The Raspberry Pi makes a competent video player thanks to a wealth of software that you can utilize on it.
Thanks to the Pi’s small size and power-efficient hardware, it has become a popular choice for those wanting to play videos on their screen.
Below, we will run through the standalone video players that you can run on your Raspberry Pi. Each player has been heavily optimized to use the Raspberry Pi’s hardware to its fullest, giving you the best experience possible.
For the best experience, especially when dealing with modern video codecs such as H265, you should use a Raspberry Pi 4 or newer.
The newer Raspberry Pi’s will typically feature better hardware that will allow it to play a wider range of video files without issue.
If you want to use your Raspberry Pi to play videos purely, you might be more interested in turning your Pi into a media center. For this we have listed several operating systems that will transform your Raspberry Pi into a powerful video player.
Standalone Video Players for the Raspberry Pi
Plex Media Player
The Plex Media Player is a bit of an unusual video player for the Raspberry Pi. The reason for this is that it isn’t designed to play files locally.
Instead, the Plex Media Player is designed to play videos from a Plex server on your Raspberry Pi. This server is what will hold your media files and metadata and send that to the player.
This video player is best when you have a central location you want to play your videos from.
Video Player Operating Systems for the Raspberry Pi
RasPlex is the best operating system for those who are utilizing a Plex media server to distribute all their videos.
This is an optimized operating system for the Raspberry Pi that uses an optimized video player to stream videos from your Plex server.
Sadly, as development on this distribution has ended, it will only work on the Raspberry Pi 3 and earlier. Newer Raspberry Pi’s are not supported by this operating system.