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Movies and Video For people making movies and editing video with their Mac.

my impressions on H.264 codec and QT7


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MAC-simus

 
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where do I begin? well i installed QT7 pro on panther. I was very curious about this H.264 codec. so I did some testing, here's what I think.

QT got prettier, and I love this floating controls, a bit DVD player-ish I must say. .AVI playback is much better then in 6, though there is still room for improvement. you still get those green pixels time after time.

still no support for AC3 audio (you need a third party codec for that). a clear improvement in audio playback. can playback a full 6 channel surround, no glitches.

audio and video record is fine, can be handy sometimes, but its still quite amateur-ish.

now about H.264 codec. picture quality is crisp and clear, but HD playback is really stressing the system. I played one of those HD trailers, apple has posted on their website and I em not quite happy about what I saw. there was an obvious frame skipping. I played it on 1GHz eMac with 768 RAM. it made my CPU max out. so everybody who's not on G5 will not be able to enjoy HD encoded with H.264. now I do not know how will it behave on dual G4 or new powerbooks, but those who own eMac, iMac G4, or mac-mini will be disappointed. now don't get me wrong, I em not saying that it sucks, but it really requires a high end system.

now about encoding. it take awfully long time. for the comparison 20 min SD video takes 3 hours for high quality mpeg2 encode on my mac and the same video needs 4 times longer with H.264. and all this in SD, I can only imagine what will happen if you encode HD. the result of encode was quite impressive though, H.264 really delivers what it claims to: high quality and small file.

in the conclusion, QT7 and H.264 are really cool and great, but one will need top of the line hardware to work with it.

UPDATE:
I tried to edit some video in quicktime 7. main difference from previous version is that now you can export several movies simultaneously. selection triangles have become more responsive and accurate. you can disable/enable tracks from movie properties pop-up menu.
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trpnmonkey41

 
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http://www.apple.com/quicktime/hdgal...endations.html

Apple tells you that H.264 is very system heavy

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meltbanana314
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I ripped a DVD using Handbrake to my PowerBook using H264 and playback was just decent on Quicktime, but on VLC it stuttered and gave me warning messages that my computer might be too slow.

So, yeah - it is resource intensive, but the quality is worth it I suppose.
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Even on a 1,8 Ghz iMac G5 the smaller of the 2 different HD films was dropping frames...
The 1080i encoded films need at least a dual 2Ghz Powermac to play properly...
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trpnmonkey41

 
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I didn't have any trouble with any of the HD films on my iMac. watched the 1080i without any frames dropped

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embries
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You think you've got it bad? Try playing WMV HD (the microsoft alternative) look at the below specs and I'll tell you a story.

Quote:
Purchasing a High-Definition Capable PC
There are many computer configurations capable of playing high definition content. The system you buy should depend on the level of quality you want to experience.



Minimum Configuration
(to play 720p video)
# Windows XP
# Windows Media Player 9 Series
# 2.4 GHz processor or equivalent
# 384 MB of RAM
# 64 MB video card
# DVD drive
# 1024 x 768 screen resolution
# 16-bit sound card
# Speakers


Optimum Configuration
(to play 1080p video with 5.1 surround sound)
# Windows XP
# Windows Media Player 9 Series
# DirectX 9.0
# 3.0 GHz processor or equivalent
# 512 MB of RAM
# 128 MB video card
# DVD drive
# 1920 x 1440 screen resolution
# 24-bit 96 kHz multichannel sound card
# 5.1 surround sound speaker system
I've got a pretty nice system. Dual Xeon 2.8GHZ w 2GB of ram and a Radeon 9800XT. Other box is an Athlon 2800XP 1.5GB of ram with a Radeon 9700pro. I can't play the 1080p videos at all. The 720p movies play, although heaven forbid I should try to seek/scan through them. To put it bluntly, desktop pcs just don't have the juice to render this stuff at this point. Your satellite/cable decoder can output it because it's not having to draw anything, simply unlock the copy protection. It'll be a while before you see desktop PCs cranking out HD video as we crank out dvd video today. It'll happen though. Everyone is starting to catch on to multithreading and load balancing their processes. When we start seeing multi-core vid cards in the mainstrem, then this stuff will be easy enough.
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MAC-simus

 
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time for some history now
if you looked back 2-3 years ago hardware development was far ahead the software development. now it seem that its on the other way around (at least on macs). the software started to push the hardware to its limits. take doom 3 or HD video for example. there are no physical limits for software development. when i bought my eMac I was hoping it to last at least 3 years. now suddenly I feel its obsolete. makes me feel sad.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAC-simus
time for some history now
if you looked back 2-3 years ago hardware development was far ahead the software development. now it seem that its on the other way around (at least on macs). the software started to push the hardware to its limits. take doom 3 or HD video for example. there are no physical limits for software development. when i bought my eMac I was hoping it to last at least 3 years. now suddenly I feel its obsolete. makes me feel sad.
Why, because you can't play a poor excuse for a game of which it's only defining feature is it's great graphics, and that you can't a) watch a codec that won't become standard for at least a few years and b) work with a format that's intended for professionals? The cheapest prosumer level HD camera costs 2500!

If you're a serious gamer, you should own a PC or console for gaming not a mac. Unless you're a professional working in the creative industry you shouldn't really concern yourself with HD or the H.264 format, and if you were in the industry, you wouldn't own an eMac!

You've got years left on your little beauty, don't write it off just yet.

I say, "Unless it causes death, it's not a problem!".
http://johnny.persistentperil.net
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I watched a few trailers on my iMac, and had no trouble w/ any dropped frames, or anything of that nature. I thought it was terrific, I was very impressed.

DJ Lee

Watts Up Productions
www.wattsupproductions.com
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MAC-simus

 
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did you watch in 720p or 1080p. that really makes big difference.
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embries
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720p vs 1080p and if you watched it in a window as opposed to scaling it full screen.
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Well, if you think that is amazing, just wait until the blu-ray disks are officialy released.

DJ Lee

Watts Up Productions
www.wattsupproductions.com
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embries
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Not really any different. Blu-Ray, HD-DVD vs stored image. It's all the same resoloution/refresh rate, they're just different delivery methods.

720p = 1280x720
1080i/p (which is odd but digital displays like LCD, Plasma, DLP cannot do interlaced so they're the same resolotuion) = 1920x1080

Regardless of the delivery method those 2 things are the same. So if you got problems playing HD Video on your comp now, you'll have problems when these are released.
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code777
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well it plays fine but when i minimize and maximize or resize it gets choppy, but i could have sworn when i had this running on 10.3.9 it was smooth. anyone else notice this?
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