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4K Prores Playback slow and choppy on PC

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Adam Eurich
4K Prores Playback slow and choppy on PC
on Feb 4, 2015 at 9:21:25 am

I hope some of you computer guys out there can help me out.

I have a year old Alienware i7 rig with 16gb of RAM a GTX650 video card and RAID array to store my media.

I can playback 4k h264 GH4 footage no problem at all, smooth as butter.

But the Blackmagic 4K Prores 422 playback is so choppy it's practically unwatchable. Tried with various media players the only program that gives me playback that's close to decent is Quicktime, but still not smooth enough.

I'm a bit confused because I thought that Prores was a codec that didn't tax the CPU as much as H264.

When I playback the footage on a friend's tiny Macbook Air it plays both no problem, no matter if it's the GH4 native codec or the Blackmagic footage.

I don't understand why this tiny Macbook Air can playback the Blackmagic footage so easily but my PC cannot do it smoothly, even with Quicktime.

Any ideas about how to get the PC to playback the footage smoothly? Mainly looking for a fast way to review footage with the laptop while on location. I'd rather not pull it into an NLE and reduce the resolution or render the footage when I just want to do a quick review.

Thanks in advance.


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Tom Sefton
Re: 4K Prores Playback slow and choppy on PC
on Feb 4, 2015 at 8:43:48 pm

Where is the media stored and what are your disk speeds with blackmagic disk speed test?


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Adam Eurich
Re: 4K Prores Playback slow and choppy on PC
on Feb 4, 2015 at 8:52:13 pm

Thanks for the reply, media is stored on a Raid array with 400MB/s read/write speeds.

This doesn't seem to matter to the Mackbook Air. I can simply connect the SSD from the Blackmagic with a basic USB 3.0 cable and it plays back just fine on the air.

I've been doing a lot of research on this topic, and a recurring statement I keep seeing is that Prores is limited to a 32 server extension, crippling playback on even the most high end PCs.

http://ppbm7.com/index.php/tweakers-page/87-what-pc-to-use/98-what-pc-to-us...


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Ryan Holmes
Re: 4K Prores Playback slow and choppy on PC
on Feb 5, 2015 at 3:43:17 am

[Adam Eurich] "I've been doing a lot of research on this topic, and a recurring statement I keep seeing is that Prores is limited to a 32 server extension, crippling playback on even the most high end PCs."

Correct. ProRes is not a smooth format for use on PC's. On a Mac it plays like butter (well...if you could play butter). PC's are limited to read ProRes; they cannot write ProRes. For the best performance you can transcode your ProRes footage to a more PC friendly format - DNxHD or DNxHR could work. Or...you could buy a Mac! :-)

Ryan Holmes
http://www.ryanholmes.me
@CutColorPost


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