Jump to content
Macbuk

Macintosh IIci, QuickTime 2.5, PiCTcompressor.

Recommended Posts

Some days ago i was amazed by video play performance and JPEG conversion/play capabiities in a stock (unaccelerated) macintosh IIci.

While i was encoding samples with various (cinepak) size & data bitrates to reach the limit of both my micromac and daystar 68040 pds accelerators, the "respectable" performance of the stock 68030/25 has not come unnoticed. 

 

In this YouTube video some test with IIci 24/540, 32k PDS cache card, apple 8.24 videocard, system 7.1, QT 2.5, Simpleplayer 1.0, Movieplayer 2.5.1, PICTcompressor.

 

 

Cinepak encoded samples (320x240 @29.97 up to 2 Mps costant bitrate, 8 bit mono) seems very well playable even in a stock machine. Only occasional hiccups (only when playing bigger files) because of the harddrive. The samples appear well playable either with internal, either with 8.24 video card, even at 1152*870! 

Just for example, my stock LC475 (512 vram)  - unexpectedly - slows down a lot when playing the same video samples with desktop resolution higher than 800x600. I do not know why.

 

PiCTcompressor has been also a nice find. Coupled with QT2.5 extension does an amazing job in JPEG conversion and play. It appears to be faster than the Photoshop 2.5 integrated converter and does a better dithering job when you are in 8 bit mode or low in ram (conversion to 16 bit). 

 

In your experience are there better/faster JPEG player ?

 

I ve a curiosity: what were JPEG accelerators made for? Did they help the conversion between formats? Did they speedup the loading or the 2D redrawing? Were they meant to speed up photoshop filters only? Were they useful even in the quadra 68040 nubus enviroment?

Edited by Macbuk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What disks are in each machine? Does the IIci have an add-in SCSI card? What video card to you have?

 

The FPU and probably cache in the IIci are probably giving it a fairly big boost. It's worth remembering that the IIci was an extremely high end machine when it was new and the 475 was "not" (although it still sat next to '030s@25 when it was new).

 

A JPEG accelerator would probably help with MJPEG, presuming the playback/encoding software knew to use it, since that format is just a sequence of JPEG frames with an audio track. (it was used on some systems for NLE editing because that makes it relatively easy for a system from, say, the '90s to do cutting on.)

 

I would say it's worth testing in an '040 environment, but from the MacWorld Magazines I've read through, I don't happen to have seen any reviews of them, so it was either a super high option, I would presume it would be useful in an Avid setup, or something that you would only need to add in, say, an original Mac II.

 

Just anecdotally, I have a PowerBook 180 (7.6.1, stock 120M disk, 14M RAM) that does fine opening JPEGs in QuickTime 4, Photoshop 4, and PhotoFlash, but I don't believe I've tried video on it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Cory5412 said:

What disks are in each machine? Does the IIci have an add-in SCSI card? What video card to you have?

Thanks for your answer. I was surprised cause i've always considered only the Motorola 68040 capable to play 320*200/30 FPS movie samples.

 

No add in SCSI compartment: just internal drive. I tried various Prodrive units (700, 500, 250 and Apple branded 80) with similar results. All i get is 0.8 - 1.3 score (HD) in Speedometer 4.0.

Quite ordinary and modest drives if you consider that LEM reports internal SCSI controller capable of 2.1 Mps.

The test i shared on YouTube was made using apple unaccelerated 8.24 nubus card. The internal videocard does not make any perciavable difference beside the fact i'm strictly confined in 640*480-8 bit. 

 

11 hours ago, Cory5412 said:

The FPU and probably cache in the IIci are probably giving it a fairly big boost. It's worth remembering that the IIci was an extremely high end machine when it was new and the 475 was "not" (although it still sat next to '030s@25 when it was new).

 

I will try if the cache card does anything relevant in the overall results. 

 

The LC475 Is an overall nice performer: It reads flawlessy all 240p30 movie samples (even the third sample with 3mps bitrate) with desktop set up to 800*600. Strangely It slows down all samples when desktop is set to 1024 x768 (Unlike the unaccelerated IIci that works like a tank even at 1151*870). 

 

In the JPEG tests, the LC475 clearly sports a lot faster opening time when compared to the unaccelerated IIci. 

The 33MHz 68040 accelerated IIci is even faster when opening and redrawing.

One more thing i noticed Is that the LC475 has a peculiar "discrete bands" JPEG redrawing pattern (when resizing or moving the pictures) i guess FPU-lacking related.

 

11 hours ago, Cory5412 said:

A JPEG accelerator would probably help with MJPEG, presuming the playback/encoding software knew to use it, since that format is just a sequence of JPEG frames with an audio track. (it was used on some systems for NLE editing because that makes it relatively easy for a system from, say, the '90s to do cutting on.)

Incidentally, i tried also Apple video and MJPEG formats but i got only few frame per second at 320*240. Cinepak appears to be the only way in 68k, its playback is a lot faster. Mpegstreamclip today does an amazing job in converting to,  whatever is your file source.

 

I still have to test samples bigger than 50 mega and also test movie samples encoded at 480*360/30.

