A new version of VLC, the hugely popular open-source media player, is out.
VLC 3.0.19 introduces a number of noteworthy new features and enhancements, plus a bunch of bug fixes to correct errant behaviour, resolve stability issues, and improve overall performance when playing or streaming video content.
Alas, the most significant new features are Windows-only — for now, anyway.
This includes Super Resolution scaling support with compatible NVIDIA and Intel GPUs. This uses AI-assisted upscaling to bump visual quality and image sharpness. Users with compatible graphics cards can enable the feature via VLC’s Advanced Settings > Output Modules section.
I imagine this (real-time, no less) upscaling is best used when watching lower-resolution videos rather than trying to further enhance high-definition content. Don’t expect miracles, though. Upscaled content often looks artificial and smeary — though AI is improving it.
Additionally, Windows users benefit from AV1 hardware decoding being enabled out-of-the-box in VLC 3.0.19 — lucky bugs!
The good news is that all platforms (including Linux) get to take advantage of improved software decoding for AV1 HDR content.
Additionally, this update improves FFmpeg-muxed MP4 chapter control, AAC handling, playback of QNap-produced AVI files; and -90°rotated videos (don’t ask me, I don’t watch those). Plus, a real blast from the past here, VLC now plays very old RealVideo format files correctly.
The official VLC changelog mentions buffs to MPRIS reporting, though Ubuntu doesn’t boast MPRIS integration with VLC that I can see so this might be something those of you using non-GNOME desktops benefit from.
Rendering issues on Linux when using the VLC fullscreen controller are addressed in this release; macOS users will no longer see blurry subtitles; there are fixes to Youtube playback; better handling of files when VLC is in read-only mode; and improved CrunchyRoll SSA rendering.
Although the VLC 3.0.19 hasn’t been “announced” on the official Videolan website (yet) the source code has been released, as have installers for Windows and macOS.