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cherishbearpapa
Feb 1, 2008, 09:36 AM
Hello all :),

For those of you who already received your Air, could you please try a 1080p trailer at the below link to test the smoothness of HD playback in Air?

http://www.apple.com/trailers/disney/walle/hd/

Also wondering if 1080p x264 .mkv HD will have a smooth playback in Air? :D

Thank you very much in advance! :)



bjdraw
Feb 1, 2008, 10:14 AM
When Engadget got their review unit in (1.6/80) I asked Ryan to try this and play 1080p x.264 trailer (10,000 BC) and this is what he said.


Not impressed. Plays jittery, and during lots of motion/sound it pegs
at almost max. If you actually care about 1080p video then you won't
be satisfied!

I'm doing to hit the Apple Store at lunch and try it on the 1.8 and see if it does any better. I'll also try some 720p. I certainly hope so as this is the only reason I ordered a 1.8/80.

Ben

Eric1285
Feb 1, 2008, 10:15 AM
I doubt 1080p video will be playable. I have a 2.16 C2D MBP with 2GB of ram and when it's not plugged into the wall and running in "Better Performance" mode, 1080p videos will occasionally stutter. Even running at full speed, some videos cause it to slow down. I really doubt you'd be able to get 1080p video on a 1.6 ghz processor.

bjdraw
Feb 1, 2008, 10:17 AM
Maybe I don't watch as much 1080p video as you do, but my original 2.0 Core Duo MBP has never maxed out the CPU laying 1080p x.264 video.

snickelfritz
Feb 1, 2008, 10:25 AM
Hello all :),

For those of you who already received your Air, could you please try a 1080p trailer at the below link to test the smoothness of HD playback in Air?

http://www.apple.com/trailers/disney/walle/hd/

Also wondering if 1080p x264 .mkv HD will have a smooth playback in Air? :D

Thank you very much in advance! :)

1080P is larger than the display of the MBA, AFAIK.
(it's over 1900 pixels wide)
I would think the 720P would be a more appropriate test for 13" display.

design-is
Feb 1, 2008, 10:36 AM
indeed. 1080p is overkill and would need to be downsampled.

high definition 720p: 1280x720
MacBook Air resolution: 1280x800

= perfect (with small black bars of 40px each at top and bottom :)

bjdraw
Feb 1, 2008, 10:44 AM
The only reason I care is because I do have some 1080p h.264 movies and I'd hate to have to re-encode them just to take with me on a trip. Especially since I already do a re-encode for my iPhone before I leave.

thefunkymunky
Feb 1, 2008, 10:49 AM
System requirements for 1080p HD video.

http://www.apple.com/quicktime/guide/hd/recommendations.html

design-is
Feb 1, 2008, 10:54 AM
System requirements for 1080p HD video.

http://www.apple.com/quicktime/guide/hd/recommendations.html

according to that, top spec MBA shouldn't even handle 720p very well at only 1.8ghz :confused:

For 1280x720 (720p) video at 24-30 frames per second:
QuickTime 7 for Mac OS X:

* 1.8 GHz PowerMac G5 or faster Macintosh computer; 1.83 GHz Intel Core Duo or faster
* At least 256MB of RAM
* 64 MB or greater video card

diabolic
Feb 1, 2008, 11:01 AM
according to that, top spec MBA shouldn't even handle 720p very well at only 1.8ghz :confused:

The Core2Duo at 1.8 is a faster processor than a Core Duo at 1.8.

design-is
Feb 1, 2008, 11:04 AM
Oh, yeh. Sorry, forgot the Core2Duo :o

sanford
Feb 1, 2008, 12:40 PM
When Engadget got their review unit in (1.6/80) I asked Ryan to try this and play 1080p x.264 trailer (10,000 BC) and this is what he said.



I'm doing to hit the Apple Store at lunch and try it on the 1.8 and see if it does any better. I'll also try some 720p. I certainly hope so as this is the only reason I ordered a 1.8/80.

Ben

That's bizarre. Original MacBook 2.0 GHz Core Duo, 2GB RAM, 5400 RPM HDD, GMA 950 graphics chipset of course, Numbers, iTunes, Mail, Safari, and of course QT Player, all open. Spaces turned on, four panes, two with windows in them. 10,000 BC 1080p x.264 trailer, smooth as glass, start to finish. Fan kicked on medium speed right at the end, then went straight down to low speed. (And, yeah, I'm absolutely sure which HD versions of the trailers I played; and I played both of the 10K BC trailers available in 1080p). Replayed one of them, switched to Mail, back, moved some windows, no hitches. I mean, I'm not kidding. But I was told when I bought then thing it would be superb for playing 1080p video, but if I was going to do a lot of 1080p video editing, it wouldn't be ideal.

So I don't get it. Especially the MBP C2D owner who reports some stutters, but of course, not testing with this particular trailer, I suppose.

Added: No, of course it won't play full-frame at 1080p on a MacBook display, so for the sake of argument, I played them on an external display, 1440x900, too. Same deal. Smooth as glass. And we have a BD player, so I know from smooth.

bjdraw
Feb 1, 2008, 01:01 PM
I just hit the Apple store and downloaded the same 10,000 BC 1080p trailer on the 1.8 SSD. Although the CPU wasn't 100% utilized the video did not play back smoothly. I had it set to the fit to window setting.

It was watchable, but by no means smooth. I'd put my money on it being the video card. Also, there were no other apps running at the time, but it wasn't after a clean boot.

ViperrepiV
Feb 1, 2008, 01:22 PM
I just hit the Apple store and downloaded the same 10,000 BC 1080p trailer on the 1.8 SSD. Although the CPU wasn't 100% utilized the video did not play back smoothly. I had it set to the fit to window setting.