I suspect that if you are high in memory and you find the correct balance between HD speed and bitrate even 360p30 is viable in a 33 mhz 040 or faster.

 

11 hours ago, Cory5412 said:

Just anecdotally, I have a PowerBook 180 (7.6.1, stock 120M disk, 14M RAM) that does fine opening JPEGs in QuickTime 4, Photoshop 4, and PhotoFlash, but I don't believe I've tried video on it.

I'm very very curious to know if pb 180 Is also capable of video playback.

I would suggest QuickTime 2.5 plugin and simpleplayer 1.0 (find It inside Qt 1.0 beta).

I noticed that QT movieplayer 2.5.1 and 2.5 are somewhat less capable than simpleplayer (despite being able to resize to full screen). :-)

 

Edited by Macbuk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

PB180 should be able to do anything a IIci can do, but I'll take a look.

 

Did you use a particular source file, from, like, an Apple CD or did you just re-compress something using a slightly newer Mac?

 

Cinepak's main advantage on older machines like this is that the disk rate is low enough. It's pretty much The Right Mix for a video format from the time meant for playback on home multimedia computers. Imagine something like a Performa 600, which shipped in 1992 with a CD drive for $2500 (USD), with, like, 5 megs of RAM, a 33MHz '030 hamstrung by a slower-than-usual-for-the-time bus, no cache, but the expectation is still that that machine plays video: Cinepak.

 

Of course, very early in the '90s, the other common move was just making videos at very low framerates and very low pixel sizes. Especially considering the most common delivery method was CD-ROM, which was slower than hard disks.

 

MJPEG has a very high data rate because it uses no inter-frame compression, it's as close to "purpose-built as an editing format" as you can get in the '90s. The trade-off is that it's computationally trivial, at least for the types of machines I saw it on, and this was mostly mid-'90s SGIs (Indy, O2) but it requires a lot of throughput. You'd probably need whatever Avid was selling or recommending for their systems and perhaps a RAID array, or like a jackhammer, or even just something a little more consistent and modern like  or a newer Mac in general to be able to use it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Cory5412 said:

Did you use a particular source file, from, like, an Apple CD or did you just re-compress something using a slightly newer Mac?

 

Cinepak's main advantage on older machines like this is that the disk rate is low enough. 

 

Of course, very early in the '90s, the other common move was just making videos at very low framerates and very low pixel sizes. Especially considering the most common delivery method was CD-ROM, which was slower than hard disks.

The 1984 Macintosh introduction sample (24 FPS) is coming from this link.

 

Some other samples (29.9 FPS) were coming from my personal holidays. 

I used Mpegstreamclip app on windows to reconvert them from h264 to apple cinepak using:. .mov, 320x240@29.9, quality 100, audio mono, 8 bit, 15 khz

 

I made several samples the best of which were the one with variable bitrate (well playable in 68040).

The samples whose costant bitrate was lower than 2000 played well in 68030 with some acceptable performance loss (rougher dithering).

Higher bitrates were often loosing video to audio synchronicity.

 

I made some 480*360@29.9 fps small samples that played amazingly well in one accelerated IIci but not in the other one (this requiring severals HD calls). I'm trying to catch, time allowing, the reason (less ram, slower HD, slower accelerator, different videocard?). 

 

In this Link some retrocolleagues speculate how to produce extremely low bitrate samples (ffmpeg) also for the original Motorola 68000 in amiga. :-O

 

 

Edited by Macbuk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, JDW said:

 

That link is dead.

I'm Sorry. Picasaweb had a shutdown.

I'm still on restauration of my old computers, waiting to retrobrite them. 

My collection count on a fully functional 1987 Macintosh II (tantalum board), two IIci (both 040 accelerated), a IIfx, an SE30 with Rasterops 24 bit board, an LC475 and 3 Apple IIgs (1 rom 03). I ve also a lot of boards to test and troubleshoot.

 

On 3/27/2019 at 3:02 AM, Cory5412 said:

What disks are in each machine? Does the IIci have an add-in SCSI card? What video card to you have?

 

The FPU and probably cache in the IIci are probably giving it a fairly big boost. It's worth remembering that the IIci was an extremely high end machine when it was new and the 475 was "not" (...).

Cory5412 you were right. The external cache card has a relevant impact on the Cinepack frame rate, video synchro to audio and also an impact on JPEG redrawing. 

I've been testing my Macintosh IIFX (stock 40 MHz, 24 M ram) using same hard drive and the some files of the video i posted: the Macintosh IIci with cache card seems to be better performing despite Speedometer 4.0 overall rating being higher for the IIfx. (0.71 vs 0.47 CPU). 

I guess the 32 k cache card adds something that the benchmark is not able to meter.

SAVE_20190331_162806.thumb.jpeg.45811b64b588aa630f0fc92d66665c63.jpeg

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Macbuk said:

I'm Sorry. Picasaweb had a shutdown.

I know that because I too had photos there, but my photos were automatically rolled into Google Photos.  All you need to do is put your photos in a Google Photos "album" and get the shared link to that Album and update your Signature with that new link.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×