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The Linux video "Swiss Army knife", which plays almost every movie format imaginable [1].

The player is rock solid playing damaged MPEG files (useful for some VCDs), and it plays bad AVI files which are unplayable with the famous windows media player. Even AVI files without index chunk are playable, and you can temporarily rebuild their indexes with the -idx option, or permanently with MEncoder, thus enabling seeking! As you see, stability and quality are the most important things, but the speed is also amazing. There is also a powerful filter system for video and audio manipulation. [[2]]

Note that you must configure a channels.conf file and store it in ~/.mplayer before you can view or record DVB streams. Instructions on how to do this are detailed in First steps with a DVB device.

Watching DVB streams

You can watch DVB streams with MPlayer by typing:

 $ mplayer dvb://

For a specific DVB stream (as listed in the channels.conf file), type:

 $ mplayer dvb://"STREAM NAME"

Recording DVB streams

It is possible to record DVB streams using MPlayer, but there is more functionality in MEncoder, a command-line encoder built on the MPlayer code.

If you want to record a stream with MPlayer, you can use:

 $ mplayer -dumpstream dvb://"STREAM NAME" -dumpfile stream.ts

This will dump the stream in MPEG-TS format to the file stream.ts (note that this file can be very large - ~1GB for 30 minutes). You can then use MEncoder or MPlayer to convert that file to a usable video format.

DVB Limitations

  • Only free-to-air broadcasts are supported. Decryption through CAM is not implemented in MPlayer.
  • There is (presently) no DVB subtitle support in MPlayer.

MPlayer and satellite dishes

If you are using MPlayer with a satellite dish that has a C-Band lnb LO: 5150 or standard Ku Band lnb LO: 10750 such as are commonly used in North America, MPlayer will tune the channel if you use the L Band frequency in your .mplayer/channels.conf file instead of the C or Ku Band frequency. To calculate the L Band frequency for C Band, 5150 minus frequency in Mhz equals L Band frequency in Mhz. For Ku Band, frequency in Mhz minus 10750 equals L Band frequency in Mhz.

For example to tune C Band 4.060 Ghz

5150 - 4060 = 1090

Use 1090 for the frequency in channels.conf instead of 4060.

For Ku Band 11.799 Ghz

11799 - 10750 = 1049

External Links