CorePlayer still unable to play 720p on 20" iMac G4. Help?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by dustinschings, Jan 5, 2017.

  1. dustinschings macrumors 6502

    dustinschings

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    Sep 3, 2015
    #1
    I have a Plex server in my house with tons of different media types on it. I have copied several different movies to my 20" iMac G4 to test out the infamous CorePlayer with. I honestly cannot get anything to play without "artifacting" (for lack of a better word) the video, and more than 6-10fps or so.

    The only things that play very well are old 600-900MB "DVDrip" avi type files, simply because that was the standard of the era.

    I saw others claim they were able to watch 1080p on their 1.33GHz iBook, so what gives? What can I do to increase performance on my iMac? I am happy with 720p and do not need to get up to 1080p, but so far it looks like it will not happen.

    Is there a special way the video files need to be encoded or something? I have handbrake on my server and could try to re-encode them to a different type and try to play it back, but someone would have to tell me what settings to use.

    Dustin
     
  2. SourceSunTom macrumors regular

    SourceSunTom

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    #2
    iMac G4s are a bit slow, their graphics card isn't that great, iBooks should even have better graphics than them :/
    I don't know if encoding something will have a difference, wait from someone else to respond ;)
     
  3. dustinschings, Jan 5, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017

    dustinschings thread starter macrumors 6502

    dustinschings

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    #3
    Thanks!

    Anyone here have luck viewing 720p on their 1.25GHz iMac G4?
     
  4. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    #4
    Might be possible, but would have to be a low bitrate...
     
  5. dustinschings thread starter macrumors 6502

    dustinschings

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    #5
    Let me go a step further, I have almost the same results trying to watch them on my 1.67GHz PowerBook G4 DLHR. Perhaps I need to change a setting or something in CorePlayer?
     
  6. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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  7. dustinschings thread starter macrumors 6502

    dustinschings

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    #7
    I am not home at the moment to check, but I can say I get my movies from "all kinds of sources" and I have tried several different types of files. mkv, mp4, avi, etc.. Again, only the DVDrip .AVI files from 2010 and earlier era work.

    I have a 720p clip of the Bellagio fountains in Vegas that is .mp4 1280x720 data rate is 1825kbps and Total bitrate is 1951kbps with a 25FPS frame rate. This plays a second or two then does the same thing, like it just cannot keep up.

    As an example, even my 900MB .AVI of Donnie Darko is only 640x272 with total bitrate of 901kbps and while it is watchable, it is not "smooth" as it would be if I just popped in the DVD.

    Another one is a 1280x720, H264 - MPEG-4 AVC (part10) (avc1) 24FPS and I cannot tell the bitrate on MKVs for some reason.

    One more I tried is an episode of The IT Crowd which is a 190MB .MVK file. Codec is H264 - MPEG-4 AVC (part10) (avc1), res of 720x412, 25FPS, and again no bitrate info from my MKV files.

    Anyways, I hope this helps!
     
  8. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    #8
    MKV is a container not a codec. There could be any number of different codecs used for the video, audio and subtitle data within it. AVI and to some extent MP4 can be similar.
     
  9. dustinschings thread starter macrumors 6502

    dustinschings

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    #9
    Sorry. I am at work and was just remoted into my server to grab some details from a couple files for you. When I get home I will be able to dig in deeper for more information for you. Can you tell me how to get the exact details you are looking for? (ie, where to look and what exactly you need to know)

    I am damn good with Macs and PowerPC stuff, but "video" has never been a strong point.
     
  10. CooperBox macrumors 6502a

    CooperBox

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    #10
    Hi, yes I have. Not only 720p but 1020p runs fine too - even on full screen view.
    (Just powered the machine up to see if my memory was playing tricks on me). Loaded in 2 .mp4 videos, and both played just fine. My iMac like yours is the 20" running Leopard with 2GB RAM.
    Oh, and I wouldn't recognize a codec or a bitrate if I tripped over one. All I did was downloaded CorePlayer from the link when it was provided, clicked on the mp4 file and selected Coreplayer from the 'Open With' drop down dialogue box. I've never yet opened the Coreplayer properties box, yet alone made any changes there.
    Watching either 720p or 1020p HD videos on these super large iMac screens is a very pleasant experience.
    If I can help further just shoot, but I'm very technically limited when it comes to video files and related graphics etc.
     
