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People love movies and TV shows. They love watching them on the go, or when they’re stranded in the middle of the desert. There is one itty-bitty problem though: not every media player is created equally.
The same can be said about the built-in media players streaming services use. They don’t offer the video settings you might be looking for, but here, you might find the right video player that scratches that itch.
Here are 7 best video players for Windows 10:
1. VLC Media Player
VLC Media Player is compatible with an impressive range of Windows operating systems, as far back as Windows XP if you feel so inclined (who wouldn’t?). VLC Media Player is built to host a plethora of video and audio file formats. Did you get 8K video output? VLC Media Player can handle that. Do you have HDR? VLC Media Player has that covered, too.
VLC Media Player comes with a laundry list of features that make other media players pale in comparison. You’ll have access to audio and video filters, subtitles for any number of movies and videos, syncing audio, as well as video formats that earn it the “play anything,” media player.
However, VLC Media Player’s most impressive feature is the ability to extend its features. VLC Media Player is customizable. It allows its users to download and install plugins that improve or add a feature or format that might be missing from its already extensive library. To top if off, it has no problem playing DVDs and Blu-Rays.
Even if you decide on a different video player, you should download VLC Media Player anyway. You don’t have to worry about ads and shovelware. It’s like 7-Zip. It’s yours for life.
RealPlayer has always been a popular alternative to Windows Media Player on Windows computers. RealPlayer falls on this list for simplicity and its easy-to-use interface. It’s equipped to support most of the generally used audio and video formats. And to top it off, RealPlayer can even download videos online.
RealPlayer’s, arguably, best feature is its capability to switch between PC and mobile. RealPlayer is great for individuals just looking to watch a movie or jam out to some music.
3. Media Player Classic
When you don’t want RealPlayer, you can always opt for the lightweight Media Player Classic. The best use for Media Player Classic is installing it on older systems, especially if you’re into retro machines. It’s a lot like Windows XP: easy to use, doesn’t suck up all your resources and doesn’t do more than it needs. More modern media players would hog a retro machine’s resources and before you know it, your retro machine is locking up. Media Player Classic won’t do that to you.
However, it does have its fault. Media Player Classic doesn’t support everything under the sun. It’s a little more conservative of the formats it supports, but ones like AVI, MP4, and WMV are among the list of formats it plays nice with.
Like RealPlayer, if you’re just looking for a great video player to watch a few movies on or cry to a few love songs, Media Player Classic will be there for you.
4. Windows Movies and TV
Windows Movies and TV is like taking an online store and mashing it with a video player. Since it’s integrated with the Microsoft Store, you’ll have the opportunity of buying and renting movies and TV shows and then immediately porting them to its integrated video player. If you’re offline, simply download the movie or TV show and take it with you. You don’t need an internet connection to use Windows Movies and TV.
As for its interface, it does the job. It doesn’t try to impress you or do your homework, it simply plays your movies. That makes it incredibly light on features, but it’s free for Windows users and perfect to use before finding a better one. It supports enough video formats for any casual user to take advantage of.
5KPlayer lacks a cleaner interface and video enhancement tools but makes up for it with its unique features. You’ll have no problem playing your run-of-the-mill DVDs and local media files, it can support most of your common ones, and even a few obscure ones: AVI, FLV, H.265, and H.264, to name a few.
Another feature that makes 5KPlayer stand out from the rest is its ability to tune into online radio. Copy the URL and send it over to 5KPlayer. Afterwards, 5KPlayer will connect and you can enjoy the highlights from BBC Sport and even NBC.
If radio isn’t your thing, but online videos are, then you’ll enjoy its ability to playback videos you find online from websites like Youtube, Vimeo, and DailyMotion.
Find a video you’d like to watch. Find several if you’re looking to binge-watch your favorite Youtuber while you’re in the jungle. Copy its URL and paste it over in 5KPlayer. Now, it’s possible 5KPlayer won’t download it. So, if it doesn’t work, don’t riot.
To top it off, 5KPlayer comes with built-in DLNA and AirPlay support, meaning, if you need to stream music or videos, you can do so with any device that’s compatible.
6. ACG Player
If you’re looking for something with a big more color, look no further than ACG Player. This is a Microsoft Store exclusive (Sorry, Mac). You don’t have to pay a cent on it to use, however, you’ll have to deal with ads all the time. You can pay to remove them, but that’s up to you.
ACG Player is certainly better at supporting a wider range of formats than most on this list, only rivaled VLC Media Player. Taking notes from Windows Media Play Classic, ACG Player assaults your eyes with colorful graphics that match the beat of the music.
Its best feature, arguably, is its ability to stream your media. Choose your streaming service and use ACG Player as a secondary media player. This gives you the opportunity to use its video features that aren’t available on most, if any, streaming services.
If you love VLC Media Player, you’ll love PotPlayer. In fact, PotPlayer is a serious contender against VLC, but not quite–it needs a little more work on its playback quality, but we’ll get to that.
First off, PotPlayer gives VLC Media Player a serious run for its money by supporting all modern formats. Even better, PotPlayer still gets updates regularly. If any new formats pop up, PotPlayer gets an update shortly after.
As mentioned before, PotPlayer’s playback quality does falter slightly. However, by no means is this a reason to completely ditch the media player, but it’s worth mentioning lagging issues for higher bit-rate videos and some of the quality isn’t as sharp as it could be. If you aren’t a quality snob, PotPlayer is by far one of the best on the light.
For simple use video players, your best bet are: Media Player Classic, RealPlayer and Windows Movies, and TV.
ACG Player stands near the middle of the spectrum, especially if you’re looking for an alternative streaming media player.
PotPlayer and VLC Media Player stand at the pinnacle with PotPlayer threatening VLC’s reign.
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