Practicality, reason Computer to TV Videos [Archive] - Glock Talk

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pascal
05-14-2010, 05:28
Hello,
Having no experience with the concept, I managed to hook up an old 600Mhz Celeron with G wi-fi card and a Voodoo 3 video card to the TV with an S-Video cable and a computer speaker to TV audio input cable. Besides edge distortion and the resolutions that are available with the newest drivers 800X600 is the only one that will display the full screen. Takes up about the middle 3/4's of the TV display with wavy edges.
Firefox and IE6, the versions that will run on the only operating system I had available W2000, have the display in the browser box too big to see the whole display, which is set at full visible screen size. Zooming out brings the display fully inside the borders of the browser, but know you can't read the print.
Also for some reason any such as YouTube video, crashes when expanded to full screen display on 3 browsers IE6, Opera 10 and Firefox 3.6.
I am getting excellent signal strength from my main computer upstairs. Hooked up to DSL @ 6Mbps. While watching a Youtube video on the lowest resolution, I get moderately often lags while it catches up. At 480 it is impossible to watch. Freezes constantly, audio and video continue. Hulu videos are impossible to watch.
Netflix has a wireless adapter for $89 @ 54Mbps. To get to N standards the price goes up to IIRC $149. If they are selling the $89 model is only 802.11G speeds, how can it give me better performance than what I set up?
Is it possible to get data @ 6Mps and watch a movie clearly and without stuttering? Am I missing something?
Thanks
pascal

JimmyN
05-14-2010, 08:11
I think part of the problem is the TV. Standard definition TV only has a max screen resolution of 720X576 (DVD quality). Pushing a resolution higher than that into the TV forces it to fit the 800 screen into the 720 space so the image size is reduced. Normally a TV overscans, so the fuzzy edges are off the screen, but since the image is being shrunk it doesn't fill the screen and you see the rough edges.

Using a resolution that is higher than the display or TV can handle will result in it doing weird things when you use full screen mode as you are trying to force 10 pounds of image into an 8 pound bag, so to speak. It may display way over to one side, overscan so it extends out past the edges of the display, or it may make it postage stamp size in the middle of the screen. It depends on what resolution you are forcing on it, and how it attempts to adapt so it can display it.

I think the cause of the stuttering and freezing is the fact it's a 600mHz Celeron rather than your DSL or network. Since it's a 600mHz Celeron it likely came with only 128 megs of memory. A slower processor, plus the Windows 2K OS will be using at least 115megs of RAM for itself, less anything else you have running, so you likely don't have any available RAM for buffering, and it's using the hard drive for virtual memory to buffer the video. Therefore you get a lot of pauses and stuttering while it is busy reading and writing buffer data to the drive rather than RAM

The 6mps is way more than needed, your DSL is not the problem. A 'G' wireless will work with video, I was using 'G' for a long time before I switched to 'N" but you will occasionally get a screen pause for a couple of seconds while watching a movie. If you go with 'N' you will also need an 'N' router to match.

So those are my best guesses, we'll see what everyone else thinks.

pascal
05-14-2010, 08:37
Hello JimmyN,
Thank you for your time and explanation. It seems to make sense in that I've never heard of complaints about the DSL or Router speed. I was just fooling around trying to get it to work. Can you explain why if possible, that if I go to a lower resolution the visible display stays the same and the display exceeds the display box?
I wonder if I could get Ubuntu 10.04 to work. It did not and thats why I put windows on. But I didn't get any specific drivers for the particular card and used their generic. Is that a possibility?
I know netflix requires XP minimum with silverlight. Of couse W2K won't handle that and I read they are discontinuing support for W2k very soon.
Thanks again, it gives me hope that it is possible with a little upgrade.
Any other suggestions or info greatly appreciated.
pascal

JimmyN
05-14-2010, 12:25
I really don't understand what you mean by the visible display staying the same but the display exceeds the display box.

A couple of things you might try. I'm an NVidia user so I don't know much about the Voodoo card and it's drivers. But if you download the drivers and software for that card from the manufacturers site it may provide some additional settings you can try.

With NVidia the software control panel frequently allows adjusting the screen size and position when outputting to a TV (depending on the card you have), so you may be able to shrink or enlarge the display area to fit the screen. I'd try different values and different resolutions to the TV and see if a closer match could be found.

Another thing to try is possibly changing the dpi setting from 96dpi to 120dpi. Then try different resolutions at the 120dpi.
(Right click on Desktop>Properties>Settings>Advanced)
NVidia even allows custom sizes other than 96 and 120, so you can set a percentage of normal size giving you a lot more range.

You may find that a 640x480 resolution at 120dpi may fill the screen better. The image quality is not going to be as good at 640, but a TV only has so much to work with anyway.

Ubuntu may help with the pausing and stuttering since it's not nearly the resource hog that Windows is, so you may have enough RAM left to buffer the video. But as far as the Voodoo Card/TV resolution problem that won't change. You're still using the same video adapter and outputting to the same TV.

I think they've basically stopped supporting Win2K already. I still have one Win2K system because two of our employees still have Win2K systems running, and Windows Update no longer works. I have to download the updates and install them manually.

pascal
05-15-2010, 08:08
Hello JimmyN,
I really don't understand what you mean by the visible display staying the same but the display exceeds the display box.

Sorry for the poor description. What I meant is that the actual display of the Windows background/tool bar and Icons or off the screen. I went back in and found a setting I apparently didn't try and I am now getting almost full TV size display with everything on screen. The resolution is very low. Now if I pull up a browser the displayed page exceeds the browser's window. Using Ctrl "-" makes it smaller, but by the time I get it to fit in the browser window, with the browser full screen size, the letters are too small to see.
I installed W2K in about 3 days ago and got a lot of updates from the Microsoft Update site. And it also popped up the available update icon (I have it set to advise of updates only).
I killed every process including the AV and Firewall, leaving Windows Firewall running and got Youtube movies to play and to pop-up full screen. At the lowest resolution I have constant loading indicator and stopping and starting of the video. Even when run in the normal window. Closer but still no cigar.
I have updated Voodoo 3 drivers to the latest and a Voodoo Tweaker program. Neither allow me to do much that would effect the video except I upped the amount of space for buffering on my computer to 10 Mb from 1 Kb.
So it seems that it is about as far as I can go with this setup.
I am not a experienced Ubuntu user but when I tried it before it would not see the TV with whatever the installed drivers were. The updated drivers I've seen are in Windows format. Anyway to install them on 10.04?
Thanks again for your time and advice.
pascal

GIockGuy24
05-15-2010, 08:17
I have seen instructions for setting changes in Firefox to reduce jerky streaming video. Part of the blame seems to be Firefox and maybe the catch in Firefox. I also have (had?) 6Mbps DSL. I think it's more like 5Mbps now since the phone lines were "repaired" after a big storm here. I was told by my internet provider that for smooth streaming video that at least 7.5Mbps is required, but of course they are trying to sell me a faster connection too, so I don't know how accurate that information is. I don't really watch much in the way of video with my computer so I haven't messed with the Firefox settings but maybe a different browser would be better. There are instruction on the internet to make the Firefox settings changes for better streaming video viewing.

pascal
05-17-2010, 05:27
Hello GIockGuy24,
I don't know. I've tried IE6, Opera 10 and firefox. Basically the same results.
Just and old computer.