itunes movies choppy on laptop but not ATV2

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Voice, Feb 4, 2011.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Feb 4, 2011
    Hello all,

    I have a couple movies that are in MP4 container in H264/AAC format. They are around 3000 in video bitrate and in 720p. Both are imported into iTunes as well. When I try to play these movies on my laptop they are choppy and unwatchable. However, when I airplay them to my ATV2 they play flawlessly. Is this just the case of my computer not being able to handle that bitrate? Is it really that much less of a stress on my laptop to stream the movies over to the ATV2 instead of playing them?

    Thanks in advance. Great forum here.
  2. macrumors 604


    Aug 28, 2007
    San Francisco California, USA
    Ran into same situation and went out and bought ATV2 today and bypass that problem...
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 4, 2011
    Thanks for your reply, but

    I'm unsure what you mean. I already have an ATV2. Just wondering why these movies are choppy on my laptop, but not on my ATV2 when they are streamed from the same laptop.
  4. tropic10, Feb 8, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2011

    macrumors member

    Sep 8, 2008
    What type of laptop and CPU do you have? H264 720p decoding on older laptops can be CPU intensive.

    The ATV2 can easily handle 720p content. When you stream your movies, the ATV2 handles all of the decoding.
  5. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 4, 2011
    Thanks Tropic10...that makes sense

    I have an older work laptop...running XP, Intel Core Duo, 1.99Ghz, 2 gigs of RAM.

    Any idea of ballpark minimums would be to handle 720p?

    Also, since I'm much does bitrate matter in encodes of Blurays? For example, if I encode my bluerays to m4v is there a difference between 2000, 4000, 6000?

    Thanks again for the time.
  6. macrumors member

    Sep 8, 2008
    I can't comment on specific bitrates since I always use constant quality with Handbrake with an RF of around 22 for 720p encodes. That way Handbrake can adjust the bitrate depending on the complexity of the scene.

    A 2 GHz Core Duo should be able to handle most 720p content although it would probably struggle with 1080p. Are you only using iTunes to play back the movies? Can you try playing a movie with the latest version of VLC?
  7. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 4, 2011
    Yes, I've put them into itunes and have been trying

    to play them exclusively from there. I will DL VLC and try that. Is VLC that much more efficient at decoding?
  8. macrumors member

    Sep 8, 2008
    VLC can use hardware acceleration in Windows which would offload the video decoding from your CPU to your graphics processor/GPU. But I don't know if your graphics processor is supported. It's worth trying to see if it helps.

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