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View Full Version : Air cannot even handle 720p 30fps




richard371
Feb 8, 2008, 07:43 PM
Try playing the BBC motion gallery sea video and use command I to check the frame rate. It is supposed to be 30 fps but sometimes will drop to 8 or 10 etc and get very choppy. My black MB doesn't drop a frame. Dissapointing.



Eidorian
Feb 8, 2008, 07:45 PM
Open up Activity Monitor and/or get a temperature monitoring application. iStat (http://islayer.com/) being the most popular one right now.

The BBC player/gallery is using a lot of CPU power and then forcing the laptop to shut a core down to cool.

Peace
Feb 8, 2008, 07:56 PM
I think the OP is referring to playing the video in QT.

richard371
Feb 8, 2008, 07:56 PM
both cores are running and I even tried it when the cpu was cool.



Open up Activity Monitor and/or get a temperature monitoring application. iStat (http://islayer.com/) being the most popular one right now.

The BBC player/gallery is using a lot of CPU power and then forcing the laptop to shut a core down to cool.

Eidorian
Feb 8, 2008, 07:58 PM
I think the OP is referring to playing the video in QT.I'd like the OP to elaborate on this.

both cores are running and I even tried it when the cpu was cool.Any idea what kind of codec/application it's trying to use for playback?

richard371
Feb 8, 2008, 08:11 PM
http://www.apple.com/quicktime/guide/hd/ I just clicked on the 720p version and played in quicktime

Peace
Feb 8, 2008, 08:12 PM
http://www.apple.com/quicktime/guide/hd/I just clicked on the 720p version and played in quicktime


That link doesn't work.

Eidorian
Feb 8, 2008, 08:13 PM
http://www.apple.com/quicktime/guide/hd/I just clicked on the 720p version and played in quicktimeHave you tried playing other videos in Quicktime?

That link doesn't work.Removing the trailing /I at least takes you to the QT HD page.

remove the trailing I. I have edited the link so it is correct now.Thank you.

xUKHCx
Feb 8, 2008, 08:13 PM
That link doesn't work.

remove the trailing I. I have edited the link so it is correct now.

Peace
Feb 8, 2008, 08:15 PM
I figured that out.

The OP's problem could be in streaming rather than watching an already downloaded video.

richard371
Feb 8, 2008, 08:27 PM
It was completly downloaded and i was even looping it. My Black macbook does not drop any frames at all. It is a shame the air cant even handle 720p wo dropping frames.

ahaxton
Feb 8, 2008, 08:31 PM
Is this a trolling?

We have had an extensive discussion on what can play on our MBA's. I have played 720p and 1080p videos just fine. 720p all codecs tried, 1080p many codecs.

richard371
Feb 8, 2008, 08:38 PM
Maybe its a prob with my unit. I also remember reading that 720p is fine and that only 1080p can drop some frames.

ahaxton
Feb 8, 2008, 08:39 PM
Maybe its a prob with my unit. I also remember reading that 720p is fine and that only 1080p can drop some frames.

Depending on what codec 1080p can run great too. Tested an entire movie and it played great.

richard371
Feb 8, 2008, 09:01 PM
Ok here is what I noticed. If I turn it off and play it when its cool it plays fine but after about 5 or 10 mins when the cpu temp gets to around 150-170f it stutters. i have it on a desk with plenty of venilation. Both cores are always running according to istat. Does this mean I have to put it on ice if i want to watch 720p? I hope this does not have thermal problems as it is the 3rd one i have tried due to battery issues.

I sat my black macbook on the bed with poor venilation and looped the video for about 30 mins. It never dropped a frame and the cpu got to about 150.

Masquerade
Feb 8, 2008, 09:10 PM
Ok here is what I noticed. If I turn it off and play it when its cool it plays fine but after about 5 or 10 mins when the cpu temp gets to around 150-170f it stutters. i have it on a desk with plenty of venilation. Both cores are always running according to istat. Does this mean I have to put it on ice if i want to watch 720p? I hope this does not have thermal problems as it is the 3rd one i have tried due to battery issues.

I sat my black macbook on the bed with poor venilation and looped the video for about 30 mins. It never dropped a frame and the cpu got to about 150.

Trolling begins!

OFFICIALY MACBOOK IS A BETTER MACHINE THAN MACBOOK AIR. PERIOD.

dsnort
Feb 8, 2008, 09:14 PM
Doesn't SOUND like trolling. Sounds like a thermal paste issue.

shadowfax
Feb 8, 2008, 09:50 PM
Trolling begins!