It was watchable, but by no means smooth. I'd put my money on it being the video card. Also, there were no other apps running at the time, but it wasn't after a clean boot.

werd. i did the same test an hour ago and it was the same. not really smooth. 720 was fine though. 1080p is unnecessary with that sort of screen size

furqan8421
Feb 1, 2008, 01:22 PM
As others have said unless using an external display 1080p is pointless and 720p is a better option. I wanted to try a 720p apple trailer when at the store but had to leave early before it could finish downloading. Anyone want to comment on how smooth 720p is?

I'll see if I have time to go back later today and try for myself

aiongiant
Feb 1, 2008, 01:23 PM
yea i also think it's a video card issue than a cpu thing

russtic
Feb 1, 2008, 02:26 PM
Wouldn't it be the hdd that is causing the issue. I thought that ssd were slow for sustained reads/writes?

Consultant
Feb 1, 2008, 02:34 PM
Wouldn't it be the hdd that is causing the issue. I thought that ssd were slow for sustained reads/writes?

SSD can be 4 times as fast as desktop highspeed Raptor 10k drives.

The default harddrive is fairly slow though.

cherishbearpapa
Feb 1, 2008, 08:10 PM
Sigh... seems like all negative feedback on the 1080p playback in Air...:confused:

I have a FULL HD Bravia which i believe the Air would be able to connect to at full resolution as written in the website tech specs.

But somehow i still feel that it's pretty possible to have a OK playback with those 1080p movie encoded in x264 with MKV container.

I tried playing Transformers 1080p x264 in MKV file ( which is the heaviest HD file i have with Bitrate of 11 Mbps average ) in a lowest range MacBook 2.0 C2D and it's SMOOTH! Heard somewhere x264 .mkv is 99% CPU dependant, so nothing to do with the GPU.

Still believe that Air should be able to play 1080p MKV files well, but need some solid proof from someone who actually owns an Air to test it out.

Anyway, THANKS a lot to all of you who gave the feedbacks so far. :):)

bjdraw
Feb 1, 2008, 08:16 PM
I was going to go to the apple store again tomorrow, so if you want to make a sample file available to me, I'll bring it with me, but I assume I'll need VLC or perian to playback the mkv.

richard371
Feb 1, 2008, 08:39 PM
My black mb 2.2 plays all 1080p fine at normal performance. I am curious if you want to hook up the mba to your high def tv and surround how would you enjoy the 5.1 surround with no optical out like the MB or MBP. Seems like we keep finding more and more the air can't do or do well. Still a pretty machine. very function follows form.

cherishbearpapa
Feb 1, 2008, 08:40 PM
I sample the file at Rapidshare links below.

http://rapidshare.com/files/65877715/Transformers.HDDVD.1080p_20DTS.x264-CtrlHD.part1.rar
http://rapidshare.com/files/65877592/Transformers.HDDVD.1080p_20DTS.x264-CtrlHD.part2.rar

Yeah, VLC is the best player for .MKV.

THANKS A MILLION MATE!!!!!!

bjdraw
Feb 1, 2008, 08:41 PM
Will VLC run off a thumb drive? That'd make it alot easier.

cherishbearpapa
Feb 1, 2008, 08:52 PM
Yeah, VLC should be able to run on USB drive.

Please get the latest version of VLC as they fixed some compatibility issues with Leopard.

Thanks!!!

bjdraw
Feb 2, 2008, 10:55 AM
I went down there all ready to go with my USB pen drive, and it looks like they sold the demo. So no tests, sucks.

cherishbearpapa
Feb 2, 2008, 07:39 PM
Sigh~ Thanks for trying though.....:)

Can anyone who has an Air please give it a try?

:) Thanks!

Consultant
Feb 3, 2008, 03:40 PM
I just hit the Apple store and downloaded the same 10,000 BC 1080p trailer on the 1.8 SSD. Although the CPU wasn't 100% utilized the video did not play back smoothly. I had it set to the fit to window setting.

It was watchable, but by no means smooth. I'd put my money on it being the video card. Also, there were no other apps running at the time, but it wasn't after a clean boot.

Same here. Just went to the store. 1.8 SSD model. Not clean boot.

Tried Dark Knight
http://www.apple.com/trailers/wb/thedarkknight/hd/


720p plays fine. 1080p is watchable, but my guess is that it's probably 80-90% frame rate. Oops, totally forgot to do COMMAND-I in quicktime to look at frame rate...

Full screen runs better than windowed mode with Activity Monitor showing. Speaker is weak (under keyboard), but there were a ton of people.

Might be a software thing, because the CPU utilization did not go above 100%, I do see blips of it going over 130% (dual core should be 200% max). If CPU can run faster, then it might be able to play 1080p. So it might be worth revisiting after some software updates.

Was going to try playing with VLC and other players, but there were lots of people waiting.

cmm26red
Feb 3, 2008, 03:46 PM
Hello all :),

For those of you who already received your Air, could you please try a 1080p trailer at the below link to test the smoothness of HD playback in Air?

http://www.apple.com/trailers/disney/walle/hd/

Also wondering if 1080p x264 .mkv HD will have a smooth playback in Air? :D

Thank you very much in advance! :)

Why would you want to run a non-native format on the MBA's display. This makes absolutely no sense to me given it's onboard graphics chip.

bjdraw
Feb 3, 2008, 04:43 PM
Why would you want to run a non-native format on the MBA's display. This makes absolutely no sense to me given it's onboard graphics chip.


