A good PC video player must meet certain minimum requirements. On the one hand, it must be able to reproduce all kinds of formats, and on the other it must have a good set of functionalities. Which are the best to watch videos smoothly and fluently from a Windows PC?
Basics: What is a video codec?
Before getting into flour, it would be advisable to talk a bit about codecs. When we watch a video we use what is commonly known as codecs. The word codec comes from the union of the Anglo-Saxon terms "coder" and "decoder”. Basically, it is a program that is responsible for encoding (compressing) and decoding (playing from compressed media) an audio and video multimedia file.
There are different codecs for each type of data. Thus, video codecs are responsible for processing sequential images and audio codecs do the same with sounds. In this way, when we want to play a video with sound, we make use of both types of codecs.Source: movavi.com
One of the most important factors in a codec is its simplicity and speed in data processing. If a codec is too heavy, or our device is not powerful enough, the playback will be weighed down and we will have cuts or hangs.
Top 10 Video Players for Windows 10/8/7 in 2020
To decode audio / video files we usually use media players, media players, or as everyone usually knows them: video players. These are 10 of the most prominent that we can currently find in Windows.
1. VLC Media Player
If we talk about the best video players for PC, we should definitely mention VLC. If you are thinking of using a player other than the one that comes standard in Windows, this should probably be it.
Play practically what you throw at it, it's free, open-source and it also has an infinity of functionalities:
- Available on virtually all operating systems.
- Read subtitles.
- Constant updates and a large user community.
- Play videos in 360 degrees and 8K.
- It allows to reproduce content in network and online.
- It can also read in DVD format.
- It has extensions to offer more functionalities.
You can download VLC Media Player from its official website HERE.
PotPlayer is one of the few players that still compatible with Windows XP. It also supports Windows 7/8/10, one of its best assets being the fact that it does not consume too many resources.
- Allows hardware acceleration for a better experience.
- Various 3D-oriented functionalities.
- It supports a large number of codecs (and if it doesn't download them automatically).
- Customizable (support for skins).
- Minimalist design.
- Allows you to download subtitles for video files.
Download PotPlayer from the author's website HERE.
3. 5K Player
5K Player is more than just a video player. In addition to playing files locally, it allows you to play streaming video and listen to the radio. It is free, yes, but with some advertisements for products belonging to the same company that we will meet along the way.
- Allows you to download YouTube videos.
- Supports DLNA / AirPlay
- 4K / 5K video playback.
- HEVC / H.264 decoding.
Download 5K Player from the official site HERE.
4. GOM Media Player
Gretech Media Player is one of the best free video players for windows. It is compatible with the most common audio and video formats (MP4, FLV, AVI, MOV). In any case, if we have a file that it does not recognize, we can always use its built-in codec search engine to get out of the quagmire.
- Speed control, A-B repeats, screenshots ...
- Customizable appearance through skins.
- You can connect to the OpenSubtitles.org database to get subtitles.
- Compatible with older computers with Windows XP.
We can download GOM Media Player from the official website HERE.
5. ACG Player
This excellent video player for Windows is only available through the Microsoft Store. It is a UWP application, which means that it is also compatible with tablets and that it supports gesture control. It is free, although it contains ads (something that we can avoid by making an in-app purchase).
- It supports a large number of formats, including 360-degree video files.
- Sound and video effects.
- Online streaming.
- It can be used as a multimedia server.
The multimedia center par excellence. Not only does it play any type of video locally, but it also has a large number of additions or add-ons to expand its possibilities to infinity and beyond. Initially it was called XBMC (Xbox Media Center) and was included in the first Xbox. A classic, open source and free.
- We can sync it with Netflix, YouTube, and so many other online streaming services.
- Supports subtitle download.
- Allows you to watch TV online.
- Compatible with a multitude of formats.
Download KODI from its official website HERE.
7. Media Player Classic
It looks like the old video player that came standard in Windows, Windows Media Player (although it is a completely different program). Its clear and simple interface aims to offer a light and efficient experience. Simple and at the same time, one of the best free players that we can find in 2019 for Windows 7/8/10.
- It has a portable version that does not require installation.
- Customizable through skins and toolbars.
- 100% free and ad-free.
Get Media Player Classic on its official website HERE.
8. UM Player
The greatest virtue of Universal Media Player is that it is really lightweight. Perfect for old equipment or those that do not have many resources.
- Free and open source video player.
- It supports a wide variety of codecs and formats.
- Allows you to play media from external sources like YouTube and the like.
Download UM Player from the official site HERE.
We can also try a more updated version called SM Player (available HERE).
9. DivX Player
Many people think that this video player only works to play a very specific format. The truth is that it supports a wide variety of video formats. DivX Player is specially designed to play HEVC videos as well as HD videos.
- Media server for devices with DLNA support.
- Create playlists.
- Lots of options for audio playback.
Install DivX Player from the author's official website HERE.
10. KM Player
KM Player is a Chinese video player developed by PandoraTV that has been on the market for years. It started out without a lot of specs, but today it has a nice package of tools and features. It is one of the best rated players by Windows users. Plus, it's free and 100% ad-free.
- Supports high resolution videos in QHD and UHD.
- You don't need too powerful a team.
- Supports 3D videos.
Download KM Player from the author's website HERE.
What can I do if my player does not play any video?
Once we have our player installed on the computer, we may find that not able to play a certain video. The causes can be varied, and we must bear in mind that it is not always the fault of the software that we have just installed:
- Codec not supported: In some cases the player cannot play a video because it does not support the file format used, or because the codec used to compress the video is not supported. To solve the problem we can install a codec pack for Windows 10, such as K-Lite Codec Pack (one of the most complete) or convert the video file to a different format.
- Frozen: If the video is paused inadvertently leaving the image frozen. This occurs when there has been a cut during the download or copy of the video and the video is incomplete. The solution is to download the video again.
- Black screen: If the image disappears and we see it all white or all black, it is usually an indication that the file is corrupt. To solve it we can use a repair program like Yodot Repair, or pull online repair utilities like IS.
- Distorted sound: In this case we would also find ourselves facing a damaged file and the solution would also be to repair the video.
And what do you say? What is your favorite video player for Windows?You have Telegram installed? Receive the best post of each day on our channel. Or if you prefer, find out everything from our Facebook page.