Skip to content
Branch: master
Find file Copy path
Find file Copy path
574 lines (454 sloc) 25 KB


Video output drivers are interfaces to different video output facilities. The syntax is:

Specify a priority list of video output drivers to be used.

If the list has a trailing ,, mpv will fall back on drivers not contained in the list.


See --vo=help for a list of compiled-in video output drivers.

The recommended output driver is --vo=gpu, which is the default. All other drivers are for compatibility or special purposes. If the default does not work, it will fallback to other drivers (in the same order as listed by --vo=help).

Available video output drivers are:

xv (X11 only)

Uses the XVideo extension to enable hardware-accelerated display. This is the most compatible VO on X, but may be low-quality, and has issues with OSD and subtitle display.


This driver is for compatibility with old systems.

The following global options are supported by this video output:

Select a specific XVideo adapter (check xvinfo results).
Select a specific XVideo port.

Select the source from which the color key is taken (default: cur).

The default takes the color key currently set in Xv.
Use but do not set the color key from mpv (use the --colorkey option to change it).
Same as use but also sets the supplied color key.

Sets the color key drawing method (default: man).

Disables color-keying.
Draw the color key manually (reduces flicker in some cases).
Set the color key as window background.
Let Xv draw the color key.
Changes the color key to an RGB value of your choice. 0x000000 is black and 0xffffff is white.
Number of image buffers to use for the internal ringbuffer (default: 2). Increasing this will use more memory, but might help with the X server not responding quickly enough if video FPS is close to or higher than the display refresh rate.
x11 (X11 only)

Shared memory video output driver without hardware acceleration that works whenever X11 is present.


This is a fallback only, and should not be normally used.

vdpau (X11 only)

Uses the VDPAU interface to display and optionally also decode video. Hardware decoding is used with --hwdec=vdpau.


Earlier versions of mpv (and MPlayer, mplayer2) provided sub-options to tune vdpau post-processing, like deint, sharpen, denoise, chroma-deint, pullup, hqscaling. These sub-options are deprecated, and you should use the vdpaupp video filter instead.

The following global options are supported by this video output:


(Deprecated. See note about vdpaupp.)

For positive values, apply a sharpening algorithm to the video, for negative values a blurring algorithm (default: 0).


(Deprecated. See note about vdpaupp.)

Apply a noise reduction algorithm to the video (default: 0; no noise reduction).


(Deprecated. See note about vdpaupp.)

Select deinterlacing mode (default: 0). In older versions (as well as MPlayer/mplayer2) you could use this option to enable deinterlacing. This doesn't work anymore, and deinterlacing is enabled with either the d key (by default mapped to the command cycle deinterlace), or the --deinterlace option. Also, to select the default deint mode, you should use something like --vf-defaults=vdpaupp:deint-mode=temporal instead of this sub-option.

Pick the vdpaupp video filter default, which corresponds to 3.
Show only first field.
Bob deinterlacing.
Motion-adaptive temporal deinterlacing. May lead to A/V desync with slow video hardware and/or high resolution.
Motion-adaptive temporal deinterlacing with edge-guided spatial interpolation. Needs fast video hardware.

(Deprecated. See note about vdpaupp.)

Makes temporal deinterlacers operate both on luma and chroma (default). Use no-chroma-deint to solely use luma and speed up advanced deinterlacing. Useful with slow video memory.


(Deprecated. See note about vdpaupp.)

Try to apply inverse telecine, needs motion adaptive temporal deinterlacing.


(Deprecated. See note about vdpaupp.)

Use default VDPAU scaling (default).
Apply high quality VDPAU scaling (needs capable hardware).
Override autodetected display refresh rate value (the value is needed for framedrop to allow video playback rates higher than display refresh rate, and for vsync-aware frame timing adjustments). Default 0 means use autodetected value. A positive value is interpreted as a refresh rate in Hz and overrides the autodetected value. A negative value disables all timing adjustment and framedrop logic.
NVIDIA's current VDPAU implementation behaves somewhat differently under a compositing window manager and does not give accurate frame timing information. With this option enabled, the player tries to detect whether a compositing window manager is active. If one is detected, the player disables timing adjustments as if the user had specified fps=-1 (as they would be based on incorrect input). This means timing is somewhat less accurate than without compositing, but with the composited mode behavior of the NVIDIA driver, there is no hard playback speed limit even without the disabled logic. Enabled by default, use --vo-vdpau-composite-detect=no to disable.
--vo-vdpau-queuetime-windowed=<number> and queuetime-fs=<number>
Use VDPAU's presentation queue functionality to queue future video frame changes at most this many milliseconds in advance (default: 50). See below for additional information.
Allocate this many output surfaces to display video frames (default: 3). See below for additional information.
Set the VDPAU presentation queue background color, which in practice is the colorkey used if VDPAU operates in overlay mode (default: #020507, some shade of black). If the alpha component of this value is 0, the default VDPAU colorkey will be used instead (which is usually green).
Never accept RGBA input. This means mpv will insert a filter to convert to a YUV format before the VO. Sometimes useful to force availability of certain YUV-only features, like video equalizer or deinterlacing.