It's easy if you think about it. What if you have a 1080p movie on your laptop for watching on your 30-inch cinema display, but you're going on a trip. Do you really want to transcode to 720p just to watch it on your MBA?

cherishbearpapa
Feb 5, 2008, 11:08 AM
Anyone?

beast
Feb 5, 2008, 11:17 AM
It's easy if you think about it. What if you have a 1080p movie on your laptop for watching on your 30-inch cinema display, but you're going on a trip. Do you really want to transcode to 720p just to watch it on your MBA?

Why would you put a 1080p movie on the MBA's tiny hard drive???? :confused:

Catch
Feb 5, 2008, 11:24 AM
Why would you put a 1080p movie on the MBA's tiny hard drive???? :confused:

I find that pretty odd as well. I think quite a few people have already posted that it does not run at full frame rate and gives a jerky, albeit usable playback. Personally I can't see how less than full frame rate can be considered usable, but then again I prefer watching my HDM on 50"+

I intend to use handbrake to 'rip' some of my DVD collection appropriately to take on long business trips, and also on trips with the family. Nothing like making a couple of hours on a plane go faster than with the kids watching a movie!

Regards,

C

clayj
Feb 5, 2008, 11:28 AM
I'm curious as to where people are even getting movies (not trailers) in 1080p format onto their computer's hard drive. It's not like you can rip a Blu-ray or HD-DVD movie. Normal DVDs only go up to 480p, and the MBA can handle that playback easily. Or are we talking about some HD movie downloaded from iTunes?

Consultant
Feb 5, 2008, 11:34 AM
I'm curious as to where people are even getting movies (not trailers) in 1080p format onto their computer's hard drive. It's not like you can rip a Blu-ray or HD-DVD movie. Normal DVDs only go up to 480p, and the MBA can handle that playback easily. Or are we talking about some HD movie downloaded from iTunes?

Blu-Ray and HD-DVD can be ripped, although it's a major pain.

Yup MBA can handle the typical DVD rip, and movie playback will be fine for most users except for those who absolutely cannot go without 1080p (only a few people). 720p works great in MBA...

Catch
Feb 5, 2008, 11:40 AM
. 720p works great in MBA...

That has to be the sweet spot for the size screen surely? I do follow the argument about re-ripping though...

By the by, will the Apple service be delivering at 1080p or 720p? Those are some BIG movie downloads if they are at 1080p...

C

errol
Feb 5, 2008, 11:56 AM
That has to be the sweet spot for the size screen surely? I do follow the argument about re-ripping though...

By the by, will the Apple service be delivering at 1080p or 720p? Those are some BIG movie downloads if they are at 1080p...

C

Blu-Ray disks are 25gb per layer (50gb for dual layers), so a full, uncompressed, blu-ray would be that size. Granted, HD-DVDs were smaller, these are being discontinued. With some menus and extras removed, I bet a full 90 minute 1080p Blu-Ray/HD-DVD with uncompressed audio and 5.1 audio, would probably be around 12-15gb.

MacRumorUser
Feb 5, 2008, 11:58 AM
Do you think it could simply be the crappy drivers for the X3100 chipset ?

Maybe explains the discrepancy of why original core duo macbook owners handle the format better ? The GMA 950 had / has infinitely better and maturer drivers.

richard371
Feb 5, 2008, 12:04 PM
I hear 10.5.2 will have better x3100 drivers.

elmo151
Feb 5, 2008, 02:00 PM
indeed. 1080p is overkill and would need to be downsampled.

high definition 720p: 1280x720
MacBook Air resolution: 1280x800

= perfect (with small black bars of 40px each at top and bottom :)

if you go to the settings>>displays you can vary the resolution of your MBA.

:cool:

bjdraw
Feb 5, 2008, 02:42 PM
a.b.hdtv.x264

Consultant
Feb 5, 2008, 04:06 PM
Blu-Ray disks are 25gb per layer (50gb for dual layers), so a full, uncompressed, blu-ray would be that size. Granted, HD-DVDs were smaller, these are being discontinued. With some menus and extras removed, I bet a full 90 minute 1080p Blu-Ray/HD-DVD with uncompressed audio and 5.1 audio, would probably be around 12-15gb.

When it's compressed, 1080p movies can be 4gb to 8gb and still look great.

cherishbearpapa
Feb 6, 2008, 12:43 AM
Could you please try this sample of Transformers in 1080p with your new Air and let me know if it's watchable (smooth/jerky)?

http://rapidshare.com/files/65877715/Transformers.HDDVD.1080p_20DTS.x264-CtrlHD.part1.rar
http://rapidshare.com/files/65877592/Transformers.HDDVD.1080p_20DTS.x264-CtrlHD.part2.rar

Please use VLC to play the file above.
http://www.videolan.org/vlc/download-macosx.html

THANKS A MILLION MATE!!!!!!

aiongiant
Feb 6, 2008, 12:47 AM
i tried 720p
that played smoooth!

1080p hoever was so-so.. watchable but jerky

theappleguy
Feb 6, 2008, 03:47 AM
Has anyone tried 1080i H.264 on a HDD based model (1.6GHz or 1.8GHz)? If 1080p is almost watchable, one would assume 1080i would run fine?

Mr-Stabby
Feb 6, 2008, 04:14 AM
The Apple 1080p trailers on my 2.16ghz CD MacBook Pro (10.5.1) with 2gb RAM and 256mb ATI X1600 run at 15fps compared to the actual 24fps framerate. In Full Screen it's even worse!

