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With most video entertainment media being streamed and downloaded these days, it’s essential that you have a versatile UHD-capable video player on your desktop or laptop computer. There are many of these available, and when another one comes along, a fair question you might ask is, “What does it have that the others don’t?”
A few of the popular video players support UHD. 5KPlayer is not only a great UHD player, but it also has a number of other useful tricks up its sleeve.
Quite the Player
5KPlayer is a free 4K or UHD video player that also plays music. The main benefits of this player are the amount of formats it supports and its hardware graphics playback support. While UHD support is one of the things that can hold up conventional players (especially those that have been around a long time and are only just catching up to HD), this player will happily play UHD resolution videos using any available graphics hardware.
But playing UHD movies smoothly is only the half of it. The player also plays live streams and acts as a DLNA server and receiver, pulling in video from mobile devices and mirroring the screens from those devices on your PC, too. As a media server it will serve up movies to your enabled devices, letting you host a library of movies on your computer rather than filling up your mobile device with large UHD video files.
Installation is easy and straightforward, and I had no problems. One slight bump in the road is that in order to avail myself of some of the program features, I had to register, but don’t worry, as it’s free, and the features are unlocked immediately.
Note: you can choose not to register and give them your email for newsletters and other reasons, but the makers probably won’t overload you with emails, and the features are really worth having. Besides, you can unsubscribe at any time.
Using the program is easy. The home page is a grid of tiles covering all the main features. The grey tiles across the top list all the basic player modes: File, DVD, Music and Live (meaning video and radio).
I think they are all mostly self-explanatory, apart from Live, which takes a live stream for which you need to copy and paste the URL. There are a bunch of preloaded services to get you going.
The DVD player is simple and gives you the choice to play from disc or from an ISO file.
Similarly, DLNA mode takes you to the settings where you can choose the name of your server or receiver and set the place where recordings are stored. For example, you may want to set this to be an external drive if you plan to make a lot of recordings.
To mirror your mobile display, locate the airplay or allcast server on your iOS or Android device, and everything on your screen is replayed (and recordable) on your desktop.
Full, Fast and Free
5KPlayer is free, and while I could just list all that file formats it handles, that would take way too long. It’s safe just to assume that whatever files you have, it plays. All the usual suspects like MP4 and MKV are there as I would assume, but there are some really out of the way ones I wasn’t expecting to be supported like FLV, ISO and TS. The Live video and audio streaming is a feature I use quite a lot to access some of the more obscure TV stations – North Korean Central TV, for example. Also its comprehensive screen-mirroring features make it a must for TV-attached media PCs, if you want to throw videos and sound from your phone to your entertainment centre.
It would be great just as a UHD video player, but I think the additional features, especially with all of them being on both Windows and macOS and free, make it a must for your toolkit.
To download your free copy of 5KPlayer go here and find out why 5KPlayer may be your new favourite video player tool.
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