Using the VDPAU frame queuing functionality controlled by the queuetime options makes mpv's frame flip timing less sensitive to system CPU load and allows mpv to start decoding the next frame(s) slightly earlier, which can reduce jitter caused by individual slow-to-decode frames. However, the NVIDIA graphics drivers can make other window behavior such as window moves choppy if VDPAU is using the blit queue (mainly happens if you have the composite extension enabled) and this feature is active. If this happens on your system and it bothers you then you can set the queuetime value to 0 to disable this feature. The settings to use in windowed and fullscreen mode are separate because there should be no reason to disable this for fullscreen mode (as the driver issue should not affect the video itself).

You can queue more frames ahead by increasing the queuetime values and the output_surfaces count (to ensure enough surfaces to buffer video for a certain time ahead you need at least as many surfaces as the video has frames during that time, plus two). This could help make video smoother in some cases. The main downsides are increased video RAM requirements for the surfaces and laggier display response to user commands (display changes only become visible some time after they're queued). The graphics driver implementation may also have limits on the length of maximum queuing time or number of queued surfaces that work well or at all.

direct3d (Windows only)

Video output driver that uses the Direct3D interface.


This driver is for compatibility with systems that don't provide proper OpenGL drivers, and where ANGLE does not perform well.


Before to 0.21.0, direct3d_shaders and direct3d were different, with direct3d not using shader by default. Now both use shaders by default, and direct3d_shaders is a deprecated alias. Use the --vo-direct3d-prefer-stretchrect or the --vo-direct3d-disable-shaders options to get the old behavior of direct3d.

The following global options are supported by this video output:

Use IDirect3DDevice9::StretchRect over other methods if possible.
Never render the video using IDirect3DDevice9::StretchRect.
Never render the video using D3D texture rendering. Rendering with textures + shader will still be allowed. Add disable-shaders to completely disable video rendering with textures.
Never use shaders when rendering video.
Never render YUV video with more than 8 bits per component. Using this flag will force software conversion to 8-bit.
Normally texture sizes are always aligned to 16. With this option enabled, the video texture will always have exactly the same size as the video itself.

Debug options. These might be incorrect, might be removed in the future, might crash, might cause slow downs, etc. Contact the developers if you actually need any of these for performance or proper operation.

Always force textures to power of 2, even if the device reports non-power-of-2 texture sizes as supported.

Only affects operation with shaders/texturing enabled, and (E)OSD. Possible values:

default (default)
Use D3DPOOL_DEFAULT, with a D3DPOOL_SYSTEMMEM texture for locking. If the driver supports D3DDEVCAPS_TEXTURESYSTEMMEMORY, D3DPOOL_SYSTEMMEM is used directly.
Use D3DPOOL_DEFAULT. (Like default, but never use a shadow-texture.)
Use D3DPOOL_DEFAULT, with a D3DPOOL_SYSTEMMEM texture for locking. (Like default, but always force the shadow-texture.)
Use D3DPOOL_SCRATCH, with a D3DPOOL_SYSTEMMEM texture for locking.
Use D3DSWAPEFFECT_DISCARD, which might be faster. Might be slower too, as it must(?) clear every frame.
Always resize the backbuffer to window size.

General purpose, customizable, GPU-accelerated video output driver. It supports extended scaling methods, dithering, color management, custom shaders, HDR, and more.

See `GPU renderer options`_ for options specific to this VO.

By default, it tries to use fast and fail-safe settings. Use the gpu-hq profile to use this driver with defaults set to high quality rendering. The profile can be applied with --profile=gpu-hq and its contents can be viewed with --show-profile=gpu-hq.

