Friday, April 29, 2005

Apple posts HD H.264 trailers and video clips

Apple has posted a new high definition video webpage with several trailers and video clips in HD. These clips have resolutions of up to 1280x720 which should provide stellar image quality. Full 1920x1080 HD clips are also available for download.

As we mentioned in our previous article HD H.264 decoding on a Mac currently requires a G5. Even the dual G4 Power Macs are not supported. The new webpage reflects this requirement, and all the clips require a G5 to play.

However, it seems that previous article was incorrect as to the requirements for 1920x1080 HD playback, which are now listed:
For 1280x720 (720p) video at 24-30 frames per second:

* 1.8 GHz PowerMac G5 or faster Macintosh computer
* At least 256 MB of RAM
* 64 MB or greater video card

For 1920x1080 (1080p) video at 24-30 frames per second:

* Dual 2.0 GHz PowerMac G5 or faster Macintosh computer
* At least 512 MB of RAM
* 128 MB or greater video card
Judging by tests by various people, it seems the above specs are a little conservative. Clean playback can be had on lesser G5s. Note that the clips can technically be played on G4 Macs, but unfortunately, not very smoothly most of the time.

[Update 2005-05-01]

Thanks to the guys who reported that their dual GHz Power Macs will play back 720p24 material with no dropped frames. Using this info and info from a thread at Ars, I've posted a new article listing real-life requirements.


Jeff Harrell said...

I think the "not very smoothly most of the time" remark is a little misleading. I have a 2x1 GHz Power Mac G4, definitely a middle-of-the-road G4, and the 720p clips play very well.

The 1080p clips will only play at half the frame rate, but that's okay because my screen isn't big enough for them anyway.

Anonymous said...

I think the report of upper lever G4s (1 Ghz and above) are incorrect. I watched all the HD clips and they were all smooth and played very well.

My system config is:

Dual 1.42 GHz G4
ATI Radeon 9000 (64 MB)
Mac OS X (10.4)
120 GB HD

yom said...

I use a G5 Quad and an Apple Cinema HD Display 23", and the result is really amazing! the clips play very smoothly, even in 1080i def.