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Using VLC Media player could void your computer warranty

We all have heard (and probably most of us use) the VLC Media player. The player supports almost all video and audio formats, has plugin support and it works on almost all platforms but did you know that using VLC could void the warranty of your computer speakers?

An interesting post shared by HN user Mikecane shows a discussion on the Dell forum user Jimco reports that the Dell Technical Support is denying warranty service for speaker damage if VLC is installed on the computer, this only counts for the Speakers, other part of the computer aren’t affected by this.

The reason why both Dell and HP deny warranty service if you have VLC is because the media player allows you to use a higher volume then 100% something that normally isn’t possible, by using the media player with a volume over the 100% you will eventually distorts the speaker output and if you are continuously using VLC with more then the max volume (100%) over a period of time then even if the volume is kept at a lower level sound would be distorted. This distortion is permanent.

But VLC can’t make the computers amp produce more wattage than it was made to produce, so where does the increased volume from VLC come from? it does so by increasing the signal’s amplitude to beyond the 0 dB limit. As Jimco demonstrates, here is an image of the VLC sound under 100%

Here is the same tune played on VLC with the sound at 200%

you can clearly see that in the second example the average amplitude is much larger then in Example 1. So how can you still get your computer speakers fixed if you have used VLC? Very simple, just remove VLC from your laptop or computer before bringing it to technical support.