1 2 Previous Next 17 Replies Latest reply: Nov 18, 2009 11:47 AM by studioRS
Australasia Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
My PPC G4 has a dual 1.42 GHz, 2GB DDR SDRAM, and 2 MB L3 cache.

That being said, whenever i load HD videos and play them back (vimeo, youtube, etc.) they are choppy and play a frame a second, roughly.

i have plenty of RAM - i edit video with FCP and never have problems with that - its only online video.

any ideas as to why this happens?

Power Mac G4 MDD, Mac OS X (10.5.1), Power PC Dual 1.42 Ghz G4
  • 1. Re: Choppy HD Video on G4 PPC MDD
    Allan Jones Level 7 Level 7 (30,450 points)
    any ideas as to why this happens?


    I think video technology has outgrown the G4 processor, the newest of which are some six years old. I also have a 1.25G MDD and I end up having to watch web video on the smallish screen of our 15" MacBook Pro, our only Intel Mac. We have five Macs with G4 processors (ranging from 700mHz to 1.42Ghz) in the family and all struggle with most web animation and video.
  • 2. Re: Choppy HD Video on G4 PPC MDD
    Nadav Level 3 Level 3 (565 points)
    Hi, perhaps upgrading the video card would help. Look for the Nvidia Geforce 7800 GS w/256MB VRAM. This will most likely resolve the problem. And also what OS r u running? Remember that the ati radeon 9000 pro does not support core image, so that might be a problem.

    The 7800 GS does in fact support core image.
  • 3. Re: Choppy HD Video on G4 PPC MDD
    japamac Level 7 Level 7 (24,390 points)
    Hi-

    You should get better than 1 fps, there is no question about that.
    But, issues from net provider/bandwidth, to the software and hardware in use all play important roles in video playback.

    HD is a problem in and of itself.
    So is Flash 10x.
    Neither is going to run on a G4 optimally, whatever you do.

    Multitasking, or having multiple software open during viewing, is also a problem.
    Heck, even Safari, alone, can eat up 70%+ of a processors power, leaving little for video.

    Macs (OS X) use roughly 5x more CPU to run video than WinPC.
    Even with plenty of GPU (graphics card) which the Radeon 9000 is not, the CPU will always be overloaded trying to produce that which it's architecture, is not optimized to do.

    Not saying that a new, powerful graphics card couldn't help, as it would, but the issues surrounding net video are more complicated than a simple upgrade.

    If web software provided broader support, one might have a chance.
    But, since HD is a technology that is way newer than G4 technology, it is one thing that will never run "just right", simply due to lack of optimization on the part of the providers/hosts.

    Add to this, that not all video formats, nor encoding softwares are created equal, and you have a real basket full of vipers to contend with.

    Youtube software is also not optimal.
    Recent "upgrades" or "enhancements" seem to have worsened the problem.
    Other sites are infamous for poor playback.
    I know I am not the only one that has problems with CNN........

    Complicating the issue is bandwidth, which most iNet providers still scrimp on/overbook.
    But, even with a fiber optic net connection, HD requires newer hardware......

    These are the requirements for HD at 24 fps in QT:
    http://www.apple.com/quicktime/guide/hd/recommendations.html
    I believe these are WAY understated.....

    Besides, one needs 40 fps to have playback that is not "jerky" to the human eye.

    One may consider different video handling software.
    I see better playback characteristics with VLC.

    A newer hard drive with lots of free space also helps.

    Look at this for other optimizing techniques:
    http://www.thexlab.com/faqs/performance.html
  • 4. Re: Choppy HD Video on G4 PPC MDD
    Nadav Level 3 Level 3 (565 points)
    Basically, what japamac is saying is:

    Get a MAC PRO or some other INTEL Mac.. even a mac mini would run circles around the MDD G4. Lets face it, the G4 though while a nice processor is no match for the Intel.
  • 5. Re: Choppy HD Video on G4 PPC MDD
    kmac1036 Level 4 Level 4 (2,360 points)
    you can try camino instead of FF or safari. http://caminobrowser.org/

    but the previous post are correct, current & future content will only leave the G4s far behind.
  • 6. Re: Choppy HD Video on G4 PPC MDD
    japamac Level 7 Level 7 (24,390 points)
    That is NOT what I'm saying...
    Even Mac Pro and Macbook Pro users complain of choppy video.

