Stuttery Video Playback

Simon Morgan simon at
Sat Jun 24 12:15:39 UTC 2006

Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope!

Ok, so I'm having real trouble playing videos under either FreeBSD or OpenBSD.
Playback on OpenBSD is really choppy/stuttery, FreeBSD is a lot better but still
enough to be annoying. I only have access to a FreeBSD installation right now so
I'll stick with that.

It's worth mentioning that the machine in question is more than up to the task
of playing video:

CPU: AMD Athlon(TM) XP 2000+ (1658.54-MHz 686-class CPU)
real memory  = 1073725440 (1023 MB)
avail memory = 1041784832 (993 MB)

This is backed up by the fact that I don't get this problem under Linux.

The closest I can come to a test case is running:

  dd if=/dev/urandom of=blah

while a video is playing. Under FreeBSD this causes the video to freeze for a
second and the dropped frame counter to increase by a varying number of frames.
Linux, however, just keeps ticking along nicely.

I've tried swapping the video card between an ATI 9200 and NVIDIA GeForce 4 and
swapping the sound card between a VIA VT8235 and a CMedia CMI8738 but neither

I'm pretty sure that nobody that reads this will be able to reproduce this
problem but at least it means I have a way of easily testing things if somebody
is kind enough to help me try and resolve this problem.

Thanks for your time.

One man's theology is another man's belly laugh.

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