Fix Grey or Pixelated Screen Video Playback Problem on VLC Player

VLC is a popular multimedia player that allows the playing of most types of media files on different platforms. This supports various formats including multimedia files, audio CDs, DVDs, VCDs, and other streaming protocols.

VLC can also come in handy for other purposes such as basic video recording, cutting, and editing. The player also offers more advanced features such as audio and video filters and subtitle synchronization. 

How-to-Troubleshoot-Issue-and-Fix-Grey-or-Pixelated-Screen-Video-Playback-Problem-on-VLC-Media-Player
Image credit by digital designer from Pixabay

Unfortunately, even with all these offerings, several users have raised their concerns about the grey or pixelated screen video playback problem on VLC Player.

How to Troubleshoot Issue and Fix Grey or Pixelated Screen Video Playback Problem on VLC Media Player

If you’re facing the same issue when playing videos on your VLC Media Player using Mac computer or Windows PC, here are some potential solutions you can try:

Change Buffer Settings

Changing the buffer settings on your VLC Player might help fix its pixilated or grey screen. Here are the steps to do it:

  1. Open VLC Player. 
  2. Proceed to the Tools menu. 
  3. Select Preferences. 
  4. Choose All located at the lower part of the screen to show additional options. 
  5. From the menu on the left, select Stream Output. 
  6. Update the value of Stream Output Muxer Cache (ms) to 1500 milliseconds. 
  7. Click Save. 

Close and Re-Open VLC Player 

Probably one of the first things you can do to address the grey or pixelated screen on your VLC Media Player is to close it first and then open it again. This is a simple but tried and tested basic trick that can address the most common issues or errors on VLC Player app. After you’ve finished, check if the content now plays smoothly. 

Convert Content to a VLC-Compatible Format

Just so you know, most of the grey or pixelated errors on VLC players are the result of unsupported codecs. If your MOV, AVI, MP4, or MKV video has been encoded by a code that is not compatible with VLC or something that the hardware is unable to decode, you can pretty much expect to encounter some issues such as a grey or pixelated video. 

Follow the steps below to convert your videos to MP4 H.264 or other VLC-compatible codecs.

  1. Download and install VLC Player on your device. 
  2. Click Video. 
  3. Drag and drop the original MOV, AVI, MP4, or MKV video to the program. 
  4. Set MP4 H.264 as your preferred output format. 
  5. Uncheck the Auto Copy option. 
  6. Select Run for the conversation to begin. 

Disable Hardware-Accelerated Decoding

VLC Player uses hardware for decoding some videos to reduce CPU usage and speed up the process of decoding. But there are instances when this may result in errors such as pixelated or grey videos. Disabling hardware-accelerated decoding may then help to address this issue. 

  1. Go to the VLC menu bar at the top of the screen. 
  2. Select Tool. 
  3. Choose Preference. 
  4. Click Input/Codecs so that you will be directed to the section for Input & Codecs settings. 
  5. Scroll down and look for Hardware-Accelerated Decoding. 
  6. Select Disable.
  7. Click the Save button found in the lower right corner to verify the adjustment. 

If you’re experiencing a grey or pixelated screen video playback problem on VLC Player, the steps above may help you address the issue.

Read More About:
Aileen Grace M
Aileen Grace M
A film buff and lover of feel-good movies, Aileen Grace loves helping fellow cinephiles overcome troubles and common hurdles when bingeing shows. She’s a Marketing Major with a degree in Business Administration and a knack for writing poems and short stories. She’s using her prowess as a prolific writer to provide straightforward guides among the confusing solutions found online.

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