4

Welcome to CyberLink Member Zone

PowerDVD

7 Best Free Video/Media Players for Windows 10 in 2022

Last Updated on Apr. 8, 2022 – by David Morgan
Add to My Favorites
The Best Video Players for Windows 10

Since most computers come installed with a video player, why would anyone hassle with downloading a third-party software? Simple, these built-in media and video players only support a limited range of formats, meaning that half of the time you can’t open the files you need. 

You also don’t want to be in a situation where you have multiple players - one audio, one for video, and one for streaming - because your media player can’t handle the files. You can install plug-ins and codecs to improve compatibility, but you still might not be able to play some videos. All of this is time-consuming and takes up space on your computer, causing everything to run more sluggish. 

When choosing a video/media player for Windows, your primary consideration should be the ability to play the widest range of video and audio files, without downloading any plug-ins. 

In this article, we’ve found the best video/media players that make it easy to watch your favorite videos - no codes or troubleshooting required. 

Top 3 Free Video/Media Players for Windows 10 in 2022 Snapshot

PowerDVD Logo

1. PowerDVD - Best Overall

PowerDVD is the best multimedia player for Windows 10 which allows you to download, organize, stream, share, and play your movies, music, photos, and more. It has support for almost every file format for digital files, as well as DVD and Blu-ray. PowerDVD can also screencast to your big screen TV, giving you a cinematic experience with improved audio and video. More Info >

GOM Player Logo

2. GOM Player - Best for Subtitles

GOM Player is a free video/media player compatible with Windows 10. It features extended video playback functionality, including support for 8K. It is user-friendly with a fully-customizable interface. It comes loaded with built-in codecs, so if it doesn’t already support a file format, you can easily find and download the codec that does. More Info >

5KPlayer Logo

3. 5KPlayer - Best for Screencast

5KPlayer is a video player for Windows 10 that provides flawless video and audio streaming and supports a large number of formats. It supports 360-degree and VR video, has screen recording capabilities, and an embedded video converter. More Info >

What is a Video/Media Player?

A video player, also known as a media player, is a software application for playing data from a variety of media files, such as MP3, DVD, CD, VCD, streaming services, etc on your desktop, mobile, or tablet. This software allows you to control playback with fundamental features to stop, pause, fast forward, and rewind.

7 Best Free Video/Media Players for Windows 10 in 2022

1. PowerDVD - Best Overall

PowerDVD Interface

Compatibility: Windows 

Overall Rating: 10/10

Format Support: 10/10

Key Features

PowerDVD for Windows 10 is the best video player on this list because it offers a wide range of format support for practically any video or audio file. It also allows you to play, screencast or easily share your entire library of photos, videos, and music, as well as Blu-rays, DVDs and VOB files.  You can do all this and more with stellar sound and video quality. 

All media files are easily searchable, and there are media organization tools to help manage your growing collection. With CyberLink’s Cloud, you can store 100s of videos and watch them on your desktop, tablet, or mobile device with the PowerPlayer app

PowerDVD has media casting capability with Chromecast, Amazon FireTV, Roku, and Apple TV, so you can watch your videos on the big screen. 

Enjoy a cinema-like experience with improved HDR, color, lighting, and audio with True Theater video and Dolby. PowerDVD video player gives you a choice of layouts to optimize viewing experience whether on PC or TV. 

There is a manual option to change brightness, hue, and saturation, but the software automatically upscales the quality of any DVD or Blu-ray. You can even change regions in case you bought a DVD from another country.

PowerDVD for Windows 10 is a fully-featured multimedia software. The interface is clean and user-friendly. For instance, you can go from digital files to hard copy immediately, without having to change a ton of settings. 

Pros
  • Exceptional video and audio playback quality
  • Customizable interface
  • Big-screen TV mode with image stabilization
Cons
  • Casting feature is not available with copy-protected media

2. GOM Player - Best for Subtitles

GOM Player Interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

Overall Rating: 9/10

Format Support: 7/10

Key Features

  • VOB file player
  • Support for VR and 360-degree video
  • Mini web feature for playing YouTube videos
  • Pre-installed skins and logos for customization

GOM Player is a free media player compatible with Windows 10. It includes extended video playback functionality, including support for 8K

There’s a control panel to tweak brightness, contrast, saturation, time jumps, and playback speed, as well as an equalizer for audio. It comes loaded with built-in codecs, so if it doesn’t already support a file format, you can easily find and download the codec that does. It even works with corrupt media files and downloads any missing codecs to help them run properly. 

GOM Player is a good option to use if you frequently watch videos with the subtitles turned on. This video player has a dedicated subtitle button in the row of controls along the bottom. You can turn subtitles on/off with the click of a button, and adjust text size and placement. If you find a video without a subtitle option, GOM Player will automatically search the web and find and sync the subtitles for you

Although GOM Player doesn’t offer support for all file formats, the large codec library is available to fill in the gaps. However, downloading the appropriate codec every time you use an unsupported file can be time-consuming.

