Kevin Vance - Oh, so about that x-ray. I have an extra tooth. I've always…

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09:25 pm

Thursday, January 20th, 2005
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Oh, so about that x-ray. I have an extra tooth. I've always wondered what that bump was. Because of its location, it would be difficult to extract, so I'm leaving it in. I think I'll know if it's ever causing trouble. Also, this was the second dentist to tell me to get my wisdom teeth removed. I probably will this summer.

I'm checking out Intuit's free tax thing on the web, since I need to do my own taxes this year. I have to spoof my user agent.. not to IE on Windows (that assumes ActiveX), but to Firefox on Windows! It's 2005, Intuit, please try harder next year.

Digital TV: I can receive UPN (WPSG) and ABC (WPVI) well enough to watch with just my antenna. ABC has 3 subchannels: the 720p regular channel, a 480i news channel, and a 480i weather channel. UPN has a single 1080i channel. I have also had CBS (KYW) and WB (WPHL) tuned, but they are harder to lock on.

Viewing the stream is not easy. The card came with a patched version of xine which I have found too difficult to use. I've been using mplayer instead. My first attempt looks like this:

function hdmplayer {
        CHANNEL=$1
        shift
        getatsc /dev/dtv $CHANNEL | mplayer -fs -cache 16384 -channels 4 $* -
}

The 16MB cache is important. Without that, mplayer would just crash when the stream skipped. I also instruct mplayer to use 4 channels (for my Klipsch Promedia v2-400), but mplayer seems to be ignoring that. Or at least complains that it is unimplemented. Strange, because it used to work.

The problem with this so far is that it's putting a lot of strain on my CPUs (dual athlon 1900+). For a 1080i stream, one CPU will be nearly pegged, and the other one will be 80-90%. Even for a 720p, the sound will come unsynched as frames don't make it to the display. The obvious solution is to use my video card's (nvidia 5700 ultra) hardware mpeg acceleration via mplayer's XvMC support. UNFORTUNATELY, nvidia has only implemented support for this on the "primary" head. Since I use two monitors in TwinView, that means I can't access the hardware acceleration at all. Do windows users have this problem? I wonder...

I settled on starting a second X server for watching HD. Following the instructions in the nvidia README under "APPENDIX R: CONFIGURING MULTIPLE X SCREENS ON ONE CARD", I set up a display with two screens where my Samsung 213T is the primary display. I can't drag windows between displays in this configuration, but at least mplayer can access XvMC (and can actually wait for vertical refresh). Now my mplayer command looks like this:

function mcmplayer {
        hdmplayer $* -vo xvmc -vc ffmpeg12mc
}

Just added the xvmc video out method, and forced the ffmpeg codec that has motion compensation support. With XvMC, CPU usage drops considerably, to about 20% on both CPUs.

Unfortunately, even this is not without problems. The XvMC buffer that the stream is decoded to is not available to mplayer. This means that no deinterlacing can be performed. At such a high resolution, I think even a simple deinterlacing algorithm would be fine because it's going to be scaled down to fit on my 4:3 monitor. Watching interlaced video sucks. That is why I've mostly been watching ABC with its progressive scan :)

Of course, the second coolest thing about this card is ease of recording: getatsc /dev/dtv $CHANNEL >out.ts
or, watch and record at the same time: getatsc /dev/dtv $CHANNEL | tee out.ts | mplayer ...

The coolest thing will be when they get QAM support in, and I can attach this to cable rather than a flaky antenna :)

Last, a link to maybe the best peripheral ever: USB button of dooooom!

Current Music Mc Laser - Photographic Dm (Nectarine Demoscene Radio)
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Comments
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: kvance
2005-01-21 07:34 am (UTC)
Yaagh! Did you get any of them extracted?

My extra tooth isn't a wisdom tooth, it's just kinda.. out there. Under my first bicuspid.
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[User Picture]From: kartos
2005-01-21 11:54 pm (UTC)
Having no teeth is a sign of evolution. You're both barbarians!

Where exactly is this tooth?

My 2nd to last wisdom tooth has just finished breaking the gums and now the inside of my cheeks are infected due to my constant biting them. Damned thing! >.
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[User Picture]From: kvance
2005-01-22 04:22 am (UTC)
Pssh, evolution is over. In 2035, the singularity hits, and we escape our genetic prison, or mankind finally wipes itself out. The only way evolution continues is if we do a half-assed job of self destruction and fall back to small population and stone-age technology.

...anyway, this tooth is under an existing tooth. You can see (and obviously feel) a bump where it is under my skin.
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[User Picture]From: kartos
2005-01-22 05:06 am (UTC)
Riight ;D I thought it was 2012? The Mayans knew a lot of stuffs.


Ewwww thats like raeyn's tailbone that sticks out!
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[User Picture]From: techpimp
2005-01-21 06:53 am (UTC)
What hardware is that Kev?
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[User Picture]From: kvance
2005-01-21 07:37 am (UTC)
A broadcast flag-ignoring pcHDTV HD-3000.
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