The free to use media player, encoder and streamer VLC has been updated by it makers VideoLAN. For anyone not familiar with VLC, it is an extremely useful open source tool for downloading and, more to the point, watching video on your PC.

The new 1.1 update, for PC, Mac and Linux, gets a host of new features in order to keep the media player at the top of its game. Improvements include support for encoding HTML5 video, GPU decoding for anything running Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Linux - however you'll have to be running on an Nvidia GPU to take advantage.

This, amongst other things, is because VideoLAN has not been able to get access to Intel hardware as VideoLAN says it is: "quite sad to be forced to recommend NVIDIA GPU, until ATI fixes their drivers on Windows, and until VLC developer get access to some Intel hardware supporting GPU decoding".

Nevertheless, VideoLAN has been stating that you'll see up to a 40 per cent improvement in performance, with underused features being relegated to extensions or being removed entirely.

If you're unsure of what this VLC business is all about make sure you take a look at our guide to the media player here, and if you're going to be downloading the 1.1 update, let us know in the comments what you think?