Lag when playing HD (High definition) movies

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by hldomster, Apr 18, 2009.

  1. hldomster macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    #1
    Hi,

    I've just been trying to play Dark Knight in HD through iTunes and there is some lag, like the playback stutters (sound is fine, video stutters). How can I remedy this? Surely the Macbook is capable of playing HD without this lag?

    I've got a 2.4ghz Aluminum Macbook with 4GB RAM and I'm watching the movie on an LED Cinema Display. I was playing the movie through iTunes with no other programs on, and I'd just logged in to my account (although had not restarted the Notebook for several hours).

    All help and advice is welcome.
     
  2. KyleHD macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    #2
    i also have this problem. same computer, different movie (Hancock), and i use VLC to play on my 42" LCD tv.

    works fine on my dads new iMac, maybe our computer actually isnt capable of some 1080p movies? cuz quite a few others work fine on my comp.

    /subscribed
     
  3. JustGretchen macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    #3
    The only HD content I've tried on my mini w/ 4gb of ram is the new Transformers 2 trailer.

    It seemed to be a big laggy/jumpy as well and the mini has the same nVidia chip that your macbook does along with the same 256mb shared video memory.

    Kind of a disappointment.
     
  4. Mr. lax macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #4
    VLC will run it if you have it set to skip frames, that lowers the bit rate and allows it to play on lower end computers
     
  5. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #5
    Plex is currently the best way to play HD on a lower-end Mac. Its not to everybody's taste and has a few bugs but its unlikely to lag or drop frames (much).
     
  6. KyleHD macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    #6
    i just tried with and without skip frames, same result.

    im not ruling out a bad encode of the movie as well
     
  7. hldomster thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    #7
    Thanks for the advice so far. I tried VLC and Skip frames was selected and the problems persists.

    This really is not good enough to be honest; you don't pay a £1k for a laptop for it to not be able to handle stuff like this, it's absolutely pathetic. I've just bought an LED Cinema Display to accompany my MacBook and it seems that I can't even watch HD video. So much for Apple's laptops doing what consumers need right out of the box. This is the first time I've regretted getting a Mac - I could have bought a high-end PC for less and it would have played HD fine and had Blu-Ray.

    Mind you, my friend who has the same 2.4ghz Aluminum Macbook as me claims he has no problems. I got mine on release, he got his months later, perhaps this is a problem with the first ones off the production line?
     
  8. kastenbrust macrumors 68030

    kastenbrust

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Location:
    North Korea
    #8
    The Nvidia 9400M graphics chip which is the one you have is rated to playback HD video:

    http://www.nvidia.com/object/product_geforce_9400m_g_us.html

    However VLC uses the processor to decode the video, and not the graphics chip, which is the problem, and the cause of the lag, using a different application such as already suggested Plex which uses the graphics chip to do the decoding should fix this issue.
    Also are you using the latest version of VLC?
     
  9. hexonxonx macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Location:
    Denver Colorado
    #9
    My 8 core Mac pro also can't play 1080p HD MKV movies. Quickime locks up and VLC crashes constantly and skipping frames doesn't help. I might try plex and see if that helps.

    This is the basic 2008 Mac Pro with the included video card as sold in the Apple stores.
     
  10. hexonxonx macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Location:
    Denver Colorado
    #10
    Ok I installed Plex and had the an 1080P HD MKV movie crash the app. It also would freeze up just like VLC and Quicktime. Guess I am out of luck.
     
  11. KyleHD macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    #11
    i installed plex and gave it a try. it has a VERY nice GUI, however it is not very nice to use on the computer. if you had a mac set up as a home theater and you were using a remote control, then yes it would be very good, however for this reason i will only be using the program for the odd file that will not play properly in VLC because it does do a great job with those. I prefer using finder or Mac Explorer to find the files i want to watch, and i do not like what happens to the mouse when Plex is open as i often multitask while watching tv shows or movies.
     
  12. hldomster thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    #12
    Installed Plex but found it impossible to use, could not even figure out how to import my movies.

    You know I think the graphics performance on this thing is not just laggy on HD files, it's laggy on games (I mean old games, like RTC Wolfenstein) and even online video content (such as High Quality vids on YouTube. Any more ideas?

    I rang Applecare today and they couldn't fix the problem, the tried running the vid in safeboot, clearing PRAM and caches, no joy.
     
  13. KyleHD macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    #13
    find the file in finder, right click and open with Plex
     
  14. eleven7 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    Location:
    Japan
    #14
    I'm using the same macbook, same specs and have never had any real trouble at all running 1080p movies on my 24inch external BenQ LCD.

    When I say any "real" problems, I mean I might get the odd dropped frame but that might be once throughout a movie. And that happens with standard definition too sometimes anyway.

    How many movies have you tried? Some of them are badly encoded. Have you tried downloading and playing 1080p trailers off the Apple trailers site?
     
  15. hexonxonx macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Location:
    Denver Colorado
    #15
    I figured out what my own problem was with my Mac Pro. I have a six month old 1TB WD Green drive that is failing. Disk utility just popped up warning me to copy everything quickly so I am. Now I know why even Plesk was having trouble playing even 720P movies.
     
  16. CubeHacker macrumors 65816

    CubeHacker

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
    #16
    Do you have a link to the exact trailer? I tried watching the Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen trailer on Apple's site and it played back just fine on my mini with no skipped frames.
     
  17. Jimbaker macrumors newbie

    Jimbaker

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Location:
    Everett, WA
    #17
    Has anyone considered that the bandwidth of 1080p is extremely high and that's why HDMI is required for something like that?

    I would however think that integrated systems, such as the iMac and a laptop with a graphics card capable of such bandwidth, should handle it all just fine - save for errors in the data being watched or faulty sofware.
     
  18. KyleHD macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    #18
    im no expert, but i believe that mac cinema displays, or whatever they are called, can support higher resolutions then any HDTV with HDMI cables can display or transfer.

    as to the source of these 1080p movies, some work, some dont, im going to assume mine was a bad encode that VLC has troubles with, but Plex can figure out whats wrong and fix the problem, in real time.
     
  19. hexonxonx macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Location:
    Denver Colorado
    #19
    I am always amazed at how great these HD movies look on my 23" ACD. I have about 125 of these, most are 720P and about 15 are 1080P. Most of the 1080 will play fine with no problems on my Mac Pro just as most of the 720 will. I have had difficulty playing a few movies of each reslolution so it is not the computer and mostly likely as mentioned above, bad encodes. A few of them will crash VLC, Quicktime and Plex at the same exact spot in the movie.
     
  20. windstarfy macrumors member

    windstarfy

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2008
    #20
    This is a little offtopic, but I heard that older games may lag because older games only use single cores rather than two at once, which means lag. Is this correct?
     

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