Originally this entry was supposed to be my rant about how Linux wasn’t quite ready for the multimedia desktop market quite yet. Server, absolutely. General purpose office machine, not too bad, I get by without a problem 80% of the time. I was quite upset that if you didn’t quite balance X.org versions, mplayer, and video card drivers, it could easily make a working setup blow up. Also the problem of bloated distributions (of course, that’s the one that worked fine, vs a slim distro that was completely broken) don’t make for a good setup either. Then again, with Vista coming out that’s over 3 GBs, I’m not worried much.

Instead, I’ve come to the conclusion, it’s the video card! I once used to be a champion of everyone’s now favorite - Nvidia. Yes, I owned a card based upon their NV1 chipset, so I was an EARLY champion. It was so early, that their VGA support was so busted the colors would be wrong on the standard 16 color pallete. But it had awesome 3D (came with Virtua Fighter) and Sega digital controllers….Anyway, as of now, I thought it was just their Linux drivers that were slipping.

So…I install Windows, Windows Media Player 10, ffdshow, and the Elecard MPEG player, and attempt to play an MPEG2 file. It plays, but not that great. That’s at 720p. 1080 isn’t very usable at all. (1080i resolution output) I install DirectX 9, and….now nothing works, and the machine slows down to an unusable crawl. I even re-installed, and installed DirectX before the video drivers…Broken, broken, broken. I will NEVER buy nvidia again.

ATI had 1 single bug which kept me from using it in Linux. Given that
A) It might be fixed
B) I may play video back in Windows instead

I’m going to re-try it. I also say FORGET NVIDIA!