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Watch Video Tutorial: Compress Large Video

VLC Compress Video: 5 Ways to Compress Video with VLC

By Jordi D. Rodríguez | Last Update:

Summary: Can VLC compress video? The answer is YES! And here in this post, you will learn how to compress video with VLC in 5 ways. Detailed steps are included, with real test data and image quality comparison demonstrated.

Since the VLC video compressor only caters to occasional needs, a professional video compressing tool is also introduced here to further reduce file size than VLC while preserving better quality.

VLC, the free and open-source media player software, comes with impressive compression compatibility. Offering several options to reduce video file size, the VLC video compressor allows you to compress MP4/MKV/MOV 4K HD videos for easy storage, or fast uploading on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. And it would also be quite helpful to use the VLC video compression tool when sharing some large videos with your friends via Email, WhatsApp, and more. And here in the post, we have pieced together a full tutorial, explaining how to compress video with VLC in 5 top ways.

VLC compress video

1. Compress Video with VLC by Converting Video Codec Format

The first technique in VLC compress video is converting video codec format. Generally, the codec with a higher compression efficiency makes a smaller video size, and some of the video codecs equipped with such characteristics include H.265/HEVC, H.264/AVC, VP9, VP8, or AV1 (note here the VP9 and HEVC are capable of compressing the video size by 50% while still achieving the same high quality as H.264 and VP8). Thus you can compress video with VLC by converting it to another video codec with higher compression efficiency.

Free download the VLC video compression tool and follow the step to reduce video size in VLC.

Step 1. Click the Media > Convert/Save, and click Add to load the video files that you wish to compress in VLC. Tap on Convert/Save again when you are done.

Step 2. Select ‘Video – H.265 + MP3 (MP4)’ or ‘Video – H.264 + MP3 (MP4)’ as your output profile.

Tip: If you fail to find the video codec you wish to use, click on the Wrench icon next to the Profile option and access the Video codec panel, where you can find more video codec formats to work with.

VLC video compress
VLC compress video - method 1

Step 3. Click Browse to find a destination folder, and hit Start to compress video using VLC.

2. Compress Video with VLC by Downscaling Video Resolution

To get a better understanding of the second and third techniques used in VLC compress video, it is essential to learn the four major factors that determine video file size: resolution, frame rate, bitrate, and coding scheme.

The video file size = Time (sec) x Frames per Second (fps) x Pixels per Frame (resolution) x Bit Depth.

The resolution of a video determines the size in height and width that the video will be created in. Higher-resolution videos will result in a more substantial file size. For instance, a video with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 (1080p) will generate a larger file size than one with a resolution of 1280 x 720 (720p). The reason for this is that a 1080p video boasts more horizontal lines and thereby contains a higher amount of information, necessitating a larger file size to accommodate it. Therefore, you can compress video with VLC by downscaling video resolution. Now go to the VLC video compression tool and follow the step to reduce video size in VLC.

Step 1. Again, click on Media > Convert/Save, and add the source video to the VLC video compressor. And click on Convert/Save.

Step 2. Select an output profile such as HD (720p) or SD (480p) or a smaller file size to downsize your 4K to 1080P or 720P.

VLC video compress
VLC compress video - method 2

Step 3. Click Browse to select a destination folder, and hit Start to compress video with VLC.

3. Compress Video with VLC by Changing Video Encoding Parameters

According to the above-mentioned formula, a raw video of a certain length, and its size was determined by the frame rate, the resolution, and the bit depth. Thus apart from using a lower resolution to compress video in VLC, you can also reduce other video encoding parameters like aspect ratio, bit rate, frame rate and more in VLC to reduce video size. And here is how to do it:

Step 1. In the Convert panel of the VLC video compressor, click the wrench icon next to the Profile option, come to the Profile Edition panel, and hit the Video Codec tab.

Step 2. Lower the Frame Rate to 30fps, as it is enough for the human eye can see; and downgrade the high bit rate properly, and generally, 2160 4K video looks clear when streaming at 35Mbps or higher, 1080p HD at 8Mbps or higher, 720p HD at 5bps or higher…

VLC video compress
VLC compress video - method 3

Step 3. Select a destination folder, and hit Start to compress video in VLC.

