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How to Set up VLC as an External Player (Windows)

VLC external player

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#1 Natilus13 OFFLINE  

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 06:09 PM

After some struggling (and plenty of the help from the community, especially @Luke and @funwithmedia), I have managed to get VLC launching correctly as an external player. I thought I would share the steps I used to enable it for anyone else who may need some assistance in getting it working.


1. In Emby Theater, click on your user icon in the upper right hand corner of your screen

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2. Click on Settings

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3. Click on External Players

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4. Click the Add button

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5. For Media Type make sure that Video is selected

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6. For Player Path enter the path to VLC

The default path on Windows is c:\Program Files (x86)\VideoLAN\VLC\vlc.exe

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7. Chose the files types that you would like to have VLC handle.

Personally I like to use VLC for all file types

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8. For Additional filters, make sure that 3D is NOT selected.

Even if you are trying to play 3D files, you still want to leave this unchecked.

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9. For the Command line arguments enter {path}. Make sure you enter this in lower case, if you enter it in upper case {PATH} then it will NOT work (a big thank you to @Luke for catching this one).

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10. Finally, click on Save and you are done.

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Now when you go to play the files types you selected in step 7, VLC should launch for you.

For step 9, there are all kinds of command line arguments you can enter to control how VLC launches. I hope to add some of these to this post later. If anyone else has a list they would like to add please feel free.

Cheers!

Edited by Natilus13, 20 January 2017 - 07:03 PM.

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#2 Luke OFFLINE  

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 06:11 PM

Great info, thanks !



#3 arrbee99 OFFLINE  

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 06:19 PM

That's handy, thanks. I might perhaps suggest a change of title to 'How to.....' or 'Instructions for....' perhaps ?


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#4 Natilus13 OFFLINE  

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 07:00 PM

That's handy, thanks. I might perhaps suggest a change of title to 'How to.....' or 'Instructions for....' perhaps ?


Good call.... Done! :-)

#5 Zelig OFFLINE  

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Posted 25 January 2017 - 08:46 AM

One very usefull command argument is

 

-f

 

(add in a new line under {path})

 

It starts VLC in fullscreen mode

 

Looking for a command to close VLC after playblack is done. Will post it if I find it

 

 



#6 MEB OFFLINE  

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Posted 25 January 2017 - 09:33 AM

One very usefull command argument is

 

-f

 

(add in a new line under {path})

 

It starts VLC in fullscreen mode

 

Looking for a command to close VLC after playblack is done. Will post it if I find it

 

Here, I believe this is what you want, not sure since I don't use external player, so i didn't test it.

 

5888a8f8c2603_Capture.png



#7 Natilus13 OFFLINE  

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Posted 25 January 2017 - 09:57 AM

One very usefull command argument is

 

-f

 

(add in a new line under {path})

 

It starts VLC in fullscreen mode

 

Looking for a command to close VLC after playblack is done. Will post it if I find it

 

I leave [path] as my final argument. I don't know that it matters, that is just how I set it up. I put all other commands above it.

 

To have a file play and then exit VLC you tell it just that. Here is the argument you want

 

--play-and-exit

 

@funwithmedia has a good post listing a number of arguments that are handy. You can find that post here

 

https://emby.media/community/index.php?/topic/43054-considering-emby/?p=402646

 

It is near the bottom of the post on page 1.

 

Cheers!


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#8 funwithmedia OFFLINE  

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Posted 25 January 2017 - 10:19 AM

If I remember correctly, I think VLC prefers (perhaps needs?) {path} to always be the last argument.

 

And good work @Natilus13 in getting this stuff documented! :)


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#9 ryankeast OFFLINE  

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Posted 12 April 2017 - 08:40 AM

Hi there,

Just tried this but I get the error

File reading failed
VLC could not open file "c:\Windows\system32\\log.txt." (Permission denied)

#10 Natilus13 OFFLINE  

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Posted 12 April 2017 - 09:45 AM

Hi there,

Just tried this but I get the error

File reading failed
VLC could not open file "c:\Windows\system32\\log.txt." (Permission denied)

Hi @ryankeast , Can you explain in a little more detail exactly what you tried? The more info you can provide, the more likely that someone will be able to help you out :-)


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#11 funwithmedia OFFLINE  

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Posted 12 April 2017 - 09:48 AM

Agreed! A screenshot of your Emby Theater External Player settings would probably be useful as well. :)



#12 ryankeast OFFLINE  

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Posted 12 April 2017 - 04:42 PM

Cheers guys.

