Mid 2010 mac mini - Video stutter in frontrow / itunes

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Microkozm, Nov 23, 2010.

  1. Microkozm macrumors newbie

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    Aug 12, 2007
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    Wisconsin
    #1
    I've recently picked up a mac mini (first one) and am using it as an HTPC. The specs are the standard 2.4 mini with ram upgraded to 6gb. So far, all of the HD content Ive gotten from iTunes has an issue with video stutter.

    The itunes library is running off of an external firewire 800 drive so I cant imagine that bandwidth would be the issue. And the audio doesn't skip at all, its just the video that stops for a few seconds. Clearly the machine 'should' be capable. Any ideas as to why this might be happening?
     
  2. acribb macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2007
    #2
    Is it connected wifi or ethernet? 1080p or 720p video? What's the bitrate of the video?

    On my Macbook Pro with the 330M, I can't stream uncompressed bluray rips without using ethernet. Over wifi, uncompressed 1080p stutters.
     
  3. Microkozm thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    It is connected via wi-fi, but the video is coming from my local library off a firewire 800 drive. Its basically all of the 720p video I get from iTunes tv store.
     
  4. Microkozm thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 12, 2007
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    #4
    After calling apple support, the answer I got was that nothing can be done regarding the HD video problems and "I'm at the mercy of the hardware."

    That's ridiculous. Its clearly an issue in Quicktime since I have no issues playing other content full screen. So my brand new Mac Mini can't play iTunes HD video through its HDMI port... excellent work Apple.

    This is my first Mac as well, time to 'switch' back. :mad:
     
  5. b-rad g macrumors 6502a

    b-rad g

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    Jun 29, 2010
    #5
    Have you tried playing your iTunes media through Plex? I've heard it does a better job than FrontRow.
     
  6. astrorider macrumors 6502

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    Sep 25, 2008
    #6
    Did you try running it locally from the Mini's hard drive? That mini is powerful enough to play the 720p HD video from the iTunes store. My 2009 2Ghz Mini plays them fine, so should yours.
     
  7. Microkozm thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Wisconsin
    #7
    Yes, I've tried both locally and off of the firewire backup. Both have shown the same 'pause' in the video. Your correct in that the machine is more than capable, but I think something is up with their hdmi implementation because theres tons of apple discussion forum posts re: the same thing.

    I will try out plex, but if its using quicktime to play it I think I'll be having the same issue.

    I just dont want to deal with the hassle of returning the machine, ram, and/or external drive (losing $$$). And overall, I was pretty shocked that the result from Apple support was telling me "Im at the mercy of the hardware" and to not full screen my video so it plays smoothly :confused:



    Also thanks for the suggestions
     
  8. astrorider macrumors 6502

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    Sep 25, 2008
    #8
    Plex doesn't use Quicktime for playback, but won't be able to play iTunes Store purchased video (it's DRM'd and only iTunes can play). Regardless, I would think you'd probably have the same issue if it's an HDMI problem as that's going to be OS and hardware dependant.

    One thought, since I don't have any issues with my 2009 mini. My Mini lacked an HDMI port so I use a Mini Displayport to HDMI adapter. Perhaps you could try using your Mini Displayport (with an adapter to HDMI) to bypass whatever problem is going on with your HDMI port? They are $7 at monoprice.com, so that may be a cheap option to try.

    Does your video really stop "for a few seconds", or is it more choppiness while the scene is panning?
     
  9. Microkozm thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #9
    Its more like 2 seconds of being frozen on one frame. The audio has no problem at all. I know 2 seconds doesn't sound like much, but a recurring 2 second stall on a brand new machine is. I will try a few things out over the next day or so to determine if it really is apples hdmi implementation. Ill try the dvi adapter as well. I think I might have one laying around but monoprice might find one faster :)
     
  10. peterdevries macrumors 68040

    peterdevries

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    Feb 22, 2008
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    Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    #10
    The issue is not your ram. 2 Gb is enough for playback of 1080p. I use XBMC and have tried VLC and PLEX and they all show the same problem, both with .H264 and VC encoded video. I suggest you look at the XBMC forums, as they are quite far in analyzing the problem. There appears to be a bug since leopard 10.6.4 which in the hardware configuration of the mini's causes stuttering of 1080p video. Some people have tried downgrading to 10.6.3 successfully, but there are no conclusive results.

    There is currently no known fix if you have the problem. I have resorted to using 720p video until the problem is fixed.

    The DVI adapter also will not solve your problem. Save yourself the unplugging of your cables.
     
