Master Video Output Options

Most video players support a number of output options. Understanding the difference between X11, xv, SVGA, and other output settings can help you make the most of your video playback.

Not all video cards are created equal. After all, you can’t expect to play a game that just came out this year on a graphics card from 10 years ago. Similarly, when you watch video under Linux there are a number of different output options that are at your disposal depending on what your video card supports. Some of these options give you extra choices for video playback including hardware acceleration and the ability to scale the video. In this hack, I cover the major video output options and their advantages and disadvantages so you can better match your output selection to the abilities of your video card.


Where you configure these video output options varies greatly, depending on which media player you choose. For the purpose of this hack, I will cover how to select these output options with MPlayer on the command line, but other players require you to go into advanced preferences, such as in the case of a graphical video player such as xine-ui [Hack #55] , or otherwise use a command-line switch to set the option. Check the documentation for your media player for information on where to change these settings. All these output options are supported in MPlayer and should also be supported in xinelib– based players, provided the support is compiled in.

When choosing the ...

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