.mkv in OS X

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Blubbert, Aug 28, 2007.

  1. Blubbert macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    #1
    As media is progressing more and more into HD, .mkv format has become a popular container for high def video. Why is it that there are only three major players available for OSX that can support .mkv? And to be fair, neither of the three are hacking it on my MBP. I have a Core Duo 17'' MBP with 2gb of ram, and yet i cant watch a 720p movie encoded with H.264 in a .mkv container without loosing frames. Does anyone know of any good mkv players that can reproduce high def video without dropping frames?
     
  2. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #2
    And what players have you tried? I haven't had any issues with mkv files on my Macbook, but only have had limited experience with them. I've used Quicktime, MPlayer X, and VLC without issue.
     
  3. Blubbert thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    #3
    Those were the three i was talking about. Playing the movie in MPlayer was the worst, the audio and video were unsynced. The audio was going about three seconds ahead of the video. Quicktime with Perian was bad too as the sound would frequently cut out or would make a quick screeching noise. VLC was the best player i tried out of the three, and it too droped frames frequently, making for a pretty sorry viewing experience. Is there any other player available that can play mkv? I really dont want to resort to converting them into mp4 or something.
     
  4. CrashRay macrumors newbie

    CrashRay

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Location:
    France
    #4
    You can try to understand here :
    How to read MKV ?
    Maybe your Mac is too slow :D It's a HD encode ? 720p 1080p ?
    The better choice is Mplayer with the terminale and you use something like :
    Code:
    sudo renice -15 mplayer
     
  5. Knolly macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2007
    #5
    Is there any MKV player for Mac that can render subtitles halfway decently? I use VLC and it's okay most of the time, but makes subtitles overlap and such... On Windows I used Zoom Player, which was awesome and could load embedded fonts and stuff too... Is there anything similar for Mac?
     
  6. CrashRay macrumors newbie

    CrashRay

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Location:
    France
    #6
    You can go on this site :
    Frequently Asked Questions about MKV
    and you have the question-answer :
    You must use Mplayer.
     
  7. 0sync0 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    #7
    Did you find a Mac player that has the functionality of Zoom Player? I just got my first Mac and the players I've seen so far make me want to continue using my PC for HTPC.
     
  8. Viper2005 macrumors 6502

    Viper2005

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #8
    This is one aspect of Mac use where it is inferior to the Windows experience.
    Video playback quality on Mac is inferior to Windows. It's true, take any decent quality video on a windows machine, like an XVID of a popular tv show, and bring it to a mac and play the two side by side, using Windows media player on PC, and VLC/Mplayer on Mac. See the difference in video quality re: macroblocking, frame rate.
    Windows media player does a far better job of decoding XVID/DIVX/MKV with less macroblocks due to it's better post processing routines.
    On Mac, even with post processing, it removes the macroblocks from the video but makes everything lose detail! Using the deinterlace feature on VLC also makes the video look like crap most of the time
    Another sore point, I have several videos of hybrid film/video type that VLC/Mplayer cannot de-interlace properly without jaggies, loss of detail and frame rate, while the same video plays properly de-interlaced, detailed and smooth on my Windows machine.
    Sorry about the rant, but this is a real sore point in my OSX experience, as I download lots of High def videos and I like my videos perfect, but I feel like I have to make a compromise every time I use my mac for video viewing. So I end up more often than not using my Dell XPS to view videos instead. I wish I didn't have to, and that someone would make a video viewer that lets me view in the same quality as WMP. I know WMP does some jiggerypokery to make videos look so great, why can't the Mac viewers do that?
    And don't get me started on subtitles. It's a disaster on VLC. Download an MKV of an anime video and you'll see what I mean.
     
  9. 0sync0 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    #9
    That is my experience so far. First, I was quite surprised at the limited functionality of the players compared to what is available on the PC. When I actually started watching some video I was shocked by the macroblocking and stuttering playback. Is this because of the wimpy video card on my Mini?

    What options are available for post processing?
     