    What I am saying is that there are more factors involved than any ONE person can control.
  • 7. Re: Choppy HD Video on G4 PPC MDD
    Australasia Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    what other factors? im using a ATI Radeon 9600 Pro; and although its not the best, its by far not bad. i tried camino; no change. the thing that really confuses me is if i download the video and play it back, its good. its only when i stream or load on the page and then try playing back. like i said, i just graduated with a BA in film/television production and used FCP a lot and i never had any problems playing back after using my JVC HD EVERIO.

    my only guess is it has something to do with it being a PPC and not intel...
  • 8. Re: Choppy HD Video on G4 PPC MDD
    Nadav Level 3 Level 3 (565 points)
    That maybe, but so far even on my Mac Pro I haven't had any problems with choppy HD. Could it also be that the G4 just doesn't have what it takes to muscle through HD?
  • 9. Re: Choppy HD Video on G4 PPC MDD
    Australasia Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    i guess thats the only answer (processor speed, not PPC < intel)?
  • 10. Re: Choppy HD Video on G4 PPC MDD
    japamac Level 7 Level 7 (24,390 points)
    what other factors?

    Did you even read my post above?
    I discussed at least 8 factors that concern viewing of net video.
    the thing that really confuses me is if i download the video and play it back, its good. its only when i stream or load on the page and then try playing back.

    Internet provider.
    Bandwidth.
    Modem.
    Video encoding format.
    Video encoding software.
    System overhead due to other concurrent tasks.
    These are all problems that are frequently encountered when viewing any video on the net.
    my only guess is it has something to do with it being a PPC and not intel...

    Your guess is wrong.
    PC users (Intel, AMD, IBM CPU's) as well as Intel Mac users report viewing problems with web video.
    Typically, the problems are beyond hardware upgrade improvement, due to the problems cause being at the site developer/host and/or provider end.

    I view 720p HD net video from several sites on my Sawtooth with little or no ill effect/trouble.
    I have a fiber optic internet service, interfaced through a gigabit ethernet connection.
    The 2.0 GHz 7447 PPC CPU and the Radeon 9800 Pro handle most sites without problem.

    YouTube wasn't too bad until recent "upgrades" on the site.
    Previously, only about 1 in 4 videos were glitchy, but now, about 3 of 4 are bad.

    As I said before, CNN video is almost always a problem, and their video is NOT HD.

    There is a whole lotta' hardware and software involved before the video data gets to your machine....
  • 11. Re: Choppy HD Video on G4 PPC MDD
    Nadav Level 3 Level 3 (565 points)
    I view 720p HD net video from several sites on my Sawtooth with little or no ill effect/trouble.
    I have a fiber optic internet service, interfaced through a gigabit ethernet connection.
    The 2.0 GHz 7447 PPC CPU and the Radeon 9800 Pro handle most sites without problem.

    Ok, can your Sawtooth handle watching 1080p? So, how would you rate your performance compared to an Intel Mac, namely a 2008 Mac Pro?
  • 12. Re: Choppy HD Video on G4 PPC MDD
    Samsara Level 4 Level 4 (1,320 points)
    Nadav,

    How could Japamac possibly rate the performance between the two when he doesn't have both? And really Nadav, why are you always bringing your Mac into the equation as if it's only the newer Mac out there. Japamac doesn't even have a G5, which turned out to be a smart move on his part. And even if Japamac did have both Macs, how would that help the poster? That's what the replies here are supposed to do, this isn't a place to list your Macs high performance level, it has nothing to do with the posters question.

