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Old 03-18-2011, 11:49 AM   #1
Registered: Oct 2009
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Lightbulb HOWTO: Play a movie on a projector without dragging over a window

Hi, I hope this is useful to someone!


Two of my friends and I do sound, lighting and video projection for functions such as prize givings, concerts, etc. This time, we did a fashion show at a school. For this we had to play videos (things like interviews and movie clips) on a projector. For casual functions, it's OK to use a laptop with windows, connect it to the projector, "extend your desktop" to the projector, double click the movie, drag it over, and maximize it. This was however a formal occasion and many different videos and sound clips had to be played in quick succession. Also, due to decor and lighting, the projector was not visible from the control area at all times.


I ...
  • used an oldish PC running OpenSuse 11.3 ...
  • ... and installed MPlayer and all the video codecs I could find in YaST.
  • hooked up my PC to a monitor, and to a VGA splitter, and the VGA splitter to another monitor and the projector, so that I could see what happens on the projector at all times.
  • configured my desktop for "dual screen" or "Xinerama".
  • made my desktop (Gnome) background black, so that the projector appears to be turned off.
  • opened a terminal, and started experimenting with MPlayer's command line options. After much trial, error and "man mplayer", this worked for me:
    mplayer -v -fs -zoom -xy 1024 -lavdopts threads=2 -screenw 1024 -screenh 768 -double -osdlevel 0 -xineramascreen 1 [video_filename]


The projector goes from black to video and back to black without problems. This looks really professional, and your don't even need the mouse.

  • Use "man mplayer" to find out what all of these options do.
  • Write a script with the necessary commands, replacing [filename] with "$@" (including quotes). Give it a simple name such as "m" (excluding quotes of course :P ). Then use
    m [filename] [other options]
  • Change the values for resolution, screen size, and screen number to fit your needs.
  • Write a script that displays a menu to choose the video to play.

Old 03-20-2011, 02:46 AM   #2
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Thanks for sharing that. I'm sure it'll come in handy.

Kind regards,



dual monitor, mplayer, projector, video, xinerama

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