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Thread: A/V playback stuttery and getting worse - how to troubleshoot?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    Xubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    A/V playback stuttery and getting worse - how to troubleshoot?

    I've been having a problem with intermittent stuttering in video and audio playback since upgrading to Maverick (it also happened when I briefly installed Lucid). It started out as the odd skip every 20 minutes or so but now it can happen 5 or 6 times in 10 minutes when watching a film.

    I've tried:

    reformatting and clean installing
    using a half-dozen players
    installing every codec I could think of (only after the normal ones wouldn't help)
    diangosing my 3 hard drives (the problem occurs on them all and they're not in a RAID setup)
    changing then changing back my video drivers
    disabling pulseaudio and ubuntuone-sync (these were not installed in my previous, working setup)
    looking at every relevant log file (mplayer, smplayer, demsg...) I know of
    running ubuntu's testing utilities

    I'm out of ideas. Going back to Jaunty is the only solution I'm pretty sure will work but it's not exactly ideal. It will be a few months at least before I'm able to install a completely new distro.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Aotearoha
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    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: A/V playback stuttery and getting worse - how to troubleshoot?

    Start with:
    What hardware is this machine ?
    What GPU & driver version ?

    Lucid by default installed nouveaux drivers for nvidia hardware ..

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Xubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: A/V playback stuttery and getting worse - how to troubleshoot?

    Quote Originally Posted by BicyclerBoy View Post
    Start with:
    What hardware is this machine ?
    What GPU & driver version ?

    Lucid by default installed nouveaux drivers for nvidia hardware ..
    CPU: AMD Athlon(tm) 64 Processor 3400+
    RAM: 2GB, swap 2GB
    GFX card: GeForce 8400 GS PCI-E 16x 512MB
    nVidia drivers: 173.14.28 (I had the later ones initially after updating to Maverick but reverted to see if they would work better.
    This install is Ubuntu 10.10 with XFCE desktop environment. Just prior I had a Xubuntu Lucid base install (for all of three days) and before that Xubuntu Jaunty.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Xubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: A/V playback stuttery and getting worse - how to troubleshoot?

    Anyone got any clues?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Ubuntu Studio 9.10 Karmic Koala

    Re: A/V playback stuttery and getting worse - how to troubleshoot?

    Try using newer drivers, 173 is quite old. Also try using smplayer with vdpau output, I have checked that your card supports it (vdpau requires >185 series drivers).

    A PPA for newer drivers.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Re: A/V playback stuttery and getting worse - how to troubleshoot?

    I've tried with the latest video drivers initially but that's when I first noticed the problem. I get the same problem playing mp3s so I think maybe it's a kernel issue?

    Also, I added that PPA and ran all the upgrades from update-manager but the gfx drivers did not update.
    Last edited by pickarooney; January 4th, 2011 at 09:40 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Re: A/V playback stuttery and getting worse - how to troubleshoot?

    Read this for the newer drivers:
    http://www.webupd8.org/2010/06/how-t...5-display.html
    When you say latest drivers, what do you mean? 260 series?

    I get the same problem playing mp3s so I think maybe it's a kernel issue?
    Have you tried using another kernel?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Ohio, USA
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    Ubuntu Gnome 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: A/V playback stuttery and getting worse - how to troubleshoot?

    So this is not using pulseaudio, correct?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    Xubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: A/V playback stuttery and getting worse - how to troubleshoot?

    I have removed pulseaudio as of two weeks ago and am using a basic ALSA sound server. I reinstalled the 260 series drivers directly from the Additional Drivers (jockey?) menu entry last night, with no change in performance.

    I will try a new kernel tonight. I'm currently using the latest one avaialble for Maverick via update-manager. Can anyone recommend a more recent kernel? I've looked at a tutorial on this site on how to install a new one, so know the procedure but am a bit wary of breaking dependencies if I get something too recent.

    Thanks for all the help so far, by the way

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Ubuntu Studio 9.10 Karmic Koala

    Re: A/V playback stuttery and getting worse - how to troubleshoot?

    If the sound is jerky, you could try installing alsa-backports which you should find in the repos.

    A new kernel should not break any dependencies, but if it gives you trouble you can still switch back to the current version.

    Edit: If you want a newer kernel give Zen a go:
    http://zen-kernel.org/tutorials/dist...u-installation
    Last edited by cchhrriiss121212; January 5th, 2011 at 02:53 PM.

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