  11. dustinschings thread starter macrumors 6502

    dustinschings

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    #11
    I really wish I could report the same. Can you PM me a "source" for the file you were able to successfully watch? Perhaps I can get the same one and we can compare notes?
     
  12. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    #12
    It distills down to YMMV. There is no standard bitrate (ie complexity) or codec for MKV/MP4 video files. As to how well your iMac plays the file depends on how much processing is required. CorePlayer (and QuickTime for supported files) are more efficient on the Mac than say VLC as they are well optimised for Altivec.

    I've been playing a few files from my Library on the dual G5, most play better than expected, some are unwatchable. They're mostly MPEG4 AVC1.

    There are some test files encoded in 1080p I've found useful in the past at this site : http://jell.yfish.us/
    The same file as been encoded at 1080p in bitrates from 3Mbps to 100+Mbps.
     
  13. dustinschings thread starter macrumors 6502

    dustinschings

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    #13
    I know everything is YMMV, but with two people using identical systems, I would expect very similar results. I will grab a few test videos from that site when I get home and give it a go!

    Dustin
     
  14. flyinmac macrumors 68030

    flyinmac

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    #14
    I haven't tried video on a G4 in a long time. But I can tell you that I used to use my 1.25 GHz Mac Mini G4 with 1 GB of RAM to watch iTunes movies and movies that I had ripped with Handbrake.

    This was when they were just starting to come out with HD content in the iTunes Store.

    What I found was that SD movies from iTunes, and movies I ripped with HandBrake played just fine on the G4 mini.

    But anything that had a HD tag next to it would stutter constantly. Like play half a second, then wait 2 minutes, play half a second, wait 2 minutes, etc.

    The G4 just isn't suited to HD video.

    If you really want to use a G4, perhaps try re encoding your videos to lower quality versions.
     
  15. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    #15
    I ended up re-encoding some files via Handbrake to MPEG4 at 720 x whatever (standard def in effect) about 12 months ago and they played fine on the TiBook 667 via QuickTime.

    I'll have another play once the PPC Challenge is over. Even though I can re-encode the files on the G5, my electricity bill isn't so keen!
     
  16. CooperBox macrumors 6502a

    CooperBox

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    #16
    I didn't have CorePlayer on another iMac G4 running Tiger, so just loaded it on my 1.25GHz 17" iMac with 1024MB RAM. It ran both 720p and 1020p mp4 clips just fine. Will now have to replace many of the 360p video clips on there with some of higher definition. Yet another plus for these OS 10.4 equipped G4's.
     
  17. dustinschings, Jan 6, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2017

    dustinschings thread starter macrumors 6502

    dustinschings

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    #17
    So I downloaded the very first video on that list, which seemed to be the most likely to play, and it did with minimal to no "artifacting/video tearing" but CorePlayer reports far more dropped frames than played frames.

    No clue how you are able to play these files or any other at 1080p CooperBox. I will totally settle for 720p, but I didn't see an option for 720p test files to find out what coded and bitrate works the best in 720p.

    Is there anything else I am missing?

    Dustin
    --- Post Merged, Jan 6, 2017 ---
    Ok, I downloaded this video to use as a samble as CooperBox suggested via PM.



    I downloaded the ladybug video 4 ways, 1080p MP4 and MKV, and then 720p MP4 and MKV.

    1080p MP4 was 8FPS and a 3:1 dropped frame ratio (drops 3 frames for every 1 frame played) and visible video tearing.

    720p MP4 was 22FPS, and only dropped 1/4 of the frames, so MUCH better and totally watchable to me, no video tearing.

    The two MKV videos only played audio. I assume the "4k Video Downloader" program I use does not download MKVs using a supported video codec of CorePlayer (I am able to play other MKVs, although poorly usually).

    So, the 720p MP4 works fine to me, and it is 1280x720, H.264, AAC with 1,112kbps bitrate.

