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VideoLAN Organization is the non-profit foundation that develops software for playing and streaming video and other media formats. VideoLAN is most notable for its flagship product, VLC media player.


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The VideoLAN project was started as a school project in 1996 by students of École Centrale Paris, a French engineering school. These students wanted to be able to watch television on their PCs. (They also wanted to upgrade the VIA Centrale Réseaux network so they needed a bandwidth intensive application to justify the upgrade.)

They began writing VLS (VideoLAN Server) and the VLC (VideoLAN Client) to stream and read MPEG-2 streams. They succeeded in serving and reading the first stream in 1998. These two programs were planned to be modular, which meant a core consisting basically of communication functions to be used by the modules. This allowed easy porting of the OS specific modules.

In 2001, after many months (if not years) of negotiation, the school's Director agreed to a change to the GPL licence. Developers from all around the world started working on the project right away. One of them (gibalou) even submitted the Win32 port 6 months later!

The first large scale multicast streaming tests occurred in May 2002. 500 students on the VIA Centrale Réseaux network were able to participate in these tests. In January 2003, the first MPEG4 streams were tested and realtime MPEG4 encoding was available two months later.

VideoLAN Dev Days

Publicity and outreach

VideoLAN projects

Here is a short list of the main projects hosted by the VideoLAN project:

  • VLC media player, the core and main program, is a complete video solution that is a player, a live transcoder and a streamer.
  • x264, a free H264 / AVC encoder.
  • dav1d, a free AV1 decoder.


  • Libdvdcss, a C library to access DVDs without having to bother about the decryption.
  • libdca, a DTS Coherent Acoustics decoder.
  • libdvbpsi, a C library to decode and generate MPEG TS and DVB PSI tables.

Discover also lesser known projects.


VideoLAN is to be written as VideoLAN with the first letter V capital as a proper noun, and LAN capital being an abbreviation for "Local Area Network". Incorrect spellings include Videolan, videoLAN and VIDEOLAN.

See also

VideoLAN's Administration

Wiki Admins

External links

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