iTunes HD shows unwatchable on the Air??

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by That70sGAdawg, Sep 10, 2008.

  1. That70sGAdawg macrumors 6502a


    May 23, 2008
    I downloaded one (cause that's all I have room for) of the new iTunes free "HD" TV shows and 10 min. into it: pixelation, pauses, out of sync audio - Activity monitor shows maxed out, both cores -etc. I had mail, safari (one stable web page), and iCal open.
    I'm about ready to make a Genius appointment and try to exchange this for a MacBook Pro - even after 5 months! This latest firmware fix has slowed down my Air and I see the beach ball all the time! I did NOT have heat, or Core shutdown problems before, but Apple needs to own up to product and or firmware mistakes. It's starting to remind me of why I left Sony Vaio and Windows to begin with.
    Has anybody been successful exchanging for a MacBook Pro after such a long time after purchase, or am I wasting my time?
  2. BEEFc58 macrumors member

    Sep 6, 2007
    When upgrading to iTunes 8, it states what you need to run HD programs. One of the requirements that it mentions is at least 2.0GHZ speed... and the MBA does not have this (yet). That being said, I have a Mac Mini as a media center. I downloaded a couple of the HD shows (the free ones :) ) and they seem to play flawlessly! My Mini is only a 1.83GHZ... so I would assume that yours should work... when the movie is the only thing running....
  3. MBA-MD macrumors member

    May 27, 2008
    Welcome to my world. That is the reason my Air is for sale at the moment. I am switching back to Windows.
    Good luck with. I wonder if you can exchange it after this long??
  4. BWhaler macrumors 68030


    Jan 8, 2003
    I have the 1.83 and can watch HD movies.

    It's not elegant though since the fans get cranking...

    I love my air, but I really hope we see an upgrade soon which has at least a 2ghz CPU, a real GPU, 120+gb of storage and 4gb of memory, and fix the core shutdown/heat issue.

    It would be my perfect Mac, and I'd buy it Day One.
  5. strikeinsilence macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2006
    Have fun! Feel free to keep trolling, we'd hate to accidently change your mind.
  6. NeoMayhem macrumors 6502a

    Aug 22, 2003
    Because HD video is such a better experience on windows when your system does not meet the minimum requirements? lol
  7. costabunny macrumors 68020


    May 15, 2008
    Weymouth, UK
    I have a few HD (rips) shows (not from iTunes) and they play fine. I also play a few BR ripped movies on the air and they're fine also. Admittedly this is without running anything else other than terminal.

    oh and the vlc output is on my 30" display from the MBA - not bad in my opinion.

    I may go get a HD episode of some kind to try it (tho its actually cheaper for me to get them series by series on DVD).
  8. SFStateStudent macrumors 604


    Aug 28, 2007
    San Francisco California, USA
    I've done the same with HD movies on my MBA to my iPhone from my external hard drive. I probably switch-out four-five movies a week and watch several TV shows (Weeds remains my favorite) during the week as well. I've set-up my 40" Sony Bravia LCD with Bose Theater Sound System, and on a good day hook-up my Peavey Speakers. No problems. :p
  9. grabberslasher macrumors 6502

    Aug 2, 2002
    From my own experience, no 720p movie in h264 greater than 5MBit will play without dropped frames / other issues on the 1.6GHz MacBook Air.

    I don't have iTunes HD content in my country so I can't test the videos, but if they're more than 5Mbit I'd expect problems. Anything less should play fine in any Quicktime based app, stay away from VLC or Mplayer on the Air for HD.
  10. Essjay macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2008
    I read that the iTunes HD content is 720p at 4 MBit.
  11. refulgentis macrumors regular

    May 14, 2006
    On average, there's likely spikes of at LEAST 6000 kbps (during scene transitions for example).
  12. refulgentis macrumors regular

    May 14, 2006
    Apple's current H.264 decoder is, quite frankly, very very poor. VLC and Mplayer beat it by a mile right now, and will even more once multithreaded H.264 decoding makes it into ffmpeg and gets pushed downstream.
  13. pgharavi macrumors regular


    Nov 25, 2004
    I cannot watch the HD videos unless Coolbook is enabled. I have tried both ways.
  14. MBA-MD macrumors member

    May 27, 2008
    Quote - Have fun! Feel free to keep trolling, we'd hate to accidently change your mind.

    I love the personal attacks when someone speaks up about the fallacies of CrApple.

    Hey, dimwit, I fell for the cult. I spend a ******** of money. I own an Air. I am $2300 down and no usable laptop. So yea I think Windows is better.

    Goodluck to you with Mac
  15. That70sGAdawg thread starter macrumors 6502a


    May 23, 2008
    My original point was: Apple hardware (Air), Apple software (iTunes Codec player & Air firmware & quicktime updates), and Apple paid content iTunes = a bad experience. I love the size and weight of the Air, didn't have previous problems with Core shut downs - but if the Firmware "update" limited my processor- I'm not happy.
    Did anyone get an offer to upgrade (at a cost) to the Pro after the 30 day return period?? I don't want to go into the Apple store and argue with the genius all day... :mad:
  16. TEG macrumors 604


    Jan 21, 2002
    Langley, Washington
    You are trying to do something that Apple says your computer cannot do and you are complaining and want a "free" upgrade.