Pros
  • A user-friendly and customizable interface that is easy to learn
  • Support for screencasting
  • Large codec library
Cons
  • Installer bundles additional programs
  • The program needs to connect to the internet when starting up

3. 5KPlayer - Best for Screencast

5KPlayer interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

Overall Rating: 8/10

Format Support: 8/10

Key Features

  • Supports 360-degree and VR video
  • Embedded video converter
  • Screen recording capabilities
  • Deinterlace option for progressive scanning videos

5KPlayer is a free video player, MP3 downloader, converter, and radio player that streams online stations. It supports all major video formats and any-region DVD or Blu-ray and has built-in hardware acceleration for rendering 1080p, 4K, and 8K. With 5KPlayer, you can set your preferred aspect ratio and rotate videos recorded in the wrong orientation.  

You can download content from YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Yahoo, Vine, and more than 300 other sites, then save and watch later. 

5KPlayer will give you a true night-at-the-movies experience with TrueTheater technology, DLNA Streaming, and Airplay mirroring for Apple users. This ensures there is never any quality loss or lag when sharing or streaming content over wifi.

5KPlayer provides flawless video and audio streaming and supports a large number of formats. However, after a recent update, 5KPlayer has been causing computer crashes and other problems. It is also very difficult to uninstall and makes it impossible to use any other video player while the software is installed. Check recent reviews before downloading to make sure issues are resolved.  

Pros
  • Support for resolutions up to 8K
  • DLNA wireless stream capability

Cons
  • Very difficult to un-install
  • High CPU usage

4. PotPlayer - Best for Customizing

PotPlayer interface

Compatibility: Windows

Overall Rating: 8/10

Format Support: 7/10

Key Features

  • Side by Side, Top and Bottom, and Page Flipping supported
  • 3D and 360-degree video support
  • Supports various subtitle formats
  • Customizable platform

PotPlayer is a free and lightweight multimedia player for Windows 10. It supports OpenCodec, which means users can add whatever codecs they want without installing new ones all the time. 

From large files to broken files, PotPlayer can play them all with fast, seamless video playback and a rich sound you can fine-tune with the built-in graphic equalizer

The software is fully customizable, and you can adjust the brightness, contrast, and hue of your video clips. You can bookmark your favorite scene or chapter in a video and split audio tracks and output to different devices. PotPlayer will switch from hardware to software processing quickly and can convert HDR to SDR

PotPlayer is geared toward more advanced users, with lots of customizations, and novices might find the setup difficult. It is lacking some features found in other media players, such as online video streaming and casting. But if you are just looking for something that will playback videos with excellent quality, then PotPlayer is for you. 

Pros
  • High-quality video and audio output
  • Fast download speeds
  • Keyboard shortcuts available
Cons
  • No online video streaming
  • Doesn’t support some Blu-ray formats

5. KMPlayer - Best for Advanced Users

KMPlayer interface

Compatibility: Windows

Overall Rating: 7/10

Format Support: 7/10

Key Features

  • Slideshow creator
  • 3D and 360-degree VR playback
  • Video to GIF creation

KMPlayer is another free feature-rich media player for Windows 10. Watch up to 8K videosplus Blu-ray and DVD content. Control video and audio playback with buttons and hotkeys, and adjust video screen and sound with noise reduction and super high-speed mode. KMPlayer uses Chromecast to cast videos from your PC to your TV with no lag. 

KMPlayer supports a variety of subtitle formats and built-in codecs. It has been hailed as a “universal video player” because it supports 24 languages. Stream videos from YouTubeand other online platforms via URL, and then bookmark URL playback. KMPlayer comes with excellent sorting functions and the ability to create video and audio playlists

KMPlayer is not a simple software to use because it is packed with features. It is primarily for intermediate to advanced video player users.  

Pros
  • Supports a huge range of file formats
  • Modern UI design
  • 3D movie compatibility
Cons
  • Not for beginners
  • Uses lots of CPU

6. VLC Media Player - Best for Zip Files

VLC Interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux

Overall Rating: 6/10

Format Support: 8/10

Key Features

  • Synchronous Subtitles
  • 360-degree video support
  • Play up to 8K resolution
  • Fast hardware decoding

VLC Media Player is a free and open-source cross-platform multimedia player from VideoLAN, a non-profit organization. It has everything you need from a media player including comprehensive format support, streaming, downloading, and more

It plays most media files and devices, including DVDs, CDs, VCDs, webcams, and streaming protocols - but not Blu-ray. With VLC Media Player you can play videos while they are still downloading and play Zip files without individually unpacking them. You can expand VLC’s offerings with downloadable plug-ins to optimize video and audio playback for each device. It plays almost all codecs with no codec packs needed.  

VLC Media Player is highly customizable. Add skins with the VLC skin editor and apply filters to both video and audio. It contains excellent tools for tweaking audio and video playback and allows you to increase a video’s volume up to 200%. Search by album covers and make playlists to automatically play one video after the other.

VLC Media Player is completely free with no ads, spyware, or user tracking. It plays a wide range of file formats, making it a great choice for people playing very old or unusual formats. It is filled with features, but there is a steep learning curve. Also, you cannot use tags on VLC Media Player, making organization difficult. 