Firstly I was trying to run the videos direct from media theater direct on my Windows 7 PC I have. The majority of films run fine apart from those marked as HEVC codec. These lag considerably picture wise but the audio is fine.
I was therefore advised to use an external player instead. I reinstalled VLC player and that log error has gone....I'm launching content from Emby in VLC...but the HEVC just plays a black screen and I have audio still. Just can't get my head around why my PC is having such issues playing content.
Thanks

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#13 Natilus13 OFFLINE  

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Posted 12 April 2017 - 04:51 PM

Hey @ryankeast ,

 

When you say you are trying to play the files on your Windows 7 PC, is that the same PC where you have Emby Server set up? Or do you have Emby Server running on a different machine? If it is on a different machine, what type of connection do you have to it?

 

For the HEVC files, are they HEVCx264 or HEVCx265? It is possible that if they are x265 that your video card doesn't support them. Have you tried opening any of them in VLC without using Emby? It's my understanding that Emby is really just pointing VLC to where the file resides, but I would still try this just to rule out any issues with Emby.

 

I would also make certain that you have everything up to date, especially drivers for your video card.

 

Let us know how it goes!  :)



#14 Luke OFFLINE  

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Posted 12 April 2017 - 04:55 PM

If you guys are using VLC as an external player for basic video file playback, there is no reason or benefit to doing this. The only thing you're doing is losing the in-video OSD.



#15 lifespeed OFFLINE  

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Posted 12 April 2017 - 05:29 PM

If you guys are using VLC as an external player for basic video file playback, there is no reason or benefit to doing this. The only thing you're doing is losing the in-video OSD.

Agreed.  And VLC doesn't use directshow codecs, so if you have your codecs properly configured to play MKV and other files you lose that benefit as well.  De-interlacing of DVD video doesn't seem to be something VLC does either.  VLC may still play them, but my experience has been it doesn't do as well.

 

Playing DVD folders is another matter.  Emby doesn't seem to do this well, so an external player would be appropriate.



#16 Natilus13 OFFLINE  

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 09:11 AM

If you guys are using VLC as an external player for basic video file playback, there is no reason or benefit to doing this. The only thing you're doing is losing the in-video OSD.

 

 

I disagree. VLC appears (at least in my experience) to do a much better job of down-mixing 5.1 or 7.1 to stereo. I also find that the picture is a little more crisp than playing back in Emby Theatre. I can't say I notice that big of a difference in the video quality, but the difference in audio quality is huge.


Edited by Natilus13, 13 April 2017 - 09:12 AM.


#17 funwithmedia OFFLINE  

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 10:27 PM

I've been a huge fan of VLC for years (my own, custom-coded HTPC setup of many years was built around it). But I'm very curious to see how MPV (https://emby.media/c...eater-mpv-test/) compares, and @Natilus13 you might want to have a look at that thread as well (and probably best to post comments regarding VLC vs MPV comparisons there). I also wonder (though I've not had an opportunity to test this) if the addition of MPV to Emby Theater will negate (at least somewhat) the need for External Players for DVD folder playing (when direct playing at least -- if transcoding is needed that obviously will not work with DVD menus).



#18 Natilus13 OFFLINE  

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 09:59 AM

Just doing some reading about MPV, sounds promising. Thanks for pointing me to that thread @funwithmedia . I will definitely try it out when I get a bit of time.



#19 funwithmedia OFFLINE  

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 07:33 PM

Cool -- glad I mentioned it! :)



#20 edwin777 OFFLINE  

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 08:57 PM

Thanks for this, im setting this up tonight and this has been very helpful

 

Different arguments would be good if you have some?

 

Have you got it, loading full screen and return to emby when you exit from VLC?

 

Thanks again

John







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