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The main feature of XBMC is playing back videos. This page describes the settings and features related to video playback.
1 Key features
- Support for a countless number of formats and codecs. You can find a full list in Supported video codecs
- Full support of Playlists
- Support for Subtitles
- DVD video playback, including the ability to play imaged DVDs (iso) over a network
2.1 Main GUI playback controls
If you exit the playback screen while a video is still playing, the Mini Control will be available in the sidebar.
3 OSD (On Screen Display)
When playing a video full screen press M or Return (or the equivalent using a remote control) to bring up the OSD.
The Buttons on the OSD are as follows (from left to right):
- Fast Forward
- OSD Video Settings
- OSD Audio and Subtitle Settings
3.1 OSD audio and subtitle settings
- Allows you to adjust the playback volume
- Volume Amplification (Dynamic Range Compression)
- Allows you to adjust how much the audio range is compressed, making the loud and soft sounds closer in volume. This is useful when watching movies with loud sound effects such as explosions at night.
- Audio Delay
- Adjusts how long that the audio is delayed in relation to the video. This is useful when viewing poorly synced videos.
- Audio Stream
- If the video file contains more than one audio stream you can select them here.
- Enable Subtitles
- Enables subtitles
- Adjusts how long that the subtitles are delayed in relation to the video
- Allows you select which subtitles are displayed
- Browse for Subtitle
- Allows you to browse the filesystem for the file used to display the subtitles
- Set as default for all Movies
- Selecting this will make the current settings the default
3.2 OSD video settings
The Video Settings are divided into two pages.
- Interlaced Handling
- Auto Select - Tries to guess the best method.
- DeInterlace -
- Sync Odd - (Only for HQ Pixel rendermethod, also NEEDS an interlaced display: PAL* or NTSC*.)
- Sync Even - (Only for HQ Pixel rendermethod, also NEEDS an interlaced display: PAL* or NTSC*.)
- Video scaling method
- Changes the size of a video frame in order to match the resolution of the display device. All methods here are non-adaptive so they may produce different amount of aliasing, blurring and edge halos. There are no best methods it’s up to personal taste what method you should use. The methods are:
- Auto - If supported uses Lanczos3 Optimized when video resolution is lower than 720p (1280x720) and video FPS is lower than 30, otherwise it uses Bilinear.
- Bilinear - fairly simple and fast method (video resized with this method may appear slightly smoothed/blurred but with no edge halos also called ringing artifacts).
- Bicubic - more sophisticated method than Bilinear (more precise and slightly sharper video than Bilinear, but can introduce some ringing artifacts).
- Lanczos2 - 4-tap filter that uses a 2-lobe Lanczos windowed sinc function (sharper than Bicubic with less aliasing).
- Spline36 Optimized - 4-tap + 3-lobe filter, more precise than Lanczos2, which tries to produce the sharpest image with slightly less ringing artifacts then Lanczos3 Optimized (differences only noticeable with high resizing factors or when downsizing).
- Lanczos3 Optimized - 4-tap filter that uses a 3-lobe Lanczos windowed sinc function (comparable results to Spline36 Optimized, with less aliasing and more sharpness, but more ringing artifacts).
- Spline36, Lanczos31 - 6-tap filters that are more precise variants of above "Optimized" versions (they are sharper but might produce more ringing artifacts in some situations).
- Characteristics of different methods:
- Sharpness - Bilinear < Bicubic < Lanczos2 < Spline36 Optim < Lanczos3 Optim < Spline36 < Lanczos3
- Aliasing artifacts - Lanczos3 < Spline36 < Lanczos3 Optim < Spline36 Optim < Lanczos2 < Bicubic < Bilinear
- Ringing artifacts - Bilinear (no ringing) | Bicubic < Lanczos2 < Spline36 Optim < Lanczos3 Optim < Spline36 < Lanczos3
- 1 On GL builds these methods are slower than the optimized versions; this is the reason why they are not available by default but can be activated by advanced users in advancedsettings.xml
- Crop Black Bars
- Choosing this will crop any black bars encoded at the top, bottom or sides of your video. This will fix some issues with videos being displayed at the incorrect aspect ratio.
- View Mode
- Allows you to choose how the video is displayed. The options are:
- Normal - Movie is displayed so that at least 1 dimension fills the screen. No cropping will occur. Aspect ratio is unaffected.
- Zoom - Movie is zoomed in, and the movie cropped so that there are no black bars on screen. Aspect ratio is unaffected.
- Stretch 4x3 - Movie is stretched to fill a 4x3 frame. Aspect ratio is changed.
- Stretch 14x9 - Movie is stretched to fill a 14x9 frame. Aspect ratio is changed.
- Stretch 16x9 - Movie is stretched to fill a 16x9 frame. Aspect ratio is changed.
- Original Size - Movie is displayed so that the height (in pixels) displayed is the height of the movie exactly. No zooming is performed. Aspect ratio is unaffected.
- Custom - Movie is displayed using the Zoom and Pixel Ratio settings as defined in the video On Screen Display. See below for more details.
- Zoom Amount
- Allows you to control how much that the view is zoomed into the video.
- Pixel Ratio
- Allows you to adjust the pixel ratio that the video is displayed at. This can be used to adjust videos that are not displaying at the proper aspect ratio.
- Set as default for all movies
- Selecting this will make the current settings the default
- Video Calibration
- Opens the Video Calibration Window
3.3 Video bookmarks
This feature allows you to create bookmarks within your videos in order to be able to return to a certain point in them. This could be compared to chapters in DVD videos. In order to create them, go to the point in your video that you wish to bookmark, select the button with the folded paper (from the Videos OSD), and select Create Bookmark. To jump to a previously stored bookmark, simply highlight and select it through the Videos OSD.
You can clear all the saved bookmarks by selecting Clear Bookmarks.
4 Video calibration
The Video Calibration window allows you to adjust how video is displayed on screen. You can access it through [[System Settings -> Video Output -> Video Calibration]] or throught the on-screen display while playing a video. It allows you to adjust the picture overscan, the position that subtitles are displayed and also allows you to adjust the pixel ration. You must calibrate XBMC separately for each resolution that you use.
It is essential that you properly adjust the pixel ratio. Failure to do so will cause video to look 'stretched' or 'squashed' on screen. To calibrate your pixel ratio, adjust it until the square displayed on screen is perfectly square. It is recommended that you do so using a ruler to ensure that the calibration is as accurate as possible.
5 On-Screen Video Diagnostics
Here is an explanation of the sections that appear when the user presses 'o' when a video is playing.
D(Audio information: audio codec, bit rate, # of channels, ?, bit rate/second) P(audio queue saturation, attenuation)
D(Video information: video codec, colorspace, resolution, [Pixel Aspect ratio Display aspect ratio], average bit rate) P(video queue saturation, demux , current video bitrate , dropped frames, pullup correction pattern length)
C (audiodelay, a/v sync, edit decision list, demuxer cpu, audio cpu, video cpu)