Solved -  choppy video starting Kodi 17.0 on ubuntu 16.04
From the moment I updated Kodi to 17.0 till now (Kodi 17.3) on my Ubuntu Lenovo laptop (Intel Core i3 Sandy Bridge processor, 4 Gb RAM, no external graphics) I have a problem with video playback: it is choppy, not enough smooth.

I play video to the 2nd display (HDMI, TV Philips) with Full HD. In addition, in 20 seconds after video starts, the screen becomes blank black (and sound interrupts) for about a second - and then everything plays again without this kind of interruption.

All other players like VLC, Google Chrome built-in player, etc. plays videos smoothly (the same videos too). And even Kodi 14,15,16 works fine on the same machine. So the problem is somewhere inside codecs used by Kodi 17. I've read Kodi forums but found no similar situation.

What can I check? What option turn on or off?

Thank you!
Sounds like some sort of flow problem, bottles necks checked with 'o' keyboard option. Are you keeping two displays up? You might be swamping the graphic engine. Go into settings>video>player turn off sync to playback if it's on and try different render modes. Linux drivers can be a hit or miss scenario, with various hardware, and an i3 with shared graphic memory stands out especially when 4 gigs is the sum total available. If VLC works fine (and Kodi uses this basic code) then graphic memory limitations become more suspect. If after taking all the settings I've suggested are not enough to smooth out playback. You can always use VLC or whatever works as External players (wiki) and still keep Kodi as the library of choice.

Log file/Advanced (wiki) debug log might have a clue.
Thank you so much!

Everything is ok now.after I both switched sync off and turned on option to turn off other displays. Everything is smooth now. Interesting that just turning off sync doesn't help.

Thank you again!
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choppy video starting Kodi 17.0 on ubuntu 16.0400