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Is there a document somewhere describing each of mplayer's video output drivers and why'd you'd want to pick that one for a given circumstance (or why it exists) Would someone be willing to write that out here?

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  • mplayerhq.hu/DOCS/codecs-status.html - The first part of the list is the complete listing of 'working' codecs. I'll try to compile a list like the one you've mentioned over the course of the next few days and will get back to you- >D Good question. Cheers. Sep 13, 2010 at 2:20

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The video output drivers compiled into your version of mplayer can be viewed by running

mplayer -vo help

As to which you should pick when, some of that will be obvious from the help output (for those that target specific video cards[ mga, s3fb, etc], or output formats [aa, png, etc]). Some are obsolete (I don't think VIDIX went anywhere, or GGI). The others, I cannot help you with. I use xv when I can and fall back to x11. The others are somewhat specialised so unless I find a reason to use one, I wont.

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