The Linux environment on personal computers has increased interest in applications available in Linux. One of the first things people want is a DVD player that can play movies for you. VLC and MPlayer are couple of good players that can play DVDs as well as streaming videos from the Internet.
There is this general impression that anything in Linux is intimidating for us mortals. They are strictly for the geeks. Now that many consumer PCs have Linux as the operating environment, one would be looking for GUI based convenience. Particularly, in something like a DVD player that many people would like to have on their desktop or laptop. Most such commercial products come with a GUI and you can get by without the jugglery at the command line.
What is best is always a little subjective. But then if you look at people's opinions, the applications favored by the most are likely to be the better ones. Based on that a preliminary survey showed me that MPlayer, VLC or the VideoLAN client, XINE, and Ogle were some products we should look at. MPlayer and VLC seem to have survived and grown over time. We would discuss both here in this article, but the order in which they are presented does not mean they are graded in any way. Both are good and you should consider them for use. Ultimately how comfortable you are with either one will decide which to keep for the long term.
This is a versatile player. It can play DVDs of course, but additionally it can play streaming videos and can act as a video server for streaming video in unicast/multicast mode over IP5 or IP6 networks.
It supports a whole range of video formats, most importantly MPEG4 with H.264 compression algorithms. That is the latest technology that goes into recording movie DVDs. All the HD movies are thus accessible to you. Besides playing Video DVDs, it can play VCD and audio CDs also. It can play DVB-s or the video signals received through the DTH service providers. The player also supports CSS encryption so that there is no issue in playing commercial DVDs that you buy from the stores.
If you have a broadband Internet connection the bonus you get with this player is that this is capable of playing several streaming protocols. That opens up a lot of video sources in the net for viewing. Many television stations around the globe have streaming feeds and one could enjoy these without having to pay for cable TV subscriptions. The player also has versions available for Windows too. The interface is very simple and has all the controls you need for playing the media.
This player too supports high resolution HD videos. The application is multi-threaded so that you can expect speedier operation in multi-core processors and the high resolution video operation without problems. This player plays the SVCD, VCD also besides playing the DVD. Commercial, encrypted DVDs play without a problem. WMV encoded videos can be handled. It plays full streaming videos too.
You need the gmplayer that gives you a proper front-end. MPlayer is capable of supporting on-screen display, sub-titles in nice, clean anti-aliased. It will show you the DVD menu also. You will need to ensure the required libraries are present for playing DVDs.