paulsm4 - Sorry, never heard of the guy (until now). My name just happens to be my old UIUC student ID.
As for the video playback, SDL seems to make it pretty easy, http://www.webkinesia.com/games/rawvideo.php
. But I have also been trying to parse some source code, and it may not be extremely difficult to make my own little avi player that would work through OpenGL (instead of using SDL).
I never really even considered going as low-level as xlib (and I probably shouldnt, but that could be fun too). As soon as I started aiming for libs built on xlib, I opened a whole new can of worms that I completely overlooked. Now, I get to read about GLX, Xt, and glitz. I think that some of them may be a little more industrial than I need, but I am very new to OpenGL, and some of the reading on those libs has been very enlightening.
What to do. I am now pretty confident that their are several solutions for me, and I need to quit finding more options, and just pick one. Im not even close to a guru, so I wont be able fully make use of any library I choose anyway. There are just so many options, each with its pros and cons, and it's just a little intimidating/exciting.
I thank you guys for your posts, and you'll probably see me in many more threads with many more questions (hopefully I can narrow it down by then)