Recently I was trying to watch a DVD on my laptop. I’m running compiz-fusion with my ati-drivers, and had a problem with the video showing up. I kept getting a blank screen with a few frames showing up once in a while. I fixed this issue in vlc by setting my video output to x11. I use Gnome for my desktop, and by default, it uses totem as its media player. I tried everything I could think of to find a way to change the backend settings for totem which uses gstreamer.
Finally, after some google searching, I found the solution. gstreamer comes with a configuration tool to change the audio and video settings. It’s called gstreamer-properties who would have thought? After running this I changed the video settings to use X11 for gstreamer as well, opened up totem and the DVD played fine! Just thought I’d share this little tidbit.