[K12OSN] Pixelation with MPlayer

James P. Kinney III jkinney at localnetsolutions.com
Mon Mar 5 01:08:55 UTC 2007

I have had _NO_ success with streaming video and linux thin clients. The
cpu it takes to decompress and then the bandwidth it takes to send the
final video stream exceeds what can be done with LTSP.

A 320x240 video at 30 fps and 16 bit color requires 36.864 Mbps
sustained bandwidth. Pump that through an ethernet connection and add
30% for connection overhead. 47.9 Mbps. The network systems can handle
it but not for more than 1 system.

In short, playing a TV set over a thin client network doesn't work. 

Yes, standalone windows machine can play streaming video. Educate the
teachers so the understand that passive entertainment like watching
films and movies is done at the full class level in the media center. It
is not something to be done on thin client. They have some limitations.
This is a major one.

On Sun, 2007-03-04 at 10:05 -0500, David Hopkins wrote:
> During playback, the picture pixelates (is that a word?) rather badly
> during any scene with lots of motion.  Playback is using Xv, and audio
> is esd.  The comments from teachers is that 'Microsoft plays it back
> perfectly so why doesn't Linux'.  I am just guessing that the
> difference is a local install (Windows) vs how the thin client works.
> So, any suggestions on how to improve the playback?  I tried using
> -framedrop, which helped sync the video/sound better, but did nothing
> to actually improve the picture.  I have also noticed that MPlayer
> detects a server lag (about 0.56s), but shows no network
> lag/compensation.  Has anyone else noticed this on with their
> installations?  If needed, I can look at upgrading the switches if
> that is the issue. The servers are dual 2.4GHz HT Xeon with 6Gb
> memory, but the problem occurs with even 1 user. 
> Sincerely,
> Dave Hopkins
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James P. Kinney III          
CEO & Director of Engineering 
Local Net Solutions,LLC        

GPG ID: 829C6CA7 James P. Kinney III (M.S. Physics)
<jkinney at localnetsolutions.com>
Fingerprint = 3C9E 6366 54FC A3FE BA4D 0659 6190 ADC3 829C 6CA7
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