OFFICIALY MACBOOK IS A BETTER MACHINE THAN MACBOOK AIR. PERIOD.

Are you referring to your own post or his?

that is peculiar about the heat/performance issue. it sounds like something is horribly awry with your machine, either heating issues or the processor itself is bad and doesn't work at full resolution. 3rd (or 4th?) lemon? that's rough luck, man. Maybe your Apple store got a bad batch?

richard371
Feb 8, 2008, 09:51 PM
After using the air its hard to go back to the macbook. I am returning it because I like the air so much better. But I have had no probs with the mb. I am on my third air and it want do any good to me if I cannot watch movies on it because it over heats.

Doesn't SOUND like trolling. Sounds like a thermal paste issue.

mykoljay
Feb 8, 2008, 11:14 PM
looks good on my mba

Peace
Feb 8, 2008, 11:17 PM
If you've had these problems with three new Mac Air's then take it back and demand a brand new one.

macenforcer
Feb 8, 2008, 11:32 PM
Doesn't SOUND like trolling. Sounds like a thermal paste issue.

Urban myth.

chrono1081
Feb 9, 2008, 12:17 AM
Urban myth.

Um. not urban myth improper dispersion of thermal paste will cause problems. Ironically Im glancing at the computer on my workbench with that exact problem right now.

kantonaxtwoo
Feb 9, 2008, 03:18 AM
after i read this thread ive been watching trailers on apple.com and im watching them in 720p and 1080p and it looks amazing smooth and no dropped frames at all so im not sure if you have an individual issue or not and my cpu is running around 125

pgharavi
Feb 9, 2008, 09:19 AM
It's not a troll, I have the exact same problem.

In order to test this out, I downloaded a video in 720p (.mkv), and it will play fine for about 5-7 minutes, and then I get a hiccup. And then another, and another, and then very quickly the sound continues but the video is completely frozen.

I get this message (or something close to it) in VLC:

"Error, Dropped frames for more than 5 seconds (computer too slow?)."

This has happened each and every time. I've even tried fresh reboot and closing every app that could be on (mail, adium, browser, etc). The fans are going full bore and something somebody said in this thread sounded interesting to me:

I brought up activity monitor and I've noticed that of the two CPU "bars" the left one is FULL and the right one is empty. When I go into the stats, it said 50% of the CPU is idle. THAT must be the problem. Does this mean I have a defective unit?

EDIT: I forgot to add one other bit of info: this never happens when I *start* with a regular movie file, in non 720p resolutions. But just last night, after giving the 720p movie file another shot, I once again gave up, and then tried watching a regular movie file (non-HD reso) and while that was playable, it was FAR choppier than normal. So I'm thinking the MBA asn't able to cool down enough to let the second core back online?

MazingerZ
Feb 9, 2008, 09:20 AM
It's not a troll, I have the exact same problem.

In order to test this out, I downloaded an episode of Lost in 720p (.mkv), and it will play fine for about 5-7 minutes, and then I get a hiccup. And then another, and another, and then very quickly the sound continues but the video is completely frozen.

I get this message (or something close to it) in VLC:

"Error, Dropped frames for more than 5 seconds (computer too slow?)."

This has happened each and every time. I've even tried fresh reboot and closing every app that could be on (mail, adium, browser, etc). The fans are going full bore and something somebody said in this thread sounded interesting to me:

I brought up activity monitor and I've noticed that of the two CPU "bars" the left one is FULL and the right one is empty. When I go into the stats, it said 50% of the CPU is idle. THAT must be the problem. Does this mean I have a defective unit?

Could it be an issue with VLC?

pgharavi
Feb 9, 2008, 09:39 AM
Could it be an issue with VLC?

First thing I thought of so I downloaded mplayer (or whatever) and I had the same issue.

ahaxton
Feb 9, 2008, 09:44 AM
SMU reset and battery calibration, do it.

JasonBourne9
Feb 9, 2008, 11:05 AM
Could it be an issue with VLC?

I've had that same problem with my G5 Quad. It's definitely a VLC/mkv/whatever-codec-the-video-is-in issue. Playing all the Apple trailers and most HD material out there should be fine but some mkvs can make all but the fastest of macs choke. It depends on so many variables. Best to stick to the more native codecs (h.264, etc)

bjdraw
Feb 9, 2008, 09:38 PM
MKV has problems on mac period. Both VLC and Perian are working to improve support, but at this point it is a work in progress. But at this point they are watchable, when I watch them a few droped frames is the least of my problems.

ozthegweat
Feb 23, 2008, 09:46 AM
Actually, I also hat this problem with core shutdown with a normal 350MB avi files, playing in QuickTime or in VLC.