Strangely on my 2.5ghz Dual Core G5 PowerMac with 256mb GeForce 7800 Ultra it's almost as bad! Tried plugging it into a Sony Bravia 1080p TV with HDMI-DVI converter and it ran like a dog!

Haven't tried it on anything newer though but i cannot imagine a MacBook Air would be any better! Especially with such a small processor and integrated graphics

Consultant
Feb 6, 2008, 10:11 AM
The Apple 1080p trailers on my 2.16ghz CD MacBook Pro (10.5.1) with 2gb RAM and 256mb ATI X1600 run at 15fps compared to the actual 24fps framerate. In Full Screen it's even worse!

Strangely on my 2.5ghz Dual Core G5 PowerMac with 256mb GeForce 7800 Ultra it's almost as bad! Tried plugging it into a Sony Bravia 1080p TV with HDMI-DVI converter and it ran like a dog!

Haven't tried it on anything newer though but i cannot imagine a MacBook Air would be any better! Especially with such a small processor and integrated graphics

GEEKBENCH score of 1.8 ghz + SSD drive (it's slightly higher than PowerMac G5 Dual Core 2.5ghz):
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=427091

queuecipher
Feb 6, 2008, 10:32 AM
I'm not sure how this works, but with hdtvs one can only notice 1080p when on a larger tv. Even then, the notice is dependent on viewing distance. Is there a benefit from watching 1080p from a couple of feet away on a 13.3" screen?

gnasher729
Feb 6, 2008, 11:00 AM
Hello all :),

For those of you who already received your Air, could you please try a 1080p trailer at the below link to test the smoothness of HD playback in Air?

http://www.apple.com/trailers/disney/walle/hd/

Also wondering if 1080p x264 .mkv HD will have a smooth playback in Air? :D

Thank you very much in advance! :)

Could you explain to us what is the point of playing a 1080p video on a 1200 x 800 pixel monitor?

Consultant
Feb 6, 2008, 11:13 AM
I'm not sure how this works, but with hdtvs one can only notice 1080p when on a larger tv. Even then, the notice is dependent on viewing distance. Is there a benefit from watching 1080p from a couple of feet away on a 13.3" screen?

No perceived quality difference on internal screen when paused.

When 1080p is discussed, it's implied that it will be connected to 1080p display / HDTV. For most people 720p and 1080p will not have a perceived difference at viewing distance (and actually watching the video, NOT putting face close to screen and say "oh I see it's slightly different), unless the output size is huge.

QuarterSwede
Feb 6, 2008, 11:17 AM
The Apple 1080p trailers on my 2.16ghz CD MacBook Pro (10.5.1) with 2gb RAM and 256mb ATI X1600 run at 15fps compared to the actual 24fps framerate. In Full Screen it's even worse!

Strangely on my 2.5ghz Dual Core G5 PowerMac with 256mb GeForce 7800 Ultra it's almost as bad! Tried plugging it into a Sony Bravia 1080p TV with HDMI-DVI converter and it ran like a dog!

Haven't tried it on anything newer though but i cannot imagine a MacBook Air would be any better! Especially with such a small processor and integrated graphics
I don't know. My wife's 2.16GHz C2D MB runs 1080p smoothly (even when scrubbing). I wouldn't be surprised if it ran it fine.

By the by, will the Apple service be delivering at 1080p or 720p? Those are some BIG movie downloads if they are at 1080p...
Movies on iTS are 720p.

Mal
Feb 6, 2008, 11:30 AM
if you go to the settings>>displays you can vary the resolution of your MBA.

:cool:

And what would be the point of this? Yes, you could drop the resolution. You can't go higher than the monitor is made for, which is 1280x800. You can't (or shouldn't) go to a different aspect ratio, nor would it help anything in any way. CrimsonTide's point was that the MBA's monitor is perfect for playing 720p video, but not made for 1080p (thus it won't play at it's best no matter what you do).

jW

retro83
Feb 6, 2008, 11:38 AM
That's bizarre. Original MacBook 2.0 GHz Core Duo, 2GB RAM, 5400 RPM HDD, GMA 950 graphics chipset of course, Numbers, iTunes, Mail, Safari, and of course QT Player, all open. Spaces turned on, four panes, two with windows in them. 10,000 BC 1080p x.264 trailer, smooth as glass, start to finish. Fan kicked on medium speed right at the end, then went straight down to low speed. (And, yeah, I'm absolutely sure which HD versions of the trailers I played; and I played both of the 10K BC trailers available in 1080p). Replayed one of them, switched to Mail, back, moved some windows, no hitches. I mean, I'm not kidding. But I was told when I bought then thing it would be superb for playing 1080p video, but if I was going to do a lot of 1080p video editing, it wouldn't be ideal.

So I don't get it. Especially the MBP C2D owner who reports some stutters, but of course, not testing with this particular trailer, I suppose.

Added: No, of course it won't play full-frame at 1080p on a MacBook display, so for the sake of argument, I played them on an external display, 1440x900, too. Same deal. Smooth as glass. And we have a BD player, so I know from smooth.

What?! Damn, I have an almost brand new 2.2GHz C2D Macbook with 2 Gigs of RAM in the correct config, and the 1080P trailer linked above is terrible (even on the Pixar bit with almost no movement).

Consultant
Feb 6, 2008, 11:45 AM
What?! Damn, I have an almost brand new 2.2GHz C2D Macbook with 2 Gigs of RAM in the correct config, and the 1080P trailer linked above is terrible (even on the Pixar bit with almost no movement).

I wonder if "Better Performance" mode, connected to power supply, with battery in would do better?

