It all started in 1996 as an academic project when VLC was a client of the VideoLAN project. And now it has become one of the world’s most popular media players with over 2.4 billion downloads. The reason of its massive success is hidden behind its lightweight backend, cross-platform support and simple interface.
Recently, the open source video player, VLC released its 3.0 version, dubbed “Vetinari”. VLC 3.0.0 is the first version of Vetinari branch.
Like any other update, the new version is filled with some exciting features and changes that we are going to uncover. And yes, the major update is rolling out across all platforms, including macOS and tvOS.
10. Hardware Decoding
The media player activates hardware decoding by default, so that you can enjoy 8K and 4K videos without any interruption.
Specifically, it supports HEVC hardware decoding on Windows, using D3D11 and DxVA2. It includes a new hardware accelerated decoder for iOS and OS X based on Video Toolbox supporting H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, H.264, and H.265/HEVC.
9. Text-to-Speech Renderer and Crypto Keystore
VLC 3.0 has a text-to-speech renderer for subtitles on iOS, Mac OS and Windows.
It is also packed with Gnome libsecret-based crypto keystore (a storage facility for cryptographic keys and certificates), KED Kwallet-based crypto keystore, memory keystore, file keystore that can use a submodule to crypt secrets, and Keychain based crypto keystore for Mac OS X, iOS and tvOS.
8. Stream Filter
The VLC player now has an ADF stream filter, stream pre-buffering plugin, ARIB STD-B25 TS stream decoder, zlib (deflate) decompression filter, skiptags module to help demuxers skip ID3/APE tags.
7. Text Renderer
The new version is packed with new font fallback algorithm, more conforming EIA608 captions layout and aspect ratio, more styles support for TTM and WebVTT.
6. HDR and 360 Video Support
VLC 3.0 adds supports for HDR (high-dynamic-range), including both 12-bit and 10-bit color. It also supports 360-degree video and 3D audio, up to Ambisoncics third order.
5. Better Mac OS X Interface
VLC now comes with resizable fullscreen controller with improved design. It can control keyboard blacklight dimming while playing fullscreen video. Along with better and simple preferences window, it features huge performance improvements in playlist handling and other areas.
4. Android Specific
VLC 3.0 on Android performs HEVC hardware decoding using MediaCodec, supports Android Auto with voice actions, playlist files detection, Picture-in-Picture mode, and more. It is available for all Android TV, Chromebooks and DeX.
3. Video Filter
VLC 3.0 features a new video filter to convert between fps rates, and a new edge detection filter that uses the Sobel operator to detect edges. To provide top notch quality, it supports hardware accelerated deinterlacing/adjust/sharpen/chroma with VA-API, and hardware accelerated adjust/invert/posterize/sepia/sharpen with CoreImage.
2. Audio Passthrough
It enables audio passthrough for HD audio codecs, like TrueHD, E-AC3 or DTS-HD. What else, you asked? Well, VLC now supports autodetect external audio track similar to subtitles, ambisonic audio and more than 8 audio channels.
Also, there is a binauralizer audio filter, working with ambisonics or 7.1/5.1 streams, SoX resampler library audio filter module, and pitch module shifting.
1. Chromecast and Browsing Local Network
What really makes this update special is the native Chromecast support. The media player can now stream to Chromecast devices, even in formats not supported natively. Moreover, you can use it to browse local network drives and NAS. It supports network browsing for numerous filesystem, including FTP, SFTP, SMB and NFS.
The development team claims that the VLC 3.0 consumes less GPU and CPU compared to other media players in the market. They are planning to release a VR version of VLC in coming months.
Other Notable Changes
- Supports Daala video in 4:4:4 and 4:2:0.
- Direct3D output module has been renamed to Direct3D9.
- New headphone option in stereo mode – use the spatialaudio module for headphone effects.
- Supports raw H265/HEVC files, multi-channel WAV without channel-maps and SBV subtitles.