4K videos are among the best video standards for playing games and watching movies. Many users, however, claim that their systems do not support playing 4K videos even though they have video in 4K. So, if your PC has the same issue, you can go through the article below to check how to play a 4K video on your Windows PC smoothly. These suggestions work on Windows 11, Windows 10, and any other version of Windows.
How to Smoothly Play 4K Video on Windows PC
Given below are nine methods you can employ to play 4K videos smoothly on your PC:
- 4K Display
- High-Quality Video Player
- Audio Output
- SSD Storage
- Internet Connection
- 4K Video Content
Make sure to try them one by one and then figure out which solution works for you.
1] 4K Display
The resolution of a screen is measured in pixels. 4K monitors have a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels. When you play a video, it plays according to the resolution of the monitor and not according to the resolution of the video. Thus, a 4K monitor or TV is required to view 4K content. Make sure your display supports 4K resolution.
The easiest way to check is by going to Settings > Display > Display Resolution. Check if you have the exact resolution mentioned above. Make sure you have the display driver installed on your PC. If the monitor supports 4K, but the display driver is not installed, it will not appear.
If you don’t see the resolution, you cannot get the 4K video playback, but your videos will still look good.
Related: Fix: Cannot Change Rescren Resolution of Monitor
2] High-Quality Video Player
4K offers more pixels, details, and accurate images than 1080p HD. More and more 4K content is available, even on well-known video-sharing websites like Netflix, YouTube, etc. However, network connectivity and other variables prevent you from having an excellent 4K watching experience. To watch 4K movies and TV shows on your Mac or Windows computer, check out these top 5 4K UHD players.
Check out some of the best video players for Windows PC
To play 4K video on a PC, you will need a few minimum requirements:
- A 4K display or monitor that supports a resolution of at least 3840×2160 pixels.
- A graphics card or integrated GPU that supports 4K video output. The graphics card should have an HDMI 2.0 or DisplayPort 1.4 or later port to support 4K resolution at 60 frames per second (fps).
- A CPU with at least four cores and a clock speed of 2.5 GHz or higher.
- Sufficient RAM to handle 4K video playback. At least 8GB of RAM is recommended.
- A fast and reliable internet connection if streaming 4K video online.
It’s worth noting that playing 4K video can be quite demanding on a PC, so you might experience performance issues if your hardware does not meet these minimum requirements.
You will need an HDMI 2.0 or DisplayPort 1.4 cable to connect your GPU to your 4K monitor. If your graphics card and monitor support HDMI 2.1 or DisplayPort 2.0, you can use these cables for even higher frame rates and support for features like HDR and variable refresh rate.
Ensure the cable is certified for the version of HDMI or DisplayPort you need. Choose a high-quality cable from a reputable brand to ensure a stable and reliable connection for your 4K content.
5] Audio Output
To fully appreciate the immersive audio experience of 4K content, ensure your audio output supports high-quality audio formats, such as Dolby Atmos or DTS:X.
To guarantee that your video player can effectively decode the 4K content, install the most recent video codecs, such as HEVC (H.265) and VP9.
Utilizing fundamental technologies like motion compensation, entropy coding, coding tree units, etc., HEVC (High-Efficiency Video Coding) only needs half the bandwidth to maintain the same video quality as H.264/MPEG-4 AVC. In other words, the HEVC codec produces greater video quality at the same bitrate. It can support 4K and 8K UHD resolution and is intended for use with next-generation HDTV display and content capture devices.
So, HEVC codec is a program that compresses or decompresses HEVC video. It could be a decoder for only decompression or an encoder for only compression. People can generate 4K/8K videos using the H.265 codec or convert HEVC videos to a more playable version.
7] SSD Storage
If you have a 4K video on your drive, use an SSD (Solid State Drive) for quicker loading and smoother playback. When combined with the right video player, it will be able to load and buffer the video, and there will be no hiccups.
8] Internet Connection
You will need a high-speed internet connection with a minimum speed of 25 Mbps to stream 4K content. Do note; this must be a dedicated connection and not shared. So if you have multiple devices at home, get a higher plan with additional bandwidth.
High-definition videos must be streamed via a fast internet connection due to the 4K and HDR content expansion. HDR content necessitates significantly greater internet speeds than the minimum 25Mbps required for 4K streaming. You cannot stream high-quality content without buffering and delays if you do not have a quick and dependable broadband connection.
9] 4K Video Content
To play 4K content smoothly, you must have access to 4K content, which can be found through media you have purchased or rented, streaming services, or by making your own 4K videos. Platforms that play 4K contents include Netflix, Disney Plus Hotstar, Amazon Prime, etc., found in Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, and Roku.
In a 4K video, beyond the original frame size, it stands to reason that the blurrier the video is, the bigger the frame. The video will stream at the same quality even on much larger screens if the video’s original frame is immense. For screens and applications created for the general consumer market, 4K is the widest frame width available. Thus, 4K guarantees a good watching experience, and you can follow the methods in this article to run a 4K video smoothly on a PC.