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.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Ars Technica posts comprehensive Tiger review

Ars Technica has posted a very comprehensive review of Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, written by their Apple specialist, John Siracusa. It may be too detailed for some, but if you want to get deep into the guts of Apple's new OS, John's article is highly recommended.

Tiger screenshots inside

Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger is now up and running on my 1 GHz PowerBook Titanium. It's nice, and it's fast. :)

Click here for more Tiger screenshots.

Apple now shipping Panasonic UJ-845 dual-layer DVD+/-RW slot-load SuperDrives

Apple began shipping the new Panasonic UJ-845 slot-load laptop-oriented SuperDrives in recent machines, which adds faster speeds and dual-layer burning support to the previous UJ-835.

This is good news, because the SuperDrives in iBooks, iMacs, Mac minis, and PowerBooks are all slot-load laptop drives.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

iMovie HD 5.02 now supports a minimum screen size of 1024x720: A nod to HTPC?

Macbidouille reports that the 5.02 update to iMovie HD changed iMovie HD's minimum resolution requirement from 1024x768 to 1024x720. This is very interesting, because even the low end iBook has a screen resolution of 1024x768 already, and it's basically impossible these days to buy a desktop monitor less than 1024x768.

However, many people have been looking at utilizing the Mac mini for HTPC purposes, and many high-end TV sets support the 720p resolution, which is 1280x720. Apple's change in the iMovie's requirements seems to be a nod to this group. Now Mac minis can be used to edit iMovie HD projects on 720p HDTVs directly.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Power Mac dual G5 2.7 GHz release imminent has posted specifications for the new Power Mac dual G5 2.7 GHz, indicating that its release is imminent. This has been suspected by the online community for the past week, since Power Mac shipping times listed at the Apple Store have recently increased, something that often indicates an update to the line is coming soon.

The specs of the top end Mac are as follows:

Apple Power Mac G5 - M9749LL/A
- Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger
- Dual 2.7 GHz PowerPC G5 processors
- 512 MB of DDR SDRAM
- 250 GB hard drive
- 16x Dual Layer SuperDrive (CD/DVD+/-RW)

Also listed are dual 2.0 and dual 2.3 GHz Power Macs, with 512 MB RAM, and 16X dual-layer SuperDrives. The dual 2.0 sports a 160 GB hard drive, while the dual 2.3 has a 250 GB one. These specs confirm the specs listed in Think Secret's article from several weeks ago.

It will be interesting to see if this machine is liquid cooled or air cooled. A 200 MHz upgrade at the top end after 10 months isn't terribly impressive, especially considering there is no price drop, but it would be more impressive if the update is with a change to air cooling at the same time.