How do I use my Nvidia graphics card for video playback in Linux?
Firstly, this requires you have a supported Nvidia GeForce 8 series or later graphics card. Wikipedia has a supported list here.
In the latest Ubuntu, make sure to have the following installed:
Run mplayer once in the command line which will populate a proper config file in your home directory.
Exit mplayer and next, edit that config file:
Put the following in your file, and then save:
Done! Now use mplayer (or gmplayer) to watch videos using your Nvidia GPU for playback instead of your CPU.
For a quick example, you can watch the twit live stream with this command:
mplayer -aspect 16:9 http://bglive-a.bitgravity.com/twit/live/high
Look ma – no CPU used to playback HD!