While I normally turn to VLC player for all my video playing needs, sometimes it’s nice to mix things up. This is especially true when playing 1080p HD videos, because VLC tends to lag behind a bit with those. As an alternative, I find myself turning to MPC-HC, also known as Media Player Classic – Home Cinema.
MPC-HC is available for both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows systems. It has a low system footprint, and it can play high definition content without a hitch. It can also play a ton of different types of video formats, though not quite as many as VLC from my experience.
The player has a ton of options that can be completely customized, and there’s different skins that can be applied to customize the look and feel of the player’s toolbar. This includes the useful ability to manage aspect ratios, and if you are on widescreen this can come in handy.
If you’re wondering why the system footprint is so low, even while playing HD video, the credit goes to MPC-HC’s DXVA technology which allows it to use GPU acceleration. Or in other words, the media player will use your video card instead of your CPU to render the media.
Overall MPC-HC is a really groovy media player. I find myself using it more and more every time I play an HD movie. And when it comes to pricing, you can’t go wrong with free. After all, it’s an open source player, so if you do like it you can always donate a few bucks to the developer.