Drones have literally taken off in the last few years. And the best drone brand will be DJI. Some models of DJI drones such as DJI Phantom 4 Pro, DJI Inspire, can record video files with 4K resolution (4096x2160, 3840x2160) in H.264 and H.265 codec. After recorded a DJI flight video, many people would play the DJI 4K video with VLC on PC but DJI 4K video couldn't be played on VLC.
As a problem shown on DJI forums, even quite powerful i7 SSD PC don't play DJI Inspire/Phantom 4K 100Mbps bitrate video properly with VLC. Why can't VLC play DJI 4K video smoothly? In fact, the 4K video playback including DJI 4K recordings with VLC has strict requirements on the computer's processor and graphics chip. Sometimes, even if your computer meets the requirements, you may find that DJI 4K video plays back choppy. This is due to the immense processing power required to play 4K. You can try the below 2 methods to handle the problems.
Method 1: Enable Hardware Acceleration in VLC to Play DJI 4K Video
One of the methods to fix "VLC can't play DJI 4K" issue is to enable the GPU accelerated decoding feature in VLC. This feature in theory uses the processing power of the graphic card to lighten the load on the processor of the system. However, according to VLC's GPU decoding page, this feature is only available for H.264 streams. In addition, as the data is decoded in the GPU at the decoding stage and then transferred back to the player so that the other stages, filtering and streaming for instance, can be processed, this process can under under circumstances be slower than without gpu acceleration enabled. What's more, the VLC GPU decoding is only available for select operating systems. While Windows Vista and newer versions of the Microsoft operating system are supported, Windows XP is not at this point in time. The majority of graphic cards should support hardware acceleration just fine. Make sure you have installed the latest drivers though.
How to enable hardware acceleration in VLC?
Open VLC Media Player and click on Tools > Preferences or press Ctrl-P to open the settings window of the program. If you are using the simple settings interface, click on Input & Codecs on the left sidebar and check the Use GPU accelerated decoding box there.
If you are using the "all" interface select Input/Codecs > Video Codecs > FFmpeg > Hardware decoding instead to enable acceleration this way.
Click on the save button afterwards and restart the media player to work with the new setting. Try playing several DJI 4K video files to see if hardware acceleration makes a difference in terms of playback. If it does, keep the setting enabled. If it does not, just go back to the settings to uncheck the option again.
Note: If your 4K video is encoded with VP9 and H.265, you can use a 4K video converter to transcode VP9 4K and H.265 4K to H.264 4K. DJI 4K videos only can be encoded with H.264 and H.265, not inlcuding VP9.
Method 2: Downscale DJI 4K Video to 1080p for VLC Smooth Playback
When playing 4K videos on VLC, VLC will occupy large GPU that leads the video playback choppy. Therefore, another way to play DJI 4K video with VLC is to convert DJI 4K video to 1080p for VLC playback in that HD video playback on VLC has lower requirements on the computer's processor and graphics chip than 4K video.
The compress process is easy with Pavtube Video Converter Ultimate. This video converter is not designed only for 4K video but for practically any type of video even including Blu-ray and DVD as a source. It can convert DJI Phantom 4 Pro 4K video, DJI Mavic 4K video, DJI Phantom 4K video, DJI Phantom Professional 4K video, DJI Inspire 2/1 4K video to 4K H.264 MP4 or compress DJI 4K video to 1080p for VLC. The "Batch conversion" and "Drag-and-Drop" features will make the process much easier to operate.
As we all know, VLC can play Blu-ray and DVD. But if you remux Blu-ray and DVD to MP4 with Pavtube Video Converter Ultimate, you can play Blu-ray and DVD with VLC more smoothly. You can download the software to make your VLC video playback more easier.
Steps to Convert DJI 4K Video to VLC
Step 1: Add 4K videos
Open the 4K video converter program, click “File” menu, from its drop-down option, select “Add Video/Audio” to load DJI 4K video to the program. If you have Blu-ray and DVD that want to playback on VLC, you also can load them to rip to VLC.
Step 2: Choose output file format
From “Format” bar drop-down list, choose the formats that you want to output for later use. For compatibility consideration, it is idea for you to choose “HD Video” > “H.264 HD Video (*.mp4)” as output file format.
Open “Profile Settings” window, click “Size(pix)” to select 1920*1080 as the final resolution for output video. In this way, the DJI 4K video can be downscaled to 1080p then you can play it with VLC smoothly.
Step 3: Convert DJI 4K video to VLC
After all the settings is completed, hit right-bottom “Convert” button to start to convert and downscale DJI 4K video to 1080p format videos. When the conversion is finished, click “Open Output Folder” icon on the main interface to open the folder with generated HD DJI video files.
Now, try to play DJI video files with VLC on your computer. It should be smooth now.