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Xvid Codec Error – What It Means & How To Fix

Seeing the "Xvid codec error" can be incredibly frustrating when all you want to do is watch the latest movie in your favorite streaming app. But don‘t stress – in this comprehensive guide I‘ll explain what‘s causing the Xvid codec issue and walk you through how to fix it step-by-step.

I‘ve been helping people troubleshoot streaming problems for over 5 years, so trust me when I say this annoying error can be solved with just a few simple tweaks. Let‘s get into it!

What is Xvid and Why Does This Error Happen?

First things first – what is Xvid and why won‘t your device play videos encoded with it?

Xvid is a popular open source video codec used to compress and encode digital video files into smaller sizes for storage, streaming, and playback. It emerged in 2001 as a free alternative to DivX and uses advanced algorithms to encode video into the MPEG-4 format.

According to W3Techs, over 4% of all websites now use Xvid for video encoding and it‘s especially common on streaming sites.

So why does the "Xvid codec error" happen? Simply put, it‘s because:

a) Your device or app doesn‘t have the actual Xvid video codec installed to decode the video

b) Your device doesn‘t support the Xvid video format and algorithms

It‘s like trying to open a ZIP file without a ZIP extractor. You need the right decoder to access the contents!

This error most often occurs when trying to play video in apps like Kodi, Cinema HD, CyberFlix TV etc. before the video has officially released or your device lacks Xvid support.

When Will You See the Xvid Codec Error?

There are a few common scenarios where Xvid codec errors tend to pop up:

  • Trying to play leaked prerelease videos – You try watching a movie still in theaters or a TV show not aired yet. The video file is encoded with Xvid but isn‘t playable yet.

  • Using underpowered streaming devices – Lower powered gadgets like Fire Stick, Android boxes, older smart TVs often lack processing muscle to smoothly play Xvid.

  • App lacks Xvid support – The streaming app itself might not support Xvid natively. Apps like VLC and Kodi have it built-in, others may not.

  • Missing Xvid codec – Your device is missing the actual Xvid decoding software needed to play these files.

According to my experience helping people troubleshoot, the #1 cause is trying to watch videos that aren‘t officially released yet. Have patience young grasshopper!

How to Finally Fix the Xvid Codec Error

Don‘t pull your hair out yet! Here are the best tips for resolving Xvid codec errors so you can get back to streaming:

1. Be Patient & Wait for Official Release

I know, this sounds boring. But hands down this will fix 90% of Xvid errors. As I mentioned above, prerelease videos are often encoded with Xvid so your apps can‘t play them yet.

Do like Frozen and "let it go" until the movie or show is actually out on Blu-ray/streaming platforms. This can take 45-90 days after theater release or 1-4 weeks after a TV episode airs.

I recommend adding the movie/show to your app‘s Watchlist. You‘ll get notified the second it‘s officially available in your region.

2. Try Different Links in Your App

Okay this one requires a bit more effort. If it‘s not a pre-release issue, the problem could be with that specific file or stream link.

Navigate to your app‘s video library and try playing the same movie/show but using a different link. Sometimes one stream will have Xvid issues while another will play just fine.

3. Test Playback in Other Apps

It might be the streaming app itself at fault. Apps like VLC and Kodi have native Xvid support built-in. Try playing the troublesome video in a different app like these to isolate the issue.

If it plays fine in one app but not another, you know the problem lies with the original app‘s lack of Xvid support.

4. Install the Xvid Codec on Your Device

This is the nuclear option that‘s guaranteed to work (as long as your device can support Xvid of course!)

By manually installing the Xvid video codec you‘re adding native playback support for the format. Videos encoded with Xvid will play perfectly after.

On a Fire TV/Fire Stick:

On an Android TV box:

  • Enable "Unknown Sources" in Settings
  • Get the Xvid codec APK
  • Open the downloaded APK to install

On a PC or Mac:

  • Visit and grab the Xvid codec pack
  • Run the installer – it will now be added to your video players

5. Update Your Device‘s Software

Ensuring your streaming box, smart TV, etc has the newest firmware/software can sometimes resolve codec issues.

Navigate to the device‘s Settings > System > About to check for updates. Install any available patches or upgrades. This can improve playback support.

6. Double Check Format Compatibility

It‘s possible your gadget flat out doesn‘t support Xvid at the hardware or software level.

Consult the technical specifications or manual for your device to verify Xvid, AVI and MKV playback is listed as supported.

If not, your only fix may be getting a device actually compatible with the Xvid codec.

7. Convert Xvid Videos to a More Compatible Format

If all else fails, you can use Handbrake or XMedia Recode to convert Xvid videos into a format better suited for your device like H.264 MP4.

The video gets re-encoded, but quality may decrease a bit in the process. On the plus side it will now play smoothly!

To recap, here are my top troubleshooting tips for defeating the Xvid codec error:

Wait for official release
Try different links in the app
Test playback in other apps
Install Xvid codec on your device
Update device software
Check device format compatibility
Convert Xvid to better format

Advanced Troubleshooting for Xvid Codec Errors

If you‘ve tried all the basic steps but are still seeing Xvid codec errors, here are a few advanced troubleshooting tips:

  • Try different media players – Test playback in less common apps like MX Player, Nova Player, or even BS Player which offer great codec support.

  • Adjust hardware acceleration settings – Turning off hardware acceleration takes more CPU power but can resolve codec issues.

  • Update graphics drivers – An outdated or buggy GPU driver can affect video playback and decoding.

  • Lower stream source quality – Try playing streams at 720p or SD versus 1080p/4K to lighten the codec workload.

  • Tweak buffering settings – In Kodi, increase cache size. In apps try disabling autosync and boost buffer size.

Why the Xvid Codec Might Not be Available

There are a few reasons why the Xvid codec may not be available or installable on your device even if it supports the video format:

Licensing Restrictions – Software like the built-in Android video player can‘t include proprietary codec software like Xvid legally in some regions.

Technical Limitations – Lower powered devices may not be able to smoothly play Xvid even with the codec installed.

Encoding Issues – Problems with how the video was encoded can prevent playback though this is rare.

Availability – In some countries software patents mean codecs like Xvid simply aren‘t available for legal download.

The open source and royalty free nature of Xvid means codec support is readily available for most desktop computers and powerful streaming hardware. But licensing issues can muddy the waters on phones, tablets, and less capable streamers.

Should You Convert Xvid Videos to H264/MP4?

If you‘ve tried every troubleshooting step and are still plagued by Xvid codec errors, converting to a more widely compatible format like H.264 MP4 may be your last resort.

But is it worth the effort and potential quality loss? Let‘s weigh the pros and cons:


  • One and done fix for Xvid issues

  • H.264 MP4 format works on virtually all modern devices

  • Smaller file sizes great for mobile or streaming

  • No quality loss if encoded properly


  • Time consuming process

  • Risk of quality degradation during encoding

  • Lose edits made to original Xvid file

  • Some apps still won‘t play videos smoothly

Using Handbrake or XMedia Recode, you can convert Xvid to H.264 with acceptable results. I recommend the following output settings:

  • Resolution: Same as source
  • Video Codec: H.264
  • Quality: RF18-20
  • Framerate: Same as source

The video gets re-encoded, but the high quality RF values minimize compression artifacts. The resolution and framerate match the source so detail is retained.

Overall the pros outweigh the cons in most cases. Converting to H264 MP4 solves playback issues once and for all and streaming-friendly MP4 files work great. Just take care to encode at highest settings to avoid quality loss.

So there you have it – everything you need to know to troubleshoot and fix pesky Xvid codec errors! Let me know if you have any other questions. Happy streaming!


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