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hsiunghsiung

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 27, 2020
29
16
So currently I am on an imac 2017 spec'd out, but it can't run xavc hs smoothly through vlc/quicktime/final cut pro. I think I've seen reviews where even macbook pro 16s from 2019/2020 run that codec with stutter since it's such a complicated codec.

Just wondering if anyone has found a workaround to getting their intel macbooks to run video files in that specific codec (xavc hs 4k 4:2:2, not 4:2:0)? Like through EGPU or some other hardware accessory? I am transcoding files into proxy files at the moment, but it takes up a lot of space and takes time

I am not interested in the current M1 macbooks since I would probably prefer waiting for the m1x or later versions. Just trying to see if there are workarounds for editing a7siii files
 

capamac

macrumors member
Jul 21, 2020
58
97
Transcoding and proxy is the correct way to deal with this. Consider working off an external HDD during editing to handle the large project size.
 

hsiunghsiung

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 27, 2020
29
16
Here is a sample 6 second clip of the xavc file. My imac stutters when playing it
 

capamac

macrumors member
Jul 21, 2020
58
97
Here is a sample 6 second clip of the xavc file. My imac stutters when playing it
When I played that file on my early 2015 Macbook pro (dual core i5 2.7ghz and 8gb RAM) the video stutters during playback. But I imported it into Final Cut Pro X using both proxy (50%) and transcoding to Prores, and playback was smooth, normal.

(The original video is 3840x2160px @ 59.94 fps btw.)

Then I exported the video has H264 (same specs as original) and opened it in Quicktime; it played back smooth and normal.

Have a look: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1hfbgx5q_Mx0mHRUTzWijGifzhevLzhvl/view?usp=sharing
 

hsiunghsiung

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 27, 2020
29
16
Thank you for testing it. Yeah, I've been using proxies too, but it takes awhile with all my clips, and slows down my computer during the process. Was hoping to see if there was some workaround with egpu or something to skip that whole transcoding process like how the M1 macbooks do (since they have the hardware acceleration for that within the chip). I think for now, I'll either wait for later appleSilicon macs (when they are more stable), or if AMD comes out with a gpu that handles that codec in 4:2:2 (and apple supporting it). Both might be months/years away for now heh...
 

capamac

macrumors member
Jul 21, 2020
58
97
Could also lower the resolution, say from 4k UHD to 1080p (which is close to 2k).
Could also try a different codec if you camera allows it.
Could also try dropping the framerate, from 59.94 to 29.97 or to 23.98.
Most professional movies are 24 fps, and many are also only 2k. Even major movie theaters often have 2k projection.
A lot of people like the "cinematic look" of 24 fps (or 23.98) ... there's a certain dreamlike staccato to it.

I use a Nikon D3300 for my short films at 1080p 23.98 fps. It uses the h264 codec. My early 2015 Macbook pro handles the files smoothly without transcoding in FCPX. But once you make any change at all such as color adjustments or effect, FCPX renders it in ProRes. I don't mind the wait since FCPX does the transcoding once I am inactive for a second or two -- it's quite efficient like that.

I am finishing up a group project short film right now that is UHD. They wanted that to be done in DaVinci Resolve, which I find to be greatly inferior to FCPX. With the UHD content, I found I must use transcoding and 1/4 resolution in order to get smooth playback. I've not tried doing UHD in FCPX, however.
 

hsiunghsiung

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 27, 2020
29
16
i guess my use case is specifically for that 4k 60p xavc hs codec in 10-bit 4:2:2 color compression for family videos, so i was trying to see if there was some hardware workaround while maintaining those settings. 24p usually looks choppy when panning or moving around (in different speeds) when handholding for me. I'm not much of a cine shooter, so the golden 24p rule might not work best for me. 4:2:0 might not show too much difference (proven by some people), but I'd just prefer 4:2:2 in the long run. I also prefer 4k since why not aha. But yeah, for now im just gonna record vids and organize them. Then later go through them and edit when possible
 

anticipate

macrumors 6502a
Dec 22, 2013
861
686
I’ve found that my 3 year old iMac Pro with Vega 64 plays back XAVC-HS 422 10 bit 4K at any speed (24-120) just fine without proxies at best quality. Even with a FilmConvert filter applied. Thus was surprising to me but not a shock.

My M1 MacBook Pro does as well, the same performance except it’s slower with FilmConvert so I need to use best performance there but that’s also the same with H.264.
 
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GumaRodak

macrumors 6502a
Mar 14, 2015
552
333
i did test the file on my mbp 16" opened in quick time and it was choppy.
then i force turned the dGPU ON (radeon 5500xt 4gb) and surprise, it was playing smoothly afterwards.
 
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hsiunghsiung

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 27, 2020
29
16
oh how did you force turn the dGPU on? And I wonder if the iMac Pro just has enough crazy CPU power to handle it. Thanks for trying it out guys!
 

anticipate

macrumors 6502a
Dec 22, 2013
861
686
oh how did you force turn the dGPU on? And I wonder if the iMac Pro just has enough crazy CPU power to handle it. Thanks for trying it out guys!
I doesn't seem to be hitting the CPU much on playback... uses mostly 50% GPU from what I recall
 

Ajphoto3

macrumors newbie
Apr 27, 2021
1
0
I’ve found that my 3 year old iMac Pro with Vega 64 plays back XAVC-HS 422 10 bit 4K at any speed (24-120) just fine without proxies at best quality. Even with a FilmConvert filter applied. Thus was surprising to me but not a shock.

My M1 MacBook Pro does as well, the same performance except it’s slower with FilmConvert so I need to use best performance there but that’s also the same with H.264.
I have the same imac pro 2017 10 core 64 Vega and 3.0 with 64gb ram. But the xavc hs from A7S III files stuter and miss frames on playback, is there a setting you did on your system. Would really appreciate your help
 

anticipate

macrumors 6502a
Dec 22, 2013
861
686
I have the same imac pro 2017 10 core 64 Vega and 3.0 with 64gb ram. But the xavc hs from A7S III files stuter and miss frames on playback, is there a setting you did on your system. Would really appreciate your help
No I didn't do anything, it runs wonderfully at best quality (with FCPX) IF you're at 24fps. :) For higher FPS, I have to conform to 24fps or render. It's definitely smoother on my M1 Mac. And forget it if you're on Premiere Pro.... use XAVC-S for that.
 
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