Most people would have to wait until the whole file is finished downloading before playing.

bjdraw
Feb 6, 2008, 12:06 PM
Not sure what the deal is with that 1080p transformers clip, but it doesn't play correctly on anything I have. It breaks up and is down right unwatchable. If I pause it, the video clears up for a few seconds, but then it goes down hill again.

I just downloaded 10,000 BC 1080p clip, and most of the time it plays ok, the highest I've seen the CPU is ~65%, but the frame rate isn't constantly 24p so something else is causing issues. I tested this on my 1.6/80HDD MBA. It's been a week since I played it on the 1.8/SSD, but I'd say it played better on the HDD then the SDD, but without testing it side by side, it's hard to say for sure.

I'm configuring my EyeTV right now, I'll report back once I had a chance to try it out.

bjdraw
Feb 6, 2008, 12:07 PM
And what would be the point of this? Yes, you could drop the resolution. You can't go higher than the monitor is made for, which is 1280x800. You can't (or shouldn't) go to a different aspect ratio, nor would it help anything in any way. CrimsonTide's point was that the MBA's monitor is perfect for playing 720p video, but not made for 1080p (thus it won't play at it's best no matter what you do).

jW

You don't know what you are talking about.

Resolution isn't the only factor and if you take a 1080p clip and transcode it to 720p to perfectly fit the MBA like you say, there is more of a chance that you will pick up artifacts in the transcoding process, then in the 1080p to 720p conversion the MBA will do on the fly. Not to mention who wants to spend the time to transcode just to watch a movie on the plane?

bjdraw
Feb 6, 2008, 12:23 PM
Just configured EyeTV 2.5.2 to stream from my HDHomeRun over 802.11G and it works perfectly. It actually works better than my MBP did, which dropped out due to WiFi throughput sometimes. The CPU is at ~55% and and it doesn't appear to be dropping any frames and no noticable de-interlacing artifacts. But then again usually I use the HDHomeRun to stream sports to my laptop, and the only thing on in HD now is a ~11Mbps soap opera.

The 1080i plays fine from the HDD also, and considering the bit rate is ~11Mbps and the 1080p clip from apple is ~10.39Mbps I doubt it is the disk throughput.

I have a copy of the h.264 QT component that I extracted from the ATV around here somewhere, I'll did it up and see if it works any better. I do remember it was considerably better than the h.264 QT component that came with 10.4.

Mal
Feb 6, 2008, 06:53 PM
You don't know what you are talking about.

Resolution isn't the only factor and if you take a 1080p clip and transcode it to 720p to perfectly fit the MBA like you say, there is more of a chance that you will pick up artifacts in the transcoding process, then in the 1080p to 720p conversion the MBA will do on the fly. Not to mention who wants to spend the time to transcode just to watch a movie on the plane?

No need to be a jerk about it. I do know what I'm talking about, I happen to be a certified tech and a movie junkie. Yes, you get the chance of artifacts from transcoding 1080p down to 720p, but you also get the proper pixel density which provides better clarity and also eliminates the stuttering problems (or at least greatly reduces them). It's more than a worthwhile tradeoff, I'd say.

Oh, and go learn some manners.

jW

bjdraw
Feb 6, 2008, 08:08 PM
No need to be a jerk about it. I do know what I'm talking about, I happen to be a certified tech and a movie junkie. Yes, you get the chance of artifacts from transcoding 1080p down to 720p, but you also get the proper pixel density which provides better clarity and also eliminates the stuttering problems (or at least greatly reduces them). It's more than a worthwhile tradeoff, I'd say.

Oh, and go learn some manners.

jW

Sorry if I came off too rude, but this MacBook Air forum is one of the hardest I've ever tried to read. There are haters around every corner coming in here just to be jerks. How many posts saying, why would you want to watch 1080p on a MBA do we need in this thread? I apologize for loosing my temper.

As for your argument. "Proper pixel density" not sure what you're talking about, I googled for it and there were five results. If you are referring to one-to-one pixel mapping, then you have a point, but compression artifacts and the time required to transcode 1080p video just to watch it on your laptop, far outweighs a theoretical degradation from scaling 1080p to 720p.

In fact, by default just about every HDTV ever made scales a 1080p image down about 3% on a 1080p TV since overscan is engineered into every HDTV -- yes even Plasmas, LCDs, DLPs and SXRDs. Luckily many newer high end TVs allow you to disable this scaling, but it is referred to differently by each manufacturer. Samsung calls it "Just Scan" while Pioneer calls it "Dot by Dot" for example.

Regardless, you don't see ISF certified technicians claiming that any HDTV without this mode is inferior just because it doesn't offer "proper pixel density" as you put it.

The fact of that matter is that there are many other more important aspects of video quality than resolution.

Do you mind if I ask what kind of HDTV you have?

theappleguy
Feb 7, 2008, 01:51 AM
The 1080i plays fine from the HDD also, and considering the bit rate is ~11Mbps and the 1080p clip from apple is ~10.39Mbps I doubt it is the disk throughput.That's good to hear. Thanks. :)

cherishbearpapa
Feb 7, 2008, 10:41 PM
According to Cybergypsy , Transformers 1080p mkv plays smooth in Air!!!

Quote Cybergypsy :
"No issues at all :) plays smooth"

Perhaps for those who didn't get a smooth playback, you may try to plug in the charger to get the maximum performance?

For those who are wondering why i'm asking for this particular movie in 1080p to be tested in Air :
1) I'm aware that 13.3" is only good for 720p, but i would want to plug in my Air to my 50" LCD tv to watch all my 720p/1080p movie. Quoting from Apple website :
"Extended desktop and video mirroring: Simultaneously supports full native resolution on the built-in display and up to 1920 by 1200 pixels on an external display, both at millions of colors"

2) Why Transformers 1080p? Because it's a movie sample with the highest video bitrate reaching up to 12 Mb/s, so if Air can handle this meaning it's fully capable of playing 99% of HD out there, at least for those x264 encoded in mkv container.

