MacBook playing 1080p

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by dav, May 18, 2007.

  1. dav macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2004
    It chokes.

    MacBook 2.0 GHz 2GB RAM and it stutters and is terrible. I usually play my 720p .mkv files through VLC and there is no problem at all. Also, any quicktime 1080p .mov files play smoothly as well. I can even play two at the same time no problem.

    What do I need to do to optimize for these beastly 1080p x264 .mkv files? I tried mplayer and it is better, but still not great by any means. Is my computer even capable? I bought it thinking it would play 1080p files (judging by the reports of people playing quicktime trailers) and now it is struggling with this newfound filetype.

    Thoughts? Solutions? Is there any better Matroska playback setup?

    (Note: these are .mkv 1080p x264 files, not the .mov files off of Quicktime Trailers or the like)

    I have a 100 MB sample that my tests are based off of with some quick action scenes.
  2. MajereXYU macrumors regular

    May 11, 2005
    Since you say Quicktime plays fine, I assume the problem may lie within either the VLC player or the .mkv file format handling.

    I know 1080p is not a problem on all modern mac computers (CoreDuo and up).
  3. ironic23 macrumors 6502

    Feb 8, 2006
    my MBP 2.0ghz core duo w/ 2gb ram and 256mb vram stutters when playing a 1080p movie file on Quicktime Pro. you see frame rates drop drastically through different parts of the movie (parts when there's a lot of movement, light, colors etc.). the MP on the other hand runs flawlessly.
  4. iQuit macrumors 6502a


    May 13, 2005

    I have a Core Duo MBP and it can play MULTIPLE 1080P videos.

    You might want to check your Internet Service Provider. (ISP)
  5. Fearless Leader macrumors 68020

    Mar 21, 2006
    I get random choke ups playing HD video on my MBP CD, Restart always fixes it.
  6. iQuit macrumors 6502a


    May 13, 2005
    Have you made sure you have the lastest Security Updates? I've never had a problem with 720p or 1080p video on my CD MBP. What kind of internet are you using? DSL?
  7. zioxide macrumors 603


    Dec 11, 2006
    It could just be a crappy encode. I've had it happen before.
  8. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000


    Nov 16, 2006
    Bay Area
    Wait, what the hell are you talking about?
  9. iQuit macrumors 6502a


    May 13, 2005

    I'm talking about maybe it's not your computer and it's just your internet service that is lagging.
  10. dav thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2004
    @iQuit: internet service is irrelevant. This is a local file, and it will not play. It is not a Quicktime 1080p file, those play fine.

    Here is a sample x264 1080p file. Test it on your computer and post your results.


    (About 80 seconds from Kill Bill 2, somewhat graphic... Use Pando to download it if you want to test it out. Use mplayer or VLC to attempt to watch it)
  11. WorldIRC macrumors 6502

    Sep 25, 2005
    I play the trailors from the Apple site all the same in 1080p and theyre fine...
  12. dav thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2004
    Like I said, this is not an Apple 1080p file. Those are highly optimized and play fine. Try the one I posted.
  13. purelithium macrumors 6502


    May 28, 2006
    Kingston, Canada
    Why should I install some extraneous piece of software that I'll never use just to help you out? Next time, use somewhere like Rapidshare or sendspace, I would have no problem helping then.

    That said, I have the same problems as you. Stuttering, etc. I would think it's a result of the low VRAM in our laptops and them really not being designed to play 1080P content (they can't officially drive large 1080P screens. I think the highest we can do is 720P.
  14. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    I think x264 in .mkv is your problem to begin with.

    1. Extraneous piece of software, hell no.
    2. Video card? It's CPU bound.
  15. 66217 Guest

    Jan 30, 2006
    Is 1080p high definition?

    I have always had this doubt, can a MB play high definition movies? Is the screen even high definition capable?

  16. Erendiox macrumors 6502a


    Oct 15, 2004
    Brooklyn NY
    Yes, 1080p is high definition, along with 720p.

