[K12OSN] Pixelation with MPlayer

David Hopkins dahopkins429 at gmail.com
Mon Mar 5 12:00:37 UTC 2007

Didn't mean for this to cause problems, so to speak, but ... what I have
observed is that the video clip is mostly watchable at the 320x240
resolution that seems to be the 'native' resolution of the clip.  However,
it pixelates which is where the teachers start chiming in about the inferior
quality.  It does get worse as the clips get larger:  A 5Mb clip and an
'extended' version of the clip that is 13Mb do not have the same playback
characteristics, with the larger and longer clip looking worse.

My clients consist of Epia 533-based systems and donated Compaq EN SFF
systems.  Either can play back without issues as long as they are fat
clients. I have Gb from the server to the switch and 100Mb to the clients.

 If I specify using X11-only, then MPlayer says that the Compaq does not
have the resources to play back the video.  Using Xv, it does but is
pixelated on fast motion scenes. :(

MPlayer has alot of options for framedropping, lower fps playback, etc, and
I will try and play with these to see if there is some magic combination
that provides overall better quality.

I really hope that the Atlanta work goes well since it will help me when I
periodically try to the the State of Delaware DOE interested in the thin
client approach.  I have a few Reps and Senators that know about the option,
but getting them to commit time to really looking at it has been tough and
little glitches like lower quality movie playback seems to 'impress' them
more than the phenomenal uptime of the systems, ease of use, ease of
management, etc.

Slightly off-topic, but the same instuctor that is really vocal about the
playback also was vocal about not getting sound on a video clip a few weeks
back.  After playing it back in a pure Windows environment, it was finally
possible to convince him that the clip in question didn't, in fact, have any
sound and was only video.

Dave Hopkins
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