No 1080p Playback on Stock uMBP-17 ???

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by spike8585, Sep 13, 2009.

  1. spike8585 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
    #1
    I just bought my new 17" uMBP, and figured it would have no problem playing 1080p movies. I was using the 9400 chip, and it was choppy at times. Then I switched to the 9600GT chip, and it was the same thing. I even restarted the machine.

    I was trying to figure it out. Maybe it was the file itself, even though the type of artifacts, I have never seen with MKV, other than occasionally on my old underpowered CD 1st gen black macbook struggling to play high quality 720p.

    So, I decided to watch my istats while I was watching the movie, and every time an error occurred, my HDD read peaked, and I guess totally maxed out. I have the standard 500GB, 5400rpm drive.

    Can I really not watch 1080p movies because of my HDD?
     
  2. SpaceKitty macrumors 68040

    SpaceKitty

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    Fort Collins Colorado
    #2
    It happened on our Mac Pro also. You should download Plex. It uses software to decode the HD video instead of hardware so it can play them much better.
     
  3. sammich macrumors 601

    sammich

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    #3
    Skip plex. Just use VLC.
     
  4. spike8585 thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 21, 2009
    #4
    It doesnt seem to be a decoding problem, but a HDD problem? Am I wrong?
    I am using VLC to play the video. I suppose if the was some sort of buffer, there wouldnt be a problem. Is there a way to set up a buffer with VLC? Or Perhaps use Quicktime to play MKV? A plugin? Would Quicktime change anything?
     
  5. SpaceKitty macrumors 68040

    SpaceKitty

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    #5
    VLC had allot of trouble playing those videos for us also.
     
  6. sammich macrumors 601

    sammich

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    #6
  7. spike8585 thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 21, 2009
    #7
    Ok, but Am I wrong about it being the HDD? I am waiting for my intel SSD to arrive. Will that fix the problem?
     
  8. soms macrumors 6502

    soms

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    Dec 10, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle
    #8
    VLC can do it, search around on google for "vlc mkv 1080 mac" stuff like that. You'll find a blog about what settings you need to have enabled under MKV filetypes in VLC.

    A lot depends on the mkv file though. Sometimes I've gotten 1080p stuff to work, other times it will stutter like mad.
    If all else fails, you can go the Quicktime route, but its not a whole lot better.

    That or try converting to another format

    edit:
    follow this for VLC
    http://kramfs.com/choppy-video-when-viewing-1080p-using-vlc/

    Helps somewhat, and I saw no noticeable PQ difference.
     
  9. Freyqq macrumors 68040

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    Dec 13, 2004
    #9
    it's definitely not a hardware issue lol..if my 2 y/o baseline macbook pro 15" can play 1080p on an external 24" monitor while also running the built-in 15" display without any lag, you're 17" brand new one should be just fine lol. Might be driver related, the particular file, the codec, or something along those lines.
     
  10. Buskape macrumors 6502

    Buskape

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    #10
    Yes, this is really not hardware related, your hdd has nothing to do with it, i can play 1080p content on a 46inch full hd tv, on my little 13" macbook with no stutter or problems at all.

    Did you look in the activity monitor if anything was launched at the same time as the movie that could cause the lag?
     
  11. dr. shdw macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 27, 2008
    #11
    VLC in my opinion sucks. I don't know why people use it.

    Use this.

    http://mplayerosx.sttz.ch/

    In preferences, under Video, enable multithreaded playback. Also make sure your laptop isn't getting super hot or it'll downclock itself (causes stuttering, etc), to prevent this or undervolt your laptop, use CoolBook.

    PLEX isn't bad if you want to organize your stuff, it is also multithreaded but based off ffdshow I think?
     
  12. Gatteau macrumors 6502a

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    May 23, 2009
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    Italy
    #12
    Well join the club. That's the only thing which's holding me back from getting a Mac. Really, I just wish they sorted out HD (1080p, or not) playback on the Mac.

    It's frustrating how Macs are unable to playback HD movies (MKVs).
     
  13. iLog.Genius macrumors 601

    iLog.Genius

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    Feb 24, 2009
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    Toronto, Ontario
    #13
    Unable is the wrong word to use. Many including myself have had no problems playing HD content/.mkv files with no problems with the 9400M GPU (I had it running on 46"). Can I suggest that it might the file itself? I know that I downloaded Gladiator in 1080p and that works fine but Casino Royale in 720p had trouble playing (but other 720p movies worked fine). The hardware set in the current MacBook (Pro's) have no trouble playing HD content so you might want to check background processes or settings.
     
  14. Gatteau macrumors 6502a

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    Italy
    #14
    I don't own a Mac, and it's only because of that very reason. HD playback (720p and 1080p). If I were certain I will experience decent playback on a MacBook Pro, I would've got it already.

    My 2.0GHz HP laptop plays HD (1080p, 720p and .mkv) movies and excels at it.
     
  15. spike8585 thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 21, 2009
    #15
    I will have to do some more tests, but I think this might have fixed the problem. Thanks!
     
  16. iLog.Genius macrumors 601

    iLog.Genius

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    Toronto, Ontario
    #16
    That's fine. Like I said, the hardware set in MacBook (Pro's) even those of last year are perfectly fine to play HD content - hardware isn't the issue. It's most likely software or the file itself and it's the same for Windows. I'm not arguing with you because we know computers aren't perfect, just pointing out that stating that MacBook's are unable to play HD is just incorrect.
     
  17. Gatteau macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    I'm not arguing either. Actually, I'm very keen to hear that OS X (or any related software issues) now perfectly play HD content.

    I didn't mean to hit a nerve by stating that MacBook's are unable to play HD. I was just trying to 'express' my frustration over it.
     
  18. Firefly2002 macrumors 65816

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    Jan 9, 2008
    #18
    No, it's not an HDD issue. Unless the video is uncompressed 1080p (it isn't, and if it was an SSD would fail too), you're fine with the read speed of any drive made in the last seven or eight years.

    I second the notion that VLC sucks.
     
  19. dr. shdw macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 27, 2008
    #19
    Why? Just use a different program and not have to turn anything off.
     
  20. spike8585 thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 21, 2009
    #20
    Cool, I will try that program.

    Do you know if there is any way to play MKV's with quicktime? Seems like the most popular format for HD vids, and it is kinda retarded that apple left out the support for it. I guess they are trying to control their market with itunes vids...as usual.
     
  21. dr. shdw macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 27, 2008
    #21
    Yeah, through Perian, but it sucks just as much..
     
  22. Gatteau macrumors 6502a

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    Italy
    #22
    Did you try Perian? I think it's an add-on for QuickTime.
     
  23. Gatteau macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    Ohhh, I didn't see your post before I posted mine, I'm sorry.
     
  24. spike8585 thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 21, 2009
    #24
    I tried the program you suggested, and it was just distorting time rather than pixels. It would speed up for a second to catch up. Then I activated the cache for 256MB, and that worked wonderfully. I missed you saying to activate multitheaded playback. I'll do that now.
    Thanks!!!
     
  25. michael.lauden macrumors 68020

    michael.lauden

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    Dec 25, 2008
    #25
    yeah.. vlc is kind of rough. i don't understand how it's been so popular
     

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