I even shut down any other programs and disabled the internal display of the MBA (by waking it from sleep with the lid closed), but it was still the same.

Pretty lousy!

Malcster
Feb 23, 2008, 12:08 PM
Surprised at this thread as ive just finished watching 2 hours of 720p .mkv video in VLC with no problems at all! This is on a 1.6 MBA too, doesnt even max out the cpu (uses about 40% of each cpu)

Only thing ive noticed is the fan was ramped after it finished for a few minutes, but thats now idled down to normal too.

Maybe theres a dodgy batch of GPU's around?

Rlkv011
Feb 23, 2008, 07:46 PM
I am on my second Air. The mac genius said he couldn't find anything wrong with my 1.6 80 HDD Air after running stress tests. He said he would give me a brand new air and if it continued to have problems it wasn't because of the air but because of the files I was watching. I am having the same problems with my new air. I have a hard time watching dvd's on my superdrive or 350 mb .avi files. Apple needs to do something about this.

NC MacGuy
Feb 23, 2008, 08:40 PM
I have opened and watched plenty of files & a DVD w. my 1.6 without a problem. Are you watching them via Bootcamp/Windows or in Mac OS? My fan gets up to 6krpm but never shuts down or stutters. Do you have other processes running concurrently?

steventsmith
Mar 5, 2008, 07:38 AM
Videos stutter on my 1.6 MacBook Air in both mkv and mp4 format playing in VLC and Mplayer. I transcode all my movies to 5Mbit with 128kbit AAC and play with QuickTime normally. QuickTime on the MB Air does play these files with no problem, using 80% or so of each CPU. Try transcoding?

sparkstack
Mar 5, 2008, 07:47 AM
SMU reset and battery calibration, do it.
This is a joke, right?

Passante
Mar 5, 2008, 07:59 AM
I was able to play two hidef movies on the MacBook AIr at the Apple store without stuttering. Can't recall if they played at 24 or 30 fps. I was also able to work with iPhoto while these played in the background. BTW I was using a model with the solid state drive.

Are you sure the movie was completely downloaded?

Mr.Green
Mar 5, 2008, 09:53 AM
When playing movies / tv episodes in XVID format using VLC, my machine will often get hot enough to shut one of the cores down causing playback errors.

It also happens when I watch a couple Youtube videos (after around 15 minutes).

I can also get it to happen when I'm running VMWare, Safari, Lotus Notes, MSN Messenger, Fireworks CS3 and Mail at work. Those are the programs I typically have to use all day.

It sounds like I might just have a bad machine.

Stratus Fear
Mar 5, 2008, 11:15 AM
When playing movies / tv episodes in XVID format using VLC, my machine will often get hot enough to shut one of the cores down causing playback errors.

It also happens when I watch a couple Youtube videos (after around 15 minutes).

I can also get it to happen when I'm running VMWare, Safari, Lotus Notes, MSN Messenger, Fireworks CS3 and Mail at work. Those are the programs I typically have to use all day.

It sounds like I might just have a bad machine.

Mine will do the same, but this is usually on a less than ideal surface for ventilation (for example, using the machine to watch movies in bed or something). It's entirely possible, though, that it's a thermal paste issue. From what I've seen, it's pretty easy to get the bottom panel off of the MBA, but how easy is it to access and disassemble the heatsink assembly? Anyone know? Could probably fix the issue yourself, if you know how to correctly apply thermal paste. I'd try to get the same kind of paste as apple uses (the white thermal paste) just so AppleCare doesn't know the difference if you need service in the future -- if what you've done isn't the source of a problem, they shouldn't be able to deny you service, anyway, although they'll certainly try if you make it that they know you did something.

