How to privately stream video with VLC for Windows

Learn how to share synced video across Windows computers on your home or office network.

VideoLAN (VLC) is an awesome media player that offers many features to its users for no cost. One of these features is the ability to stream videos across the same network. The steps are a little lengthy your first time through them, but are totally worth the time. So here's how to watch a synced video at home or work so everyone can enjoy it at the same time.

If you don't already have it, you can download VLC for free.

Setting up the server:

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

Step 1: Open VLC and then open the Media menu. Select Stream from the list of options.

Step 2: Click the Add button under the File tab. Browse to the file you'd like to stream. Note that if you wish to stream multiple files in a row, you'll first need to create a playlist file. If this is the case, you'll want to select that playlist here.

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

Step 3: Press the Stream button in the bottom right-hand corner of the window.

Step 4: In the new window that appears, click the Next button.

Steps 5 and 6. Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

Step 5: Open the drop-down menu that is labeled New destination. Select RTP / MPEG Transport Stream from the list and click Add.

Step 6: Now you'll have to enter the local IP address of the device you'd like to allow streaming to. The base port can be left at its default.

Repeat steps 5 and 6 for each computer that will need access to the stream.

Tip: If you want to watch the video on the computer you're streaming from, you will need to add it using the same directions provided in steps 5 and 6.

Steps 7 and 8. Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

Step 7: Uncheck the option labeled Active Transcoding under the Transcoding.

Step 8: Click on the Option label. If you're having trouble seeing this button, it's because it looks more like a heading for a new area than an actual button (a flaw in the VLC UI). Hint: It's near the bottom of the window.

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

Step 9: Under Miscellaneous Options, check the option labeled Stream all elementary streams and SAP announce. Enter a name for the stream in the text box next to SAP announce and click the Stream button in the bottom right-hand corner.

Setting up the client:

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

Step 1: Open VLC and click on the Show playlist button. If you don't see this button, you may be running an old copy of VLC.

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

Step 2: Expand the menu for Local Network and select Network streams (SAP) from the list.

Step 3: The stream you set up will appear in this list under the name given in step 9. Select it and hit play to begin streaming the video.


How do you stream videos at home or work? And what video player is your favorite?

 

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