VideoLAN has released VLC 3.0 “Vetinari”, a major update to the popular media player for across all platforms, including macOS, iOS, and tvOS.
VLC, a cross-platform, open-source video player has today received a significant update in version 3.0, the first in what will be called the Vetinari branch. With it comes a hefty list of new features like the ability to natively play 360-degree videos and adds support for HDR content, including both 10-bit and 12-bit color.
This release version now also fully supports Chromecast streaming, a feature we first played with back ago. While LVC is open source, this part of it isn’t, as a report that VideoLAN explained it “used Google’s official closed-source SDK to build out the feature, which otherwise prevents it from releasing the source.”
Version 3.0 includes a huge number of new features and improvements to the app. It brings automatic hardware decoding for 4K and 8K playback, support for 10-bit HDR, 360-degree video and 3D audio, and Chromecast streaming with support for non-native formats.
You can find the full list of detailed additions on the VideoLAN Organization’s website. Here are the four most important new features for you all.
1. Supports HDR videos
The future of all video content is HDR (High Dynamic Range). The said video format makes videos pop more with higher contrast, a wider range of color, and also increased brightness. Simply put: HDR videos look superior to non-HDR content.
2. Plays 360-degree formats
Shooting 360-degree video has been easier. But until now, you either had to use proprietary software that’s specific to your 360 cameras or upload the video to YouTube or Facebook and deal with the compression.
Not anymore. Now you can simply play your 360-degree videos in VLC 3.0 and pan around in full resolution. And, you can also watch and share, so can your friends and family, so long as they install it, too. Why not? The app’s free.
3. Smoother 4K and 8K video playback
For power users and real AV nerds, VLC 3.0 also support hardware acceleration for 4K and 8K resolution videos. VLC now works with Blu-Ray Java menus and features network browsing support for local network and NAS drives, including those with SMB, FTP, SFTP, NSF filesystems. What that means is, the media player can tap into the processing power of your device’s graphics chip to render videos smoothly without any shuttering or jitterings.
However, the iOS VLC app has also been optimized for iPhone X displays, while on Mac, Chromecast streaming to supported devices can be found in the menu bar under Playback -> Renderer.
4. Stream to Chromecast
Lots of content you got, crispy, high-res content, and you want to view it all on your big high-res TV without needing to wire up via HDMI. How do you it?
Simple: Chromecast. VLC 3.0 finally lets you easily beam your precious content to another screen. Chromecast support is only available for Windows and Android devices (while macOS isn’t supported yet).
Among many other changes and improvements in VLC Vetinari, further standout features include: 3D audio support, audio passthrough for HD audio codecs, support for browsing NAS drives; a redesigned and resizable fullscreen controller; a new status bar icon which displays metadata and play controls; support for keyboard backlight dimming during fullscreen video playback; significant performance improvements in playlist handling; and a simplified preferences window. To learn more, check out the changelog for the complete list of updates.
This major new version of the software has been in development since June of 2016.
Supported platforms include Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and Linux. Unfortunately, the Linux version is not yet publicly available. For all but the last of those, it’s currently available to download for free.
You can now download VLC 3.0 for Mac (free) from the VideoLAN website. Notably, that version 3.0.0 of VLC removes support for OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard and requires Mac systems to run OS X 10.7 Lion or later.
VLC 3.0 is already available on the tvOS App Store, but the iPhone and iPad update still appear to be rolling out as of writing.