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Old 03-07-2011, 05:14 AM   #1
davebrazier
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Angry Kubuntu slows during DVD playback, causing choppy quality.


I have an old laptop that used to run on Vista. It got so bogged down with excess software etc that it was barely running. There was no sound and it was unbelievably slow.

I'm new to linux but I know its supposed to be more stable (almost uncrashable!) and generally faster so I've done a complete reinstall with kubuntu (I tried a few different distributions with live discs and this was my favourite). All I need it to do is play DVDs - I have a netbook for everything else but the screen is too small for watching movies.

The reinstall worked perfectly and I love kubuntu. The sound now works fine and its MUCH faster.

Except ...

Half way through watching a DVD the system seems to suddenly slow down. The DVD playback becomes choppy and unwatchable and even when I close the player, the whole OS is painfully slow. Programs take ages to open. Even selecting shut down or restart takes over a minute.

And here's the weird part. A restart doesn't fix it. If I restart the system and try to watch the DVD again its instantly choppy. And the whole OS is slow. I actually have to leave the whole system off for a while (I usually give up for the night!) before it calms down.

The laptop is not noticeably hot. Leaving the machine on for a long while doesn't cause problems. It seems to be only when watching DVDs. The spec is not especially low (1GB ram and a reasonable processor) and it doesn't matter whether I use VLC, Dragon or Movie Player.

Can anybody please help me work out what's wrong? Thanks.
 
Old 03-08-2011, 02:25 AM   #2
davebrazier
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Update ...

Tried it with Xine last night and got this message about half way through:

"The amount of dropped frame is too high, your system might be slow, not properly optimized or just too loaded. http://www.xine-project.org/faq#SPEEDUP"

Playback from then on was very choppy but not as bad as with dragon, vlc or movie player.

Thanks, Dave.
 
Old 03-08-2011, 04:55 AM   #3
greengrocer
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I wonder if there is something wrong with the GPU cooling fan? Or if no fan, performance of the heat sink?

If you let the computer cool for a while, does the playback come good again?

Do you think you could spray the GPU with some 'freeze spray' while the DVD playback is choppy to see if it recovers?

Last edited by greengrocer; 03-08-2011 at 04:57 AM.
 
Old 03-08-2011, 08:30 AM   #4
ravikiran189
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Hi,
Make sure you are using your Laptop "Not on BED" where in you don't have any gap in b/w
 
Old 03-08-2011, 12:17 PM   #5
davebrazier
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Hi.

Thanks guys. I wondered about overheating but it doesn't seem hot at all. I don't keep it on a bed - its on a small bedside cabinet that has good air circulation all round. I've never heard of "freeze spray" but I'll see what I can find at the shop.

Any more suggestions whilst I'm looking?

Thanks,
Dave.
 
Old 03-08-2011, 12:57 PM   #6
eveningsky339
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KDE isn't much lighter than the glossy interface that ships with Vista. I would try playing video with a lighter desktop environment such as LXDE (Lubuntu). Also, make sure your fan isn't dusty and give the freeze-spray a try.
 
Old 03-08-2011, 09:16 PM   #7
ravikiran189
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Hi,
Seems theres a problem with your heat-sink coils......
 
Old 03-09-2011, 04:53 AM   #8
davebrazier
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ravikiran189 View Post
Hi,
Seems theres a problem with your heat-sink coils......
How can that problem be resolved?

There's definitely a heat problem. I wasn't convinced at first but I've raised the laptop on a box lid that I've cannibalised to maximise airflow and it seems to be working now. I think I'll invest in a proper laptop stand - maybe one that'd got built in fans.

Thanks to everyone who's helped,
Dave.
 
Old 03-22-2011, 09:35 AM   #9
davebrazier
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Thanks to everyone for their help. It does seem to be a heat issue and I've now solved it by getting a USB powered laptop stand with fans in the bottom. My laptop now runs far better than it did under windows and I am very happy. It is interesting however, how much more susceptible kubuntu is to heat issues than windows. I have to idea what might cause this but thought it might be an interesting point for debate!

Thanks again,
Dave.
 
  


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