Have you tried looking at the CPU usage in activity monitor to make sure something is not eating up your CPU in the background?
No, you're not wrong. All my HD iTunes content on all 3 of my Mac's now look like it's HD being streamed from the internet with insufficient bandwidth. Dropping frames like crazy, especially on panning.
All was well with 10.5.7... which I plan to go back to. It appears Snow Leopard might also be called OSXme
I play a lot of HD video on my MacBook hooked up to an external display. Every file 1280x720 and under played without issue with Tiger and Leopard. One week ago, I installed Snow Leopard. I figured that with Grand Central Dispatch, I could have improved playback. However, the opposite has been true. My 1280x720 .mkv files are choppy in VLC, and even more so in Quicktime (via Perian). Furthermore, 1080p files from apple.com/trailers played fine before Snow Leopard, but now those .mov files are choppy in Quicktime.
This is extremely frustrating because my MacBook is my primary media player, and it has been rendered useless by Snow Leopard.
I have similar issues. On my MacBook 2.0Ghz, 3GB RAM, GMA950 (I know). . . I didn't have issues with Frontrow, VLC, or Plex playing back video files under Leopard. On every single movie I play that has panning, there is a noticeable skip or chop during playback which is annoying. When I start playback on anything in Frontrow, there is a long pause before it starts. This happens with previews, podcasts (small, large, and HD), all of my video content, and definitely my MKV files. I never had any of these issues under Leopard.
I admit that I was excited about Snow Leopard and jumped on it the moment it was released. For the past two-three years I have enjoyed OS X so much and never regretted "switching". This is the first time I have felt the frustrations I used to experience on a regular basis with my old platform. Instead of just using and enjoying my Mac, I'm constantly looking for fixes, troubleshooting, and debating whether to downgrade my OS. I'm even implementing workarounds for things that just used to work. I even have considered replacing equipment such as a 1.5yr old printer just to get it more compatible with the new OS, where it used to work great in Leopard. The only thing stopping me from going back to Leopard is time. I don't want to spend an entire day reinstalling apps, OS, user settings, etc. . . I've been using Snow Leopard for over a month and all I look forward to is that magic update that will somehow fix these issues.
Getting choppy web video (and sound) too. (Snow Leopard 6.1, iMac 27", factory install)
I notice that Flash Player plugin immediately jumps to 126.8% of CPU usage when I try to play videos off Vimeo, for example.
Safari 4.0.3 (came installed on machine)
Flash Player plugin v. 10.0 r32 (came installed on machine)
Video card: ATI Radeon HD 4670 256 Mbytes RAM (as from factory)
Broadband download speed is 13 Mbits/s (and probably irreleveant, since the video/sound is choppy even when video is fully downloaded.
Disk available is about 85% (840 G)
Memory usage is about 25% (1G) free
Ironically - even the Flash Player 10 demo video at Adobe skips and jumps....
Maybe Flash Player 10 doesn't recognize the Radeon hardware acceleration and is trying to do it all in the main CPU?
I am also getting sad playback on my video files, and not just HD. I noticed stuttering and dropped frames on a couple of non hd vids. It's especially noticeable during panning. I have tried both the integrated and discrete video card, and vlc and quicktime (with perian). QT is considerably worse than VLC. I have also tried playing through Boxee (which i think uses vlc in background), but to the same result.
Kind of sad cause I got the new MBP with the souped up vid card specifically to be able to handle HD content. I guess it sounds like the hardware is fine, but the software (SL) is screwing things up. Guess like all you folks, I am twiddling my thumbs until apple releases an update, or one of you geniuses figures out a work around...
Many have suggested that some choppy playback issues (for in-browser playback) are related to the Adobe Flash plugin.
Adobe has released a new version of the Flash plugin this week, which may perform better (although I can't confirm that the problem has gone away completely).
Here are some steps to follow to cleanly update your Flash:
1) Download the Flash plugin un-installer from Abobe, available at: http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/141/tn_14157.html
2) Close all browsers on your machine and run the Abobe Flash plugin un-installer you downloaded for your platform.
3) Open your browser and reinstall the Adobe Flash plugin (v.10.0.42.34 or greater), available from Adobe at: http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/
4) After the installation, close and re-open your browser, then try playing back some Flash video at YouTube or wherever...
Hopefully this works. Good luck.
Noticed the same problem on my Mac Mini 2.26 GHz 4GB RAM with EyeTV under Snow Leopard.
As the mini is used as my primary Media Center I reinstalled it with Leopard 10.5.8 and everything went back to normal again.
I will not upgrade again before a fix is introduced, it is just to much work involved for something that should "Just work".
I have had this choppy video problem ever since I had to have my hard drive replaced, and I installed snow leopard clean. Any HD video i watch drops frames, and it's worse in vlc compared to QuickTime.
I never had this problem on my old Hard drive which had snow leopard upgraded from leopard.
I have tried everything! It's so annoying because I have a very capable machine.
QuickTime x seems pretty janky, so apple need to update this and stope relying on QuickTime 7 to play files