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Avenger
Feb 8, 2008, 09:40 PM
Hi. I am having problem with playing videos through itunes on the Macbook Air (I just got it today 1.6/80HD). I am playing normal res (640x400) mp4 videos and after a while (25 mins) it seems like a core shuts down. The CPU temp varies to like 59C-63C. The CPU's aren't necessarily that loaded but when it goes to 1 CPU, the single CPU gets pegged and everything stutters. The fan goes to about 6000 rpm. I'm charging the battery while playing so I'll try after it is fully charged but I am getting worried. I didn't realize that playing videos could cause a problem like this. I may have to eat the restocking fee :(



pgharavi
Feb 9, 2008, 09:27 AM
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?

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?

ahaxton
Feb 9, 2008, 09:29 AM
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?

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?


Have you done a SMU reset plus battery calibration?

pgharavi
Feb 9, 2008, 09:31 AM
I have no idea what you are talking about :)

I have not let the battery drain all the way, if that is what you might mean.

To give you an example of the system's symptoms, when VLC starts choking to death on the video, the system does too. I usually test this by flipping the mouse through the dock icons and of course, they are painfully sluggish.

ahaxton
Feb 9, 2008, 09:46 AM
I have no idea what you are talking about :)

I have not let the battery drain all the way, if that is what you might mean.

To give you an example of the system's symptoms, when VLC starts choking to death on the video, the system does too. I usually test this by flipping the mouse through the dock icons and of course, they are painfully sluggish.

Do an SMU reset:

Shut off MBA, then hold down the left shift button, then left control and left option. While those are held down press the power button once. Let go of everything. Wait like 10-15 seconds and then turn the MBA on.

Tell us then if your issues are gone.

pgharavi
Feb 9, 2008, 09:50 AM
Thanks, I will try that later today.

What is a battery calibration?

Do you think these things can really work?

ahaxton
Feb 9, 2008, 09:53 AM
Thanks, I will try that later today.

What is a battery calibration?

Do you think these things can really work?

Yes they solved any issue I had. We got some of the first MBA's out of the Chinese factory, sometimes these things have to be done.

pgharavi
Feb 9, 2008, 09:55 AM
Yes they solved any issue I had. We got some of the first MBA's out of the Chinese factory, sometimes these things have to be done.

Gotcha. Ya, I got mine on 2/1 from Shanghai. I will try this later (unless its a quick thing, which I may be able to do in a few minutes).

But you haven't told me what a battery calibration entails :)

Simply drain to 0 and recharge? Should I do this before/after the SMU reset, or does it not matter?

Thanks

ahaxton
Feb 9, 2008, 09:57 AM
Gotcha. Ya, I got mine on 2/1 from Shanghai. I will try this later (unless its a quick thing, which I may be able to do in a few minutes).

But you haven't told me what a battery calibration entails :)

Simply drain to 0 and recharge? Should I do this before/after the SMU reset, or does it not matter?

Thanks

I would do it after the SMU reset since you can see right away if the SMU worked for you.

Make sure battery is fully charged, then unplug adapter use till 0 and recharge.

pgharavi
Feb 9, 2008, 04:31 PM
Ok, I tried the SMU thing, I think, but to no avail. 720p still hiccups.

Is there a way to confirm that you did the key combination correctly?

richard371
Feb 9, 2008, 05:03 PM
I have the same problem playing rented itunes movies. I have done all the resets. Im to tired to try a 4th air. I will say the battery on the third does charge faster. Only took about 5 hours for a full charge. These things really have some major issues. i think it is hardware and will not be fixed with software updates. I will wait until they get the issues sorted out. I know rev 1 of products have issues but this is unacceptable. I have spent almost a week trying to get an air that works correctly. I think its a thermal grease issue with some of the airs. I am a network engineer and have done mac and pc hardware support for years.

MazingerZ
Feb 9, 2008, 05:04 PM
I have the same problem playing rented itunes movies. I have done all the resets. Im to tired to try a 4th air. I will say the battery on the third does charge faster. Only took about 5 hours for a full charge. These things really have some major issues. i think it is hardware and will not be fixed with software updates. I will wait until they get the issues sorted out. I know rev 1 of products have issues but this is unacceptable. I have spent almost a week trying to get an air that works correctly. I think its a thermal grease issue with some of the airs. I am a network engineer and have done mac and pc hardware support for years.

I think you should wait a week of actual usage before speculating on the issues you have been encountering.

NC MacGuy
Feb 9, 2008, 05:07 PM
This worried me so I watched a couple of movies & an itunes purchased tv show to check. Borat, Pulp Fiction and Sarah Silverman @ 720x400 Mp4- none skipped. Bottom got warm but fan never went over 5k. 1.6 / 80

pgharavi
Feb 9, 2008, 05:12 PM
This worried me so I watched a couple of movies & an itunes purchased tv show to check. Borat, Pulp Fiction and Sarah Silverman @ 720x400 Mp4- none skipped. Bottom got warm but fan never went over 5k. 1.6 / 80

Thanks for testing, but those are typical low resolution files. I don't really have any issues with those. My file is 1280x720.

NC MacGuy
Feb 9, 2008, 05:22 PM
Thanks for testing, but those are typical low resolution files. I don't really have any issues with those. My file is 1280x720.

The O.P. was having issues w. 640x400 MP4's so I tested same.

Realistically, I don't think the Air was released to be a multimedia workhorse. No optical drive and how many hi-res movies can you stick on a 64G SSD or a 80G @ 4200rpm? The Air in my opinion was designed for clowns like me who want a more portable option than a MB/MBP and primarily use office app.'s, surf web, use mail.

