. Then, click Save.
If you can’t find the Input/Codecs option, search for it via the top left quick search bar.

3. Disable Hardware-accelerated Decoding in VLC

Another proven solution to the VLC H.264 error is to disable hardware acceleration in this media player, as follows:
Click Tools > Preferences, under Input/Codecs section, open the Hardware-accelerated decoding list, and select Disable.  

4. Convert the H.264 Files to VLC Supported Videos

H.264 is only a video compression method for compressing video data. If the video container packs the data is not supported by VLC media player, playback issue would occur. Under such scenarios, a H.264 video converter is the best solution, which will help convert any unsupported videos to VLC supported ones. WonderFox Free HD Video Converter Factory is a simple yet powerful video conversion software for Windows computers. It can achieve fast conversion and deliver high-quality outputs. Here is how you can convert H.254 to common MP4 to play videos without a hitch.

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Step 1. Open Free HD Video Converter Factory, select Converter.
Step 2. Click + Add Files, select the H.264 video source, and click Open.
Step 3. Click the format icon on the right side, go to Video > MP4.
Step 4. Click the triangle button on the bottom of the software to specify an output folder. Finally, click Run.
Now you can check out the converted MP4 videos in the specified folder and play them in VLC.

5. Switch to Another Media Player

If none of the solutions above help you resolve the VLC H.264 playback issue, you may consider using a different media player.
We have compiled some effective H.264 video players. Beyond that, you can take advantage of an all-round media player to open your H.264 files, such as Media Player Classic – BE, KMPlayer, and GOM Player.

Bottom Line:

It’s all about how to play H.264 in VLC. Hopefully one of the solutions will help work the problem out. In a few instances, people meet this issue and find that the H.264 files they try to play are broken or damaged. For this cause, you have to ask help from a video repairing tool or export the file again.

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