    Whats the difference between H.264 AAC and H.264 AVC? That seems to be the key, as a movie I watched that was similar to this one, but was AVC was pretty bad to watch. Ladybug video was very nice to see on my iMac G4! Never thought I could see HD on this guy!

    Another question. Can I convert the files I have now to 720p H.264 AAC? If so, how? I have Handbrake, but am unsure what settings to use.

    Dustin
     
  18. Daniël Oosterhuis macrumors 6502a

    Daniël Oosterhuis

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    #18
    What hard drive is in your iMac? The stock drive? I'm beginning to think that you have an ageing hard drive that's having issues keeping up with the data, at least, that seems most logical to me in this situation.
     
  19. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    #19
    Thats a low bitrate for 720p, but typical of video sharing platforms like YouTube. A typical BR backup in 720p usually averages about 4000-5000kbps. That's when a G4 runs out of CPU grunt.
     
  20. dustinschings thread starter macrumors 6502

    dustinschings

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    #20
    I agree, MagicBoy. 720p videos that i grab from YouTube via a downloader program seem to be the HD videos that play best. Not optimal, but hey, its an OLD machine.

    Daniel, I actually replaced the stock HDD with a Western Digital Blue 500GB 7,200 RPM 16MB Cache drive. While the YouTube videos that I download in 720p using "4k Video Downloader" play pretty well, the 720p movies I get from other sources do indeed tend to be too much for this system to handle.
     
  21. CooperBox, Jan 7, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2017

    CooperBox macrumors 6502a

    CooperBox

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    #21
    For the record my 20" iMac has what I believe is the stock HDD (160GB Samsung).
    The file that MagicBoy linked to, namely http://jell.yfish.us/ I found particularly interesting, and I put a few of the 1080p encoded files to the test with Coreplayer.
    The jellyfish-3-mbps-hd-h264.mkv file played ok with no discernible frame drops.
    jellyfish-3-mbps-hd-h264-hevc.mkv file didn't play.
    jellyfish-5-mbps-hd-h264.mkv file played ok with very minor frame drops. Very watchable nevertheless.
    jellyfish-10-mbps-hd-h264.mkv file played ok with evidence of some frame dropping. Equally very watchable.
    jellyfish-15-mbps-hd-h264.mkv file played with noticeable frame dropping.
    jellyfish-20-mbps-hd-h264.mkv file played albeit with noticeable frame dropping.
    Needless to say none of the above played with either Quicktime or VLC.
    As far as I'm concerned, 720p video files appear to be the perfect compromise for excellent quality and reasonable file size.
     
  22. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    #22
    I think I managed to get up to 35Mbps before the GPU decode on my 2009 Mac mini started to drop frames.

    HEVC is otherwise known as H.265. Very high quality at a low bitrate and very intensive to decode. They are never going to play on a PowerPC Mac, assuming there's a codec available as it only got ratified within the last couple of years.

    On my Windows HTPC at 8+Mbps the 3.3GHz i3 dropped 40% of frames. Ideally it needs an quad core i5 for software decode. Skylake iGPUs and the latest dGPUs are starting to added assisted decode.
     
  23. flyinmac macrumors 68030

    flyinmac

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    #23
    That's a crazy rate of frame drops on reasonably powerful hardware. Imagine if played on the Apple TV. You'd essentially miss half the movie.
     
  24. WalnutSpice Suspended

    WalnutSpice

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    #24
    My Early 2005 1.67GHz PowerBook with coreplayer can play any 720p file I throw at it, and can even chug through 1080 in maybe 10-12FPS (Not watchable, but it can do it) and on top of that it has a hard drive thats going to fail any minute. Maybe try reinstalling OS X? My G5 after reinstalling OS X can now play 720p and 1080p very smoothly with a solid 30 frames in both VLC and Core.
     
  25. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    #25
    Prices for dedicated HEVC hardware will drop. The codec is pretty much intended for 1080p and 4K video on demand over existing communications infrastructure. Cast your mind back 10 years and most PCs couldn't software decode 1080p video well, now it's £20 for a Fire Stick...
     

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