This problem gradually appeared on my PC but now it is constant.
I always used PotPlayer in the past and rarely VLC. I always liked Pot for the versatility of the commands, the slow motion, etc....
But now almost every other video I play is stuttering non stop, as if playing in slow motion but with a stutter.
But when played through Windows 10 WMP it plays smoothly.
Most of those files are mp4 with AVC video codec.
I tried fiddling with the Filter configuration in PotPlayer or VLC and also tried installing CoreAVC and imposing it as a default filter for AVC. Didn't work.
I also tried to clean the whole codec and media players configuration by uninstalling using smart uninstallers (the ones that scans for remnants in folders and registry).
And then I re installed but the problem remains.
What makes Windows Media Player so stable in the first place? If I knew that maybe I could look for a solution in the right direction.
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Unlikely to be the player. Unless you updated and it fowled your system. I do not use PotPlayer but I understand that it is now adware so you might have inadvertingly installed some background process that is using the cpu/memory.
Check Task Manager when you attempt to play and see if there is anything using up resources.
No, I am aware of the claim of PotPlayer being adware but it is only partly true. While installing it asks if you want to install an AntiVirus but proposes to decline, which I did.
Now I would like to mention that I was a SysAdmin for many years so I checked everything pertaining to CPU, memory and processes running alongside and nothing looked suspicious. Remember that exiting PotPlayer and immediately playing the same file with Windows Media Player invariably results in a smooth playing. If there was a an external reason it would surely affect WMP too.
My guess is that something in Windows prevents external players such as PotPlayer or VLC to run smoothly.
There's nothing in Windows that would cause third party media players to not work correctly. As a sysadmin you know that if that were true, we'd be chest deep in complaints about both Windows and the third party software. Windows isn't like Mac where the answer is, "Well, only use what we approve.".
My guess is Media Player is dropping frames, versus VLC and Pot Player are trying to render each frame. In VLC and Potplayer, make sure your video playback settings are set to Auto, which should give you best playback. If you're still having issues, try some of the other settings. In PotPlayer, if you press Tab while the video's playing, it will be bring up an OSD that shows the number of dropped frames. I know there's one for VLC also, but can't remember what it is.
But this does not sound like a sync issue. More of a congestion one.
So there are no suspicious processes etc. running. That is not they are since they can often hide themselves in 'familiar' names.
I would run the appropriate software to check for malware.
Older versions of Windows were prone to 'slow up'. I am still on Win7 and never had such an issue. But I guess even a bad update could cause issues.
I removed all of the players, again, and then instead only installed VLC and surprise, it runs totally fine.
So PotPlayer was the culprit after all, on my system at least.
The other thing is if you have one or more codec packs installed. They are more trouble than they are worth.
The comment was directed at users who might stumble on the topic.
From the changelog of the latest version (released 3 days ago)
"- Fixed a problem that certain PCs started playing slowly"