Originally Posted by zim2dive
you try using a computer monitor (connected temporarily) to verify whether the tearing issue is your display or that even a core iX isn't enough. The i530 is ~50% better than my E6300 (according to PassMark charts), but the E6300 is no slouch and I was never able to play full-screen 480p Hulu on top quality without some tearing, so its possible even a core iX is not enough (I would hope that is not the case, but its not something I've seen verified)
Sorry for the late reply -- the "new post" feature on this board seems hit or miss. It's funny though, I *just* had my HTPC taken apart on a bench/table, hooked up to a plain old 19" monitor, to fix a hard drive issue, and I never even thought to try playing video while I was at it. Kicking myself now, but will have the sucker on the bench again probably this weekend to replace the disk mounting bracket with a new one that just came in.
Interestingly, I found out part of my problem, which I haven't quite solved. I had been connecting the HTPC to the display via HDMI thru Yamaha Receiver, and it had never occured to me that this might be part of the problem, even though there were obvious inconsistencies with what Linux was showing as available display output modes. So what I've done to try and remedy the situation is to take the receiver out of the equation, at least temporarily, and connect directly to the TV via DVI (the display has no HDMI input). Now my xrandr output makes more sense, but here's the NEW issue: I left the HDMI connection to the AVR in place so that I could have HD audio. Well, Ubuntu still sees this as a monitor. OK, fine, then I'll go into the Preferences->Monitor tool and disable it. Wouldn't you know it, now I have no sound. ARRGGH!!
So, exasperated, I'm back to having what Ubuntu thinks is two monitors, and it's better, but still behaves strangely. Resolution and refresh rate will sometimes get reset arbitrarily if I switch between standalone XBMC and plain Ubuntu desktop mode.
Maybe I should just ditch HDMI altogether and go back to Toslink. I only have a 5.1 setup anyway.