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What do I need to do to get MKV HD videos playing with VDPAU and also Blu-ray discs? Lots of people say you need to compile the latest MPlayer (which I haven't had luck doing) for VDPAU. I found an mplayer ppa that says it has VDPAU compiled into it so I'd like to use that.

What packages do I need for playing MKV files and Blu-ray with the video decoding offloaded to my GPU? So far I haven't had any luck with any of the tutorials I've found.

I'm just looking for a quick synopsis that will tell me what I'm looking for as I'm kind of shooting in the dark. (I didn't know what VDPAU was until a few days ago.)

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

As mentioned in my comment above, the mplayer ppa actually worked. I installed that, and smplayer from the same vendor and installed the latest nvidia driver through ubuntu's restricted drivers. I also installed x264 and ffmpeg (not sure if I needed to or not)

Then in .mplayer/config I put:


And in smplayer I had to specifically tell it to run mplayer with vdpau in the options -> video section.

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you can also start files with this in the terminal without having to change the mplayer config file mplayer -vo vdpau filename.mkv – tapan Jun 12 '10 at 16:20

By far the easiest would be to install XBMC. Download here. It is loosly based on MPlayer (or it was...) and FFmpeg but has all the codecs and options like VDPAU available and compiled in.

It's a lot bulkier than just MPlayer, but it will cover all the possible bases.

Of course to play Blu-ray they will have to be decrypted first (or use a script with makemkv)

Don't forget, you HAVE to have a compatible nVidia GPU. That's 8xxx or newer.

Some more information here:

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thx for the tip. Do you have to install any extra codec packages for this? I don't really know how it works with players in Linux, do they come with codecs or do I manually install them? – Brad Robertson Feb 19 '10 at 15:55
updated answer, butyes all the codecs are in the PPA – geocoin Feb 19 '10 at 16:05
I ended up installing the ppa for mplayer and installed the latest NVidia drivers (I have a 9400M GPU) and it worked like a charm!! I checked out XBMC but it seemed a bit too bulky (as you mentioned) Thought I'd stick with the much smaller mplayer. Thanks though! – Brad Robertson Feb 23 '10 at 1:21
ION? Acer revo by any chance? :) very nice media platform those. I have the 9300M in a ASUS LGA775 socket mobo. an old celeron conroe-L single core 35w cpu underclocked to 1.4G. with VDPAU for media it JUST FLIES! – geocoin Mar 1 '10 at 9:59

vdpau support entered ffmpeg mainline in 2009 but Ubuntu has not seen fit to build it in to Lucid. It's a compile-time flag. Presumably it makes ffmpeg depend on libvdpau, so what is needed is two packages (ffmpeg and ffmpeg-vdpau) which both provide ffmpeg-decoder, or similar. libvdpau could recommend ffmpeg-vdpau.

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