Playing Videos (especially DVDs) is very processor intensive. To help smooth playback, Xine attempts to use various forms of hardware acceleration. The following info is mostly relevant to x86 PCs and Linux so please send in any tips for other architectures/Unices.
This section lists some hardware which is useful.
An AGP graphics card allows the computer to send video data more efficiently to the card. Consequently this allows for smoother video. It is strongly recommended that you have one.
If you are a BIOS bit-twiddler you can try putting all RAM related timing
settings (like CAS delay, RAS to CAS delay, etc) in the BIOS to 2.
You might want to try some really
nasty tricks, as explained on (for example)
This website centers around a Windows-tool to tweak the chipset,
you can do the same on FreeBSD with pciconf. On some linux
distributions there are similar tools.
Please contact heiko (
if you have any problems or tips about via
apollo pro chipset tweaking.
A nice performance tuning tool can also be found at http://powertweak.sourceforge.net.
Raw devices are available in linux kernel 2.4.x and there are patches for older kernels available from ftp://ftp.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/people/sct/raw-io/. To use raw devices, first connect a free raw device to your dvd device, use something like
$ raw /dev/raw1 /dev/hdcthen create a link named "rdvd" pointing to that raw device
$ ln -s /dev/raw1 /dev/rdvd
Some distributions may require you to set up the link as:
$ raw /dev/raw/raw1 /dev/hdc $ ln -s /dev/raw/raw1 /dev/rdvdinstead. Also some distributions may lack the
/dev/rawctldevice which may be created using
$ mknod /dev/rawctl c 162 0
The XVideo extension is a feature of versions of the XFree86 X-server from version 4.0 onwards. It currently is supported on the following cards:
The 3dfx driver works in XFree86 version 4.0.3 and above.
Xv only works with nVidia's own drivers. The place to ask is
the IRC room
irc.openprojects.net. They can
be downloaded from
As with the GeForce, only NVidia's drivers work.
Xv is reported to work with Rage 128 and Mach64 based cards with drivers from the GATOS project ( http://www.linuxvideo.org/).
Xv works `out-of-the-box' except that it only works on the first screen on G450 cards.
Xv works `out-of-the-box'.
Xv has been reported to work with some Savage cards using a modified driver module. There is more information and a list of working cards on http://www.probo.com/timr/savage40.html.
If the Xv extension is correctly
installed, the output of the
xvinfo program should be similar to the
Adaptor #1: "Matrox G-Series Backend Scaler" number of ports: 1 port base: 47 operations supported: PutImage supported visuals: depth 16, visualID 0x23 depth 16, visualID 0x24 depth 16, visualID 0x25 depth 16, visualID 0x26 number of attributes: 3 "XV_COLORKEY" (range 0 to 16777215) client settable attribute client gettable attribute (current value is 2110) "XV_BRIGHTNESS" (range -128 to 127) client settable attribute client gettable attribute (current value is 0) "XV_CONTRAST" (range 0 to 255) client settable attribute client gettable attribute (current value is 128) maximum XvImage size: 1024 x 1024 Number of image formats: 0
You may also need to load the v4l (Video4Linux) X extension. Type
xdpyinfo | grep XV.
XVideo' forms part of the output, then you have it. If not add
load "v4l"' in the
Modules section of your
XF86Config file (normally
/etc/X11/XF86Config) and try again.
Then try the '
xvinfo' command. If the output is
'no adapter present', you
don't have XV support. Check if your video card is supported on the
XFree86 website (
any necessary software and try again.
From the Linux Kernel documentation:
On Intel P6 family processors (Pentium Pro, Pentium II and later) the Memory Type Range Registers (MTRRs) may be used to control processor access to memory ranges. This is most useful when you have a video (VGA) card on a PCI or AGP bus. Enabling write-combining allows bus write transfers to be combined into a larger transfer before bursting over the PCI/AGP bus. This can increase performance of image write operations 2.5 times or more. The Cyrix 6x86, 6x86MX and M II processors have Address Range Registers (ARRs) which provide a similar functionality to MTRRs. For these, the ARRs are used to emulate the MTRRs. The AMD K6-2 (stepping 8 and above) and K6-3 processors have two MTRRs. These are supported. The Centaur C6 (WinChip) has 8 MCRs, allowing write-combining. These are supported.
Making sure MTRRs are setup correctly can considerably improve
playback when using the XShm output method. To check that your kernel
supports MTRR, check for the presence of the
cat /proc/mtrr and check that there is an entry relating to your
video card's memory. If not then consult the file
mtrr.txt file in the
Linux kernel source documentation.
The following applies only to IDE drive units. Firstly make sure that your
motherboard supports the UDMA/33 protocol (or a higher numbered UDMA protocol).
You can use the
hdparm utility to make Linux use this interface to
optimise drive data transfers.
More details on
hdparm can be found on
hdparm is a dangerous utility and incorrect use may
impact on your computer's ability to read the drive. USE IT AT YOUR OWN RISK.
Check the output of the
hdparm drive_device includes the following
S hdparm /dev/dvd ... using_dma = 1 (on) ...
If it is off or if you want to change any options consult the
manual page for details.