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I used to play videos from MP4, wma files, as well as form DVDs, but for some reason, I can no more. The file gets loaded and the player starts, but it is always a black screen. No display at all.

What could go wrong ?

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Note: I also get no error message. The player simply starts, but black screen. – jfmessier Mar 21 '11 at 1:23
  1. Open Gnome Terminal to give you a command-line
  2. Manully run vlc yourmovie.mpg from the terminal.
  3. What debugging/error messages appear?

On the specific point of which packages the codecs live in. The codecs for certain file-formats can be installed from installing the packages ubuntu-restricted-addons and ubuntu-restricted-extras. You may manually install these packages from the Ubuntu Software Centre if you know that you are legally allowed to do so within the juristriction that you live.

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I found out that the ATI proprietary driver was involved. Something that I still don't understand was making ANY video running in BLACK, without an error message. I disabled the proprietary video driver, and the video was working fine. I re-enabled the proprietary driver, and it was still working.

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