You know you’ve got an old PC when you can’t play video anymore.
I downloaded a preview of Quicktime 7 for Windows—I wanted to check out what all the buzz on H.264 was all about. I then downloaded the lowest quality hi-def trailer of Serenity—which was around 50Mb.
This was just 480p, not even 720p. OK, here’s the primer on high definition video:
- 480p—480 progressively scanned lines (DVD quality). More exactly, with reference to Quicktime 7 it means a “16:9 aspect ratio, 852×480 pixels files encoded in AVC/H.264”. I know, too much lingo.
- 720p—720 progressively scanned lines (High def). Usually the resolution is 1280×720. This is the most common format for HDTV, I think.
- 1080i—Vertical resolution of 1080 lines, usually with a horizontal resolution of 1920 pixels and an aspect ratio of 16:9, but interlaced.
- 1080p—“True High-Definition”, 1920×1080 progressive. I can always dream.
My crappy five year old CRT can only show a max resolution of 1024×768. So only 480p should work—but my 1.8Ghz P4 along with a really slow HDD makes my machine too slow to even decode this. I played the file, and saw the video maybe play at 10 frames per second, stopping and starting at will. No audio.
I think I should be able to play 480p after Quicktime 7 officially released—they might have a few optimizations. The Quicktime page says that I need:
1.8 GHz Intel Pentium 4 or faster processorIt’s exactly 1.8 GHz At least 256 MB of RAMIt’s exactly 256Mb, but 32 Mb shared for video
- 64 MB or greater video card (Can’t play any games too, no video card)
Windows 2000 or XP
And I have to use this machine for atleast a couple of years more. Crap.