This VO abstracts over several possible graphics APIs and windowing contexts, which can be influenced using the --gpu-api and --gpu-context options.

Hardware decoding over OpenGL-interop is supported to some degree. Note that in this mode, some corner case might not be gracefully handled, and color space conversion and chroma upsampling is generally in the hand of the hardware decoder APIs.

gpu makes use of FBOs by default. Sometimes you can achieve better quality or performance by changing the --gpu-fbo-format option to rgb16f, rgb32f or rgb. Known problems include Mesa/Intel not accepting rgb16, Mesa sometimes not being compiled with float texture support, and some OS X setups being very slow with rgb16 but fast with rgb32f. If you have problems, you can also try enabling the --gpu-dumb-mode=yes option.


SDL 2.0+ Render video output driver, depending on system with or without hardware acceleration. Should work on all platforms supported by SDL 2.0. For tuning, refer to your copy of the file SDL_hints.h.


This driver is for compatibility with systems that don't provide proper graphics drivers, or which support GLES only.

The following global options are supported by this video output:

Continue even if a software renderer is detected.
Instruct SDL to switch the monitor video mode when going fullscreen.

Intel VA API video output driver with support for hardware decoding. Note that there is absolutely no reason to use this, other than compatibility. This is low quality, and has issues with OSD.


This driver is for compatibility with crappy systems. You can use vaapi hardware decoding with --vo=gpu too.

The following global options are supported by this video output:

Driver default (mpv default as well).
Fast, but low quality.
Unspecified driver dependent high-quality scaling, slow.
non-linear anamorphic scaling

Select deinterlacing algorithm. Note that by default deinterlacing is initially always off, and needs to be enabled with the d key (default key binding for cycle deinterlace).

This option doesn't apply if libva supports video post processing (vpp). In this case, the default for deint-mode is no, and enabling deinterlacing via user interaction using the methods mentioned above actually inserts the vavpp video filter. If vpp is not actually supported with the libva backend in use, you can use this option to forcibly enable VO based deinterlacing.

Don't allow deinterlacing (default for newer libva).
Show only first field.
bob deinterlacing (default for older libva).
If enabled, then the OSD is rendered at video resolution and scaled to display resolution. By default, this is disabled, and the OSD is rendered at display resolution if the driver supports it.

Produces no video output. Useful for benchmarking.

Usually, it's better to disable video with --no-video instead.

The following global options are supported by this video output:

Simulate display FPS. This artificially limits how many frames the VO accepts per second.

Color ASCII art video output driver that works on a text console.


This driver is a joke.


Color Unicode art video output driver that works on a text console. Depends on support of true color by modern terminals to display the images at full color range. On Windows it requires an ansi terminal such as mintty.


Select how to write the pixels to the terminal.

Uses unicode LOWER HALF BLOCK character to achieve higher vertical resolution. (Default.)
Uses spaces. Causes vertical resolution to drop twofolds, but in theory works in more places.
--vo-tct-width=<width> --vo-tct-height=<height>
Assume the terminal has the specified character width and/or height. These default to 80x25 if the terminal size cannot be determined.
--vo-tct-256=<yes|no> (default: no)
Use 256 colors - for terminals which don't support true color.

Output each frame into an image file in the current directory. Each file takes the frame number padded with leading zeros as name.

The following global options are supported by this video output:


Select the image file format.

JPEG files, extension .jpg. (Default.)
JPEG files, extension .jpeg.
PNG files.
PNG compression factor (speed vs. file size tradeoff) (default: 7)
Filter applied prior to PNG compression (0 = none; 1 = sub; 2 = up; 3 = average; 4 = Paeth; 5 = mixed) (default: 5)
JPEG quality factor (default: 90)
JPEG optimization factor (default: 100)
Specify the directory to save the image files to (default: ./).

For use with libmpv direct embedding. As a special case, on OS X it is used like a normal VO within mpv (cocoa-cb). Otherwise useless in any other contexts. (See <mpv/render.h>.)

This also supports many of the options the gpu VO has, depending on the backend.

rpi (Raspberry Pi)

Native video output on the Raspberry Pi using the MMAL API.

This is deprecated. Use --vo=gpu instead, which is the default and provides the same functionality. The rpi VO will be removed in mpv 0.23.0. Its functionality was folded into --vo=gpu, which now uses RPI hardware decoding by treating it as a hardware overlay (without applying GL filtering). Also to be changed in 0.23.0: the --fs flag will be reset to "no" by default (like on the other platforms).

