I have Ubuntu 11.04 (natty).

I have read 'Screen goes blank when VLC is playing video'. My question is similar, but also I have this problem when viewing a video on youtube.

I am not quite clear about the meaning of 'computer idle'. Is it considered idle only when the keyboard or mouse is not being used? Because, when watching a video stored on HDD using VLC, or when watching a youtube video in a browser, there is some disk activity. And I was thinking that this means that the computer is not idle.

In system settings -> control center -> screensaver preferences, I have a check mark for 'Activate screensaver when computer is idle' set to 5 min. And the screen goes blank while watching videos in VLC or in a browser.

The answer suggested in the question refered to above (Screen goes blank when VLC is playing a video) suggests to disable the screensaver. I was hoping not to have to turn off the screensaver each time I want to watch a video.

I wanted to understand the meaning of 'computer idle' so I have asked this as a separate question rather than asking this in the above referred question.

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    I think applications informs the computer it is not idle. I don't know for VLC, but I have the same problem for YouTube, and it's due to Flash. You should like at app like Caffeine to prevent inappropriate "idle" – NorTicUs Oct 19 '12 at 12:28

Yes, 'idle' generally means there is no user input through the keyboard or mouse (or touchscreen).

There is also API available for applications to tell the system to inhibit idle screen blanking, for when in presentation, watching a movie, etc… However, not all applications make use of this API.

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