  11. acribb macrumors regular

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    Nov 30, 2007
    #11
    The OP stated that 720p videos he bought via iTunes are causing him issue:
    The XBMC issue you reference above is related to hardware acceleration not working correctly in the XBMC software on Mac Mini 10.6.4 and 10.6.5. 1080p and 720p iTunes H264 video should and does play correctly in Quicktime on OSX 10.6.4 and 10.6.5.

    These two issues are not related at all.
     
  12. peterdevries macrumors 68040

    peterdevries

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    #12
    You are totally right, I stand corrected.. Thank you.
     
  13. cosmos macrumors regular

    cosmos

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    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    #13
    Something to try

    I would open Activity Monitor while playing the videos and see what processes are using the most CPU cycles. Perhaps there is a subprocess hanging for a moment causing the issue.

    Is there any third party software that you are running that might be causing the issue? Perhaps a highly fragmented disk could cause the same symptoms, but that would be the last thing that I would look into for the cause. I hope that you are able to track down the issue. My dad's 2010 Mini has been trouble free so I cannot help you there.
     
  14. Microkozm thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 12, 2007
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    Wisconsin
    #14
    Unfortunately the machine is basically stock for software outside of the Hulu Desktop App, and the Eyetv software. I've tried running the activity monitor but no luck. iTunes is reporting about 50-60% processor usage but thats all.

    I tried renting a movie off of Amazon during their 99cent sale over the holiday, and even at standard def, that also caused pausing full screen through Chrome. I'll be trying it out on a dvi display instead of HDMI this weekend. But if that doesnt narrow the problem down Im at a total loss as to what it may be :(
     
  15. ADent macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    #15
    Go to an Apple store and try the test on the computers there (specifically a mini, if you can get to the single mini typ setup).

    If they don't skip on the same file then it is your machine - make a genius bar appointment.
     
  16. relloyd macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2010
    #16
    Could it be movie frame rates?

    Same issues here on an early 2009 mini. I upgraded my RAM from 2GB to 4GB, and my HD to a "hybrid" Momentus XT with solid state cache last weekend and the same issues still appear. I've seen other forums with people saying that 1080p plays fine on lesser spec minis so I'm sure there's something we're missing... They also suggest that they have it working on TVs that run at multiples of the video frame rate. For example 24Hz BlueRays in 1080p are smoother on 120Hz (i.e. that's a multiple x5) displays. My screen is 100Hz 1080p and stutters badly on 720p and 1080p. I'm not sure of the bit rates though. I'm running a "mini DisplayPort to DVI" cable so would be interested to hear if this things are any better out there for miniDVI etc. If I use "MotionFlow" on my Bravia things are better but you can tell the stutters have been smoothed out by the built-in TV tech... I just can't believe something as modern as this can't do HD video seamlessly - gutted! One last thing, I'm converting a 1080p MKV to MP4 and changing the frame rate from 24fps to 25fps this evening, which will give me something at a multiple of 100Hz to play tomorrow. If I get any luck, I'll let you know...
     
  17. relloyd macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2010
    #17
    Okay, I figured out my issue... For me it was a VLC setting that seems to have caused problems in a few releases up to 1.1.5, according to various comments on the VLC forums. Turning of the setting below has fixed playback of 720p and 1080p MKVs MP4s etc no probs:

    Preferences -> Input / Codecs -> Access modules -> MMap -> Use file memory mapping

    My only remaining issue is whether it's possible to play 1080p raw BlueRay BDMV quality stuff. So far, it seems to stutter, but movies like this are quite a lot for to process - data rate etc - so I wouldn't be surprised if it's not do-able at all.
     
  18. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    #18
    Quicktime and iTunes frequently can't play 1080 video on my computer without problems, so I don't use them for that. VLC and other players don't stutter with the same material.
     
  19. astrorider macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2008
    #19
    To play 1080p blu-ray on my 2Ghz Mac Mini I needed something that used graphics card acceleration. I'm not sure VLC does, but Plex certainly does. I'm using Plex v0.8.5 with the hardware acceleration hotfix, but Plex v.0.9 and up should work too, although they seem to have other stutter/sync issues they've been trying to work out and have been recommending turning off hardware acceleration until they come up with a better fix.
     
  20. KenBob Country macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2011
    #20
    video stutter iTunes HD mac mini mid 2010 HDMI

    Any progress on this "Bug?":eek:

    mac mini mid 2010 with 8 GB Ram.

    dual monitor:
    1920 x 1080p HDMI
    1920 x 1200 through minidisplayport to VGA adapter

    iTunes has an issue with video stutter.
    CS193p HD videos from iTunes U all have annoying 2 seconds video pauses but audio works.:mad:
     

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