Again, THANKS a lot folks! Still waiting for the Air to reach my shore! Hah! :)

bjdraw
Feb 8, 2008, 08:23 AM
I'd like to know what he used to play it.
I tried a few versions of VLC including the latest nightly build.

ahaxton
Feb 8, 2008, 09:58 AM
OK that Transformers sample did not play well at all. I suspected it was a crap file or something. I downloaded a 1080p MKV (Transformers) the whole movie and played it to see if it would work. It played smoothly.

luckystrike
Feb 21, 2008, 02:16 PM
hi from germany!

i read many interesting things here about hidef and the mba but nothing about the fans while watching hidef movies.

ich have a macbook c2d 2.16 and i donīt hear the fans when i watch a 720p
movie on my hd-ready tv upscaled to 1360x768.

how it is with a mba and a 1.6ghz cpu?
please say quite :o

thanks

Beliyaal
Feb 21, 2008, 04:19 PM
It was hopeless trying to make my 15 mbit 1080p x264 movie play in OSX, but in Vista it was possible with CoreAVC. CPU usage between 60% and 80%. The fan was howling constantly, and the battery lasted 1 hour 27 minutes.

Specs
MacBook Air 1.8 GHz
60 GB SSD
15 mbit x264 1080p movie
Vista x32
Bluetooth and wireless disabled
Movie on 32 GB usb thumb drive
Screen brightness at 100%

Results:
Movie played without hiccups for 1 hour 27 minutes before battery ran out.

Will try the same with screen at lowest setting when the battery have recharged.

mtk75
Feb 21, 2008, 10:41 PM
AFor those who are wondering why i'm asking for this particular movie in 1080p to be tested in Air :
1) I'm aware that 13.3" is only good for 720p, but i would want to plug in my Air to my 50" LCD tv to watch all my 720p/1080p movie. Quoting from Apple website :
"Extended desktop and video mirroring: Simultaneously supports full native resolution on the built-in display and up to 1920 by 1200 pixels on an external display, both at millions of colors"

2) Why Transformers 1080p? Because it's a movie sample with the highest video bitrate reaching up to 12 Mb/s, so if Air can handle this meaning it's fully capable of playing 99% of HD out there, at least for those x264 encoded in mkv container.


My MBA has not arrived yet, so I cannot check this. I will say, I would expect video to play better on the external 1080p monitor. My reasoning is simple. To play on the normal MBA screen, not only is the movie being decoded, but it is then being downsampled. On an external display with the right resolution, only the decoding is necessary. I'm not certain how much processing that will save, but I expect it to make a difference.

I'll try it hooked up to my TV when the MBA comes in if this hasn't been tested yet.

BTW, if someone knows more about video decoding, and knows how the algorithm works, I would be interested to know if this is correct, or if the decoding process just decodes fewer pixels when it is calculating a different screen size on the fly. (I could only see this as possible if the compression process is using some sort of wavelet compression...)

One last thought, someone said their processor was only at 130% while the video was skipping. I wonder if the decoding process is multithreaded. It could be taking up 100% of one of the processors, but the program might not be set up to take advantage of the second processor. This could result in a situation where the processor is not maxed out, but the video is still not smooth because of processor bandwidth limitations. If that is the problem, I would think that the video could be made to play better by threading. Perhaps by using one processor for decoding, and the other for downsampling. Just a thought...

-Matt

Beliyaal
Feb 22, 2008, 07:37 AM
My MBA has not arrived yet, so I cannot check this. I will say, I would expect video to play better on the external 1080p monitor. My reasoning is simple. To play on the normal MBA screen, not only is the movie being decoded, but it is then being downsampled. On an external display with the right resolution, only the decoding is necessary. I'm not certain how much processing that will save, but I expect it to make a difference.
-Matt

Most assuredly it will decode at full resolution and use the graphics card to scale the movie. This scaling operation is very cheap on the graphics card, and should not affect performance. I'm not sure what other programs use to scale the video, but VLC uses OpenGL so it uses this method.

FireArse
Feb 22, 2008, 07:49 AM
The Apple 1080p trailers on my 2.16ghz CD MacBook Pro (10.5.1) with 2gb RAM and 256mb ATI X1600 run at 15fps compared to the actual 24fps framerate. In Full Screen it's even worse!

Strangely on my 2.5ghz Dual Core G5 PowerMac with 256mb GeForce 7800 Ultra it's almost as bad! Tried plugging it into a Sony Bravia 1080p TV with HDMI-DVI converter and it ran like a dog!

Haven't tried it on anything newer though but i cannot imagine a MacBook Air would be any better! Especially with such a small processor and integrated graphics

There is something really wrong with both your machines. I suggest you install OS X on a FW drive and try from that - both machines should run 1080p like butter. I had a Dual 2GHz G5 with 9600 that ran 1080p H.264 trailers fine. The MBP should be faster!

mtk75
Feb 22, 2008, 02:47 PM
Most assuredly it will decode at full resolution and use the graphics card to scale the movie. This scaling operation is very cheap on the graphics card, and should not affect performance. I'm not sure what other programs use to scale the video, but VLC uses OpenGL so it uses this method.

Ah, thank you for the clarification. I didn't even think about the graphics card. (The systems I program for rarely even have an OS...)

