vdpau with Nvidia cards should get you great performance with
smplayer, and will ensure that you use very little cpu when playing dvds and x264 encoded video. As has been discussed in detail on the Ubuntu forums, it is very important to note that
Vdpau is two things. One, a display device, like xv. The other, a codec that can use the PureVideo chip to decode certain files
such as mpeg1/2 and x264. If your card supports it (see here for a list of supported gpus) it is a better option than the old
xv, and particularly
xll, which will use considerably more cpu.
smplayer there are some options that can be accessed via the configure button next to the
vdpau option (see screenshot), but you usually don't have to fiddle with these unless you have any problems with the video performance.
NOTE: It is particularly important to note that when
vdpau codecs such as
ffh264vdpau are being utilised, none of the following
smplayer gui options such as
deinterlace, etc, will have any effect. In the screenshot you can also see that 'disable software video filters' is checked when you click the
However, as noted in the Mplayer manual special options such as
deint can be passed on the command-line when using vdpau, although these are not usually needed; these special options are not supported in the
vdpau (with -vc ffmpeg12vdpau, ffwmv3vdpau, ffvc1vdpau, ffh264vdpau or
Video output that uses VDPAU to decode video via hardware. Also
supports displaying of software-decoded video.
For positive values, apply a sharpening algorithm to the
video, for negative values a blurring algorithm (de-
Apply a noise reduction algorithm to the video (default:
0, no noise reduction).
Select the deinterlacer (default: 0). All modes > 0 re-
As has been shown at this forum discussion,
deint is a option for the video out (vdpau) not for the codec
and so to specify one of these special options (where
vo is video output and
vc is video codec), you could use the following command (taken from the forum above):
mplayer -vo vdpau:deint=1 -vc ffh264vdpau 00007.MTS
So, when using
vdpau you don't really need to worry about these special options or any other settings in the
smplayer gui such as
direct rendering that you can't normally apply anyway when using