The following deprecated global options are supported by this video output:

Select the display number on which the video overlay should be shown (default: 0).
Select the dispmanx layer on which the video overlay should be shown (default: -10). Note that mpv will also use the 2 layers above the selected layer, to handle the window background and OSD. Actual video rendering will happen on the layer above the selected layer.
Whether to render a black background behind the video (default: no). Normally it's better to kill the console framebuffer instead, which gives better performance.
Enabled by default. If disabled with no, no OSD layer is created. This also means there will be no subtitles rendered.
drm (Direct Rendering Manager)

Video output driver using Kernel Mode Setting / Direct Rendering Manager. Should be used when one doesn't want to install full-blown graphical environment (e.g. no X). Does not support hardware acceleration (if you need this, check the drm backend for gpu VO).

The following global options are supported by this video output:

Select the connector to use (usually this is a monitor.) If <name> is empty or auto, mpv renders the output on the first available connector. Use --drm-connector=help to get a list of available connectors. When using multiple graphic cards, use the <gpu_number> argument to disambiguate. (default: empty)

Mode to use (resolution and frame rate). Possible values:

preferred:Use the preferred mode for the screen on the selected connector. (default)
highest:Use the mode with the highest resolution available on the selected connector.
N:Select mode by index.
WxH[@R]:Specify mode by width, height, and optionally refresh rate. In case several modes match, selects the mode that comes first in the EDID list of modes.

Use --drm-mode=help to get a list of available modes for all active connectors.


Toggle use of atomic modesetting. Mostly useful for debugging.

no:Use legacy modesetting.
auto:Use atomic modesetting, falling back to legacy modesetting if not available. (default)

Note: Only affects gpu-context=drm. vo=drm supports legacy modesetting only.


Select the DRM plane to which video and OSD is drawn to, under normal circumstances. The plane can be specified as primary, which will pick the first applicable primary plane; overlay, which will pick the first applicable overlay plane; or by index. The index is zero based, and related to the CRTC. (default: primary)

When using this option with the drmprime-drm hwdec interop, only the OSD is rendered to this plane.


Select the DRM plane to use for video with the drmprime-drm hwdec interop (used by e.g. the rkmpp hwdec on RockChip SoCs, and v4l2 hwdec:s on various other SoC:s). The plane is unused otherwise. This option accepts the same values as --drm-draw-plane. (default: overlay)

To be able to successfully play 4K video on various SoCs you might need to set --drm-draw-plane=overlay --drm-drmprime-video-plane=primary and setting --drm-draw-surface-size=1920x1080, to render the OSD at a lower resolution (the video when handled by the hwdec will be on the drmprime-video plane and at full 4K resolution)


Select the DRM format to use (default: xrgb8888). This allows you to choose the bit depth of the DRM mode. xrgb8888 is your usual 24 bit per pixel/8 bits per channel packed RGB format with 8 bits of padding. xrgb2101010 is a packed 30 bits per pixel/10 bits per channel packed RGB format with 2 bits of padding.

Unless you have an intel graphics card, a recent kernel and a recent version of mesa (>=18) xrgb2101010 is unlikely to work for you.

This currently only has an effect when used together with the drm backend for the gpu VO. The drm VO always uses xrgb8888.


Sets the size of the surface used on the draw plane. The surface will then be upscaled to the current screen resolution. This option can be useful when used together with the drmprime-drm hwdec interop at high resolutions, as it allows scaling the draw plane (which in this case only handles the OSD) down to a size the GPU can handle.

When used without the drmprime-drm hwdec interop this option will just cause the video to get rendered at a different resolution and then scaled to screen size.

Note: this option is only available with DRM atomic support. (default: display resolution)

mediacodec_embed (Android)

Renders IMGFMT_MEDIACODEC frames directly to an android.view.Surface. Requires --hwdec=mediacodec for hardware decoding, along with --vo=mediacodec_embed and --wid=(intptr_t)(*android.view.Surface).

Since this video output driver uses native decoding and rendering routines, many of mpv's features (subtitle rendering, OSD/OSC, video filters, etc) are not available with this driver.

To use hardware decoding with --vo-gpu instead, use --hwdec=mediacodec-copy along with --gpu-context=android.

You can’t perform that action at this time.