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When I play back high bitrate 1080p movies (13GB for 2h 23m to give an idea of bitrate) the video runs mostly smoothly but will hit patches where many frames are dropped, about every 1-2 minutes. It doesn't seem like any of my hardware is the problem. I am using the latest version of VLC (3.0.4) and I just updated my graphics driver. These are the specs:

  • i7 3770, 3.40GHz
  • Nvidia 660 Ti

I was running a 740 GT and thought that might be the bottleneck, but swapping in the 660 Ti from another machine did not affect the problem. I tried disabling GPU decoding but that did not affect it. When the stuttering happens, if I leave task manager open none of the hardware is working very hard (disk usage ~1%, GPU ~17%, CPU ~5%). I tried increasing the file cache size from the default 300ms to 30000ms but that didn't affect anything easier.

If I copy any of the movie files in question to my laptop (i7-4720HQ, 970M) with the same TV as output, or other desktop, they play fine. It's only on this particular machine that I am having trouble. And this is the machine that I normally use as a Plex server - streaming these exact movies over Plex is also fine. That's what made me want to blame the GPU at first, but I feel like a 660 Ti should be overkill for playing even high bitrate 1080p movies.

No warnings or errors show up in the VLC log when the stuttering occurs.

Anyone have an idea of what's going on or other things I should try?

  • Try: (1) In Tools > Preferences > Input / Codecs, experiment with the other settings of "Hardware-accelerated decoding". (2) Using "All" setting, in Video > Output Modules, try other values of “Video Output Module”, especially "DirectX 3D video output" or "Direct3D11" that should offload some processing to the video card. – harrymc Nov 20 '18 at 14:25
  • Thank you for the ideas! Unfortunately those didn't change anything for me, but what did work was rolling back to v.2.2.8. I then noticed that my laptop was running v3.0.1. I'll see if I can narrow down the exact version with the regression and file a bug with VLC. – iondune Nov 21 '18 at 8:30

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