    Yes, macbooks can play high definition movies but they cannot read blu-ray disks or HD-DVD disks.

    I believe macbook screens can display all the pixels of 720p content, but 1080p is too big. It would need to be shunk down to the size of the MB screen.

    Cheers :)
  17. dav thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2004
    I hate software as much as the next guy, but the file was bigger than 100MB, and until now I had never heard of sendspace :). Pando is not spyware/bugged at all, it's quite nice for sending stuff. I will post it to sendspace.

    @Eidorian: 1080p in .mkv is quite common these days.


    Once again I warn you it might be a little graphic for some, it is about a minute from Kill Bill 2, just a sample to test. Just let me know if your computer can handle it. Play it with VLC or Mplayer. My MacBook with 2GB RAM 2GHz can't play the thing smoothly.

    Apparently I have been told that these files will play in XP via Boot Camp. It could simply be an optimization issue. Try it for yourself.
  18. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005

    1. I know
    2. No, really I do know.
    3. What do you use in OS X to play .mkv files?
    4. VLC had rather broken (stupid high CPU and stuttering) xh264 in .mkv container playback until 0.85. Even so it's still not great.
    5. I'll try it on my Mac mini tomorrow. (It works fine in VLC on my iMac but Quicktime w/Perian 1.0b4 chokes.)
  19. vagarach macrumors member

    May 14, 2007
    I would take a look at getting CoreAVC and running it with bootcamp and winxp, it is quite the speedy decoder of avc. You must remember however that 1080P video decoding is a stressful task for all but the monster Mac Pros and their PC workstation brethren, dual core is pretty much the bare minimum when it comes to 1080P. Hardware decoding (as in GPU based decoding) is the only proper way for the future; nobody wants 100% cpu usage when watching a movie. Both main gpu companies already have this, and the latest nvidia efforts have brought cpu usage down to 20%, I suspect ati will manage similarly.

    The thing with the apple trailers is that they have all been encoded to work properly in quicktime, since quicktime itself doesn't support all the tricks that the avc spec has to offer. There is no such thing as an 'apple file', this is all avc in some form or another.

    For kicks I tried your sample in VLC on my Pentium M 1.86Ghz, 1GB ram, and it was Kill Bill: The Slideshow :D. Mplayer however, worked quite okay (I judge it to be 15fps) but the colours were quite screwed up, but gave the video a nice pop-art kinda feel!
  20. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    pando is a good piece of software for sending big files....
  21. tuartboy macrumors 6502a


    May 10, 2005
    Yeah, but who wants to install something to download a file off the internet? Isn't that already handled pretty well by your browser?

    I'm downloading the sample now and while I have a Mac Pro, I'll let you know what kind of CPU utilization I see in QT and VLC.

    BTW: You mean to tell me this is an HD-quality clip of a copyrighted movie you are openly distributing on the MR forums? I like your style. ;)
  22. tuartboy macrumors 6502a


    May 10, 2005
    Played great with no stutters, but you can see the CPU usage is pretty heavy for 4 cores. I can imagine this would be rough on a MB.

    I couldn't get QT to play the file even with Perian.

    Attached Files:

  23. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    Might be able to slip in if you're under 30 seconds and for review purposes. :rolleyes:

    Do you have the 1.0 Beta?
  24. khisayruou macrumors 6502a


    Aug 21, 2004
    I have a mac mini 1.66 CD w/ 2 gig ram.

    The sample played fine under quicktime, of course there is no passthrough so there was no sound, Im using perian 1.0 beta. VLC of course couldn't handle it but that is expected, VLC has yet to support dual cores.
  25. tuartboy macrumors 6502a


    May 10, 2005
    Apparently all HD content in any useful form is illegal these days...
    No, I don't. I installed b4 and it plays with about the same CPU utilzation as VLC in the previous screen grab. No sound.
    You sure about that? The screen grab a couple posts back of my 4-core Mac Pro is using VLC and it distributed pretty evenly across all 4.

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