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Are you certain to have installed the video codecs? According to the documentation:

(Optional) ffmpeg, libgstreamer, libv4l, libxine, unicap, libdc1394 2.x.

You should have some/all of these packages installed (together with associated development packages) to add video capturing, video decoding and video encoding capabilities to highgui. The output of the cmake will show you, which of the packages have been detected and will be used in highgui. Enable full video support with FFMPEG. For example, on Ubuntu 9.10 all the necessary ffmpeg files can be installed using the following command: sudo apt-get install libavformat-dev libswscale-dev