Although, I wouldn't advocate opening the machine if you've never done anything of the sort in the past, as you could easily mess something up if you don't know what you're doing. I opened up an iBook years back to fix the power jack after the plug had broken off inside and couldn't be removed from the outside. Had to take the machine for service at a later date and AppleCare guys had no clue that I ever opened it. But you never know. You just need to be careful in the event that you know what you're doing and want to try it.

jjahshik32
Mar 6, 2008, 05:36 PM
Might be the mkv file itself. Mkv files run fine on my 2.8ghz 8 core mac pro but it does crash ALOT.

al82
Mar 6, 2008, 05:44 PM
My MBA stutters on you tube or watching an avi episode of simpsons, im on my second, same problem. Thinking of getting a normal macbook now.

jjahshik32
Mar 6, 2008, 06:35 PM
If only the macbooks have the led screen then I'd jump on one as well. But yea the mba is just too underpowered (for me) to use, even as an ultraportable. I owned the sony vaio tz model with the 2.5" hdd (yes that little thing fit a normal 2.5") and it ran cool and even played 1080p just fine.

quietstorm
Oct 18, 2009, 02:49 AM
My mac air (2.13mhz, ssd128) can play 720p/1080p trailers from apple.com just fine, even while they are being downloaded (1.4mb/sec dload speed)).

However, playing 720p rips of movies in mkv format which were not prepared by apple (encoders used unknown to me) is impossible, even if i copy them to mac's SSD, not to mention 1080p movies.

That leads me to believe that one of the following statements is correct:
(a) apple's own codec for HD implementation is indeed revolutionary, achieving HD encoding with a less complex video compression algorithm.
(b) apple's QT offers a hardware based decoder for the video formats it can natively support while the third party applications used to enable support for other video formats (VLC, perian codecs, mplayer osx etc) do not utilize mac air's hardware optimally, resulting in choppy playback, overheating the cpu etc...

If i am correct, then i think that a solution can only be found in transcoding your videos to either apple's own HD format or simply downgrading the video clip's resolution to 480p... problem is that each time a video is transcoded to another format, some quality loss is inevitable....

In any case it's obvious that macbook air can not rely solely on it's cpu to do the job of displaying HD video and therefore advanced software codecs that utilize the GPU hardware in order to tax the cpu less, are necessary. This is probably the case for windows notebooks as well but it seems software video codecs available for windows computers ( such as mplayer classic) are more advanced at this moment.

IscariotJ
Oct 18, 2009, 03:26 AM
This is interesting, as I'm picking up an Air shortly. A friend of mine with a 13" MBP ( 2.4Ghz ) had exactly the same issue. Watching 720p mkv's with VLC would cause it to stutter, etc. His solution was to use Plex. Plays beautifully....

RichardF
Oct 22, 2009, 11:24 AM
My mac air (2.13mhz, ssd128) can play 720p/1080p trailers from apple.com just fine, even while they are being downloaded (1.4mb/sec dload speed)).

However, playing 720p rips of movies in mkv format which were not prepared by apple (encoders used unknown to me) is impossible, even if i copy them to mac's SSD, not to mention 1080p movies.[..]

This is the info I was looking for. What about 720p .avi playback with VLC, also unbearable?

Cave Man
Oct 28, 2009, 01:34 AM
Nonsense. The current MBAs can play 1080p files perfectly fine, regardless of container, provided you use the right software (e.g., Plex, XBMC). It even does Blu-ray rips (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=734123).

601.

HellDiverUK
Oct 28, 2009, 03:47 AM
Current MBA have similar specs to my Early09 Mini, and it plays anything I throw at it, and I'm playing to above HD resolution on my Dell screen. All my FullHD rips are on a storage server, so it's streaming and playing.

If the MBA is stuttering, then there's almost certainly a software issue on your machine. The hardware is more than capable.

efegue
Oct 28, 2009, 10:09 AM
try plex

darrellishere
Nov 1, 2009, 06:23 PM
This issue has mostly been resolved since 10.6.1 or Macbook air firmware upgrade.
I now no longer need to use Cool book to unthrottle the cpu with Flash HD Stuff or VLC. Unfortunately I still need to use it with Plex and my blu-ray rips.
Strangely air seems to know much better, when to throttle and most importantly when to not! Making life much better for us an de-crippling the macbook air for most users! I've monitered the air CPU frequency changing from 886-1.6mhz with hd stuff, aperture, I'm not sure about games?

I do now find that the most demanding stuff I that I can throw at it seems to be itunes hd tv episodes. It skips frames even with the cpu throttled. I thought itunes stuff was off loaded to the gpu? Mind you on my model that is clocked back too.

1rottenapple
Nov 1, 2009, 10:56 PM
Yup my 1.86 reb b with ssd also can't handle streamed hidef. very disappointing and I got a new mbp 13, inch.

Cave Man
Nov 1, 2009, 11:19 PM
Yup my 1.86 reb b with ssd also can't handle streamed hidef.

Probably should check your network, because even a 1.66 gHz Mini can do 1080p with the right software.