Enable Smooth Video Playback in Windows Vista / 7

If you’ve a medium / low-end laptop running Windows 7 (or Vista), you may be facing the problem of high definition videos stuttering and lagging during playback. This happens because Windows 7 usually sets the power mode on laptops to be ‘Balanced’, which compromises on some of your system capabilities, one of them being optimized video playback, in order to improve battery life. So the next time a video doesn’t run smoothly on your laptop, all you’ve got to do is to switch to the High Performance mode and get rocking with your movie.

However, using the high performance mode isn’t always recommended. For one, it will suck up your battery life faster than you can say ‘Stop!’. Using this mode over a prolonger period of time may even lead to overheating (my own personal experience), as it makes every component inside your laptop to function at full capacity.

Fortunately, if all you want is better video playback, you can enable the feature in balanced mode itself! Here’s how :

  • Right-click on the battery icon on the system tray and select Power Options.Windows 7 Power Options
  • In the Power Options window, click on Change plan settings under the balanced mode, and then click on Changed advanced power settings. Windows 7 Power Options Windows 7 Power Options
  • From the various settings available, move to Multimedia settings > When playing video, and change the Plugged in option to Optimize video quality (it should be Balanced by default). If you want smooth playback when your laptop’s running on battery, also change the On battery option to Optimize video quality (this goes without asking that your battery will discharge faster). Click Apply and OK, and enjoy your high-definition movies without a pause!Advanced Power Options

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