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AVCHD playback

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I recently purchased a new 2.8 GHz iMac. I know that AVCHD is highly processor intensive but surely I should be able to play back Full HD video on a brand new computer! Using Toast Titanium 9 to play the files I'm getting ~20 fps on a 30 fps stream!

Editing is not an issue because Final Cut/Apple Intermediate Codec take care of playback but I want to be able to archive the unedited AVCHD and that means I need to be able to view the raw files later.

My CPU averages ~25% idle while playing back the video. Does that mean the video card is the bottleneck?
post #2 of 10
Got those files on your boot drive ? Try Playing them from another internal or external.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobM View Post

Got those files on your boot drive ? Try Playing them from another internal or external.

Thanks for your response, RobM. Yes they are on my boot drive. But how could that be the issue when the files are only 25 Mbps? Checking Activity Viewer, there is minimal disk activity during playback.

Surprisingly, the specs for my Radeon HD 2600 Pro mention a UVD (Unified Video Decoder) for H.264/AVC. Does this mean I need to find particular software capable of utilising this hardware? Toast Titanium 9 is giving me ~20 fps - Surely the GPU is not being fully utilised!

Does anyone know of any software to monitor the activity of the GPU?
post #4 of 10
ya know, I remember when this sort of question used to be common when dealng with rumpty ol dv on the current fast Macs back then - dude try it. . Lotsa I/o playing from your boot.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobM View Post

ya know, I remember when this sort of question used to be common when dealng with rumpty ol dv on the current fast Macs back then - dude try it. . Lotsa I/o playing from your boot.

Apart from idle IO from my boot HD, why would there be any less IO when playing video from an external drive? Anyway, I tried it and got exactly the same result.
post #6 of 10
Hey sorry - I just checked around for you AND it appears that there is still no way to view native AVCHD (.mts) on a Mac. I do apologise ... I assumed that there would have been support for the codec by now - but it appears not yet without conversion. So there's your answer - no support for the codec. I suggest you keep your eye on VLC player developments or Mpeg Streamclip - those two devs quite often provide support for the consumer formats quicker than the mothership.

http://manuals.info.apple.com/en/FCP...st_Formats.pdf
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobM View Post

Hey sorry - I just checked around for you AND it appears that there is still no way to view native AVCHD (.mts) on a Mac. I do apologise ... I assumed that there would have been support for the codec by now - but it appears not yet without conversion. So there's your answer - no support for the codec. I suggest you keep your eye on VLC player developments or Mpeg Streamclip - those two devs quite often provide support for the consumer formats quicker than the mothership.

http://manuals.info.apple.com/en/FCP...st_Formats.pdf

But I AM viewing native AVCHD on an iMac (24" Early 2008) using Toast Titanium 9. What I want to know is why I'm only getting 20 fps from a brand new computer with a dedicated unified video decoder (UVD) for H.264/AVC (according to ATI) on its GPU?

http://ati.amd.com/products/Radeonhd2600/specs.html
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by stereotype View Post

IUsing Toast Titanium 9 to play the files I'm getting ~20 fps on a 30 fps stream!

Toast Titanium probably has a fairly new decoder. I doubt that it will use the graphics card for decoding. I would have expected it to be either using up all your HD throughput or CPU before dropping frames though.

There are GPU performance tools with the free developer tools from Apple if you really want to check.

The nightly builds of VLC supposedly have AVCHD playback support:

http://nightlies.videolan.org/build/...intel/?C=M;O=D

Check out the latest one and see if it plays the video ok. If so, the Toast decoder is to blame.
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by stereotype View Post

But I AM viewing native AVCHD on an iMac (24" Early 2008) using Toast Titanium 9. What I want to know is why I'm only getting 20 fps from a brand new computer with a dedicated unified video decoder (UVD) for H.264/AVC (according to ATI) on its GPU?

http://ati.amd.com/products/Radeonhd2600/specs.html

While the UVD from Toast may be able to recognise the .mts is a valid stream it may not know how to handle it properly. It might be the audio or it might be gop or variable data rate - or something else that is causing issues - wild guesses here, I really don't know.

Like Marvin has suggested try the latest build of VLC - or accept that AVCHD may be better converted to another format for archival. I understand that you may not want to do that b/c of storage. You could always archive to tape - it's what we used to do in the olden days, still do.
post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by stereotype View Post

I recently purchased a new 2.8 GHz iMac. I know that AVCHD is highly processor intensive but surely I should be able to play back Full HD video on a brand new computer! Using Toast Titanium 9 to play the files I'm getting ~20 fps on a 30 fps stream!

Editing is not an issue because Final Cut/Apple Intermediate Codec take care of playback but I want to be able to archive the unedited AVCHD and that means I need to be able to view the raw files later.

My CPU averages ~25% idle while playing back the video. Does that mean the video card is the bottleneck?

It's a dreadful format.
But if you want to play it, use VLC.

If you want to edit it. You first should transcode it to ProRes. (or something editable)
Voltaic is not quick but will batch convert AVCHD into a better format for editing.

C.
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