VLC Media Player Problem under Vista

[Update] I tried the latest version of VLC player (0.8.6d) and it played OK without modification. 12/27/2007

VLC is my favorite media player. It plays almost every media format and you can get it for every major platforms.

I tried VLC to play some AVI files on Vista RC2. It didn’t play them properly. I can hear sound but no video showing. I remember running into similar problems on XP. I had to reduce the color from 24 bit to 16 bit. I tried to do the same on Vista RC2, but it’s a no go. Still no video.

I then found this solution. It tells you to set the video rendering engine to OpenGL. I tried to use other settings and found that “DirectX video output” and “Windows GDI video output” also work. Here are the steps.

  1. Open VLC media player.
  2. Click on Settings and select Preferences… .
  3. Expand Video and click on Output modules. Note that DON’T expand Output modules, just click on it.
  4. Check Advanced options in the lower right corner.
  5. Set Video output module to either “DirectX“, “OpenGL” or “Windows GDI

You’ll need to restart VLC media player after the change.


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  1. Many Thanks. Was really getting bugged with peopel saying VLC plays all files and I cudnt make it play a simple AVI LOL. Thanks to you now thats past 🙂 Cheers

  2. Thank you so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Before I kept having to attempt to play the sound on VLC and the video on Window’s Media and it was so gay
    Thank you so much again!!!!!!

  3. Love you bro!!
    Thanks for saving me a hellafa time with installing XP ….
    for those using other playas like Media Player Classic, its the same solution,

    Goto Options
    and set all the output decoders to DirectX


  4. Hey…thank you, you solved my problem 🙂
    I just installed Vista on an older notebook, and VLC kept using 100 percent CPU time when playing any video. After setting the output module to DirectX, it works fine!

  5. Im using VLC — made videos on a camera — uploaded vidz to comp — video works fine no audio

    any help is greatly appreciated

  6. Thanks very much , I used to look movies in vcd cutter . It Plays very well. But now a days video is not appearing only audio coming . as in vlc player is there any solution to play videos in vlc player. thanks very much.

  7. i m not able to solve the problem ater the above solution i hava tried!!!
    actually any file i need to open; it says that it is not a valid win32 application!!!
    plz… i need it to be solved at the earliest!!!

  8. Hey amida,

    I was on this problem for over 10 days now. Must have downloaded 50 different players on my laptop. But your VLC works just fine.

    You rock man!

  9. Your awesome… that solved my problem… just one of the many with vista… Thanks again… now I’m off to fix a few other things 🙂

  10. Hey, thanks for this info.

    It plays fine as the background, however, as soon as it finishes playing the first video and goes to the next video in the playlist, it leaves background mode– if i hit the fast forward/rewind buttons to go to the next/previous video, it goes back to background.

    Is there some setting that is causing it to immediately leave background mode as soon as the current video finishes? The ‘enable background’ and the actual background setting remain checked.


  11. I followed your instructions, but mine isn’t working. It’s really pixelated. Not even that. Here’s a screen shot:


  12. oh shit. my screen shot didn’t work, i don’t think.
    Well anyway, there are squares about 1cmx0.5cm all over the image with different patterns in them. I can vaguely see the image that is meant to appear. Also, the audio sometimes cuts out.

  13. Woooooooooooooooooooooooooow, thanx man !! I’ve been havin this ANNOYING problem where the screen (for half a sec) turns all black when I play AND when I stop a VLC session. And it would play the sound late / switch me to the next window and I’d have to click it back…
    EXTREMELY annoying and I couldn’t take it anymore and all it took was one quick read here !!

  14. hi same problem – easy fix!

    i have ffdshow installed so i can run divx, etc. on media centre (vista ultimate x64) – works great btw, easy movie browsing with remote control. i installed divx 7 and the latest vlc 0.9.9 and voila i had sound but no picture in vlc.

    easy fix:
    • in vlc go to “tools > preferences”.
    • go to “video” section.
    • set the “output” param (in the “display” dialog) to “OpenGL video output”.

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