Fix “VLC could not decode the format hevc” Error in Ubuntu

Today, I have encountered with the following error while playing a Movie from VLC player in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS desktop. Whenever I played the movie, it displayed the following error:


Codec not supported:

VLC could not decode the format “hevc” (MPEG-H Part2/HEVC (H.265))

Not only in VLC, i can’t play HEVC format files on any players. I can clearly hear the audio, but the video was not displaying. After a bit of google search, I found the following solution from Ubuntu forums.

In case, you have the similar error in Ubuntu 14.04 while playing videos in VLC player, try any one of the following two methods.

Method 1:

This error is occurred due to missing libde265 codec.

We can easily fix this issue by installing GStreamer plugin for playing H.265/HEVC media files.

First, add the “libde265″ PPA to your Ubuntu software source lists as shown below:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:strukturag/libde265

Update the source list:

sudo apt-get update

Then, install libde265 plugin for VLC player using command:

sudo apt-get install vlc-plugin-libde265

You can also install the following Gstreamer plugin and play HEVC media files on any GStreamer-supported players such as Gnome Mplayer, or totem.

sudo apt-get install gstreamer0.10-libde265

Now, you can play “hevc” formatted video files without any issues.

Method 2:

In this method, you don’t have to install any plugins. All you need is Google Chrome web browser.

Open Google Chrome, go to Chrome web store and install H.265 / HEVC player app. You can find this plugin from the following URL:

Chrome Web Store - H.265 - HEVC player - Google Chrome_001

That’s it. Now, type chrome://apps/ in the address bar, and then launch H.265 / HEVC player.

Here it is how H.265 / HEVC player looks like.

H.265 - HEVC player_002

We don’t need to install any extra codec, library, or any player plugin. Everything we need for H.265/HEVC playback support is already embedded in the H.265 / HEVC player itself.

Now, start playing H.265 / HEVC media files without any issues.

To play a Video click Open button in the bottom of player window, and select the media file to play.

Note: Be mindful that if your machine is too slow for decoding, frame dropping will occur which might result in broken images. The player will display a short notice when this happens.

Hope this helps. If you know any-other way to play HEVC media files, please share them in the comment section below. We’ll check and update this tutorial.

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