Affiliate links on Android Authority may earn us a commission. Learn more.
How to stream video and audio from the VLC media player
The VLC media player, with its support for almost every codec, video and audio format, and platform, is one of the best media players you can get. The app even lets you stream content from a PC if you use VLC on other devices. Here’s how to stream video and audio from the VLC media player.
To stream from the VLC media player, you must set up a network stream URL, an address you can enter on other devices to stream the video from the source computer. Check out the detailed step-by-step guide below.
JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS
How to stream from the VLC media player
You can set up a video or audio stream using the VLC media player on a Windows PC to play media on another computer, phone, or smart TV. It’s a slightly complicated process, though. To start, open the VLC media player, open the Media tab at the top left corner, and click on Stream. You can also open the Stream settings using the Ctrl + S shortcut.
Go to the File tab, click on Add to select the media file you want to stream, and click on Stream. Click Next. Check and confirm the source file on the next page.
You can also enable Display locally if you want the streamed file to play on the source computer. You will then have to set up the destination settings. Select HTTP from the New destination dropdown. Click on Add.
You can set the port number, but the default (8080) works too. Note the port number since you’ll need this information to connect to the stream on the other device. You can leave the path section as is too.
If you want to specify only one device you want to stream to, you can type its IP address in the section without removing the “/.” If you add the IP address of another device, it will look like /192.168.1.1, as an example. If you leave the path as is, you can use the stream network address on any device on the same Wi-Fi/LAN network. Click Next.
Under Transcoding options, uncheck Activate transcoding. You will have to choose a codec option using the Profile dropdown. Click Next once you make your selection. I’ve succeeded with Video – H.264 + MP3 (TS), Video for MPEG4 1080p, and Video for Android HD (to stream to my phone). If you notice any audio or video glitches, try a different codec.
When you get to the additional options on the next page, enable the tick box for Stream all elementary streams. Click on Stream to begin playing the video and start the stream. Pause the video until you set up the stream on your other device.
The steps are similar on a Mac but are named a little differently. Go to the File tab > Streaming/exporting wizard > Stream to network. Choose the video or audio file you want to stream under Select a stream. On the next page, select HTTP and note the port number. You can leave the destination (path) blank. Uncheck both the Audio and Video settings in the Transcode options. Under Encapsulation format, select MPEG TS. Click Next and then, Finish.
Open a stream in VLC
Now that you have the stream ready to go from your source computer, you can access it on any device on the same Wi-Fi/LAN network. If you have a dual-band Wi-Fi router, ensure the two devices are on the same band. You will also need to know the IP address of the source computer. Go to What’s my IP address on the source PC to find it.
You should first download the VLC media player to open the stream on another device. The steps can be slightly different depending on the device you are trying to stream to. But the network stream URL will be the same — http://(your source computer IP address):(port number). So, as an example, the network stream URL could look like http://192.168.1.1:8080.
- Stream to a Windows PC: Open the VLC media player, click on the Media tab, and go to Open network stream. Type in the network stream URL and click on Play.
- Stream to a Mac: Go to the File tab, click on Network, and type in the network stream URL.
- Stream to a phone: Open the VLC app and go to the More tab. Tap on New stream and enter the stream URL.
- Stream to a smart TV: Download the VLC media player app. You will find it in the Google Play Store for Android TV and Roku and under the Find function on a Fire TV. Scroll down to Stream and enter the network stream URL.
You won’t need to download the VLC media player on an Android TV with Chromecast built-in or if you have a Chromecast. To stream from VLC to a Chromecast/Android TV, go to the Playback tab, open Renderer, and select your listed Chromecast device. Make sure that both devices are on the same network.
As long as you can download VLC on your device, you will be able to stream media from a computer to that device. After downloading the app, go to Stream and enter the network stream URL.
Yes, but only to a Chromecast or smart TV with Chromecast built-in. Play the video on your phone’s VLC media player app and look for the cast icon at the top right corner. Make sure that the Chromecast device is on and on the same Wi-Fi network as the phone.
If the stream doesn’t play as expected, it might be a settings issue. Change the codec/stream format to see if the video starts playing or if the quality improves. This might take some trial and error, but I have used MPEG and TS streams with no problems.