My ongoing experiences with Ubuntu, and later Mythbuntu, as a media center with MythTV. I'm also using the system for a virtual machine server, a mediawiki server and a general all around home infrastructure base.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Ubuntu Video Performance Woes

I had been noticing poor video performance since I first installed Ubuntu (very similar to what clinto describes here), but with MythTV it was really annoying. So it was time to address that.

Looking at the specs for my PC, I saw that I had a Integrated NVIDIA Quadro® NVS 210S Graphics card. But looking at the video card configuration in at /etc/X11/xorig.conf, I saw that my configuration was for a generic video card:
Section "Device"
Identifier "Generic Video Card"
Driver "vesa"
BusID "PCI:0:5:0"
EndSection
So I poked around for how to install NVIDIA drivers and came across the appropriate section in the Ubuntu Guide. I followed the steps to install and configure the drivers:

sudo apt-get install nvidia-glx nvidia-kernel-common
sudo nvidia-xconfig
I tried to restart gdm using /etc/init.d/gdm restart, but then I had no mouse pointer, so I rebooted the system and all seemed fine. Video at this point seemed very smooth and MythTV looked great.

Subsequent directions in the Ubuntu guide talked about configuring XvMC. They seemed to assume that /etc/X11/XvMCConfig didn't exist, but I already had such a file with the following line in it:
libXvMC.so.1
I went ahead and replaced with it with the following (after making sure such a library existed in /usr/lib):
libXvMCNVIDIA_dynamic.so.1
But then:
# xine -V xxmc filename.ts
bash: xine: command not found
So at this point I put XvMC on the back burner.

Next thing was get get the X configuration for my monitor right. I found the specification for my Dell E193FP LCD and then ran dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg entering the values from the monitor specification.
# dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg
Then I rebooted.

At this point all looked great. 1280x1024 resolution (ok, not great but as good as this LCD display was going to get) and video was nice and smooth.

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