This project failed miserably. Imagine a modern-day MPEG being decoded by a 25MHz 386 PC. Painfull. Well, that exactly what this project does for the modern computer (1.7GHz Pentium M).
Basically, I tried to emulate a video monitor by drawing web-based pixels on the screen. A pixel can be either:
- a DIV tag
- an IMG tag with a 1x1 GIF, and you’d need 256 individual GIFs for this (or more)
- a SPAN tag containing a character with HTML code 9606 which yields a little square like this: ▆
Before I came to that part I did some tests on the WebTV. I tried to write random arrays to the WebTV to see how fast it can draw. Here are the findings for a tv with 7 548 pixels:
- DIV tags fails miserably in all tests. They are slow to alter.
- GIFs are ok if you are going monochrome (jumping between two states). Check out life by Bram Cohen.
- The SPAN tag takes up to 30 seconds to draw a new frame. The performance becomes acceptable when the tv has about 60 pixels.