Asus Eee Pc X101ch and Intel Atom: Get A Suitable Video Playback!

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Asus Eee Pc X101ch and Intel Atom: Get A Suitable Video Playback!

Post by sebastjava »

This is just a part of a group of short tutorials:

Asus Eee Pc X101ch and Intel Atom: Start With Linux Mint Mate!

Asus Eee Pc X101ch and Intel Atom: Fix The Speaker And Microphone!

Asus Eee Pc X101ch and Intel Atom: Get A Suitable Video Playback!

Asus Eee Pc X101ch and Intel Atom: Get A Precise Brightness Control!

Asus Eee Pc X101ch and Intel Atom: Get Those Missing Blue Function Keys!

Remember: I strongly recommend you Start With Linux Mint Mate! Some of the things described here will only work with Linux Mint Mate. But some others could also be useful on other systems.

Get An Appropriate Video Player: SMPlayer

Xplayer is not well suited for this Asus Eee PC. The CPU and GPU are not able to run the required frame rate. Lots of frames are skipped so it almost looks like a slide show. Lets go through some explanations and then we will find an appropriate video player.

This Asus Eee PC X101CH is based on an Intel® Atom™ N2600 processor. The Graphic Processor is integrated on this same silicon chip (IGP). These processor and graphic processor are from Intel's "N" serie, previously called "CedarView" serie. So i found this, among other things, on askubuntu:
How to install Intel CedarView drivers on Ubuntu 12.10 or higher?

I am fairly sure this is impossible. The problem is that CedarView drivers are closed-source, outdated and Intel is no longer updating them. The driver supports 3.2 kernel only, and its DKMS module fails to compile under any newer kernel ( including 13.04's kernel: 3.8 ).

Because the driver's source is closed, neither Canonical nor Ubuntu developers are capable of modifying it to be compatible with newer kernels. Also there is no way you could patch it on your own by following some magic guide, for such patch will never exist as long as the driver's source is closed.
_answered by Rafał Cieślak on
...So there is no available driver for this GPU. That means we can't use hardware graphics acceleration. But we can still get a much better video quality by installing another video player. We will install SMPlayer. We will also install MPV player. SMPlayer is a great MPV player front-end. Installing SMPlayer should also cause the installation of MPV (dependency).

So, using the Software or Package Manager (Mintinstall or Synaptic), we will install 2 packages:
  • SMPlayer
  • MPV
You should install SMPlayer first. Installing SMPlayer first should also trigger the installation of MPV.

Next, open SMPlayer and make sure you got the right "MPlayer/mpv executable" setting. Check this by opening Options > Preferences, go to General menu > General tab: you should read MPlayer/mpv executable: /usr/bin/mpv. It should be already set this way; if not, change it.

Now, go to Options menu > Preferences and change these settings:

General > General
Enable screenshots = false (unchecked)

General > Video
Output driver = x11
Start videos in fullscreen = true (checked)

General > Audio Synchronization
Audio/video auto synchronization = true (checked)
Audio/video auto synchronization Factor = 100
A/V sync correction = true (checked)
A/V sync Max correction = 0,10

Performance > Performance
Allow frame drop = true (checked)
Threads for decoding = 4
Use core AVC... = true (checked)

Now, try it! Play some video file from your hard disk. Still not perfect? You will probably get much better results by pressing letter F to switch to full screen, if not already done. Now, there are (probably) no frames being skipped so the movement is fluid. Pretty good for such a small computer!

Finally, go to: Start Menu > Preferences > Preferred Applications. Select Multimedia tab. Make SMPlayer your preferred Video Player, if you want.

Tested and approved with these versions:
  • SMPlayer Version: 15.11.0
  • MPV Version: mpv 0.14.0

VLC Player

If you prefer using VLC player, i guess you just have 2 or 3 things to change. Go to: Tools > Preferences. There, click on the Video tab. There, select Fullscreen Display with NO Accelerated video output. And, most important, set the Output to X11 video output.

Video playing must be in fullscreen, otherwise it's too slow. There are some little bugs when sliding through time when watching streaming videos; you should prefer SMPlayer, at least for this purpose.

YouTube And Other Videos In HTML5

Playing videos in HTML5 will use almost 100% of your Intel Atom CPU. So frames are skipped. And sometimes, there could be some cuts in the sound too! So we better find alternatives for such a small netbook. Well, there are plenty. I only tested one so far: i use Firefox's Video Download Helper to select and copy direct video stream URL and open it with SMPlayer. Here's how it works:
  1. In Firefox, go to Add-ons and install or enable Video Download Helper, if not done already.
  2. Go to YouTube and play some video.
  3. Click on Video Download Helper's icon in the Toolbar. You get a list of all available formats. Prefer something non-ADP, good resolution and MP4. Something like "1280x720 - HD720 - MP4". Mouse over it to click on the arrow that now appears, and then click "Copy URL".
  4. Open your SMPlayer. If not done already, follow my instructions listed above for initial settings. In SMPlayer, go to Open: URL... Your URL is already there, or just paste it. Click on OK, wait a few seconds and watch...
I prefer this one because i was already using Video Download Helper, so there were no surprises... But you could also try:
  • Firefox Add-on: Send to MPV. You would need to add a command-line of settings such as:
    --vd-lavc-threads=4 --hwdec=no --vo=x11 --framedrop=vo --autosync=100 --mc=0.1 (not tested yet!)
  • Youtube-dl combined with SMTube (+Gydl)
  • The latest SMTube
  • Minitube

Try Chromium Web Browser

You should compare Firefox and Chromium. Depending on versions, one might be faster when browsing or give better results on video streaming. There could be a huge difference with video streaming. If your movie looks like a slide show, try some other web browser! You could also use your SMPlayer instead. If you are not satisfied with Firefox, try Chromium. Chromium is made possible by the Chromium open source project and other open source software. It is the open source, Ubuntu version of Chrome. It looks and feels just like Chrome. It works well. You can install it with the Software Manager.

Sources: ... -or-higher

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