Crappy video quality (Mini 1.83 + Leopard)

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Anuba, Nov 6, 2007.

  1. Anuba macrumors 68040


    Feb 9, 2005

    I'm a Windows user and I recently bought a Mini C2D 1.83 to plug in to my LCD TV.

    The Mini is running Leopard and it's connected to the TV via DVI, 1360x768, millions of colors, the works. Everything's set up with QuickTime + Front Row + iTunes + DivX + AC3 (AC52). I dropped aliases for my Lacie NAS drive in the 'Movies' folder so that I can access my movies via Front Row. So far so good. It's a slick setup and I'm loving it.

    There's just one headscratcher (and tentative dealbreaker) that bugs me... why does all video look like crap? The same movies that looked gorgeous when played back on the same TV from my retired WinXP media machine, now look like bad YouTube videos on the Mac. All dark areas are blocky as hell -- what's supposed to be black (or thereabouts) looks more like 'Turd Tetris' (a bunch of huge squares in various flavors of brown).

    I thought it might be the DivX codec so I experimented with the Deblocking and Sharpening settings, but it still looks just as blocky. I tried to skip DivX altogether and ripped a few of my DVDs with Handbrake. I went for pretty hefty settings, using H.264/MP4/AAC, an average bitrate of 2500 kbps, 2-pass encoding, Anamorphic (PAR) and the movies ended up around the 2 GB mark, which means they should look a heck of a lot better than a measly 700 MB DivX rip. Nope. Still getting the turd Tetris effect. Gave up and went to Apple's movie trailer section to check out some fat HD trailers... but no. Still getting those pesky color blocks. Heck, even straight DVD playback isn't up to scratch, it looks kinda grainy compared to my hardware player.

    This only applies to video playback. Any and all Leopard desktop graphics, iPhoto galleries etc, are presented in glorious 32-bit with ultra smooth gradients etc.

    What am I doing wrong here? Obviously you guys aren't putting up with such p*ss poor video quality in Leopard compared to a stinky old XP system, so I must be missing a magic switch somewhere. Anyone?
  2. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5


    Jun 6, 2003
    Solon, OH
    Now that is strange. Check your QuickTime settings, particularly any custom video codec decoding settings, and make sure things aren't screwy there. The general QuickTime settings are found in QuickTime Player's Preferences, and in System Preferences. Other settings locations vary, depending on the codec.
  3. ~J~ macrumors 6502

    Jul 27, 2007
    3rd Rock from the sun
    That is odd. I have a similar setup (Mini 1.83 2GB RAM 160GB HD), and have never seen it do that with any video format - DVD, H.264 encoded vids from Handbrake, internet media (HD from Apple's site looks great). So its not the hardware, its gotta be a setting somewhere. I will do some looking around fo ya, but try the stuff that wrldwzrd89 mentioned. I will post back if I find anything else.
  4. TheStu macrumors 65816

    Aug 20, 2006
    Carlisle, PA
    Have you installed Perian and test with that?

    Have you tried the videos under VLC?

    Have you tried it straight from Quicktime instead of through Front Row?

    I mean, I just watched a 720P trailer from Apple on my 1.83 Core Duo MacBook... mmm so pretty. So something, somewhere is wrong with your setup.
  5. blubbernaut macrumors newbie

    Jan 4, 2008
    Anuba, did you ever find out what the issue was? I'm having the same problem, but as I'm connected to an analogue TV via Apple's DVI to S-Video connector, I assumed it was something to do with the digital to analogue conversion, but you are describing the exact same issue with a digital setup....any update?
  6. blickbox macrumors newbie

    Feb 12, 2009
    I'm bumping this, cause i have the exact same problem... Videos looks the same in VLC, Plex, Boxee etc.

    Does anyone know what may be wrong? My system is pretty much at factory settings...

    Here are two example images:

    Attached Files:

  7. ppc750fx macrumors 65816

    Aug 20, 2008
    Check your color calibration. This sounds like a gamma/contrast issue. Normally solid dark colors get compressed a bit more since the encoder figures that it can save some bytes there (since you don't usually see them.) If your monitor's miscalibrated, however, the compression artifacts can be more pronounced.
  8. Amdahl macrumors 65816

    Jul 28, 2004
    SOLVED for me, at least: It was the color calibration. Using my manually created profile gives the effect seen. I switched to the preset sRGB IEC61966-2.1, which looks same to my untrained eye, and quicktime looks fine. Basically, any profile except the manually created one doesn't give this effect.

    Bump. I am seeing this in QuickTime ONLY on Radeon 2600 XT card.

    At first I thought the new iWork 09 apps had some really crappy looking introductory videos, then I realized it was system wide on QuickTime. I can play the exact same videos in VLC or Divx player, and they look correct.

    In Quicktime, it looks cruddy, lots of pixels, and bad gamma or color.

    Any ideas? I had recently just installed iWork 09. I tried re-install of Quicktime 7.6 but it had no effect. I have Perian 1.1.3, and tried to uninstall it, and then re-ran quicktime. no effect.

    Attached Files:

  9. steelerdean, Oct 23, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2013

    steelerdean macrumors newbie

    Aug 7, 2011
    Apologies for resurrecting an old thread, but i'm having the exact same problem as shown in the screen shots in post 6 on my late 2009 Mac Mini connected to a Samsung TV. I've ran through all of the colour profiles but non make any difference. I'm experiencing this 'blocking' in all players that i've tried - XMBC, VLC and Plex. I'm connected to the TV via VGA (through displayport). I've connected my early 2011 Macbook Pro through the same route and tried some videos - i'm not experiencing the problem on there so i've isolated it to something specifically on the Mac Mini.....but I can't work out what!

    Really grateful for any advice.

    EDIT - i've uploaded a screenshot which shows the problem. You can see the issue i'm having on the door behind her and on her left arm.

    Attached Files:

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