New MBA and MKV HD 1080p movies

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Bobbychoi, May 18, 2011.

  1. Bobbychoi macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    #1
    Hey guys,

    I'm seriously considering a MBA...

    BUT...

    When I went to the Apple store, I downloaded some 1080p sample movies and the MBA just couldn't handle it--it was fully pixelated. The Macbook Pros had no problem with these files. I have a lot of 1080p movies that I like to watch on my TV.

    Do you think the new MBAs will be able to handle these files? And will they handle dual monitors?

    Thanks.
     
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #3
    What MBA did you test exactly?

    The 13" should be able to handle it, as my 2007 iMac with a C2D with 2GHz can handle 1080p movies quite well.
     
  3. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #4
    What was the bitrate of the movies? What software did you use? I have plenty of 720p movies and a few 1080p ones and they play fine on my MBA, even when connected to a 1080p Sony. They don't have very high bitrate though, definitely below 10Mb/s.
     
  4. pil0tflame macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Location:
    London, Ontario
    #5
    I think it's going to depend on what software video player you use, but 1080p MKV videos should play fine if you have the proper codecs.

    Here's a sample someone put up on YouTube using VLC player: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zE3hHZkfOL0

    Looks fine to me, but MKV is just a container format. Depending on the actual video/audio codecs used (and average bitrate), your results may vary.
     
  5. Bobbychoi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    #6
  6. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #7
    I tried 20Mb/s encode (it is the lowest they have) and it didn't play properly on my 2010 MBA. However, 20Mb/s is pretty high bitrate. The ones you can get from torrent sites are usually around 10Mb/s.

    I tried a 10Mb/s football clip and it played fine. Here is a link for it.
     
  7. pil0tflame macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Location:
    London, Ontario
    #8
    Those sample movies are all fairly high bitrate, though not unrealistic. Keep in mind those samples are provided for stress testing systems and are not necessarily comparable to what you're going to actually be watching.

    Here's the main things to consider:
    • if you're going to be downloading MKV files, they are more than likely going to be lower bitrate, say around 10 Mbps (lower bitrate = smaller file size)
    • if you're going to be encoding your own MKV files, do some short samples at different bitrates and figure out what will playback smoothly and meet any file size restrictions you have
     
  8. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #9
    1. Yup.
    2. If doing own encoding, do MP4 H.264.
     
  9. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #10
    Why .mp4 over .mkv?
    Is it because .mp4 is more native to Mac OS X than .mkv is?
    I find .mkv files more fluent and easier to navigate than .mp4 files on my Macs, but I seldom use QT Player for my entertainment purposes.
     
  10. theprophe macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2010
    #11
    On my c2d pc, sometimes i might have a problem with VLC not playing smoothly, but kmplayer plays it fine, so try another player
     
  11. Xgm541 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #12
    my setup is the 1.4 c2d 4gb/64gb 11 inch model and the 20mbit video went choppy after 2 seconds. The 40 mbit sample went choppy almost instantly and VLC crashed.

    However that may be just the mkv format i think

    I can play mp4 1080p with it using only about 50% cpu. So unless all your video files are 10+mbit mkv's then you have nothing to worry about.
     
  12. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    www.emiliana.cl/en
    #13
    1080p on the MBA-display are just a waste of time & resources. It does not have a 1920x1080 screen. The MBA is also no HD-Videoplayer. Use a WD TV for 99 US$, if you want to watch HD-Video on your TV! It can be extended, supports many formats, has custom firmware options, and so on.

    More Info:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WD_TV
    and
    http://www.wdc.com/en/products/homeentertainment/mediaplayers/
     
  13. pil0tflame macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Location:
    London, Ontario
    #14
    An MP4 container with h.264/AAC video/audio encoding would also be my preferred format, but MKV may be required for some reason.

    For the record, MKV can contain an h.264/AAC video/audio steam too. :)
     
  14. IscariotJ macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #15
    I've had issues with VLC on my 2.4 C2D iMac, whereas MPlayerX had no issue ( MPlayerX uses ffmpeg-mt ), and that was playing a 1080P mkv. YMMV....
     
  15. rookiezzz macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Location:
    WA,USA
    #16
    I'm using MBA 13.3" 1.86/4/128 and it works fine with 1080p movies (15-17gb mkv movies, 20gb++ usually laggy, especially in a bright places)..

    I agree with the others that said watching a 1080p movies in mba is such a waste, not much diff with 720p, and u need a good headphones for sound's quality, so it's a lot better to watch it with a movie player..
     
  16. Sgoenfeter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #17
    The current MBA can already handle it. Just use Plex if you want to play the high bitrate files (it's nice to use when watching on a TV anyway). I just tried the largest file from the links (Bird_42_MBit_ABR_(+-1.5 MBit).mkv 109.6 MB) and it dropped only 14 frames. Which occured when starting the video. This was done on an 11 inch 1.6GHz MBA.
     
  17. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Location:
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    #18
    No one can explain the problem you had without knowing the specifications of the file you tried to play.

    My 1.86 mHz MBA plays 1080p Blu-ray rips just fine so long as the file only has DD, DTS or AAC audio and I use Plex, XBMC or MPlayer OS X Extended.
     
  18. mikekey macrumors newbie

    mikekey

    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    #19
    My MacBook Air handles MKV with 1080P just fine. And I'm running Preview 3 of Lion.
     
  19. evildede macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2005
    #20
    As Cave Man said, if you use Plex you should be fine. My first gen inter iMac handles them all just fine using plex, even my old core2duo macbook has no problem playing them when using Plex. It really is all in the software. VLC is nice, but on slower Macs it isn't all that great. Plex however seems to run everything just fine. I think you should give it another go!
     
  20. cleric, May 22, 2011
    Last edited: May 22, 2011

    cleric macrumors 6502a

    cleric

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #21
    The ones you get from torrent sites are higher than anything there. Most of the good encodes are VBR which can spike upwards of 80Mb/s.
     
  21. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #22
    You can get those but the most popular ones are usually around 10Mb/s (well, the most popular ones are 720p so around 5-6Mb/s). Most people don't want to wait 8 times longer and waste 8 times more HD space to get a full rip, especially when the quality difference is barely noticeable.
     

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