4. Compress Video in VLC by Altering Audio Encoding Parameters

The VLC video compressor allows users to compress video without compromising image quality by reconfiguring the audio parameters like audio codec, bit rate, sample rate, and more. Note that working on the audio encoding parameters won’t make much difference on your video size, but it is worth a shot, especially for those who are concerned about image quality with less regard to audio output in VLC video compression.

The Audio codec tab is located next to the Video codec tab, and simply click on the tab and adjust the audio codec, bitrate, channels, and sample rate to compress video using VLC.

VLC video compress
VLC compress video - method 4

5. Compress Video VLC by Cutting Unnecessary Video Segment

The VLC video compressor does not offer a built-in option for cutting to remove unwanted segments. However, you can use the Record function to capture the desired and necessary clips and compress video using VLC without losing quality. To do that, open the VLC video compression tool:

Step 1. Load the video you wish to compress in the VLC video compressor and select the View > Advanced Controls in the menu, and a new toolbar should appear at the bottom of the preview window.

Step 2. Play the video or scroll around to the starting point from where you want to cut.

VLC video compress
VLC compress video - method 5

Step 3. Click on the red Record button, and once you reach the ending point, hit the Record button to stop to reduce video size in VLC. The trimmed video shall be automatically saved as a new video in your Videos folders on your PC.

Better VLC Video Compressor Alternative to Reduce Video Size

Video compression using VLC is a cost-free option, but the process might be a little complicated and sluggish for certain users, especially, those who own an outdated computer setup or lack experience with video compression. Besides, users have been encountering problems with VLC video compression, including VLC low compression rate, slow compression speed, compromised output quality, excessively large compressed video file, etc. Don't worry if you happen to be dealing with these issues since here we will introduce a more user-friendly and professional video compressor software that can reduce video file size in a much faster manner than VLC compress video - VideoProc Converter.

The VLC video compressor alternative allows you to easily compress video with better quality reserved compared to VLC video compression. You can enter the desired file size directly or use the compression ratio slider with values ranging from 10% to 100% to compress video. Less noted but equally significant, with the aid of full GPU acceleration, the video compression speed could be radically improved, at least 47x faster compared to VLC.

VideoProc Converter software box

VideoProc Converter - Best VLC Video Compressor Alternative to Reduce Video Size

  • Reduce file size up to 90% with the maximum quality reserved compared to the VLC video compression tool.
  • 7 solutions to compress MP4/MKV 4K, high FPS, video for all occasions with estimated output size.
  • Compress video to YouTube recommended bitrate range, codec, resolution, CBR/ABR/VBR
  • Unique Level-3 GPU acceleration tech to compress 8K/4K/1080p video at 47X real time faster speed.

Step 1. Free download VideoProc Converter, launch it, and click Video > +Video to import your source video.

VLC video compress - VideoProc Converter
VLC compress video - method 6

Step 2. Compress your video file size.

VideoProc Converter comes with a built-in compression toolkit, allowing you to directly specify the desired output file size or drag the compression ratio slider to reduce the video file size.

VLC video compress - VideoProc Converter
VLC compress video - method 6

In addition, you can also reduce WebM file size by:

  • Increase the GOP value.
  • Lower the target bitrate, frame rate, resolution, etc.
  • Transcode to a more aggressive codec.
  • Adjust the audio.

Step 3. Click Done to confirm the settings and then hit Run to compress the video.

As the best VLC video compression alternative, VideoProc Converter allows you to easily compress MP4 MOV, MKV, WAV, and other 370+ formats in one click. Plus, it also gives you the power to convert, download, edit, record, and more in one go. Free download the VLC video compressor alternative and enjoy a better compression rate and higher image quality now!

About The Author

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Jordi was an amateur tech enthusiast, but now an editor who has published hundreds of stories covering video editing, hardware acceleration, software review and how-tos. He is more like a "tech support" with adventurous soul, eagerly grabbing cutting-edge video technologies off in a professional yet easy-to-understand way. Enjoys gliding, diving, etc.

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VideoProc is a primary branch of Digiarty Software that is a leading multimedia software company founded in 2006. It endeavors to provide easier hardware-accelerated video audio editing and conversion solutions. The installed base of the VideoProc product has reached 4.6 million units from 180 countries since its release 5 years ago.

Any third-party product names and trademarks used on this website, including but not limited to Apple, are property of their respective owners.

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