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How to Optimize a Kernel for Multimedia on Low-End

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Good Day,


I have been amazed at the abilities of some small hand held media players that can play DivX files and HD content on bright little touchscreens with small (< 1GHz) processors inside. I have also been amazed to read that many of these players are Linux-based. I also understand that most of them have been built from the ground up to be able to play multimedia. However, should it not be possible to use "excess" processing power on larger boards and achieve similar results?


I am interested in building a version of MDV2010 that uses a kernel that is optimized for multimedia playback on lower-end PCs. Specifically, I would like to be able to play DVDs and DIVX files on Via EPIA motherboards. Most (if not all) of Via's motherboards have Via CPUs on them such as their C3, C7 and Nano processors, and processor speeds are usually in the 500MHz to 1.5GHz range. Some of these boards also have MPEG2/4 hardware acceleration however, the support for this in Windows and Linux is really spotty and limited to boards with the CLE266 chipsets (a few others, but none of the newer models).


However, I do not want to use the stock versions of most distros as they have kernels that are made to run on most hardware and contain tons of unneeded apps and services. I've recompiled kernels before however, I've never gotten to the point of changing major parts of the kernel configuration for optimization.


Can anyone provide some recommendations on how to optimize a kernel for multimedia playback on Via processors?

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