Avenger
Feb 9, 2008, 05:50 PM
As a followup. I played around with the Macbook Air again today. I did the keystroke reset to no avail. I don't really have the patience for this sort of thing and having to be so careful with what I run on the machine. So I went to the Apple Store and gave it back. I went into detail on what happenned and they waived the restocking fee. While I was leaving the store, the salespeople were promoting it as a machine to surf the web, do e-mail and word on the road. For anything heavier they suggested a Macbook or Macbook Pro. I wouldn't have bought it if I would have known I couldn't play basic videos on it. I think someone else in this thread said they were having trouble playing ITunes Movie Rentals which I "thought" the thing was made for when I watched the keynote. Anyway others aren't having issues so I don't know (maybe just bugs with some). In either case, I'll wait for the new Macbook Pro revision before I attempt to upgrade again. The screen of the Macbook Air was so much better than my SR Macbook that it caused me to jump the gun. I hope Apple puts the same quality screens in their future notebooks. In any event I hope the current issues people are having are worked out.

kockgunner
Feb 9, 2008, 05:52 PM
I dont think it is the performance of the air that makes the videos choppy -- it's the overheating issue issue. 90% of the laptops at bestbuy has worse specs than the Air and can still play video and stuff. Although the Air is no workhorse, I don't believe that Apple would release a product that can't play videos. It's probably a software-related heat management issue right now. It should get fixed soon (although one does wonder how long Apple actually spends on real world testing on their new products)

pgharavi
Feb 9, 2008, 06:08 PM
I dont think it is the performance of the air that makes the videos choppy -- it's the overheating issue issue. 90% of the laptops at bestbuy has worse specs than the Air and can still play video and stuff. Although the Air is no workhorse, I don't believe that Apple would release a product that can't play videos. It's probably a software-related heat management issue right now. It should get fixed soon (although one does wonder how long Apple actually spends on real world testing on their new products)

Do you think its simply that the laptop is getting hot so it shuts down one of the cores? Is there any way to prevent that?

NC MacGuy
Feb 9, 2008, 06:09 PM
As a followup. I played around with the Macbook Air again today. I did the keystroke reset to no avail. I don't really have the patience for this sort of thing and having to be so careful with what I run on the machine. So I went to the Apple Store and gave it back. I went into detail on what happenned and they waived the restocking fee. While I was leaving the store, the salespeople were promoting it as a machine to surf the web, do e-mail and word on the road. For anything heavier they suggested a Macbook or Macbook Pro. I wouldn't have bought it if I would have known I couldn't play basic videos on it. I think someone else in this thread said they were having trouble playing ITunes Movie Rentals which I "thought" the thing was made for when I watched the keynote. Anyway others aren't having issues so I don't know (maybe just bugs with some). In either case, I'll wait for the new Macbook Pro revision before I attempt to upgrade again. The screen of the Macbook Air was so much better than my SR Macbook that it caused me to jump the gun. I hope Apple puts the same quality screens in their future notebooks. In any event I hope the current issues people are having are worked out.

Sorry you got a bad one. I've tested mine and am able to easily play standard videos and it doesn't get hot like yours.

richard371
Feb 9, 2008, 06:19 PM
One thing i noticed is that it handles the videos better when not plugged in or when fully charged. it tends to be worse when it is plugged in and charging. Can anyone else verify this?

ahaxton
Feb 9, 2008, 06:23 PM
One thing i noticed is that it handles the videos better when not plugged in or when fully charged. it tends to be worse when it is plugged in and charging. Can anyone else verify this?

I can confirm.

My HD videos make my processor a lot hotter when the adapter is plugged in. Around 75 degrees celsius.

SCMedic
Feb 10, 2008, 09:48 AM
This has become a big issue with me, and my decision to keep my MBA, which I love so much...

So my current test as follows..

Transferring a 3gig 1080p movie over wireless from my iMac..
Playing a SD DVDrip, while posting here on the forum, with iTunes open...

Movie so far (20min) has played flawlessly. Both cores are running around 1/5 of max, with the occasional sharp spike up and down...

Temp is 61-65C. Fans are going no faster than 2500rpm.. Highest temp I saw, for a brief second, was 73, and then right back to 64..

If this is the case all the time, the video issue apparently only effects certain units, and is not going to be a deal breaker for me... I don't expect my AIR to be a MBP or even MB, but basic video playing is a deal breaker..

Works here!

mrklaw
Feb 10, 2008, 10:05 AM
Interesting topic. I hope to get my air next week, and video is important to me. I'll want to use it quite a lot to watch iTunes videos when the main tv is taken. I don't see anything fundamental in the specs to suggest it can't handle video. The 1.8 is close in speed to the MacBook 2.0, the FSB is the same, both C2D, both same graphics chipset. The HDD is slower but that should be more than enough for <10mb/s videos

Will keep an eye on this thread with interest

SCMedic
Feb 10, 2008, 10:13 AM
I can also attest now that I've been playing a 1080p movie for about 10 minutes, and my cpu's are both fine, at about 40%, and Temp is 65c with fans at 3k..

All of these numbers are steady.. No dropped frames...No problems.

ahaxton
Feb 10, 2008, 03:27 PM
Guy's dont return your MBA's for new ones. I think all of us will experience some of these fan, heat, battery charging issues in one way or another till theres software tweaks.


It may take some playing around to get everything AOK.

I think doing a SMU reset without power adapter plugged in while MBA is off is the best solution thus far.