Kaffeine problems - DVD and local avi

Andy Choens gunksta at gmail.com
Thu Feb 16 04:53:35 UTC 2006

On 2/13/06, Dotan Cohen <dotancohen at gmail.com> wrote:
> When I play a DVD in Kaffeine the movie stutters- it is playing frame
> by frame. I see that the drive's LED and the computer's LED flash
> together, and when the movie starts stuttering, they flash more
> slowly. This happens in every DVD that I try after about ten seconds
> of playback. I can move to a different part of the film, and after a
> few seconds of normal playback the stuttering starts again. The same
> hardware worked perfectly in Windows XP Home so I don't think that the
> drive is bad.
> Also, when playing an avi file from the local hard drive, the quality
> is horrible- most of the screen is squares that change slowly. The
> audio is fine, however. This is an avi that played perfectly in
> Windows XP Home. Is is located on a mounted FAT32 partition.

First things first.  Let's get the avi file playing a bit better.

sudo apt-get install kaffeine-xine
Or, do this with Adept/Synaptic.

Now start kaffeine.  Go to Settings -> Engines and select Kaffeine. 
This should fix the avi stuff, mostly.  I find that avi and wmv files
are sometimes a little flaky under Linux.  Damned proprietary

I think I know why DVD playback is so bad for you.  I'm willing to bet
DMA isn't turned on.  Ubuntu doesn't like turning DMA on for CD-ROMS
because it can cause problems on really old machines.  But, if you're
running XP, you probably aren't running a 10 year old laptop.  But, we
can check real easy.

Go to your nearest friendly commandline and enter
hdparm /dev/dvd
At least, /dev/dvd is what my DVD drive is called.  If you've got
weird hardware, you'll have to figure out what it's called.  Look at
the section labeled DMA.  On is good.  Off is problematic.  Now look
at readahead.  On is good and off is somewhat problematic.

If dma is OFF, let's turn it on.

sudo hdparm -d /dev/dvd

Now, restart kaffeine or xine and try to watch your DVD.  It should
look lovely now.

Unfortunately, this is only a temporary fix.  When you restart your
computer, DMA will not be on, and your DVD playback will once again be
shit.  To make this change permanent, you need to edit the
/etc/hdparm.conf file.  Add

/dev/dvd {
        dma = on
        interrupt_unmask = on
        io32_support = 0

to the end of the file and life will be merry and well.  Note:  you
will need to open a text editor with sudo in order to have write
access to /etc/*

Hope this helps.

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