Can I make my Mac play 1080p .mkv?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Tennyo, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. Tennyo macrumors member


    May 10, 2008
    So I have a MacBook Pro, and I've had it for about two years now. I'm trying to figure out how to make it play a 1080p .mkv file. Now, I've been using VLC, and it kind of works, but the video lags while the audio keeps going, then the video skips again to where the audio is, then lags again, etc. Sometimes I'll get parts that run smooth, but a lot of it doesn't.

    Now I tried updating my VLC, and that helped a little bit, but it still lags somewhat. I feel like I'm on the cusp of being able to make it work!

    Now I think I tried playing a .mp4 file that was 1080p in the past and that worked just fine, if that even has any barring on this situation (I have no idea).

    I was also told that the specs on my laptop should be able to support the file just fine. Here they are if it might help:

    Model Name: MacBook Pro 15"
    Model Identifier: MacBookPro2,2
    Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
    Processor Speed: 2.33 GHz
    Number Of Processors: 1
    Total Number Of Cores: 2
    L2 Cache (per processor): 4 MB
    Memory: 2 GB
    Bus Speed: 667 MHz
    Boot ROM Version: MBP22.00A5.B07
    SMC Version: 1.12f5

    Anyone know of any updates I can get or anything? Any special programs I should download (preferably free ones)? Or should I just give up and see if 720p works? Would 720p even be just as good?

  2. magamo macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2009
    VLC sometimes lags when I watch .mkv videos that other players such as QuickTime Player and MPlayer can handle without any problems. Did you try another player?
  3. epyfa macrumors regular

    Feb 21, 2009
    Try Quicktime. You probably need some kind of Plugin like Perian.
  4. Tennyo thread starter macrumors member


    May 10, 2008
    Yeah Quicktime told me that the file wasn't a valid movie. :/

    So would that pluggin make it so that Quicktime will be able to do it? Will I have to get Qucktime Pro?
  5. epyfa macrumors regular

    Feb 21, 2009
    Apparently it does.
  6. magamo macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2009
    I'm watching a movie in .mkv format right now, so you should be able to watch .mkv videos with QuickTime if you install Perian. Sometimes QuickTime fails to locate subtitles and/or alternative audios when your .mkv container has multiple subs/audios in it, but it may not be that big a problem.
  7. felt. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 13, 2008
    any 1080p mkv that lags for me in vlc always plays perfect in plex
  8. RKpro macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2008
    Try PLEX! It works, I have 1080p movies playing perfectly with 60% cpu utilization. I've always used VLC on all platforms, (and still do for most file types) but I just got PLEX working a few days ago and it just works! The problem is that VLC can only use 1 of the cpu cores, so it gets to 50% cpu usage and starts lagging. Plex is able to use both cores, so it's smooth...

    For windows CoreAVC decoder is best I've seen, for osx try Plex
  9. sngx1275 macrumors regular


    Jan 27, 2009
    Yep, if you have Windows on the machine, CoreAVC will do it with the least 'power consumption'. If you don't, Plex is the way to go.
  10. Tennyo thread starter macrumors member


    May 10, 2008
    Oh yes I downloaded Perian and it made Quicktime work!

    Question, though. Will I have the ability to turn subs on and off? The first time I could on VLC, but then I re-downloaded the clip because the person redid something with it, maybe they hard subbed it. I'll have to ask. But soft subs will work, right? Now I feel paranoid. lol

    But thanks everyone for your suggestions. I'll check out those other programs you all suggested. And if I run into any more problems I'll let you know, such as if the person says that the new vid is soft sub like the first one I tried to play then there will be a problem with me not being able to turn them off. :/

    Also no Windows on my Mac. ^_^

    EDIT: Okay, I tried to replay the file in VLC just to check the subtitles and it is a soft sub. So Quicktime won't allow me to turn them off. Anyone know how to make this work?

    I'll get to trying out the other suggestions in the mean time. :)

    EDIT II: So MPlayer had major lag and I see that Plex is only for Leopard (I still have Tiger! :() Who knows, maybe not having control over subtitles in Quicktime won't be a big deal. I wish I could fix it, though. :/

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