-Matt

bjdraw
Feb 24, 2008, 11:00 AM
This post was completely incorrect, so I removed it in attempt to prevent the spread of misinformation.

Beliyaal
Feb 24, 2008, 07:48 PM
The Core 2 Dou processor is not the same as having two processors, since both cores are on the same chip and share the same cache, the CPUs internally scheduler can assign handles from the same thread to each core. This is why the both cores are almost always at the same utilization on a multi-core Intel processor. The great thing about this is that every just about every application can take advantage of single-threaded applications, the irony is that some multi-threaded applications (like SQL 2005) have issues with this functionality.

This is just untrue. While the cores share the same cache, the scheduling is entirely up to the operating system. Single threaded applications will gain nothing from a dual core processor other than other processes being offloaded to the other core.

I think you are confusing the issue with hyper-threading.

bjdraw
Feb 25, 2008, 09:31 AM
This is just untrue. While the cores share the same cache, the scheduling is entirely up to the operating system. Single threaded applications will gain nothing from a dual core processor other than other processes being offloaded to the other core.

I think you are confusing the issue with hyper-threading.

You are right, not sure I managed to muck that up. I guess I was confused with the OS schedule, I guess all my apps are multi-threaded, as both my cores are almost always at the exact same utilization.

Beliyaal
Feb 25, 2008, 05:36 PM
You are right, not sure I managed to muck that up. I guess I was confused with the OS schedule, I guess all my apps are multi-threaded, as both my cores are almost always at the exact same utilization.

I could be wrong, but I think the OS switches the process between the cores to conserve power. So the process would run one slice (a couple of ms) on one core, and than be rescheduled to the other core alternately.

brianjmarshall@
Feb 25, 2008, 06:17 PM
I was too impatient to read all of the posts, so sorry if this was already brought up, but I streamed the 1080P wall*e trailer and watched it full screen, half size, and full size (with the picture bleeding off the screen), with zero jittering or stutters, no artifacts, and it looked damn good. I mean, I know that in theory, 720P will look just as amazing but I'm just saying...

bjdraw
Feb 29, 2008, 07:39 AM
I could be wrong, but I think the OS switches the process between the cores to conserve power. So the process would run one slice (a couple of ms) on one core, and than be rescheduled to the other core alternately.

Maybe that is what I was thinking of when I said scheduler. That makes sense that the OS could split a single thread so fast that it'd seem like both cores were working on it at the same time.

designed
Feb 29, 2008, 08:56 PM
720p MKV-files run fine with VLC - for a while. Then it apparently decides to start stuttering. My best guess is dropping the other core due heat, since the temp is up and the fan has been screaming for 10 minutes at that point but still makes me feel disbelief, especially since there's quite much CPU time to spare at that point.

I could understand not being able to handle 1080p but 720p? Come on Steve... :rolleyes:

1.8/64

bjdraw
Mar 1, 2008, 10:25 AM
I noticed the stuttering too, but I'm not sure it's the heat. I've always had problems playing back mkv in vlc, so I always figured it was VLC.

I guess the only way to tell is to try to play back the same movie on two different machines in the same version of VLC, and note the temperature and time line of the movie when the stuttering starts.

Then repeat at another time and see if the stuttering starts when the movie hits the same part or the temperature is the same.

ahaxton
Mar 1, 2008, 10:47 AM
Remember to unplug the power adapter before starting playback of a MKV. I've only had stuttering while the power adapter was plugged in.

designed
Mar 1, 2008, 11:12 AM
Remember to unplug the power adapter before starting playback of a MKV. I've only had stuttering while the power adapter was plugged in.

Apparently so, even YouTube seems to run 'cooler' unplugged. I'd say the thermal envelope is a *bit* :rolleyes:

Will try 720p MKVs with Quicktime today.

erlen
Oct 16, 2008, 08:20 PM
Hello, I see it's been a while since anyone posted here.

Does anyone know if the new MBA - with Montevina and NVIDIA etc. - will do any better with 1080p?

Thanks.

RRutter
Oct 16, 2008, 09:35 PM
Hello all :),

For those of you who already received your Air, could you please try a 1080p trailer at the below link to test the smoothness of HD playback in Air?

http://www.apple.com/trailers/disney/walle/hd/

Also wondering if 1080p x264 .mkv HD will have a smooth playback in Air? :D

Thank you very much in advance! :)

Not sure what you mean.. Do you mean the built in 1080 support in the Drive for the MBA, or connecting the MBA to a 1080i TV (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=290857)? If you are talking about option 2, click it and it will forward you to a similar post.

System requirements for 1080p HD video.

http://www.apple.com/quicktime/guide/hd/recommendations.html

Edit: Those are System Recommendations, not System Requirements.

spencers
Oct 18, 2008, 11:02 PM
Not sure what you mean.. Do you mean the built in 1080 support in the Drive for the MBA, or connecting the MBA to a 1080i TV (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=290857)? If you are talking about option 2, click it and it will forward you to a similar post.

Edit: Those are System Recommendations, not System Requirements.

