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Old Aug 19, 2008, 10:24 AM   #1
kalex
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Choppy video playback on 12" powerbook

I have a 12" Powerbook G4 1.5Ghz with 1.25GB of RAM. I can't seem to figure out how to make my video playback smooth. I have tried so far playing videos from Itunes and also avi files. No matter what i try its still unwatchable.

I'm running Leopard with latest patches. Web browsing and other things are fine, its only video that is giving me problems

Anything i can do to improve it?

thanks

Alex
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Old Aug 19, 2008, 12:18 PM   #2
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What kinda video you trying to play?

Also can you check what your CPU activity is like before you play any videos and see how much is being used. You can find out by opening activity monitor in the utilities folder
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Old Aug 19, 2008, 11:04 PM   #3
kalex
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Video file that i tried is 88meg QuickTime movie .mov extension.
Dimensions: 1280x720
Codecs: H.264, AAC
Duration: 10:14
Total bit rate: 1202

CPU usage without movie playing is:
%User around 7.7
%System around 4
%Idle between 85 and 95
with movie playing:
user between 85 and 95
system less than 2
quicktime between 84-97

So if i'm not mistaken CPU is the problem?
is the movie file too much to handle for powerbook?

any suggestions on how to improve the playback?

thanks

alex
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Old Aug 20, 2008, 02:02 AM   #4
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Did you manage to play movies without problems in the past?
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Old Aug 20, 2008, 04:41 AM   #5
kalex
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Nope always had the same result with pretty much all the files i had tried it with. I only had the powerbook for few months and it always had leopard on it.
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Old Aug 20, 2008, 05:53 AM   #6
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Might not be what you want to hear but i dont think Leopard is a good OS for the PowerBooks i think Tiger is waay more better. However try installing the perian plugin or use VLC media player and see if it helps
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Old Aug 20, 2008, 06:04 AM   #7
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PowerBook 12

Hiya,

From your post, I think you're trying to run a 720P H.264 file - the 12 PB might not be able to do this.

You can try install Tiger on an external FireWire HDD to see if it'll run, but I'm not too sure...

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Old Aug 20, 2008, 06:04 AM   #8
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I've found that 720p, the resolution of your video, does not work well with the 12" PowerBook. I try to max my videos out at 848x480 on my PBG4.
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Old Aug 20, 2008, 06:16 AM   #9
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Hi there, I have a 12" PB 1.5GHZ running tiger, video used to play fine, but after one of the recent QuickTime/iTunes updates I've found that video in Safari is very choppy. Even with the non-HD trailers on the apple site the frame updates every second or two. Watching the same video in Quicktime is fine though.
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Old Aug 20, 2008, 06:33 AM   #10
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I'm playing it in quick time and its choppy. let me try to convert it from 720p and see if that helps.

thanks

alex
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Old Aug 20, 2008, 06:40 AM   #11
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also make sure the 'higher performance' option is ticked in the battery bar (the native resolution of the 12" powerbook g4 is 1024x768) trying to play a higher res video will slow you down alot.

Leopard is too hardcore for the 12" PB G4 Tiger is your best bet!



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Old Aug 20, 2008, 09:08 AM   #12
kalex
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I was actually running it from the power supply and processor was set to highest.

What are good settings to use in Visual Hub to get normal playing video on the PB?
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Old Aug 20, 2008, 09:24 AM   #13
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G4 cannot play HD files at full speed.

You can try VLC though, but the result will be the same no matter what OS.

Standard sized video plays fine though.
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Old Aug 20, 2008, 09:35 AM   #14
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my 12" PB is also choppy w/ video

i have the same problem. i ripped my dvd collection using handbrake on my alu intel imac and when i trasfered the movie into my 12" PB (for the road) i found that the playback was very choppy, like watching a slide show. i used standard def (720x480 i think) using the default/normal settings in handbrake. maybe, the new quicktime codecs are just too much for the G4 processors needing more cpu juice than previous iterations. this makes me think that apple should still support powerpc's w/ snow leaopard since there's still users out their with PB's and to be able to use the GPU for video and other tasks would probably help some of this choppy .h246 video playback (even in standard ef). not to mention, support smooth HD playback. but, i have this gut feeling that it's too much to ask for.

"buy a new computer," is probably what "they" recommend.
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Old Aug 20, 2008, 09:59 AM   #15
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On my PB, HD 720p and above is super choppy. Standard def typically works fine. Using QT or VLC.
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Old Sep 1, 2008, 09:58 PM   #16
kalex
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just an update.

Installed Tiger on the powerbook and playback and overall responsiveness of the laptop greatly improved. I guess powerbooks are optimized for Tiger.

Anyways long story short, sold powerbook, bought a macbook, videos playback just fine. Too bad i couldn't get it to work on the powerbook, loved that 12" size.

Alex
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Old Sep 1, 2008, 10:00 PM   #17
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720p needs dual core.
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Old Sep 3, 2008, 07:16 AM   #18
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From the QT site the recommended to watch H264 720p it's a dual 1.8 G5.
For 420p your 1.5 G4 will do.
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Old Sep 3, 2008, 08:36 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kalex View Post
Codecs: H.264
Here's your problem. G4 doesn't have the muscle to decode H.264 video, especially at moderate or high bit rates.
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Old Aug 7, 2009, 10:16 AM   #20
AdeptRapier
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Hi!

That's not true, my powerbook G4 plays the h.264 back beautifully if I use this program...

http://mplayerosx.sttz.ch/

There is an audio sync issue presently that is being ironed out, but the video looks and plays flawless.

Check it out!!!

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Old Aug 7, 2009, 10:43 AM   #21
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Nothing like resurrecting a year old thread...

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdeptRapier View Post
Hi!

That's not true, my powerbook G4 plays the h.264 back beautifully if I use this program...
You can play 720p 24fps h.264 video on a PB G4 using MPlayer from September of last year? I'm sure.
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Old Aug 8, 2009, 12:04 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cave Man View Post

You can play 720p 24fps h.264 video on a PB G4 using MPlayer from September of last year? I'm sure.

No, I was just pointing out that your blanket statement about G4's not having enough muscle (your words) was incorrect.

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Old Aug 8, 2009, 03:20 AM   #23
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GG thread necromancy.
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Old Aug 8, 2009, 08:31 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdeptRapier View Post
No, I was just pointing out that your blanket statement about G4's not having enough muscle (your words) was incorrect.
It wasn't a blanket statement. It was in context to the OP's file: 720p with h.264. Even an iBook G4 can play 720p video if it's in nonintensive codecs, such as MPEG-4 (part 2) so long as it's not at too high of bit rate. But asking a G4 to decode even a moderate bit rate 720p h.264 video is too much, particularly when the OP was using Quicktime. And at the time of the OP a year ago, ffmpeg (used by MPlayer) didn't have the ability to improve this (and it probably can't today since the G4 Macs were incapable of multithreading).
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