MPlayer is a movie player which runs on many systems (see the documentation). It plays most MPEG/VOB, AVI, Ogg/OGM, VIVO, ASF/WMA/WMV, QT/MOV/MP4, RealMedia, Matroska, NUT, NuppelVideo, FLI, YUV4MPEG, FILM, RoQ, PVA files, supported by many native, XAnim, and Win32 DLL codecs. You can watch VideoCD, SVCD, DVD, 3ivx, DivX 3/4/5 and even WMV movies..
Another great feature of MPlayer is the wide range of supported output drivers. It works with X11, Xv, DGA, OpenGL, SVGAlib, fbdev, AAlib, DirectFB, but you can use GGI, SDL (and this way all their drivers), VESA (on every VESA compatible card, even without X11!) and some low level card-specific drivers (for Matrox, 3Dfx and ATI), too! Most of them support software or hardware scaling, so you can enjoy movies in fullscreen. MPlayer supports displaying through some hardware MPEG decoder boards, such as the Siemens DVB, DXR2 and DXR3/Hollywood+.
MPlayer has an onscreen display (OSD) for status information, nice big antialiased shaded subtitles and visual feedback for keyboard controls. European/ISO 8859-1,2 (Hungarian, English, Czech, etc), Cyrillic and Korean fonts are supported along with 12 subtitle formats (MicroDVD, SubRip, OGM, SubViewer, Sami, VPlayer, RT, SSA, AQTitle, JACOsub, PJS and our own: MPsub). DVD subtitles (SPU streams, VOBsub and Closed Captions) are supported as well.
See the web site for features and screenshots.
When playing back DVDs I find getting to the audio track for English overly complicated. I found a nice GUI for mplayer that has what looks like a more polished professional set of options.
When choosing the download I used the stable download that defaulted to English. To play the English audio track I used 128 which seems to be the default for English.
MEncoder (part of MPlayer) - now its time to get a bit more Geeky
MEncoder is a command line utility that allows you to covert your media from one format to another. Learning command line options is usually easy. Remembering them 6 months from now is the hard part. This is why I like GUIs. GUIs can sometimes be as complicated as the command line if there are a lot of options.
I like GUIs that create the command lines for you and write them to a file so you can manually create a batch file or simply make small changes to complete tasks faster.
MeWiG is a Windows Frontend to the MEncoder (part of MPlayer) using the .NET Framework. You should be able to crop, scale, deinterlace, etc and finally convert almost any digital video-source, without the need for commandline-options.