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Increase The Streaming Buffer in VLC To Prevent Video Stutter

VLC Player makes a great streaming video player, but sometimes it can run into spikes in the stream buffer. Part of this may be due to hardware or network issues, but it could also be because of the 0.3 second default buffer cache. It’s easy to change this, but finding a buffer that works best for your connection might take some tweaking.

There are two methods for changing the streaming buffer in VLC player. One is permanent, the other is temporary and resets after each stream. You can change either, or both (in which case the temporary fix temporarily takes precedence). Just follow the instructions below.

Permanent VLC Buffer Change

Launch VLC and open Tools > Preferences or press the keyboard shortcut (Ctrl + P).

tools preferences

At the bottom-left of the settings window click the “All” bullet to show all settings. 

All VLC Settings

Now scroll down to Stream Output and change the caching to a larger number. It’s 1500 milliseconds by default which is equal to 1.5 seconds.

stream output muxer caching

Change Buffer on a Per Stream Basis

During playback in VLC player Click the Media tab and then select Open Network Stream.

open network stream

The settings menu will bring up to the Network tab. At the bottom of the window click the “Show more options” box.

open network media

Additional information will appear at the bottom, in the “Caching” box fill in a higher Caching number than the existing one. For example if you want the buffer to be improved to 1.5 seconds, change the number to 1500 ms. Unlike the other method, this change won’t save beyond the media currently being streamed. Instead it will revert to the default as soon as your current stream ends.

more streaming options ms

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One Response to Increase The Streaming Buffer in VLC To Prevent Video Stutter

  1. Nathan October 5, 2013 at 2:59 pm #

    This along with every other piece of advice I’ve found on Google doesn’t work for me. When I edit the number there is no “Play” or “Save” or “Accept” option, and when I restart VLC it goes back to the default value. Frustrated.

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