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Apple Seeds QuickTime 7.6 to Developers, No H.264 Acceleration Yet

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Apr 12, 2001
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Apple seeded a new version of QuickTime 7.6 to developers yesterday. The latest build is available for Mac OS X and Windows and asks developers to test AAC encoding/playback, Multichannel encoding, Apple Lossless playback/encoding as well as MPEG-1 playback/encoding.

With recent news that the new MacBooks and MacBook Pros appear to have hardware based h.264 decoding, readers are going to be naturally interested to see if the latest QuickTime beta might include such support for older Macs.

The latest seed, however, shows no drop in CPU usage when decoding 1080p QuickTime streams on a previous generation MacBook Pro. It's still not clear if Apple will incorporate support for h.264 hardware decoding on older Macs, many of which contain GPUs capable of some level of h.264 support.

Article Link: Apple Seeds QuickTime 7.6 to Developers, No h.264 Acceleration Yet
 

heisetax

macrumors 6502a
Jun 12, 2004
943
0
Omaha, NE
Probably not under current Apple slaes rules.

If they would make it work with the current Macs we'd have one less reason or to purchase one or maybe to update our OS to 106 Snow Leopard.
 
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sangosimo

Guest
Sep 11, 2008
705
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If they could implement more advanced software decoding like coreavc I don't think people would be as concerned.
 
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Joe The Dragon

macrumors 6502a
Jul 26, 2006
749
184
Acceleration likey needs new video dirvers in the next os update

Acceleration likely needs new video drivers in the next os update.
 
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schneb

macrumors member
Sep 5, 2008
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0
It's coming. Snow Leopard will mean Quicktime 8, which means another $30 to make it Pro.
 
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Peace

Cancelled
Apr 1, 2005
19,546
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Space The Only Frontier
This seed. Although it's supposed to be under a strict NDA is focused on variable bitrates for multi-channel encoding. In otherwords it's mainly for audio not video. They want to test things like 64KBps in the front channel and say 56K in the left rear etc.

Don't go getting all scared now kids.;)
 
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840quadra

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 1, 2005
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Acceleration likely needs new video drivers in the next os update.

Or, the speed bump could be functionality built into the new chipset, something the previous controllers lack.

I actually hope this isn't the case. I would really like to see this hardware acceleration work for all Core image / Quartz extreme enabled GPUs. This would give a 2nd live to G4 and G5 systems, however that is not likely since Snow Leopard is to be only Intel :( .

https://forums.macrumors.com/image.php?u=47064&dateline=1165207334&type=profile
 
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trip1ex

macrumors 68020
Jan 10, 2008
2,072
462
H.264 hardware encoding in Macs. Just bring your old Mac to the store and they'll install a new gpu in it. $50/customer.

Seems to me the support is there in new MBs because of the new chipset/gpu.
 
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California

macrumors 68040
Aug 21, 2004
3,767
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Forgive my ignorance, but the h.264 encoding is a SOFTWARE issue, not a HARDWARE issue on my G5 Powermac?

In other words, Apple has limited GPU utility through software?

Not happy if this is true.

For the first time as an Apple customer. And i've been loyal since 1989.
 
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Eidorian

macrumors Penryn
Mar 23, 2005
29,097
303
Indianapolis
Forgive my ignorance, but the h.264 encoding is a SOFTWARE issue, not a HARDWARE issue on my G5 Powermac?

In other words, Apple has limited GPU utility through software?

Not happy if this is true.

For the first time as an Apple customer. And i've been loyal since 1989.
It depends on what video card you have more then anything else but Apple hasn't supported GPU hardware acceleration features on OS X until the new MacBooks.

Over in Windows it's wide open for software to take advantage of.
 
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teknishn

macrumors 6502
Nov 16, 2006
366
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??? I guess I'm lost as to how people are expecting H.264 acceleration via software. All they can really do is continue to further optimize codecs. However, in the end it is 'hardware' that is required to properly accelerate H.264.

Take the new Macbooks for example. They have added hardware H.264 acceleration there.... most likely in the new GPUs of course. The results are astonishing.

If you are still using old G5 kit.... Im afraid you are SOL. Even the Intel stuff, minus the new macbooks, will peg the cpus to max.
 
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mds

macrumors 6502
Oct 6, 2006
286
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Which MBPs have the potential to support h.264 acceleration? I have a 2nd gen merom and would love to see my processing times come down...
 
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swarmster

macrumors 6502a
Jun 1, 2004
625
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I would really like to see this hardware acceleration work for all Core image / Quartz extreme enabled GPUs. This would give a 2nd live to G4 and G5 systems, however that is not likely since Snow Leopard is to be only Intel :( .

The Intel-only Snow Leopard rumour has been denied by people at Apple. You would think doing an Intel-only version (or having the installer figure out what you're running) would allow for more optimization, but so far it is not fact.


It depends on what video card you have more then anything else but Apple hasn't supported GPU hardware acceleration features on OS X until the new MacBooks.

Over in Windows it's wide open for software to take advantage of.

OS X uses the GPU for all visual rendering (windows themselves are treated as flat polygons, if I remember right, which makes all the morphing and scaling effects run so well). That's what Quartz Extreme and the Core suite are all about. Snow Leopard is supposed to bring all the GPGPU-type stuff, on a level far more sophisticated and complete than Windows will have any time soon.
 
