PPC Video Capabilities

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by alecd, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. alecd macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2011
    #1
    I (like others) are experiencing video playback problems on my PPC. I am trying to verify what video formats should and shouldn't playback on a powerbook G4 1.5Ghz, and other systems.

    Flash 10.3 video (on some websites).
    This stutters (jumps from reference frame to reference frame) due to Flash 10.1 being the last version available for powerpc. Presumably no solution to this, except the hope that Flash will eventually be replaced - by something that is supportable by PPCs! I am slightly confused about Flash installation: when you download / install Flash 10.1 is it installed on the system, or as a plug-in to each browser you have? If you install a new browser will it have Flash 10.1 available?!
    Is there a good website to test different versions of Flash content?

    iPhone / iPad video (H.264).
    This stutters when being played back by Quicktime 7.7 on the powerbook. This surprises me, as QT 7.7 came out a while ago (before Leopard release), and is meant to support H.264. I realise that there is some uncompression required to playback H.264 video, but the powerbook g4 is quite capable of serious video / audio editing, so I would have thought would have had no problem with H.264. Also, an iPhone4 or an iPad2 has a slower processor than the powerbook 1.5Ghz.
    I wondered if Quicktime 7.7 is the problem, and whether an install of an earlier version of Quicktime 7 might improve H.264 playback, or might there be something else not right?

    Thanks

    alecd
     
  2. AdrianK macrumors 68020

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    Feb 19, 2011
    #2
    When you download Flash from Adobe it is installed system-wide, it's up to your browser to utilise it. Most do, though Crome uses it's on Flash plugin which is entirely seperate from the Adobe download.


    The performance you get will depend on your processor, the specs of the video file and how efficient the decoder is. When considering the file; the resolution, bitrate, profile and codec are all important factors which effect performance, not just the codec.

    CorePlayer uses the CoreAVC decoder which is very efficient and should give you better performance than QT with h264, but it is commercial software.
     
  3. zen.state, Nov 2, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2011

    zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

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    Mar 13, 2005
    #3
    For youtube video use MacTubes with the player type set to Quicktime in preferences. It will make up to 480p very fluid and playable. It also makes it very easy to download in all available qualities.

    For better h.264 playback overall use the newest VLC (1.1.12 PowerPC) and go to the basic input & codec preferences. At the very bottom just above the Save button you will see a pull down menu option for "Skip the loop filter for h.264 decodong". Set this to "All" then click save and relaunch VLC. It will make h.264 videos about 5-10% degraded in quality but use approx. 20-60% less CPU in turn depending on the video. I'm able to play 720p h.264 with 2000kbps+ bitrate very smoothly on a G4 1.8 GHz. Before finding this option a while back those same videos were quite choppy.
     
  4. thorns macrumors member

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    Sep 27, 2011
    #4
    G4 and G5 chips lack hardware support for H.264, that's why they struggle decoding it. OTOH, the iPhone/iPad chips have hardware support for H.264, so they are actually a lot faster than G4 and G5 chips in this respect.
     
  5. zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

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    Mar 13, 2005
    #5
    Any PowerPC developer could use Altivec to compensate for this. VLC and Mplayer actually use far less CPU all round than Quicktime on PowerPC Macs because they utilize Altivec optimizations properly.

    There is VERY highly optimized PowerPC sw out there.. you just need to see past the default apps like QT.
     
  6. Jethryn Freyman macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

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    Australia
    #6
    I agree on both ports, Mactubes the the right seetings is a big step upfor Youtube, any VLC plays things smoothly that Quicktime won't.
     
  7. thorns macrumors member

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    Sep 27, 2011
    #7
    Well, no ****, Sherlock. Even with VLC, the G5 has no game in 1080p.
     
  8. zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

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    Mar 13, 2005
    #8
    Not true. Core player makes 1080p playable on higher speed PowerPC systems. Any other ignorant comments? You think you know what you're talking about but I can assure you that you're mistaken.

    Delusions should only be shared with people who request delusions. When people ask for real answers like in this thread then delusions have no place.
     
  9. Nova77 Guest

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    May 12, 2011
    #9
    zen.state is right. CorePlayer can handle this. If my dual G4 can do it, your G5 can do it too (and probably even better).
     
  10. zen.state, Nov 3, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2011

    zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

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    Mar 13, 2005
    #10
    From research I have done it looks like Core Player is the most perfectly Altivec optimized video player available on OS X. It also has full Intel optimizations.

    Edit:

    Just want to add thoughts on VLC. The truly great thing about it is just how vastly customizable everything it does or can do is. Anyone who has ever looked at all the preferences beyond the basic panel knows what I mean. Even after 7-8 years of using VLC now and experimenting with different things I still only know maybe 40-50% of the preferences well. There are literally well over 1000 things that can be fine tuned.
     