Pros
  • Fast hardware decoding
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Steep learning curve
  • No Blu-ray support

7. Kodi - Best for Streaming

Kodi Interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux

Overall Rating: 6/10

Format Support: 7/10

Key Features

  • Parental Controls
  • Stream internet radio
  • Video game and game controller support
  • Record and Watch Live TV

Kodi is a free and open-source media center and entertainment hub. Store all of your digital media in one place, including tv, movies, podcasts, music, photos, games, and more. 

Your movie collection is stored with artwork, cast, genre, and the TV library shows episode and season views, posters or banners, watched tags, show descriptions, and actors. Create playlists and party mixes in the music library and slideshows in the photo library. Import, browse, and play online content with ease. Kodi has support for a large number of remote controls, and can even turn your smartphone into a remote if you are watching on your PC. 

Kodi is fully customizable with skins and add-ons a-plenty. It has a catalog of over 900 add-ons to personalize your viewing experience. Since Kodi is open-source, some add-ons are added to the library that don’t exist, don’t work, or have copyright-infringement issues. Kodi asks its users to only use official Kodi add-ons for this reason. You can find articles with the best and safest Kodi add-ons available. 

Some add-ons worth noting are: 

PlayOn: add all your streaming accounts like Netflix and Hulu 

Black and White Movies: free access to classic films with expired copyrights

National Geographic: a large selection of free documentaries

Sports Devil: live stream sports

Kodi is a great place for movie and tv lovers to organize and store their digital files in one place. However, adding all of that content as well as add-ons means it can run slow and glitchy at times. Also, adding add-ons can be complicated, making this software difficult for first time users.   

Pros
  • Good organizational tools
  • Fully customizable
Cons
  • Add-ons are difficult to add
  • No built-in screencast ability

Best Free Video/Media Player for Windows 10 Comparison Chart

Software PowerDVD GOM Player 5K Player PotPlayer KMPlayer VLC Media Player Kodi
OS Windows Windows, Mac Windows, Mac Windows Windows Windows, Mac, Linux Windows, Mac, Linux
Beginner-Friendly Yes Yes No No No No No
Format Support 110+ Formats
Learn More
10+ Formats
Learn More
10+ Formats
Learn More
15+ Formats
Learn More
15+ Formats
Learn More
70+ Formats
Learn More
15+ Formats
Learn More
Screencast Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No
Blu-ray support Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No
Free Download
Free Download
Secure Download
Download Download Download Download Download Download

PowerDVD vs

OS

Windows

-

Beginner-Friendly

Yes

-

Format Support

110+ Formats
Learn More

-

Screencast

Yes

-

Blu-ray support

Yes

-


How to Use a Video/Media Player

Here is a step-by-step guide for setting up a home theater using the PowerDVD video player. Download it for free below and follow along: 


  1. Launch PowerDVD from the Windows start menu
  2. Enter PC Mode
  3. Under the Media Library on the left, select the Movies/TV option.
  4. Click the Film Strip icon, then Add Now to import all of the movie files into your collection.
  5. PowerDVD Add
  6. In the window that displays, select Add Movie Folder. Select the folder on your computer where your video files are stored and start the import.
  7. After the importing is complete, connect your computer via HDMI or cast your content.
  8. Plug an HDMI cable into the HDMI port of your computer and connect the other end to an available HDMI port on your TV. If your computer doesn’t have an HDMI port, you’ll need an adapter. 

    If you don’t want to connect your computer to your TV, you cast your media from your PowerDVD to any Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, or Chromecast device. 

For a more in-depth look at setting up your Home Theater with PowerDVD, click here

Best Free Video/Media Player for Windows 10

The right video player will allow you to easily play audio or video files and organize your multimedia collection in a searchable library. Ideally, you want software offering support for all media files and resolutions without the need for additional codecs or plug-ins. PowerDVD does all of the above and more, including cloud-streaming, casting to a TV or projector, offline viewing, and media sharing.

PowerDVD gives you the most cinema-like experience of all the video players in this article. True Theater technology and Dolby work together to upscale the quality of video and audio. 

The program can handle 8K resolution and Ultra HD Blu-ray. Use an HDMI cable to watch on the big screen, or simply cast from your PC using Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, or Chromecast devices.

PowerDVD is the best all-around media player for Windows 10 on the market.

Download it for free below.

Video/Media Player for Windows FAQ

1. What features should I look for in a video/media player?

The main features you should look for in a video/media player are:

  1. Wide universal format support 
  2. Simple navigation
  3. Streaming capabilities
  4. Blu-ray and DVD capabilities
  5. Video and audio enhancements

2. Should I pay for a video/media player?

This depends on your needs. If you rarely watch videos you can probably get by with a free player. If you watch videos often and want to get the most out of your content, paying for a media player can be beneficial.

3. How much does a video/media player cost?

The cost range of a video/media player can be anywhere from free to as expensive as $200.

Was this article helpful?

You May Also Like:

Recommend Products: