Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Two GNU/Linux computers are playing the same video with mplayer (or vlc or whatever).

How to sync the pause/seeking/FFw between them. Like when I press pause on master computer, the other one is also paused on the same frame.

Ideas? (Expecting both player-specific and universal approaches)

share|improve this question
Have you thought of multicasting a VLC stream? Would that work? – squircle Mar 18 '11 at 5:27
@squircle, Which program reads video and multicasts it and supports keyboard control for pausing/seeking/FFw like usual media player? – Vi. Mar 18 '11 at 10:11
vlc will do what you want. – Sirex Apr 18 '11 at 14:38
  1. Master mplayer: mplayer -vo yuv4mpeg:file=/tmp/master_pipe video.mkv
  2. Multicaster: /tmp/master_pipe | tee /tmp/pipe1 | nc -lp 1234
  3. First display: mplayer /tmp/pipe1
  4. Second display nc 1234 | mplayer -noconsolecontrols /dev/stdin

(something like this)

Seeking, OSD, ... is controlled by master mplayer's console.

Big disadvantage: even 100 megabit network is a bit too low for this.

Second disadvantage: A/V desync.

How to improve this scheme?

share|improve this answer
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Streaming using VLC:


vlc video.avi --sout '#duplicate{dst=display,dst=standard{access=http,mux=ts,dst=}}'

Client (variant 1):


Client (variant 2):

curl | mplayer -

You can seek/pause/resume it (although not cleanly).

share|improve this answer

We tried the Synergy option to sync three streams of video on three separate PCs running Windows XP. It worked, after a fashion, but not accurately enough for our purposes (exhibitions).

Every time the files looped, different ones would lag by up to a second. If the difference between them had been consistent we could have adjusted in the timeline, but it wasn't.

Now we use networked solid state players - rock solid.

share|improve this answer

V-Player 6 HD is a Linux-based product that does exactly what you want.

Several video players can be synchronized over a network by setting one machine as master and the others as slave.

share|improve this answer
I kid you not, this thing costs 560€. – slhck Aug 10 '11 at 10:19

I know this is a very old question, but I have recently solved it with mplayer and answered my own question here on superuser: master-slave with mplayer

share|improve this answer

I know nothing of linux, but the app you seem to want is here:

Good luck.

share|improve this answer
Computers are not identical. I expect if the method is not aware that it is video (just keyboard based) then after numerous pause/seek/rewind it will get desynchronised as one computer is slower and the other is faster. – Vi. Mar 18 '11 at 10:10
synergy lets you share one keyboard/mouse with multiple machines. – Sirex Apr 18 '11 at 14:38


If the computers are networked just screen share the two machines. Log into and play the video from the host using VNC. You may have to adjust the screen resolution to get what you want.

share|improve this answer
Do you expect VNC to produce good image with decent frame rate? And why transfer uncompressed data when video is already there (network may be wifi) – Vi. Mar 18 '11 at 10:07

You must log in to answer this question.

protected by Community Apr 1 at 13:39

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .