Why do videos stutter online?
One of my many laptops is a Toshiba Satellite L305D. It's old but it's my favorite. It does everything I need it to. I also run windows xp, and I am perfectly happy with it despite the security vulnerabilities. I've no intention of upgrading the laptop or operating system in the foreseeable future (I own newer operating systems and newer laptops, but this is my preference).
The laptop has one drawback - it stutters during playback of videos on youtube. If I move the cursor around the screen while a youtube video is playing or try to do anything else, the stutter gets much worse.
So, I was bored the other day, and decided I was going to solve the mystery once and for all; but to no avail.
The L305D was packaged with Vista, so the first thing someone is going to think is "oh it's your drivers". I beg to differ. A great deal of effort went into finding sufficient drivers that would work for xp, and the system runs fine. When I play a video that is already saved to my computer, I can move the cursor around and open up any number of programs and there is no stutter.
So out of curiosity, I backed up my files and reformatted the harddrive and temporarily installed windows 7 just to see. Does the same thing and those drivers are microsoft certified. It's true that I have never installed Vista, but I've a sneaking suspicion that it would do the same as well.
So, back to my trusty XP installation. I read a great deal on how this was a problem with google chrome - so, I tried youtube with firefox. Same thing happens. I tried it in internet explorer. Same thing happens.
So maybe it's just youtube? Nope. I went over to dailymotion and the exact same thing happens when I play a video. I would conclude therefore that the problem does not lie within the browser or in the particular video host.
I'm led to believe this is an issue somewhere in the laptop; I just don't know where. As I said, songs play fine, and videos play fine that are downloaded to the laptop. The internet connection is just fine, as I can play online videos just fine from my roommates laptop - so it's not an issue with the internet.
Keep in mind that installing windows 7 did not resolve the issue, so I don't believe it has anything to do with the operating system. Now, many people deride the L305d for having a low quality graphics processor which shares system memory - however, if this were the problem I'm having, why then would it not present itself when playing a video already saved to the hard drive? This would seem to rule that out.
Codecs, I do not believe to be the issue, as I have installed codec packages. The most recent direct x files available for xp are installed. All windows updates are installed.
I am using 3 Gig of memory (more than enough for XP) and the harddrive has plenty of free space. I have tried disabling and enabling hardware acceleration for video.
So, what do I check next?
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