This is SO cool, even if its usefulness is somewhat limited. VLC, and also Mplayer support video output in the form of ASCII characters which can be viewed through a terminal window, tty,or even a remote session via ssh.
The main use i can imagine for this is if you run a NAT/torrent workhorse without X server,you could ssh to it and actually check media files.
To activate in VLC, go to Tools>Preferences>Video and then select ASCII from the outputs drop down. Colour ASCII is also available.”