I'm using a Canon 600D to shoot HD video at full frames. When i playback on my PC using VLC the video is just about unwatchable - It stutters, lags and the audio is out of sync. However when playing back in the camera itself there are no problems.

I've read on various sites that the problem maybe with my PC - I'm using a Lenovo T410 Quad Core / 8GB RAM / 1GB Video Memory.

I find it extremely difficult to believe that the 600d can out perform my Laptop (Spec wise)!

Does anyone else have this problem?


I believe the output file from the camera is H264 .MOV file...if that helps.

  • 1
    Hi user35072, this might be a better fit over at the Superuser stack exchange site. While you took the video with a DSLR which is relevant to this site, the question you are having is specific to video playback, which Superuser would be a better fit for.
    – dpollitt
    Commented Dec 1, 2011 at 2:20
  • dpollitt is correct, Superuser is a far better place to get an answer here. I'll migrate the question for you, which should result in a link to the question on that site.
    – jrista
    Commented Dec 1, 2011 at 3:34
  • Could be a codec issue. I've had HD video from digital cameras play in some players and experience issues in others. (Your processor should be plenty fast, but the camera can probably decode the video in hardware, so it doesn't need a fast CPU.)
    – user55325
    Commented Dec 1, 2011 at 3:54
  • I am interested in the answer as well as I faced the same problem. However, I dont shoot videos that often so never cared to ask! By any chance did you happen to shoot the video in low light situations?
    – ShutterBug
    Commented Dec 1, 2011 at 8:40
  • Could be a codec issue. Hardware accelerated in your camera but maybe not on you PC. Could you give some more info on the video file you camera produces?
    – tidbeck
    Commented Dec 1, 2011 at 10:17

3 Answers 3


The first step is to ensure you've updated your video drivers to the absolute most recent release. If you HAVE already done that, then the next step is to try uninstalling them, and installing an older release - perhaps the one that shipped with your video card. Otherwise one 6 months old from the vendor's website. This will help troubleshoot if it's a driver issue.

The next step would be to try a different player than VLC. MediaPlayer Classic Home Cinema would be a good choice, or Apple QuickTime.

  • QuickTime? On Windows? Are you serious?
    – afrazier
    Commented Dec 1, 2011 at 15:44

The problem is not with you PC hardware. Its a software issue. For playing HD videos one needs sufficient RAM and processing. Both which is feasible with the kind of H/w that you have. I recommend a complete system scan for viruses or other CPU hogging processes. If everything is fine, try using PowerDVD or QuickTime.

600d can out perform my Laptop

Well in some cases it can. As the 600D is designed for just one specific job, it does it way faster. Imagine the time required to compress the RAW image it captures from the sensor and converts to a JPEG for your viewing!


Encoding (and decoding) h.264 is a highly intensive process and requires a large amount of processing power. The simple fact is not that your camera has more processing power than your laptop (it doesn't) but that it has a piece of hardware that is dedicated to the job of encoding and decoding this type of video.

Your laptop has a general purpose processor (the CPU) that has many times the processing power of your camera but it effectively has to emulate the abilities of the hardware decoder that your camera uses. As I mentioned this is a highly intensive process and if the software being used to decode the video is poorly written then it will behave in the fashion you are seeing.

Most modern computer systems have a dedicated graphics card, part of which is also dedicated to hardware video decoding of this type of video. More lately this has also appeared on processors, specifically Intels latest generation i-series processors. Using these decoders takes the workload away from your processor and you get nice smooth video playback.

Firstly I would look for trying to use a different player for your files as VLC support for hardware video decoding is somewhat limited and may not be working for the files you are giving it.

As it is a .mov file I would try downloading either the QuickTime player from Apple or the Divx Player as I believe these may be able to make proper use of the hardware video decoder.

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