  10. Viper2005 macrumors 6502

    Viper2005

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #10
    It's not because of your mini's video card. I have an Nvidia 8600M GT in my MacBookPro and it still behaves the same.
    It has to do with the fact that the software out there can't access the hardware deinterlace and decoding features of the video card. Everything is done in the software, which is why it sucks. Apparently it is impossible for programs such as VLC to directly access hardware accelerated decoding and deinterlace, even though the cards themselves support it.

    http://forum.videolan.org/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=23
     
  11. 0sync0 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    #11
    I wonder if upscaling also has to be done in software on the Mac.

    I've grown accustomed to excellent video quality on my PC. I want to move this to the Mac but it would be a huge compromise based on what I'm seeing.
     
  12. Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2006
    Location:
    Laurel, MD (Baltimore, MD / Washington, DC area)
    #12
    I remember last year I downloaded an episode of Lost in 720p and watched it on my 15" 2.16ghz MBP C2D. It was a .avi file and worked great. later, I downloaded a .mkv file and had a tough time with it. I searched around a bit and it seemed that .mkv files just didn't place nice with macs. I am downloading a Smallville ep from two weeks ago right now that's a 720p. It's a .mkv file. I haven't tried this in a year so let's see what happens. My comp now is a 2.2ghz MBP 15" w/ 2GB RAM (it was 4GB RAM, but the JetRAM RAM modules I bought on Black Friday have seemed to fail and I have been meaning to send it in to get them replaced)
     
  13. longwood macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    #13
    I'm not sure about .mkv support but Chroma Movie Player handles embedded subtitles without a problem, something that VLC couldn't do. You will have to pay for it but it has been my go to video player software.
     
  14. TheStu macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Location:
    Carlisle, PA
    #14
    I have no problems playing back 720p MKVs on my Core Duo MacBook, my friend with a Core Duo MacBook Pro has no issues either. I am not positive about my latest friend to get a mac (2.4GHz Penryn) but I am sure his will be fine with them.
     
  15. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2006
    #15
    Quicktime is the only acceptable movie player for mac I think. VLC is annoying as hell with its popups and how you cant turn off that stupid window with all the controls that stays on top of everything (I searched everywhere in the preferences and couldnt figure out how to disable that stupid thing or the error popups), it also crashes like crazy when playing MKV. I have to use VLC because quicktime just wont work with some files. Mplayer is just the ugliest thing Ive ever seen.

    Quicktime is far from perfect though, its codec support is simply pathetic, it has to index mkv files or something everytime you open them, its also not completely stable with MKV either but its still more stable than VLC. I do not experience any problems with HD in Quicktime.

    I dont understand why video players are so crappy on OS X. Apple really needs to make a better and more universal player like WMP. Microsoft puts a hell of a lot of effort into WMP, Apple seems to completely neglect quicktime in favor of iTunes. The only time they ever update it is to fix some security hole since they cant even get that right.
     
  16. anemos macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2008
    #16
  17. northy124 macrumors 68020

    northy124

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    #17
    Your all having problem's with MKV's?

    I've had nothing but BLISS with both 720p and 1080p on my MacBook White SR 2.16GHz. I use VLC and QT Pro with Perain installed, I find that QT takes 5 Minutes to load up the MKV's but that's fin with me as it plays smoothly no audio problems at all, VLC needs to be left for 5-10 minutes before you start playing or it screws up

    I have 40 HD Movies and 3 Seasons (Weeds and Botherhood 1 and 2) of HD Episodes adding another season to day (The Tudors Season 2 HD).
     
  18. catachip macrumors regular

    catachip

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Location:
    Vancouver, British Columbia
    #18
    I have a MacBook Pro C2D 2.4 Ghz with 4 GB of Ram and 256 video.

    I find that 720p MKVs play fine, but, if I get into 1080p files they will stutter every 5 min or so. This is under VLC.
     
  19. TheStu macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Location:
    Carlisle, PA
    #19
    Have you tried installing Perian and watching them in Quicktime? I have noticed that Quicktime will cache better on some things. You will have to let it load the entire video before you can watch it, but that doesn't take too long.
     

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