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How to Solve VLC MKV Playback Issues

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VLC is a great media player that can play videos in various formats without the requirement of additional installation of codec. However, VLC MKV playback issues have troubled the users from time to time. Fortunately, there's a tutorial that walks you through how to stop VLC from stuttering, jumping or even freezing when playing high definition 1080p, 720p MKV files on Windows and Mac.

Q1: VLC sound issues with large MKV files

Whenever I try to play large mkv files (usually the in the 10-12GB range for 1080p movies) the sound is just awful. It's muddled and staticy, as if there were a jet engine roaring in the background of every scene. It's usually most prominent during sound effects and music playing, and not so much with scenes of pure dialogue. I know the files themselves are good, so how to solve the problem?

Q2: Problems playing .mkv files with .ass subs in OS X 10.9.2

Ever since I upgraded to Mavericks 10.9.2, I've been having trouble playing .mkv files with .ass subtitles. The videos don't load for a while, and then VLC freezes and I have to force quit. I never had this problem before 10.9.2 came out. Is there any way to fix this?

Q3: MKV files lagging and shaky on VLC

I had been successfully playing 1080p MKV files on VLC for a few days. My computer was clearly powerful enough to do so. All of a sudden, the picture is horribly shaky/wavy with constant pixelation whenever an MKV file is played. Things are normal with AVI. I didn't change any settings or anything. Does anyone have any idea what could be going on?

Now we will provide the possible solutions for you to resolve the MKV playback issue in VLC.

Solution 1: Change Parameters

If the MKV file that is skipping is playing from a local hard drive, choose the "All" settings at the bottom of the dialog to show all of the options, then navigate to Input / Codecs -> Access modules -> File.

The caching value here is set in milliseconds, so setting the value to 1000 will buffer for 1 second (the default is 600, or 0.6 seconds). The problem with setting this option too large is that if you want to manually skip to a new point in the file, there will be a larger lag while the content is buffered again.

Solution 2: Disable hardware decoding

Some users resolve choppy VLC Playback on mkv files by disabling hardware decoding. Normally you would want hardware acceleration of the decoding process, but in some cases, it can conflict with your drivers, and it is worth a try.

Solution 3: Find VLC player alternative

Media Player Classic is a compact media player which serves as an alternative to VLC player for Microsoft Windows. For Mac users, you can try MXplayer.

Solution 4: Convert MKV to VLC most friendly format

Since MKV can't be supported well by VLC media player, an ultimate solution is to convert MKV to VLC most friendly format. Brorsoft Video Converter is the utility for you. With it, you can fast convert MKV to AVI that can be easily played in VLC. If you are Mac users, please turn to the equivalent Mac version named Brorsoft Video Converter for Mac to transcode .mkv files to VLC on Mac OS X (Mavericks included).

download_windows.gif download_mac.gif (Note: Click here for OS X 10.5)

Related Guides:

VLC Play H.265 VLC 4K Playback VLC MP4 Playback
VLC Play MXF VLC Play XAVC VLC Play AVI
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