Help me make use of an old Netbook - movies - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 2018-08-16, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
 
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Help me make use of an old Netbook - movies

About 3 years ago I bought an old refurbished Netbook, Dell Latitude 2110 - although I wouldn't be surprised if it was actually one that had never been used, other than to install Windows 7.

It's purpose was really just as a spare ("in case") with the possibility of using it as a bedside radio, instead of taking my Gateway laptop up to my room and re-plugging etc. Plus, it was dirt cheap for $60.

I found it painfully slow but not too bad once it "got going" and I upgraded to maximum 2gb RAM with minimal improvement.

Two years ago, having not really been able to use it as hoped, I watched some episodes of a TV show previously downloaded to a thumbdrive while my Gateway was indisposed for some reason. The video playback worked fine.

Fast-forward to now, I have a new main laptop and my Gateway is the spare. I have a nice bedside radio from Amazon, nothing expensive but great sound and it plays a thumbdrive. So, for those times when I don't want to listen to CBC (the night and early morning schedule at weekends ) I can listen to a podcast from a thumbdrive. There's no need to have a laptop upstairs.

But I would still like to get some use from the mini-dell, otherwise I may as well bin it. Since it's only a ten incher, the obvious use would be connected to TV, effectively making it a streaming media player.

I occasionally stream Soccer from England (when a game I want isn't on TSN/SN) and I watch some TV/Movies by streaming or download for later, including from BBC. I watch on my laptop, but if I could do it via a larger TV, that would be another option.

Before buying the necessary VGA/HDMI converter, yesterday I checked the mini-dell and streaming didn't work. The audio came on before the picture. I double checked to make sure it wasn't just an out of synch playback like you sometimes get.

I tried a previously downloaded and viewed movie from a thumbdrive. It kept breaking up visibly and sticking while the audio continued. I did this with three different downloads. One, a TV show, wasn't as bad as the movies, but still not watchable.

All that's happened between when playback was good two years ago and now is an SSD and upgrading W7 to W10.

SSDs and W10 are supposed to make older devices work better. I can't say W10 has although the SSD has.

Any reason why W10 would have a negative effect? Is there something I can usefully do to get streaming/playback working again? Should I give up, retrieve the SSD and toss the netbook?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 2018-08-16, 07:29 PM
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What program are you using to (attempt to) play the video? I'd recommend VLC Player. I'd say your issue is inadequate RAM, 2GB isn't enough with the resource hog that is W10 (and is barely enough with W7). Try running Windows Task Manager to see what is using your CPU and Memory to cause the stuttering video (and of course don't run any other programs while trying to play the video).

Another thing to consider is how large the media file is. When you get over 1gb in size, a puny processor like the Intel Atom N470 really labors.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 2018-08-16, 09:42 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the response.

VLC is my favourite too. Because I was trying to keep things to a bare minimum I didn't install it and just used WMP initially. But because it didn't work well, I installed VLC but the results were identical.

The files I tried to play were about 0.12gb, a bit under 0.3gb and under 0.7gb.

Task manager showed group policy client was using anything up to 35%, but it was jumping around so much it was hard to tell. Apparently group policy editor isn't on the 'home' edition. My stepdaughter installed it to enable the necessary change but now there's something called wsappx doing the same thing.

I was trying to see how I could stop that - something to do with MS store - but I couldn't find anything and got tired of looking and took a break.

So, if you reckon it might be that W10 is just too big for the 2gb RAM to cope with and streaming and playback, might scrapping W10 and using something like Linux instead be better?

It would be no loss no longer having W10 as I have it on my main laptop and the spare (both running very well). If I can't get this use out of the mini-dell, there's really no point in keeping it.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 2018-08-17, 12:12 PM
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Try formatting and re-installing windows on the netbook, it should help speed it up.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 2018-08-17, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
 
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I shall probably just replace W10 with Linux Lite.

Should I do this, the Netbook will be used for nothing more than streaming and USB playback. Or I'll just salvage the RAM and SSD and toss it.

But before I do that, would it be a waste of an SSD for such limited use? Might it be just as well to put back the original HDD?
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 2018-08-17, 03:22 PM
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https://www.tenforums.com/performanc...-high-cpu.html
Points to "group policy client" being the culprit. When you've got limited cpu power and RAM, the last thing you need is nonsense like that crippling your machine.

I've only had limited Linux experience (many years ago, and the programs I could run with it at that time was so minimal), but if you can run what you want to use--give Linux Lite a try.

How about this?
https://www.howtogeek.com/217659/how...tem-on-any-pc/
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 2018-08-17, 03:45 PM Thread Starter
 
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Yes...we solved the Cortana issue but every time I ended/turned off/disabled something that was using the resources, something else windows related replaced it.

That's an interesting idea, turning it into a Chromebook. I shall look at that later, thanks.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 2018-08-17, 10:30 PM
 
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Monsieur Rioux, Linux mint cinnamon 18.3 32-bit or 64-bit should work fine for what you want. They have VLC and only require 1GB of ram although 2GB is recommended. I have used Linux Mint since version 17 on my old (2006) computer and streamed to my tv for years using HDMI without any problems at all. Windows 10 with an upgraded video card stuttered like crazy on that same computer until I finally deleted it and went back to Linux! Wish I wouldn't have wasted the money for the video card that I didn't need only to learn that Windows 10 was such a resource hog, lol.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 2018-08-18, 09:51 AM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrgordos View Post
...I have used Linux Mint since version 17 on my old (2006) computer and streamed to my tv for years using HDMI without any problems at all. Windows 10 with an upgraded video card stuttered like crazy on that same computer until I finally deleted it and went back to Linux! Wish I wouldn't have wasted the money for the video card that I didn't need only to learn that Windows 10 was such a resource hog, lol.
Good to know, thanks. Good to know it worked, not that you wasted the money

Cheers.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 2018-08-18, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Any reason why W10 would have a negative effect?
It's probably the amount of RAM. Win7 requires minimum 2GB of RAM but runs better with 4+. Win10 requires 4GB RAM but 8+ is better. It might be possible to reduce the Win10 memory footprint by turning off unused services.

I'd also recommend either going back Win7 or trying an easy to use Linux like Linux Mint. If it will run Kodi or similar software, a cheap remote would be a good way to control it for video.

Quote:
Before buying the necessary VGA/HDMI converter
The video output of the Dell Latitude 2110 VGA port is analog. That means simple cable will not work. A converter with an HDMI modulator is required. The converter will also need to convert the video to a format compatible with the TV such as 1280x720p, 1920x1080i or 1920x1080p.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 2018-08-19, 09:31 AM Thread Starter
 
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I tried turning off various windows things but there was always something that took over.

I have this in mind for my vga/hdmi converter.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 2018-08-19, 10:44 AM
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Looks like it should work. Using USB for audio and power is nice.
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