h.264 woes

Discussion in 'macOS' started by carbonmotion, May 1, 2005.

  1. carbonmotion macrumors 6502a

    carbonmotion

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2004
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #1
    i just tired to play hd trailer from quicktime dot com and found out that i need a g5 to play them... poop! is this a limitation of my powerbook or is it just throttling by apple?
     
  2. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #2
    It's 'cause h.264 is a super compressed format that needs a lot of CPU power to encode and decode. There was a time when playing MP3's taxed CPU's as well.


    Lethal
     
  3. killuminati macrumors 68020

    killuminati

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2004
    #3
    Ouch
     
  4. Lacero macrumors 604

    Lacero

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    #4
    True. Encoding an MP3 file took longer back then than it does now to encode a H.264 DVD sized video on the fastest Mac available.

    I remember the days when my Pentium Pro 150Mhz would choke trying to play back MP3 from WinAmp.

    Even looking farther back, I remember the days when just scrolling a 320x240 GIF file on my 386 SX-16Mhz computer would tax my CPU.
     
  5. spaceballl macrumors 68030

    spaceballl

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #5
    Justifying it by acting as though we should "expect" that a G5 should be need to do something as basic as viewing digital media is nothing short of silly.

    Even the smaller files play very choppy on my G4 1.2 ghz w/ 1gb of RAM and a 7200rpm harddrive. I don't have the fastest system on the block, but it is at least "mid range."

    Steve Jobs indicated that this new standard's best features were its ability to scale from small to big, both file size, as well as device wise. Saying that this same standard will be used on cell phones and such.

    I'm not denying that this is a format of the future, but at the same time, we were definitely mislead to think that this would be the new de facto video standard in OS X for all machines.

    -Kevin
     
  6. Rod Rod macrumors 68020

    Rod Rod

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    Sep 21, 2003
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    #6
    Your selective attention has caused you grief. Nobody was mislead.
     
  7. 7on macrumors 601

    7on

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2003
    Location:
    Dress Rosa
    #7
    Well it will, everything you have sampled has been like 10x bigger than normal videos. I'm sure new trailers won't be in Soreson 3 codec anymore on the Apple trailer page. They might be 200x300 or whatever they are, but definitely be of higher quality (and download faster). They could even bump it up to 640x480 (or whatever widescreen is) and still have it come in and play pretty decently.
     
  8. SpaceMagic macrumors 68000

    SpaceMagic

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2003
    Location:
    Cardiff, Wales
    #8
    This is a misconception. The trailers are in HD format AS WELL as h.234. The codec itself was made for slower computers! So don't be alarmed!
     
  9. MOFS macrumors 65816

    MOFS

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2003
    Location:
    Durham, UK
    #9
    You could have fooled me - tried to play the Batman trailer on my G3 iBook with broadband line - looked more like a slideshow to me... :(

    BTW - still miffed about that EU publication that missed out Wales? :eek: ;)
     
  10. Dude_its_Jia macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2005
    #10
    I tried to run the Batman on my PB G4 867 640MB is like a a faster slide show :) wait till i ge a hold of my friend's HD DV camera, then i will see how the H.264 codec will be like
     
  11. thedoc1111 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2003
    #11
    720p HD Trailer play fine (just) on my PowerBook 12" 1.33GHz with 64MB 5200 Card when plugged in.

    But when they play, the GPU temperature goes through the roof - Graphics Accelerated video (i.e Core Video) JUST fills in enough to compensate for the low clock speed.
     
  12. robbents99 macrumors regular

    robbents99

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2001
    Location:
    Directly under the sun....now.
    #12
    I've been running the 720 trailers on 1.5ghz PBook with 512ram and so long as I don't have anything else running the trailers look fine. I can resize them to a smaller size and they work fine.

    I'm assuming with the 2ghz iMacs and G5 PMacs the trailers will be much faster.
     
  13. RubberChicken macrumors regular

    RubberChicken

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    Location:
    Australia
    #13
    I was also able to play them on my 15" PowerBook 1.5. Resizing worked, while they continued to play, but frame rate did drop a bit. I even put it into the dock and it continued. I have 128MB video RAM. Maybe now I actually have a reason for it. Mind you it took a fair while to download and the image was so wide that a few pixels of the Quicktime window frame had to sit outside the viewable area of the screen. I'd be happy with a good looking trailer of half the size.
     
