Hey everyone, I just wanted to confirm a solution that I think everyone should try until Apple addressess this issue officially.
First I will list the specs of my mac and what other hardware I am using and then I will give details of my problem and how I fixed it.
I currently have the new 2011 Mac Mini 2.3GHz i5, 8GB ram, 500GB HDD, Intel 3000 graphics, OS X Lion 10.7.2 . Along with that I have a Sharp LC C6077UN 60" TV, 4 Bay Drovo second gen with 2x 2TB Western Digital drives and 2x 3TB Western Digital drives, all hooked up via firewire port to the mini. I then had the Mac Mini hooked up HDMI out to TV HDMI in. Then TV RCA audio out to Bose receiver audio in. This way I have 4 HDMI devices hooked up to the tv with only one audio out to receiver.
Now my problem was as most here, a lot of stuttering playback with HD content. I mainly had this problem with playing movies on my Drobo hard drives. At first I thought the files were corrupt after moving about 4TB worth of data into those drives, but the stuttering and pauses on the movies were happening at random times, everytime I opened the same movie more than once. I tried using XBMC, Plex, VLC, Quicktime, MPlayerX... all with the same results. Some movies were watchable 3/4 of the way then the video would pause every 5-10 seconds making the movie unbearable to watch. This would happen with some 720p content and with 1080p content. I tried disabling Hardware Acceleration in Plex and it helped a lot but the problem still was there.
My solution was this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003OC6LWM
A Mini Display port to HDMI cable. I have it hooked up to the same HDMI input on my tv, the only thing I changed was the cable. Now a movie that became unwatchable a few days ago, plays silcky smooth now. I didn't change any TV settings, I didn't change anything on the Mac except for overscan on the Display section in preferences. I tried playing the video with the media player that gave me the most problems with HD content which is MPlayerX and like I said, it played very smoothly. I will try it out with Plex now with and without Hardware Acceleration and see if there is a difference.
I hope this helps.
Hi Folks. Original poster here, providing this update. I never thought posting my problem would grow to 8 pages of replies! I sure hope Apple sees this.
Mario813, the Mini Display to HDMI cable worked for me as well. In fact I had posted it as a temporary solution a couple of pages back. Definitely does the trick and brings sound through too. For me though, I'm back to HDMI straight from the Mini to my plasma TV. I can't tell for sure, and may never know, but either the EFI firmware update or resetting my PRAM (or both) did the trick for me. I haven't had the "every 30 second stutter" in weeks. I tested it again after the 10.7.2 update and still no stuttering. I've watched HD and SD movies all the way through via iTunes with no hiccups. I also watched Gladiator (BluRay) via my external LG BluRay drive and it looked gorgeous!
My only hope is that this worked for the rest of you guys too, but it sounds like it has not. I'm sorry to hear that. I hope Apple gets this right. I know they've had a lot going on lately, so hopefully in the coming months they address this.
Best of luck all.
Currently I'm not happy with the 'Game Mode solution for numerous reasons as outlined in my previous mail.
Its been suggested that an alternative solutions to engaging the 'Game Mode' setting on the TV is to NOT use the HDMI port on the back of the Mini. This means I now need to buy new cables. A third suggestion is to reset PRAM, SCM. I've also looked into this. My problem now is I'm unable to test resetting of PRAM. It requires a keyboard with a USB connection. I purchased a wireless keyboard and mouse with the mid level 2011 Mac Mini. SCM test alone has not fixed the problem.
I'm really angry at Apple. Why would they release a keyboard that cannot perform serious problem solving tasks like resetting the PRAM. I was very disappointed when opening the device to find two AA Batteries inside and not rechargeable batteries and a USB port to enable me to hard wire the keyboard for such tasks. This thing cost SGD100. Its very disappointing.
I'm also more convinced that this is now a Lion bug. I have the same result if I play 480p or 1080p media.
Apple have continually bragged about stability in their products and the 'It Just Works out the box' attitude through their tacky, childish and out of date advertising campaigns featuring Mac and PC guy.