    Why don't you try it again with just iTunes running, likely the other apps were drawing too much CPU time from iTunes to process the file correctly. You should try to solve your problem, rather than stomp you feet and yell. You bought an underpowered system and now expect a free upgrade, ha. Plus, I doubt the firmware upgrade did anything, otherwise more people whould be having problems.

  17. That70sGAdawg thread starter macrumors 6502a


    May 23, 2008
    Upgrade to the pro "at a cost" (from my post), does not mean I wanted anything for free!
    You should be able to have a couple of non CPU intensive programs open, and again - it happened after about ten min. of viewing not at the beginning, so would be tough to show at an Apple store without waiting for a while for it to start. I didn't have trouble for 5 months until the Firmware update - as others have posted also. Watching an Apple provided TV show should be possible on any hardware that they have provided for a year or two- this is a 6 month old product. Heck, my iPhone plays video fine!
  18. N10248 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 11, 2004
    Essex, U.K.
    What fps do you get in QT player?

    I get 12fps on my 3 year old 2ghz imac G5 with nothing else running.

    i think ill have to get an apple tv as im not planing on a new computer untill the end of the year.

    Attached Files:

  19. MacBass macrumors 6502


    Aug 12, 2005
    La Crosse, WI
    I wouldn't be so quick to attack. You did purchase a "specialized" laptop. I think of the Air as more of a gimmick than anything. I think you would probably see better results with a MacBook Pro or even a MacBook. The Air was designed for travelers or people who have a disdain for full-sized (and fully functional for that matter) laptops. I mean really, the damn thing has one USB port, what do you expect it to do? I don't mean to offend anyone, but I'm not a fan of the Air. Just because you spend more money on something doesn't mean it will do more. What could a solid gold toilet do that a porcelain one couldn't?
  20. huntercr macrumors 65816

    Jun 6, 2006
    I concur with that. The latest quicktime is slightly better than it was, in the last version ( sorry I'm not near a Mac right now or I could give real numbers ). The last version was a DOG. Something in the code base changed that has caused a significant slowdown. 2-3 versions ago, performance was massively better.

    I know this because I have a original Dual G5 1.8GHZ and it used to be able to play 720P and 1080i movies at full speed with very few if any frame drops in Quicktime. Last version of quicktime, it was unwatchable... now we're back to watchable, but laggy.

    My guess is actually that it is the core video routines being used... I'm guessing my video card is doing more heavy lifting in the newer versions, and my video card is poor, therefore performance is poor, whereas earlier versions leveraged the CPU more. Just a WAG.

    Same would go for the Air, since the video chipset is not exactly a speed demon.
  21. lenselijer macrumors member

    Sep 3, 2008
    using plesk i can play 1080p movies without errors.

    i do have to use coolbook to set voltage at 0.9v for all speeds.
    temperature is about 77 degrees so fans are fullspeed :(

    quicktime hd codec is just poorly optimized, because playing the same movie in quicktime will get me 1fps...
  22. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    good point about the toilet thing. you get what you pay for, not in terms of more money = more power. the air was not meant to be a desktop replacement, more of a small compact computer for people on the go. your own fault for not knowing the capabilities of the machine toe begin with.
  23. That70sGAdawg thread starter macrumors 6502a


    May 23, 2008
    "People on the go" shouldn't be able to watch a TV show movie downloaded from iTunes??
    Desktop replacement was never the intention of the Air, but if it now is fixed to a lower processor speed by an Apple firmware "fix"- that's not he same machine that I bought five months ago. This forum has mentioned the limit on processor speed introduced by the firmware fix. I had a machine that played video fine until recently. Either way, It should play flash and video without fail.
  24. zedsdead macrumors 68040

    Jun 20, 2007
    I had no problems on my 1.8 SSD version playing the 1st HD episode of Heroes.

    Can't say the same thing when streaming to the Apple TV, which during complex scenes would stutter a bit.
  25. slu macrumors 68000


    Sep 15, 2004
    1. You will never be able to return it to Apple. Give up that pipe dream. You bought it six months ago for God's sake.

    2. This is way more simple that you make it out to be. Your system does not meet the minimum requirements. You expect it to act like it does. I don't know why you think it should. Your argument that it used to play HD video just fine before the update means nothing since iTunes did not offer HD videos before then, and iTunes 8 did not exist then, so your software and content changes, but you claim it worked before? Impossible. It may have worked with different content and different software, but I don't see how that is relevant. And I don't know why you think that just because you bought it recently it should be able to play the video. Why should it? Because you want it to? Get real.

    Here is 2 cents worth of free advice: sell the Air now, before a new version is released and the value of your Air goes down any more and then get something else that meets the minimum requirements for the task you are asking it to do. I don't blame my screwdriver for being a crappy hammer.

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