Can't play High Def. videos (too slow)

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by floyde, Nov 29, 2008.

  1. floyde macrumors 6502a


    Apr 7, 2005
    Monterrey, México
    Hi guys, having trouble here. I've got a PowerBook G4 1.67GHz with 2GB of RAM and 128MB of VRAM running Leopard 10.5.5. I just noticed that I can't play High Def videos at a decent speed. I have a .mkv file that I tried watching with VLC as well as with Quicktime + Perian. I can hear the audio just fine but the video refreshes every 10 seconds or so :(. I know that the file isn't broken because I already played it at a friend's PC.

    I realize that my mac isn't necessarily state of the art, but I can't believe that it's not powerful enough to play a simple video (however high resolution it may be). Please tell me there's something wrong here that can be fixed. I don't feel like upgrading just to play a video, my Mac is still 100% functional apart from that. Thanks
  2. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    You're probably out of luck. AFAIK, none of the Power PC Macs are capable of playing high def video. HD playback requires a ton of CPU power. I'm not even sure if early Intel Macs can play it. Sorry :(
  3. Poncho macrumors 6502


    Jun 15, 2007
    Yeah, I was gonna suggest you try Perian for that .mkv file as this helps me play them on my Intel Macbook.

    But it seems your Mac just doesn't have the processing power on the video card to unpack the frames quickly enough. The only way you'll get to watch them is to play them in slow motion and that's no good....
  4. NeoMayhem macrumors 6502a

    Aug 22, 2003
    You need a g5 or intel cpu to play HD video. G3/4 users are out of luck.
  5. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
  6. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    HD _insert media type here_ = massive CPU hog.
  7. dr. shdw macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2008
    What were you expecting? Also VLC is poor at playing back HD video, try Plex. Do the HD quicktime trailers play well? Also your laptop is quick slow and old and you're trying to play a spec that's what, just recently mainstream..(h264)
  8. iParis macrumors 68040


    Jul 29, 2008
    New Mexico
    I believe you need at least 2.0GHz to play HD videos.
    Many people have also experienced this problem on their MacBook Air.
  9. floyde thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 7, 2005
    Monterrey, México
    Oh wow, nevermind :eek:. I didn't realize that HD videos needed so much CPU power. I'll look into video converting instead. I guess that Snow Leopard will not support G4 machines anyway, so I'll just upgrade when that comes out.

    *Edit: Well I just dragged it to a DVD project in Toast and it seems to be encoding it just fine right now. It looks like it's going to take half a day but it might actually work.
  10. JAT macrumors 603

    Dec 31, 2001
    Mpls, MN
    My Core Duo 1.66 Intel Mini plays HD just fine. At least in Quicktime. I would agree with NeoMayhem, G5 or Intel Core Duo at a minimum.
  11. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    I think I could barely play 720p videos with my Mac Mini G4. I think I can barely play 1080p videos with an iMac G5. Neither situation was where I could say "I can play HD on my Mac!" But on my C2D MacBook Pro, 1080p is no sweat. Just upgrade like you said when you get the chance.

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