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teknishn

macrumors 6502
Nov 16, 2006
366
97
Which MBPs have the potential to support h.264 acceleration? I have a 2nd gen merom and would love to see my processing times come down...

Only the new ones that just came out with the Nvidia chipset. And its not potential. If you buy a new macbook or macbook pro today you will have full H.264 hardware accerlation.

I expect the new iMacs rumored to be coming in Nov will probably have the same.
 
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madmaxmedia

macrumors 68030
Dec 17, 2003
2,922
33
Los Angeles, CA
??? I guess I'm lost as to how people are expecting H.264 acceleration via software. All they can really do is continue to further optimize codecs. However, in the end it is 'hardware' that is required to properly accelerate H.264.

Take the new Macbooks for example. They have added hardware H.264 acceleration there.... most likely in the new GPUs of course. The results are astonishing.

If you are still using old G5 kit.... Im afraid you are SOL. Even the Intel stuff, minus the new macbooks, will peg the cpus to max.

Some of the previous Macs have GPU's with hardware H.264 acceleration, it's not a new thing- even the Radeon X1600 from 2 MBP generations ago had it. It's only the Mac OS X support that is new.

Hopefully it will be added in Snow Leopard (at least for the previous 8600M). It will be cheesy if they leave it out, sorta like the limited apps in the original iPod Touch.

EDIT- Here's a link to the specs for the ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 in the original MBP-
http://hothardware.com/articles/ATI-Mobility-Radeon-X1600-Preview1/

Accelerated MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, WMV9, VC-1, and H.264 decoding (including DVD/HD-DVD/Blu-ray playback), encoding & transcoding
 
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teknishn

macrumors 6502
Nov 16, 2006
366
97
Some of the previous Macs have GPU's with hardware H.264 acceleration, it's not a new thing- even the Radeon X1600 from 2 MBP generations ago had it. It's only the Mac OS X support that is new.

Hopefully it will be added in Snow Leopard (at least for the previous 8600M). It will be cheesy if they leave it out, sorta like the limited apps in the original iPod Touch.

I certainly don't see any H.264 accel in my iMac with the 2600 ATI in it. Especially considering the massive differences shown with the new macbooks.

Pre-Nvidia chipset we are talking near or at 100% cpu utilization. On the new macbooks, playing the same H.264 file only uses about 20-30% of the cpu. Perhaps we will see something in 10.5.6 that will enable OSX to utilize some of the hw acceleration supposedly available on the 1600+ ATI and 8600 series Nvidia. So far its only the new macbooks though.

http://arstechnica.com/journals/apple.ars/2008/10/20/digging-into-new-macbooks-support-of-gpu-accelerated-h-264
 
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madmaxmedia

macrumors 68030
Dec 17, 2003
2,922
33
Los Angeles, CA
I certainly don't see any H.264 accel in my iMac with the 2600 ATI in it. Especially considering the massive differences shown with the new macbooks.

That's exactly the point. ;) Many older GPU's have H.264 and other video accel built into the hardware, but the Mac OS X and Quicktime are not taking advantage of it. The acceleration won't happen if the OS doesn't know that it's there and hooks into it.

So the people posting in this thread are hoping that such support is added, what with Snow Leopard being focused on optimization and performance increases.

I wouldn't be surprised if no such support comes, luckily I don't care that much. But it would be nice if they at least added it to the generation of Macs just prior to the new ones. It's not like Apple has a dizzying array of different GPU's and system configurations to deal with, this was supposed to be one of the advantages of the Mac platform- easier for Apple to support and optimize for the hardware.
 
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teknishn

macrumors 6502
Nov 16, 2006
366
97
That's exactly the point. ;) Many older GPU's have H.264 and other video accel built into the hardware, but the Mac OS X and Quicktime are not taking advantage of it. The acceleration won't happen if the OS doesn't know that it's there and hooks into it.

So the people posting in this thread are hoping that such support is added, what with Snow Leopard being focused on optimization and performance increases.

I wouldn't be surprised if no such support comes, luckily I don't care that much. But it would be nice if they at least added it to the generation of Macs just prior to the new ones. It's not like Apple has a dizzying array of different GPU's and system configurations to deal with, this was supposed to be one of the advantages of the Mac platform- easier for Apple to support and optimize for the hardware.

I'm just starting to think that todays H.264 hardware accel is different than the days past. Otherwise, why would the same OSX and QT on the new Macbooks get a 70-80% drop in cpu utilization. Seems to me that if it was that easy, and they obviously have the tech implemented today, that there would be no reason it shouldn't be applied to all the other systems..... Unless the so called H.264 acceleration in the older GPUs is simply weak at best...(more marketing than real hw acceleration). I know every Windows box Ive seen struggles desperately with H.264.
 
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arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
15,648
4,424
I'm just starting to think that todays H.264 hardware accel is different than the days past. Otherwise, why would the same OSX and QT on the new Macbooks get a 70-80% drop in cpu utilization. Seems to me that if it was that easy, and they obviously have the tech implemented today, that there would be no reason it shouldn't be applied to all the other systems..... Unless the so called H.264 acceleration in the older GPUs is simply weak at best...(more marketing than real hw acceleration). I know every Windows box Ive seen struggles desperately with H.264.

People with older Macs have found that rebooting into Windows (which does support hardware acceleration) results in much lower cpu loads for h.264 decoding. So, it's a purely software issue.

arn
 
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