This computer came out of a box last week, and despite me spending more cash and many hours, it still doesn't ****ing work...
Frustrations ended: Apologies to all who endured.
PS: my iPhone button has also failed yet again on my 4th replacement phone. Android here I come.
Update -- I found some discussions in unrelated forums that led me to change some of the settings on my Samsung D8000 LED set. In short, I turned ON the LED Motion Plus, and turned on the Film Mode to "Cinema" and set the Motion Plus setting to "Clear (which sets Judder to 0 and Blur Reduction to 10, preserving 1080p24 and other frame rates without trying to "fix" them -- which results in the stutter we have seen when playing through iTunes as I understand it). I also changed the pic size form 16:9 to "Screen Fit" which preserves source image size/resolution. With these settings, I have not yet noticed any stutter from sources where I used to see it regularly. Hope this helps!
Ok I now have a FIX for anyone that has the video frame stutter problem when using a Samsung LED HDTV.
Firstly thanks Macbook Jimbo for your info enabled me to reset my PRAM using a wireless mouse. It seams it's not always consistent but after a number of attempts it did bong twice. So thanks for your comments. Unfortunately resetting the PRAM did not fix my problem.
On with the resolve:
Previously I was using Game Mode on the Samsung TV which did enable me to fix the viseo playback stutter problem but did reduce the image quality and resolution. Other problems were introduced when using Game Mode such as needing to 'Underscan' resolution in the 'Systems Dispaly. This caused problems with watching anything 3D Sterecopic video. The effect did not work and I would need to take off the underscan and then loose the 10% of my screen.
My current set-up which is working uses the following:
- Any LED Samsung display
- Mac Mini 2011 (Mid Range model ATI graphics)
- HDMI cable running from the HDMI out the mac into HDMI1 port on the Samsung Display
I fixed the issue by changing the setting on my display. Steps below for anyone who would like to try.
1) Reset your picture mode on the samsung display using the remote under the MENU>DISPLAY>RESET PICTURE. (I ask you to do this as depending on your settings some items are not accessable.)
2) If you have GAME MODE enablede under the system menu turn it off.
3) Turn off 'underscan on your mac mini (set to 100%)
4) Connect from your Mac HDMI cable to the HDMI1 port on the display.
5) On the Display Remotecontral hit the SOURCE button and highlight HDMI1/DVI input,
6) With HDMI/DVI selected hit the tools button on the remote,
7) A side menu will appear on your screen. EDIT NAME should already be selected so just press the enter button on the remote (in the middle of all the arrow navigation keys) then navigate down to DVI PC. Press enter to confirm DVI PC as selected then exit all the menus.
The result should be your Mac OSX full quality all within the 1080p resolution, with no stutter on playback and no need to enable any 'underscan'.
This provides me the full quality 1080p image with correct 3D stereo capability.
I'm now happy
Despite my previous moaning, I don't think this is a Lion issue? Although this does not fit with others that have had issues in lion but not Leopard on the same hardware? I'm not a huge Apple fan so I'm trying push the blame elsewhere. Personally I think Samsung could have made the menus systems a little more intuitive. Anyhow, enough moaning.
Hope this helps some other people. I'm off to watch a movie
Tried as you suggested and ended up with a horrible looking display
that lacked satuaration an any form of contrast flat and dim.
Lost all the vibrance which is why I chose the Samsung over others.
Bottom line still is that it IS NOT A SAMSUNG issue. Everything
worked just fine with standard settings when my system was running
Snow Leopard. It was not until I "upgraded" to Lion that I began to see
any sort of video anomalies!!!!! I did not have to jump through hoops
with Snow Leopard to get decent video, that is, until Lion came along.
Apple OSX designers DEFINATELY did something to foul up video
on Mini's when it comes to Lion. As a matter of fact, they appear to be
clueless as to how to deal with HDMI, as people with Macbook Pros
trying to connect to HDMI displays are also having issues.