  11. alecd thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 2, 2011
    #11
    Thanks for the suggestions. I'll try VLC again, and perhaps CorePlayer.
    I have just tried MPlayer OSX Extended with a 720p h.264 (.mp4), with various playback options, and it was not successful. I notice that iPhone4's video resolution is 1280 x 720 (is that 1280p or 720p?!). Whereas my previous phone recorded at 320 x 240 (and playedback in QT fine).

    alecd
    powerbook g4 1.5ghz
     
  12. zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

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    Mar 13, 2005
    #12
    Stick to VLC or CorePlayer for h.264. Mplayer has never been very good with any x.264 in general but is with everything else. VLC is my main player but I keep a great PowerPC optimized version of Mplayer from 2006 around for the rare thing VLC doesn't play well. I made a thread about this Mplayer a while back that you can view here. It was once my main video player but the PowerPC version of VLC has gotten much better over the last few releases. They once hinted at dropping PowerPC development but some great developers stepped up and they obviously have a good grasp of Altivec.
     
  13. alecd thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 2, 2011
    #13
    A 1280 x 540 video (StarTrek preview) with a stream rate of about 8k plays fine on my G4 1.5Ghz (with the VLC tweak). iPhone video (1280 x 720 stream rate 11k) stutters along, and plays upside down! Any further VLC tweaks to try, or will CorePlayer make the difference?
     
  14. Nova77 Guest

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    May 12, 2011
    #14
    Although VLC is a must have on any mac computer since it opens everything (I use it often), CorePlayer uses way less CPU power for the same playback result. I have a Powerbook G4 1.67 ghz (talking bout this one since its closer to yours) and VLC set to "skip frames" performs at least 2X worse than CorePlayer (I must say I'm using tiger and the newest VLC is better). Expect 1.5X performance gain over VLC if you are using Leopard.

    Simply put --> CorePlayer is magic, and is one of the few apps that is worth the money. Main drawback --> badly encoded HD files look uglier than in VLC.
     
  15. zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

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    Mar 13, 2005
    #15
    Nova77:

    I assume you're running VLC 0.9.10 if you're running it on Tiger yes? It's the final Tiger compatible build. All the OS 10.5+ only 1.0.x builds were not much better but the 1.1.x builds are very solid.

    I honestly don't see the drop off in performance so many claim between Tiger and Leopard. I do see a small bit of a gap in performance on my 1GHz Sawtooth but not the 1.8GHz at all. All my Cinebench graphic scores (hardware and software) are higher in Leo. This is a discussion for another thread though..
     
  16. Nova77 Guest

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    May 12, 2011
    #16
    Yes, its 0.9.10 in Tiger, 1.1.12 in Leopard. I don't think the difference is big, but I do see it with my Powerbook G4. However the biggest difference is that 1.1.12 is far more stable than 0.9.10.
     
  17. WAM2 macrumors 6502a

    WAM2

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    Jan 6, 2011
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    United States
    #17
    Makes you wonder how much tech has evolved.
     
  18. alecd thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 2, 2011
    #18
    I'm having trouble activating CorePlayer after purchase. Will report how it does once I get a reply from coreplayer support.
     
  19. Nova77 Guest

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    May 12, 2011
    #19
    Might not be the case but... double check your computer's serial number on CorePlayer's website. They create keys with it, and if you happen to have mistaken a capital letter for a normal letter then your CorePlayer key won't work at all. You can change it on mobihand's website (log in...).
     
  20. ThunderSnake macrumors 6502

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    Jul 23, 2010
    #20
    Thanks for that, zen.state. I had no idea that VLC was still being developed for PowerPC. When I downloaded 1.0.5, the website said that it'd be the last version.
     
  21. alecd thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 2, 2011
    #21
    I didn't enter my computer's serial number when I purchased. Is this required for the key to work?! If so I'll go back and click the 'change' serial number button in Mobihand website. Now I know why I haven't purchased software for a while. Still no reply from support@corecodec.com. (Now how do I find my laptop serial number?!)
     
  22. zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

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    Mar 13, 2005
    #22
    You can find your computers serial number in system profiler in the hardware pane it defaults to when you open it.
     
  23. goMac macrumors 603

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    Apr 15, 2004
    #23
    As a developer, I can tell you while things like Altivec are quite good, they're still not enough to be competitive with an actual H.264 hardware decoder chip.

    QuickTime is already Altivec accelerated anyway. Not sure about Flash.
     
  24. zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

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    Mar 13, 2005
    #24
    Not nearly as well as VLC and Mplayer are. The proof is in the far lower CPU use. You seem to be speaking from specs rather than hands on experience.
     
  25. goMac macrumors 603

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    Apr 15, 2004
    #25
    Depends on which version of OS X you're comparing against. VLC and Mplayer use OpenGL output. QuickTime doesn't necessarily output in GL depending on the OS X version.
     

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