Video playback problems with my laptop under Linux (play fine under Win)

By Jay Jay
Dec 3, 2007
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  1. Hello fellow TS'ers :)

    Some months ago, I switched over one of my spare boxes, an HP Omnibook 6000 (PIII 600mhz, 256 MB, 80GB HD) from Win2K to Kubuntu 7.04. Everything seems to be ok, apart from one issue - video playback.

    Under Windows, I can view every single format: Xvid/Divx, MPEG, DVD and so on without any issues, but under Linux the same films and clips will run with speed problems (jerkiness, slowdown) and the picture quality is severely reduced along with artefacts and pixellation.

    I've tried just about every solution imaginable and despite months of research nothing seems to resolve this or point towards clues. I have posted on virtually every Linux forum and specialist graphics group but to no avail.

    Trying a different distro didn't help - as a test I used Knoppix and experienced the same issues. So does this mean there is a problem with the open source drivers(codecs?) and my graphics hardware? (ATI Mobility P/M Agp 2X) If anyone can offer clues, suggestions or advice I'd really appreciate it as I've exhausted all other avenues and my current work-around is using Win2K on a dual boot just to watch films properly.

    Jay
  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu Newcomer, in training Posts: 9,431

    "every solution"? Really? Even the sledgehammer+anvil one?? Why do you even ask if "everything" has been tried? :p

    First. What video player software are you using?
    Second. Yes, your video and audio drivers can have a huge impact.
    Third. Running KDE or GNOME on that machine is just masochistic. Use Xubuntu instead.
  3. Jay Jay

    Jay Jay Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 38

    hehe everything within my realm of knowledge, I suppose destroying the machine would also have the benefit of destroying the problem too. I asked because I'm an optimist :)

    Ok, my current media player is Kaffeine with the Xine engine, I believe (although I have tried Mplayer and VLC too without any improvement).

    Jay
  4. Nodsu

    Nodsu Newcomer, in training Posts: 9,431

    You should stick with MPlayer until the problem is solved - it gives you the most advanced control over video and audio output modules.

    After you have installed Xubuntu (or just switched to a lightweight (read: not KDE or GNOME) window manager), try to find out what video driver you are using.
  5. Jay Jay

    Jay Jay Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 38

    Thanks Nodsu,

    Ok, I've downloaded Xubuntu and I'm using the Live CD right now (the wireless connectivity feels far more stable than Kubuntu's). Once I've backed up my files and installed Xubuntu I'll post back with the results...

    Jay
  6. Fragrant Coit

    Fragrant Coit TechSpot Maniac Posts: 579

    Check DMA is enabled too, in a terminal:

    sudo hdparm -d /dev/???

    insert your Optical drives ID where the ??? are

    it should give a dialogue like this:

    /dev/???:
    using_dma = 1
    (on)
  7. Jay Jay

    Jay Jay Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 38

    Update time... :)

    I've installed Xubuntu 7.10 and used Mplayer as recommended to playback video files: if I run Mplayer with my video preferences set to x11(XImage/Shm) then the quality is comparable to watching it in Windows, however the file cannot be watched full screen.

    I can watch video files full screen by setting the preferences to xv but I encounter the same issues from the past with a poor quality image.

    Any ideas?

    Jay
  8. Fragrant Coit

    Fragrant Coit TechSpot Maniac Posts: 579

    The only thing I can think of is a Video driver issue...

    I've installed Ubuntu on 4 or 5 old p3 Laptops without issue, but i never paid much attention to their innards.

    Try browsing the Ubuntu Forums, I've found them invaluable .

    http://ubuntuforums.org/
  9. Nodsu

    Nodsu Newcomer, in training Posts: 9,431

    Post the contents of your /etc/X11/xorg.conf file and the /var/log/Xorg.0.log here. These will contain info about the vid card and the driver used.
  10. mk_once

    mk_once Newcomer, in training Posts: 21

    maybe you have to unlock the medibuntu repository:
    and download the non-free codecs
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