Fixed video output device problem with MPlayer when opening files

April 16, 2007

For a while I haven’t been able to play video’s using Mplayer from the KDE GUI in Kubuntu. Playing files through the command line worked fine though. It only fails when using the “Open With” command from the Konqueror GUI and choosing “MPlayer Movie Player” I’d always get a Fatal Error box popping up saying:

Error opening/initializing the selected video_output (-vo) device.

I’ve been using MPlayer quite a lot from the command line since I’ve been doing a bit of DVD encoding of late using AcidRip so it hasn’t been too problematic. Anyway, the problem is now resolved and what follows are some simple instructions that worked for me.

  1. When the problem occurs the MPlayer window should still open (it just doesn’t play what you asked it to).
  2. In the MPlayer window, right-click and choose Preferences
  3. Choose the Video tab.
  4. Change the highlighted Video Driver to something else. Mine was set to xmga, Matrox G200/… I don’t have a Matrox video card so that is probably why MPlayer was barfing. I changed it to xv, X11/xv and now it is working fine.
  5. Click the OK button
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