@stevepusser: thank you for indicating the difference between encoder and decoder (I'm not so well-experienced in computers...). To answer your question, I cannot play h.264 in other places than youtube. In Ubuntu I do not face this difficulty, flash and other video streamings do work very well there. The only difference is that in Ubuntu the non-free Nvidia was installed, and not Nouveau. Could there be the source of the problem? In any case I give you the output of xvinfo:
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X-Video Extension version 2.2 screen #0 Adaptor #0: "Nouveau GeForce 8/9 Textured Video" number of ports: 32 port base: 63 operations supported: PutImage supported visuals: depth 24, visualID 0x21 depth 24, visualID 0x22 number of attributes: 2 "XV_SET_DEFAULTS" (range 0 to 0) client settable attribute "XV_SYNC_TO_VBLANK" (range 0 to 1) client settable attribute client gettable attribute (current value is 1) maximum XvImage size: 4096 x 4096 Number of image formats: 3 id: 0x32315659 (YV12) guid: 59563132-0000-0010-8000-00aa00389b71 bits per pixel: 12 number of planes: 3 type: YUV (planar) id: 0x30323449 (I420) guid: 49343230-0000-0010-8000-00aa00389b71 bits per pixel: 12 number of planes: 3 type: YUV (planar) id: 0x32595559 (YUY2) guid: 59555932-0000-0010-8000-00aa00389b71 bits per pixel: 16 number of planes: 1 type: YUV (packed)
Now it is time to go to bed. This weekend I need time for a study, but I will occassionaly have a look in this forum. I'm really enthousiast to use Debian, despite, or perhaps just thanks to puzzling, I learn a lot!