How to check a video’s bitrate in VLC

The bit rate of a video is a key piece of information in determining the quality of the video. Even if two videos are of the same resolution, a lower bitrate will result in less detail and clarity. Here’s how you can view the bitrate of every video you play in real time with VLC.

10 useful functions that are hidden in VLC, the Swiss Army Knife of media players

VLC is a powerful cross-platform app that can play virtually any video file and has tons of hidden features. There is a handy little tool that lets you see the bitrate of a video in real time. Higher bit rates mean more details, but also require more computing power and bandwidth. Lower bit rates may be easier to stream or play on older hardware, but you will notice some degradation in image quality.

NOTE: Most videos use a variable bit rate that can change from moment to moment. VLC lets you see which scenes are using a higher bit rate to identify areas that may cause playback problems or affect the quality of your video. If you just want to see the total bitrate of a video, check out our guide on how to do it on Windows or macOS here.

To find the bitrate information of your video, open a video in VLC and click the Tools menu and select Media Information.

In the window that appears, click the Statistics tab.

On this screen you will see a diagram under Input / Read. This will display a live view of the bitrate of your video as you watch it. Play the video for a few seconds to get enough data for this graph to fill out. The entry next to “Content Bitrate” shows most precisely what bitrate a video is currently using in the video.


As you play the video, you will find that the bit rate increases or decreases depending on the screen content and movement. The peak bit rates give you an idea of ​​how much bandwidth you will need if you want to stream the video over the internet without sacrificing quality or converting the video.

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