    Japamac gave all the right answers, and if the poster delved a little bit into his replies he would have noticed something called streaming. The poster says it himself... when he views video via the web it's choppy, when he downloads the file, it runs fine. So what does that say? It says it's choppy because his mac isn't getting the data quick enough over the web. When the file is completely downloaded, it's all right there on his HD and ready to go. Personally I think a G4 with an excellent internet provider via cable or fiber optic would go a long, long way to solving the posters problem. But Japamac gave even a lot more info than that. He covered all the bases including the fact that older tech may not be optimal for the task, and he also said how the internet is in flux itself as to how it broadcasts videos and graphics.
    In short, he spent a good amount of time accumulating all the possible causes, essentially leading the horse to water, but was not able to get the poster to drink. That's not his fault. The worst answers, and I give them out myself sometimes, are the ones that go like this, "Shazam, do this and your troubles are over". A person learns nothing, has no context, and is lead around like a child in kindergarten. Some replies can be done that way, but not this one. Obviously there are many factors revolving around this posters issues and to answer any less than Japamac did would be a disservice to the poster.
    Some people say too much info is worse than too little. I say that people who say that are fools. The best people who reply here, and I'm not one, are people who put all the options out there and say, "Now, go look." Japamac did that and more, he doesn't have 4 bars for nothing.

    In the meantime, Nadav, I can think of no one like yourself who always seems to bring his own machines quality and worth into his replies. Why? Yes, your mac is in the top tier of Macs out there, but why do people have to have that pointed out to them and why should people care? It's in your sig if it's of importance to them and if they would like to ask you questions about it. But right now with your dwelling on your mac it's only taking up space and not adding to the discussion experience at all. In fact, it's a distraction.
    You're a good guy, Nadav, and you can be justifiably proud of your Mac and your decision to buy it. But by bringing it up all the time it makes it sound like your looking for reassurance that it really is a good machine, as if you yourself have doubts. We've talked about this, you should have no doubts whatsoever. Your Mac isn't the latest, but it's beats out my mac in several important areas and mine is. The which is better and faster game of old just doesn't go by the same old rule book anymore. I don't know anything about the 2007s or earlier MPs, but from what I've been able to piece together, those buying the 08's and 09's got in when it was the best time to jump. We're both going to have some marvelous tech heading our way in just a very short amount of time that our macs are going to eat up like caviar.

    Please don't take any of this the wrong way. I just want you to be happy here and feel accepted. You've had some very good answers to posters questions, you obviously know a great deal about Macs, and you want to help people, but by shifting the attention back to yourself, you do yourself a disservice. It's not a terrible thing, it's just part of the learning curve of being part of a community. And this community is the best I've found for all things Macintosh. We all want you here, but you just have to chill a little bit.
    As I said, I know you're a good guy. Stick around and you'll know what to do soon enough, you're more than capable. That, I know also.

    Steve
  • 13. Re: Choppy HD Video on G4 PPC MDD
    gopher1214 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hi Australasia,

    Congratulations on the BA!

    I have been having the same problem as you (choppy video streaming on youtube, hulu, etc.). While I agree with the other guy's assessment that video streaming could be bad because of your internet provider, bandwidth, modem, video encoding format, video encoding software, and/or system overhead from concurrent tasks, I think it is easy to narrow down the possibilities.

    I am going to flat out eliminate internet provider, bandwidth, and modem because for me these have remained constant. I also don't think it is a problem with concurrent tasks, because I only run safari when I'm watching hulu or youtube. It is also unlikely the video format, because I can often download the videos and watch them outside of my browser without trouble (just like you).

    I think that you're absolutely right that it is related to the fact that you have a PPC. I think that there is some incompatibility between the PPC and recent versions of the streaming software (Flash 10?) because just having a video sitting idle in my browser (without playing it) will cause my CPU usage to spike to over 90% (you can check this too with the activity monitor utility). I would expect 90% CPU usage WHILE decoding the video (that's what I experience on my Dell laptop), but 90% CPU usage just to have the streaming software open means that something is not implemented well.

    Unfortunately, I don't think there is any solution to this problem other than to buy a new computer because nobody at apple or adobe is going to bother to improve compatibility with obsolete computers running obsolete operating systems.
  • 14. Re: Choppy HD Video on G4 PPC MDD
    japamac Level 7 Level 7 (24,390 points)
    I think that there is some incompatibility between the PPC and recent versions of the streaming software (Flash 10?) because just having a video sitting idle in my browser (without playing it) will cause my CPU usage to spike to over 90% (you can check this too with the activity monitor utility).

    Do some more research.
    The problem is also reported with Mac Pro Users.
    In the '09 machines, it also causes a temperature spike.
    As I stated earlier, WinPC users also complain....

    Side note:
    Recent refinements on YouTube has shown improved video playback on my machines (All PPC).
    CNN has also greatly improved video playback.
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