The Raspberry Pi is a great device for video playback using its HDMI output. It is popularly used as a HTPC by installing a full-blown media player solution like OSMC (formerly RaspBMC) or OpenELEC. What if you do not want such a heavy-handed solution, but just need the ability to play a video file now and then?

OMXPlayer is a command-line video player written specifically for the capabilities of the Raspberry Pi. It is filled with features and can output to the HDMI of the Pi.

  • SSH into your Raspbian and install it:
$ sudo apt-get install omxplayer
  • Make sure your HDMI is forced to turn on at boot, as described here.

  • Shutdown your Pi and your TV. Connect the Pi to the TV using a HDMI cable. Power on the TV first and choose the HDMI input. Next, power on the Pi.

  • SSH to the Pi and play the video file you want using OMXPlayer:

$ omxplayer foo.mkv
  • For the keyboard shortcuts to control the player:
$ omxplayer --help
  • Though command-line is great for setting up and debugging, if you need to play videos frequently, then consider using the OMX Remote on your Android device. You can browse the files on your Pi and play any of them effortlessly using OMXPlayer using this app. I highly recommend it!

Tried with: OMXPlayer 0.3.6, OMX Remote 1.9 and Raspbian 7

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