[mythtv-users] vdpau and the star-studded screen of death

Matthew Zimmerman mzimmerman at gmail.com
Tue Dec 22 13:48:26 UTC 2009

On Mon, Nov 30, 2009 at 11:24 AM, Kenneth Emerson
<kenneth.emerson at gmail.com> wrote:
> I haven't seen any discussion on a problem that I have been observing since
> changing to the vdpau renderer.  Since I installed an HD-PVR for my cable
> company's STB, I've been forced to use vdpau with my GeForce 9500 GT (1Gb
> RAM). 90% of the time it works great; however, after some amount of (unknown
> but > 8 hours of recording viewing) time I begin to see some tearing and
> stuttering during playback of a recording.  This seems to be a prelude to
> what I call the star-studded screen of death.  When these symptoms develop,
> once I end the playback, the screen goes black with a sprinkling of white
> dots in a random pattern.  Once this happens, I haven't found any way back
> except to re-boot.  I have tried restarting X (gdm) and unloading and
> reloading the nvidia driver module with no success of resetting the video.
> If no one else is seeing this, I'm beginning to wonder if it isn't a
> hardware failure of some sort.  The board is a fairly new MSI PCIe x16
> board.  The only clue is having recently started using vdpau.  Anyone have
> an idea of what to try next?
> I am running Ubuntu 7.04 and MythTV trunk v22864 and nvidia driver 190.42.
> -- Ken E.
Ken, I'm really glad you posted this as I have had the same issue a
little while back.  I went into the nvidia IRC channel they have
posted on their website for Linux support, and one of the people there
took me through nvclock and some other items, initially also thinking
it was heat related.  I could typically produce the issue by quickly
starting and stopping videos while using VDPAU.  I wasn't using the
latest beta driver at the time, so the tech told me to update and come
back if I had issues.

The above is a screenshot of what it looked like for me.  As you can
see, I hadn't updated to Mythbuntu 9.10 yet.  Needless to say, I have
done that since then and didn't have another problem with it again
until last night.  When it happened, I needed to reboot, and when I do
so, I usually update to the latest before rebooting, so there was
another nvidia driver update :)

Anyway, you're not the only one, and if I have the issue again, which
seems nvidia driver related, I'll try your fix.  Thanks for giving
this condition a nice label, star-studded screen of death, it really
has a nice ring to it.  Gives us non-windows users something to strive
for in terms of screen's of death :)

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