Shame this has not fixed the issue for you. My last post has resolved all the issues.
Your only other soloution might be to look at the ThunderBolt/Apple Display to HDMI.
I bought a Mushi cable that did this. It also carried audio. However I could not get any connection to the TV through this cable. Others have had this working but I was at a loss. The HDMI route posted did work for me.
I agree Apple do need to make this soltion easy.
I was also suffering of a small, but very anoying video stutter problem, with my new Mac mini i5 2GB Intel HD 3000. I started to think it was a problem of RAM, so I upgrade it to 4GB but this didn't solve the problem. Then I was planning to buy the MiniDisplay to HDMI cable, but after read your Samsung fix I try to configure my Sony Bravia TV (turn off Noise Reduction, MPEG Noise Reduction and Film mode) and now the problem is fixed.
I have been having similar issues, but had a result! In short the stuttering only happens when my Samsung LCD is turned off, turning it back on and the stuttering disappears. I have a Mac mini HDMI>my DVI monitor on my desk which is my main monitor and where i notice the stuttering. As a second display i have the Mini DP to HDMI on my Samsung TV. Its really wierd but the problem goes away as soon as i switch the Samsung on.
Has anyone thought this might have anything to do with the fact that OS X can't handle 24P content properly? It's known that the Intel 3000 graphics can't display 24P properly - it rounds 23.976 hz to 24 which causes judder and lipsync issues. There is no way around this, it's a hardware issue. The AMD graphics can do this properly, but the Apple drivers do not allow for this apparently. This is confirmed when running Windows 7 on a 2011 mini. With the Windows AMD drivers 24P video is played flawlessly. I don't believe there is anything any of you can do to really fix this, just minimize it to a point where it isn't annoying.
I have a 2011 mini with the AMD graphics and have to output all my files at 60 hz which plays pretty smooth for the most part, but every once in a while I see studder from the 3:2 pulldown that happens when displaying 24P content at 60 Hz.
I agree though, Apple really needs to get the video straightened out on these. Really peeves me off to no end that HD videos look better, and play smoother on Windows 7 then my mini running Lion.
just a thought.
That looks interesting, thanks for sharing. I'll check it out when I get home. I still don't see how it can output 23.976 when it's not supported by the OS, and for those with Intel integrated graphics, not supported by the hardware. Seems like it would output 23.976 as 24, which is what is happening now. I'll check it out though
For quite some time now, I have been using XBMC for
playback of HD content. I have the following preference
Adjust display refresh rate to match video
and I get silky smooth playback of all 1080p material.
Doesn't matter if h.264, MPEG, or VC-1 format. This
is true for video content as high as 33 megabit/second.
I used to use PLEX as my video player/manager but seems
they are becoming like VLC. Every update, either their own
or OSX, seems to degrade the performance. VLC much
more so than PLEX.
As for streaming content from internet, I do get occasional
blips but there is a lot more involved in the food chain there.
(provider? Flash? Silverlight? Quicktime? Internet connection?)
Hard to say who is to blame there.
iTunes purchased playback still is problematic, especially HD.
I have, however, abandoned them as a source for video content
and am slowly replacing that material with "more reliable sources".
2010 Mini, OSX 10.7.3
I've really been looking hard at XBMC, but I just love the 'server' concept of Plex. I am able to keep 1 file format (mkv) so that it looks best on my mini which is my main player, but am still able to watch it on my iPad 2 and iPhone 4 - it still looks great on those after decoding. With XBMC I'd have to keep a local library on each machine unless I changed to a NAS system or something. How are you able to playback 23.976 materal? Does your TV accept a 24P signal? Since it's smooth I suspect you are seeing a 60 hz frame rate after the TV has done it's pull down. Native 24P signals on a TV that is capable of showing 24P is choppy. If it's smooth you probably are seeing post processing.
I'm intersted in getting a clean 23.976 signal (even though its stil choppy) because I want the purest signal for frame interpolation processing. 3:2 pulldown, and rounding the signal to 24 hz isn't cutting it.