  14. skp574 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    greenwich.london.uk
    #14
    The h.264 HD trailers seem to play fine on my 1.67MHz PB (64MB Video).

    I downloaded the Pro version of QT to check out the full screen video too. Quality is excellent. If does cane the CPU though.

    What I find is cool, is when you Expose all apps and you can still see the live playing video.
     
  15. Bear macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #15
    Throttling by your PowerBook it seems...

    On a 1.5GHz 15" PB w/128MB of VRAM under 10.3.9 the 1080P traillers are choppy, the lower resolution ones are barely playable.

    On a Dual 1.42GHz PowerMac, all the HD samples play fine. Including the 1080P ones. (Also on Panther.)

    The 80Mhz iMac G4 was choppy on any trailer. (Under Tiger.)
     
  16. andrewfee macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2004
    #16
    I'm a bit disappointed with it too. I've got a maxed out 17" Powerbook, and I'm not getting smooth playback. (20-24fps)

    The thing is that my cpu usage is only around 60-70% I would have thought if it couldn't cope, it would be close to 100%

    Strange though, because this Powerbook is faster in every other app I've used compared to my old 1.8GHz iMac G5 (both running on highest performance settings)
     
  17. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #17
    You and I have different definitions of "old". ;)

    My apparently ancient 800MHz iMac G4 runs one of the HD files - the wildlife one - pretty well, though not perfectly.

    As has been pointed out above, these are all HD files. "Standard" ones will be fine. The whole point to the codec is to reduce bandwidth/storage size. The obvious price is additional CPU effort. I for one welcome this as an opportunity to snag the new dual-core 3GHz G5's as soon as they're released in order to properly view movie trailers. ;)
     
  18. Rod Rod macrumors 68020

    Rod Rod

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2003
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    #18
    For smooth playback on your PowerBook, export the file to DVCProHD. Then you won't have any dropped frames.
     
  19. ifjake macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    #19
    maybe Apple could consider putting some chip that would help with the decoding on lower end machines or the graphic makers in the graphics processors. but when you think about it HD is a huge amount of data being processed very quickly, with resolutions greater than anything but what 23 and 30 inch screens can display. sure the file size is small, but the end result is huge. i'm thinking that there's going to have to be some sort of specialized hardware HD implimentation before HD can be handle in just software by anything less that dual chip(/core?) configurations.
     
  20. andrewfee macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2004
    #20
    I just meant "old" as in, my last system, because I don't have one anymore.

    I would have thought a £2400 ($4600 US) computer would have been able to play 720p content ok.

    I've been able to play DivX HD stuff ok, and like I said, it's not even using 100% cpu when trying to play it.

    How do I do that? I bought Quicktime 7 Pro, but that's not in my export options?

    Edit: I see it's under "Movie to QuickTime Movie." Will give it a shot, but I still think it's ridiculous I have to re-encode movies to get a decent framerate.
     
  21. Lacero macrumors 604

    Lacero

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    #21
    Only if you want to have DVCProHD downsample your 1920x1080 footage down to 1280x1080, because that's all the resolution that format will give you.

    There's simply no way to play HD 1920x1080 on older G4s simply because the G4's 133Mhz or 167Mhz front side bus is over-saturated. That's why you need at least a G5 with 600Mhz of bandwidth to handle the enormous CPU and datarate strains it places on the system.
     
  22. 7on macrumors 601

    7on

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2003
    Location:
    Dress Rosa
    #22
    This is the same problem when regular DVDs came out. Remember systems back then couldn't play DVDs either, you had to buy a MPEG2 Decoder card to play anything.

    And Divx-HD is not like an .h264 HD video. That Divx-HD codex probably was like 500MB or more for what was 138MB or so on Apple's trailer. Apple's just basically showing that you can provide HD content on the Web now, with the compression provided by .h264. It's a little more unrealistic to download a 500MB file versus a 130MB one.

    They used HD because of the freakin huge res. It's amazing this .h264. And HD-DVDs are still a ways off. Probably won't take off like DVD as most people won't rush out and buy HD tvs for a while. It'll still be like 2-3 years before computers will need to playback HD. How long was it before computers could play regular dvd video without skipping?
     
  23. Lacero macrumors 604

    Lacero

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    #23
    I knew H.264 was an advanced codec. I didn't realize how advanced it is. Wow!
     

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