VLC media player 3.0 released, supports Chromecast, HDR and 360-degree videos

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After three long years, VideoLAN has finally come out with a significant major update of the immensely popular open-source VLC media player for all platforms. This new update is dubbed Vetinari and includes direct support for HDR, 4K and 8K videos. This release fully supports Chromecast streaming and the ability to play 360-degree video formats, along with 3D audio. The 360-degree video playing functionality was introduced back in 2016 but was only a preview feature back then for testing purposes.

VLC media player 3.0: Features

VLC 3.0 arrives with almost 1,500 bug fixes and various enhancements to utilise less CPU and GPU resources. This was specifically worked on for better decoding of 4K and 8K video content. The included 3D audio support that works with 360-degree videos will provide spatial audio from 5.1 and 7.1 sources for an enhanced audio-visual experience. The update adds support for various audio codecs like TrueHD, HEVC, E-AC3 and DTS-HD, and even ha the ability to drive audio via eight different channels for better surround sound experience than ever before.

VLC now offers better support for Blu-Ray content with support for BD-j menus to access a Blu-Ray disk’s features natively. Unfortunately, it still does not have the capability of decrypting Blu-Rays, which will have to be done externally.  Other formats supported by the latest version of VLC include WebVTT, HQX and TTML. VLC 3.0 is also network-enabled, which means that the software can now access content from NAS devices and local network drives.

The most significant upgrade is the new support for Chromecast devices that allows streaming any VLC-compatible content to a network-attached Chromecast device. Content that is not natively supported by Chromecast can also be played as VLC will convert the video file to a supported format “on-the-fly”. The developers have achieved this by creating their own code since Google’s Chromecast API isn’t open-source.

Additionally, the custom code created by VideoLAN is completely open-source, meaning anyone who wants to use the codes could do so without any legal repercussions. Also specifically for Android, VLC 3.0 will support Chromecast streaming from the smartphone, hardware decoding for HEVC video format, Android Auto with Voice actions, Picture-in-Picture and playlist file detection.

VLC media player 3.0: Release and Availability

The update is available for download right now with further details about the update on VideoLAN’s release page. The new version will work on Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android, with Linux support coming soon.

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Awad handles gadget reviews and high priority stories for MySmartPrice. He also dabbles in translating Chinese smartphone launch events from time to time. With a degree in Software Engineering and experience with logic boards and circuits, Awad prefers to focus on the PC side of the tech world.