Posthuman Structures

Jason Hopkins:

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Flyer screens

Dear Lazyweb,

What's the cheapest way to display a full screen HTML animation over HDMI?

Specifically, I want a device that can:

  1. Output HDMI 720p or better;
  2. Render this page and this page at better than 20 FPS;
  3. Boot to a web browser at power-on, displaying said page in full-screen mode (no toolbars, etc.)
  4. Ideally, restart automatically after power failure.

This is to replace the Apple TVs that are current running the flyer display screens located around DNA Lounge and DNA Pizza, since the latest Apple TV and Flickr updates have rendered those nearly useless to us. (Basically: they introduced a bug that makes the slideshow never refresh unless you manually delete and re-add the gallery, and it shows no signs of ever getting fixed.)

We tried a $90 Keedox Amlogic s802, running Android on a 2GKz quad core, but it only manages about 7 FPS on those pages. We also tried a Raspberry Pi B, and it was worse than 1 FPS.

I'm having a hard time believing that the answer is "a $600 Mac Mini is the cheapest, best solution", but so far I suspect that's the answer.

Aren't Linux PCs that can display web pages supposed to be so cheap and tiny now that they come in cereal boxes?

Update: For testing the performance of the Javascript, I added some options to the page to make it easier to try out the various animation-optimization systems.

  1. Stock JQuery: These use the default .animate() method: Single, Cascade.
  2. jquery-animate-enhanced: This is a supposedly-faster drop-in replacement for .animate(). It works ok in left/right/top/bottom/fade; zoom becomes flickery; and cascade doesn't work at all. Single, Cascade.

  3. jquery.transit: This adds .transition() as a replacement for .animate(). Also makes zoom flickery. Required more code changes to make it work, but seems to work ok, but I can't tell if it's any faster. Single, Cascade.

  4. Velocity: This adds .velocity() as a replacement for .animate(). Everything seems to work ok, but I can't tell if it's any faster. Single, Cascade.

Update 2: Turns out that after loading either the Transit or Velocity optimizers, the Keedox GoogleTV box mentioned above is able to do 60fps at 1080p in "cascade" mode. Hooray...

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Bad Pumpkin


haus-of-ill-repute: "Where is the pumpkin stem?"

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Dooming us to inhuman toil, etc, etc.

You'll be happy to know that this weekend I've dragged XScreenSaver kicking and screaming into 2003 and have made all the hacks that load text able to properly display UTF-8 input, and it's even anti-aliased.

But don't worry: while doing so, it still parses HTML using regular expressions. I would never re-make a classic hit like that.

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