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Last reply by 09-03-2016 Solved
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VLC Media Player WARNING

Note that this is a Legacy FAQ and contains information that is no longer current. See the Update below for current status.

Dell Tech Support is denying warranty service for speaker damage if the popular VLC Media Player is installed on a Dell laptop. Also we got a report that service was denied because a KMPlayer was installed on a laptop. The warranty remains valid on the other parts of the laptop.

VLC has a feature that can make the audio seem louder than other players. VLC achieves this by using a process that creates hard clipping (see below in this thread for explanation) which can damage small speakers. Dell has tested VLC and verified that the speakers can be damaged after several hours of using VLC. I believe that HP (Hewlett Packard) also says that VLC damage is not covered under its warranty.

If you choose to use the VLC player, it is suggested that you do not set the volume higher than 100% in order to avoid potential damage to the speakers. If you contact Tech Support about a speaker problem, it is suggested that you do not have the player installed.

If you have already been denied warranty service for a speaker problem only because you have the VLC player, please see the next post which is marked "Verified Answer". Send DELL - Terry B a private message. The way to do that is to click on his link, which is his name in blue letters. That will take you to his profile page where you can click on "send a private message" or "add as friend".

UPDATE 1-27-2016

As of 3-3-2014 the exclusion no longer applied to models that have Windows 8 or 8.1. The exclusion still applied to Windows 7 systems that did not have the latest audio driver and BIOS installed.

The current version of the VLC Media Player boosts audio to only 125%, not the 200-400% of earlier versions, so the issue might be moot now anyway. (Note that there might still be a risk if you use software to boost the volume over 100%. Dell recommends to not go over 90%.)

UPDATE 6-16-2017

Within the last year we have received a couple of reports of owners being denied service again. My guess is there are a few service reps out there who didn't get the word that the exclusion no longer is supposed to be enforced. Best advice is to remove all media players except Windows Media Player before seeking warranty service for speakers.

Jim Coates -- 18 years on the Dell Laptop Audio boards -- since 2/6/04 

Replies (67)
2 Bronze
2 Bronze
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Any laptop speaker problems can occur because of multiple reasons. It is not because of using a particular software program.

Its like your eyes went blind. It did not go blind because you were watching too much ***. Get it?

2 Bronze
2 Bronze
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I have purchased a Dell Vostro 2520 Laptop from Snapdeal.com on 23rd September, 2013, but its speakers stop working after few days, I contacted to the technical support Dell and they asked me about the media players installed in the Laptop. I told him about Windows Media Player, VLC media player and then they said that VLC is the third party software and it damaged the inbuilt speakers in my Laptop and hence its warranty is null and void. Dell cannot refuse warranty by just presence of VLC in my Laptop and moreover the executive was pressurizing me to buy new speakers, even they had called me again to buy them though I have refused them once. That is the poor customer support provided by Dell to promote their products to customers.

 

I asked them "What is the definition of third party software in your terms?" He said, "Any software which is not provided by Dell is the third party software."

So, it means we can't use any software in Laptop then what's the use of it?

 

I purchased this Laptop on 23rd September, 2013 and launched my complaint on 3rd October, 2013 and I got reply from your side on 11th October, 2013 to contact to Technical support which is one more instance of poor Customer support.

 

VLC is a popular media player and lot of people are using it in their Laptops and I never heard about this type of problem due to VLC. So how can you be so sure that VLC damaged my Laptop's speakers?

In fact the problem was occurring before installing VLC.

 

Moreover, DELL hasn't mentioned anywhere in their manual or on their official website that VLC is not compatible with their Laptops.

 

I want full replacement of my Laptop as it is in complete cover warranty.

 

Please look into this matter.

 

<deleted your private information>

7 Plutonium
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Please look into this matter.

Hello. Instead of putting your Service Tag into this thread (it's against the forum rules), please send DELL - Terry B a private message. The way to do that is to click on his name in the blue letters. That will take you to his profile page where you can click on "start conversation", "send a private message" or "add as friend".

In your message include your contact information, the service tag of the notebook and any case numbers that tech support may have offered. Terry B will investigate further.

Jim Coates -- 18 years on the Dell Laptop Audio boards -- since 2/6/04 

5 Rhenium
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I want to invite again any of you that have been refused service by tech support due to VLC player to contact me via private message.   Please understand that I may not be able to help if you have used VLC player with the volume maxed out and ended up damaging the internal speakers, but for those of you that have never used VLC player or had a different audio issue other than failing internal speakers and was refused help I will be happy to investigate.  I know that a couple of you have messaged to me recently and I am getting to them and will contact you shortly.

I am also locking this thread for any further replies. Message me directly if you need help or start a new post detailing the nature of the audio issues that you are having with your notebooks.

 

 

Thank you

 

TB

Specialize in Laptops, Mobile Devices
#IWork4Dell

10 Diamond
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I edited to subject for clarity, since so many people are reading just the subject and not the thread and are getting the wrong impression. 

I'll add a link to this Wiki for anyone who needs further information:

How Using the VLC Player Can Affect the Laptop Warranty

2 Bronze
2 Bronze
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I have purchased this Dell laptop few months back having express service code

<ADMIN NOTE: Express service code removed per privacy policy>

, laptop has started giving distorted sound from its left speaker from past 2-3 days. They are denying technical support as i have VLC media player installed on my laptop.  I have mentioned them that I am not using VLC player, it has just installed and moreover my media is playing in media player given by dell on default. I have'nt changed any setting to play it on VLC. The media automatically plays on Default setting i.e. Windows media player provided by Dell itself. 

Please help me to get the issue sorted please mail me at my mail 

<ADMIN NOTE: Email id removed per privacy policy>

7 Plutonium
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Please help me to get the issue sorted

Hello. Dell is no longer supposed to be denying service because of VLC. Perhaps the person you have been dealing with does not know this. I am sorry -- this is really unfortunate that Dell is doing this again. Dell stopped doing it in 2014.

Dell_Terry B is no longer with the Dell Community Forum, so I am afraid that there is no one here with the authority to help you with this.

Jim Coates -- 18 years on the Dell Laptop Audio boards -- since 2/6/04 

2 Bronze
2 Bronze
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i am having the same issue, is there any way i can get my speaker replaced?

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