Read the dates on the posts you quoted. They're old.

piimaPAKK
Oct 20, 2008, 07:00 AM
VLC used to suck for 1080p content, maybe they changed it but when i tried last time it was all jittery on my desktop with Athlon 3800X2 and 2gb of ram.
While KMediaplayer and QT play 1080p silky smooth on the same rig.

azndevil
Jan 25, 2010, 03:39 PM
Here's a test for the macbook air that i did myself

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CCQGBIO7YA

all the specs are in the side bar

Cave Man
Jan 25, 2010, 05:14 PM
It'll play Blu-ray rips just fine, so long as you use the right software and extract the AC3 or DTS cores. HD audio brings it to its knees.

coast1ja
Jan 25, 2010, 07:20 PM
holy thread resurrection, Batman!

msdoanne
Apr 28, 2011, 10:47 PM
I just bought an 11 inch macbook air, and tried to play a 1080p mkv file. The file plays smooth when there isn't a lot of music/sound in the background, but when the movie breaks out into symphony, the video becomes very pixelated, choppy, and freezes. It's such a bummer! I really love this computer for how portable it is but I am having second thoughts. :(

GekkePrutser
Apr 29, 2011, 04:13 AM
I just bought an 11 inch macbook air, and tried to play a 1080p mkv file. The file plays smooth when there isn't a lot of music/sound in the background, but when the movie breaks out into symphony, the video becomes very pixelated, choppy, and freezes. It's such a bummer! I really love this computer for how portable it is but I am having second thoughts. :(

Try using MKVTools (http://www.emmgunn.com/mokgvm2dvd/mokgvmhome.html) to convert MKV's to MP4. It doesn't tuoch the video material, it just changes the container so it doesn't need to re-encode frame by frame, it's very fast. If necessary it can re-encode the audio to AAC but even that is still much faster than recoding audio+video.

The advantage of that is that QuickTime X supports hardware acceleration for H.264 (including x264) material, but only in an MP4 container. VLC doesn't support any kind of acceleration so it only has the slow CPU to work with.

I always use it to convert 720p stuff to play on the iPad, but it should also work with 1080p to play it on the MBA with hardware decoding. It should play fine then because the GPU is plenty fast for it.

Oldandintheway
Apr 29, 2011, 07:51 AM
I copied this from another thread. It fixed my video playback problems and apparently works for gaming too.
1) Do a clean install of OS X to 10.6.5.
2) Download 10.6.6 from Apple (http://support.apple.com/kb/dl1343)
3) Optional, but recommended: Backup your data via Time Machine.
4) Download 10.6.7 from Apple (http://support.apple.com/kb/dl1363)

And there you have it. Instead of installing the double-update, simply download each update, individually. 1080 videos from my D7000 would not play smooth at 10.6.7 but played perfectly at 10.6.5. I later update to 10.6.6 and they played perfectly and then to 10.6.7 and they played perfectly. I'll try your link tonight when I get home but try this on yours. I have the base model.

11.6"
1.4ghz
2gb ram
64gb hd

Cave Man
Apr 29, 2011, 08:19 AM
I just bought an 11 inch macbook air, and tried to play a 1080p mkv file. The file plays smooth when there isn't a lot of music/sound in the background, but when the movie breaks out into symphony, the video becomes very pixelated, choppy, and freezes.

I have difficulty believing that it's the computer and not the software you're using for playback or the file itself because my previous gen 1.83 gHz MBA plays Blu-ray rips just fine, so long as the HD audio has been removed (e.g., AC3 or DTS in the container). Where did you get the file? Did you rip it? What was its original source? What are the audio and video codecs of the file? Have you played the file on another Mac that is faster? If so, does the problem persist? What software are you using for playback?

Beanoir
Apr 29, 2011, 10:44 AM
Why even bother with 1080p videos on a screen that doesn't have that high a resolution, pointless unless your video collection is all 1080p already then I could understand it as it won't look any better, infact worse if the processor can't handle it and it's all jumpy. If not then you may as well download 720p stuff, save space on your HDD and stand more chance of the video being smoother too.

rgs3
Apr 29, 2011, 03:56 PM
Why even bother with 1080p videos on a screen that doesn't have that high a resolution, pointless unless your video collection is all 1080p already then I could understand it as it won't look any better, infact worse if the processor can't handle it and it's all jumpy. If not then you may as well download 720p stuff, save space on your HDD and stand more chance of the video being smoother too.

I bother because of that awesome display port hooked up to my 1080p TV.

Beanoir
Apr 29, 2011, 05:49 PM
I bother because of that awesome display port hooked up to my 1080p TV.

I tried that today funnily enough. Picked up an adapter and a play around. I couldn't get the screen to fit very well, I know it's a different ratio but whatever way I tried it I couldn't get the top bar to display on the TV screen.

Meric
Apr 30, 2011, 03:15 AM
I played the 1080p day at work clip... cpu was 70-80 % idle... cpu temp 60-66
fan speed was 2000 rpm then went up to 2400..

then played the trailer 3... fan went up from 2400 to 3100 rpm...

theturtle
Apr 30, 2011, 07:52 AM
boo. was watching star trek on netflix yesterday. continuous fan through out the movie. when i went full screen, frame drops like no other.

not a big drawback, but a drawback none the less. beginning to wonder if the macbook pro is the better option. but darn, the weight of the pro just kills me (also the resale value is less than the air even though it has a newer processor)

BENJMNS
Apr 30, 2011, 09:06 AM
boo. was watching star trek on netflix yesterday. continuous fan through out the movie. when i went full screen, frame drops like no other.

not a big drawback, but a drawback none the less. beginning to wonder if the macbook pro is the better option. but darn, the weight of the pro just kills me (also the resale value is less than the air even though it has a newer processor)

your mba hardware setup matters. 11 ult falls short with hd.

theturtle
Apr 30, 2011, 09:19 AM
your mba hardware setup matters. 11 ult falls short with hd.

running a base 13"

Beanoir
Apr 30, 2011, 05:56 PM
Well I've just downloaded the WALL.E trailer in 1080p form the OP's first post. My 11" MBA is base spec and I saved it to my hard drive, played it in full screen and it was fine, smooth and trouble free.