1080p MKV file sputters on 2.26GHz Mac Mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by snoopjonny, Mar 12, 2009.

  1. snoopjonny macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2006
    #1
    I had an older Mac Mini and had problems with 1080p video files. They would black out, get blurry and sputter. I read somewhere that 2.0 GHz was necessary to play 1080p video, so I maxed out a brand new Mac Mini and it showed up this morning.

    I plugged it in and tried playing an mkv file over my gigabit network and it was still sputtering. I suspected my network, so I pulled the file off the NAS and onto the Mac Mini and it's still sputtering.

    Does anyone have experience playing large HD files on a Mac Mini? I feel ripped off. I'm wondering if the problem is my TOSLINK/DVI -> HDMI combiner... I'll check that next, but I'd appreciate any advice.

    Thanks,
    -Jon
     
  2. L0s7man macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    #2
    Is it the new Mac Mini with Geforce 9400M? If not, forget about playing 1080p...

    Also, what's the video codec?
     
  3. jmpage2 macrumors 68030

    jmpage2

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    Sep 14, 2007
  4. diamond.g macrumors 603

    diamond.g

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    Mar 20, 2007
    Location:
    Virginia
    #4
    What are you playing it through (what player are you using)?
     
  5. snoopjonny thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 3, 2006
    #5
    This is the high side brand new Mac Mini with:

    NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics processor with 256MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory

    The video in question is encoded with x264.

    I tried it with VLC and Boxee. Is it possible my players are not ideal for the job?
     
  6. diamond.g macrumors 603

    diamond.g

    Joined:
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    #6
    It is probable that neither player is using the 9400M to off load some decoding to. So in this case 2.26Ghz probably isn't enough CPU to do all the decoding on it's own smoothly. Especially if the x264 is high bitrate stuff.
     
  7. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #7
    How are you playing them? The Perian mkv codec for Quicktime is still pretty new and hasn't been that optimised whereas VLC's a lot better.

    One of the main reasons for me wanting to switch to the new Mac Mini over my 1.66GHz Core Duo was so that it wouldn't stutter when playing 720p mkv videos. I know it can play them fine in vlc but I want to be able to play them in Frontrow and that means using the Perian mkv codec. I'm hoping the extra boost to 2.0Ghz and the fac that its a Core 2 Duo chip rather than a Core Duo chip will be enough.

    One thing you could try to improve playback is this: Open the mkv up in Quicktime, wait for the audio to fully buffer up. Then save it as a self-contaied movie (File, Save As...). You can of course keep it as a reference movie and store the mkv files in their unaltered state but if you're looking to have stuff shared it might be simpler to keep them self contained and delete the original mkv files. This basically makes it much easier for Quicktime and the Perian mkv codec to understand the files and leads to far less stuttering. It also has the added benefit that such movies will show proper preview frames in Front Row that they wouldn't have done if kept simply in the mkv format.

    I hope that helps a bit!
     
  8. Ibonic macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2007
    #8
    Try Plex:
    http://www.plexapp.com

    I've played 1080 mkvs with 2.0GHz, 2G of Memory, and with Intel GMA 950.
     
  9. bugout macrumors 6502a

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    is everything!
    #9
    I had issues with my prev gen 2.0 with boxee and vlc.. Plex fixed it.
     
  10. rrijkers macrumors 6502

    rrijkers

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    Jun 6, 2007
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #10
    This is due to the fact that VLC and Quicktime need to know the information about the entire mkv file before they can play it. They will be buffering it till the analysed the entire file. This is different from mpeg where you can skip back and forth as you please. Plex as been mentioned before treats this differntly and will play all files you throw at is with ease
     
  11. snoopjonny thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 3, 2006
    #11
    Plex works flawlessly.

    THANKS MUCH for the help.

    While I have the right people's attention... my display is slightly larger than the monitor even though they're both supposed to 1920 x 1080. If I turn off overscan, it shrinks down to 3/4s of the screen. Is there any way to pull in the display like 10 pixels on each side or is this a monitor issue?
     
  12. snoopjonny thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 3, 2006
    #12
    Nevermind. I set my monitor to "Dot-by-Dot" and it's perfect.

    THANKS again.
     
  13. sngx1275 macrumors regular

    sngx1275

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    Jan 27, 2009
    Location:
    Missouri
    #13
    Glad to hear Plex fixed your issue. Hopefully my Mini arrives today or tomorrow (I ordered through the university here so I don't have tracking information). I bought it specifically because everyone figured it would handle 1080 files fine. I had a Core Duo 1.83 Mini which I was using previously and it couldn't do it, I've since sold that one to my mom. :)
     
  14. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #14
    While Plex is brute force it's at least multi-threaded. Perian is another plug-in to install for Quicktime.
     
  15. snoopjonny thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 3, 2006
    #15
    sngx1275, it's like night and day. It's so smooth.
     
  16. JeepGuy macrumors regular

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    Sep 24, 2008
    Location:
    Barrie
    #16
    Here's some interesting info, under 0SX Plex uses ~160% cpu utilization to decode and play MKV files, under boot camp with Vista Home Premium it only uses ~30% cpu utilization, this tells me we need better players under OSX, that take advantage of the 9400m GPU. So the potential is there.

    Tests were done on a friends new Mac Mini with a 2.0ghz cpu with 4gb of ram, of course this will vary with the files you play depending on the bitrate.
     
  17. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #17
    Like I said brute force CPU decoding or GPU acceleration. Wait why would we want that on OS X the h.264 loving operating system? :rolleyes:
     
  18. snoopjonny thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2006
    #18
    Would 4GB of RAM improve performance over my 2GB?

    Who do we petition to get a GPU-utilizing player into development?
     
  19. Shivetya macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #19
    Is it the drive then? 5400rpm drives are not much of a step up from 4200s and I doubt it has much of a cache. Even pulling off the NAS may require local caching.
     
  20. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #20
    Rumor is Snow Leopard will have some of that GPU decoding goodness.

    RAM isn't going to do much.
     
  21. rrijkers macrumors 6502

    rrijkers

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    Jun 6, 2007
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    The Netherlands
    #21
    Apple, and it's called Quicktime X. Oh, you are going to be so happy with your new Mini in a few months time :) :cool:
     
  22. wildmilne macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    #22
    So you played 1080p MKV in Vista...what app were you using?

    Did you try to play any WMV HD while in Vista? Not necessary since my xbox can do it, but it would be nice to have the opportunity if need be to play that kind of stuff off the bootcamp.

    I'm just thinking if we have to wait for snow leopard to get this to work, at least one OS would do it in the meantime...but i guess with plex the new mini should play 1080p in OSX..??
     
  23. avihappy macrumors 6502

    avihappy

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    #23
    Another option (and this always works for me) is use something like MKVtools or Quicktime Pro to actually transcode the mkv into mp4. You will want to tell them to "pass-through" the video (the video stream won't get reencoded), and (if the audio is AC3) tell them to convert the audio into AAC. Since you are not actually converting the video, it will happen pretty quickly. The resulting mp4 file will play much faster on your Mac Mini in every program.
     
  24. TrapOx macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2008
    Location:
    Denver
    #24
    Thats because MKV is a junk, resource hog of a container. Download your stolen movie in a proper MP4, AVI or MOV format and you'll have no problems.
     
  25. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #25
    The old Mini plays most 1080p just fine, so long as you use Plex or XBMC. And it can passthrough Dolby Digital or DTS, unlike Quicktime apps.
     

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