Choppy video playback on 12" powerbook

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by kalex, Aug 19, 2008.

  1. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    Messages:
    1,186
    #1
    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
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    bmcgrath

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Messages:
    1,022
    Location:
    London, United Kingdom
    #2
    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 :)
     
  3. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    Messages:
    1,186
    #3
    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
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    atlanticza

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    533
    Location:
    Cape Town
    #4
    Did you manage to play movies without problems in the past?
     
  5. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    Messages:
    1,186
    #5
    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.
     
  6. macrumors G4

    daneoni

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    Messages:
    10,680
    #6
    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
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2004
    Messages:
    836
    #7
    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...

    FireArse
     
  8. macrumors 68000

    iToaster

    Joined:
    May 3, 2007
    Messages:
    1,743
    Location:
    In front of my MacBook Pro
    #8
    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.
     
  9. afd
    macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    Messages:
    803
    Location:
    Scotland
    #9
    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.
     
  10. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    Messages:
    1,186
    #10
    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
     
  11. macrumors 6502

    monkey86

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2008
    Messages:
    351
    Location:
    London
    #11
    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!



    Kris
     
  12. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    Messages:
    1,186
    #12
    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?
     
  13. macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Messages:
    13,263
    #13
    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.
     
  14. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Messages:
    685
    #14
    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.
     
  15. macrumors 604

    iShater

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Messages:
    6,719
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #15
    On my PB, HD 720p and above is super choppy. Standard def typically works fine. Using QT or VLC.
     
  16. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    Messages:
    1,186
    #16
    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
     
  17. macrumors demi-god

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Messages:
    20,843
    Location:
    上海 (Shanghai)
    #17
    720p needs dual core.
     
  18. PMR
    macrumors 6502

    PMR

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2007
    Messages:
    298
    Location:
    Portugal (Google it)
    #18
    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.
     
  19. macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Messages:
    6,651
    Location:
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside of Duesseldo
    #19
    Here's your problem. G4 doesn't have the muscle to decode H.264 video, especially at moderate or high bit rates.
     
  20. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Messages:
    7
    #20
    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!!!

    :)
     
  21. macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Messages:
    6,651
    Location:
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside of Duesseldo
    #21
    Nothing like resurrecting a year old thread...

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

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Messages:
    7
    #22

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

    :)
     
  23. macrumors member

    xilni

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    Messages:
    66
    Location:
    Washington, DC/Toronto, ON
    #23
    GG thread necromancy.
     
  24. macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Messages:
    6,651
    Location:
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside of Duesseldo
    #24
    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).
     

Share This Page