Been having problems playing back MP4 H.264 encoded videos for some time now on my old 3GHz Athlon PC. Even dropping frames don't seem to help much. The 720p videos still end up lagging so, not wanting to upgrade the entire PC, I was thinking of purchasing a more recent graphics cards that included HD video acceleration to give the system a boost but, then I found this...
With only an AGP 8x slot my choices were pretty much limited... However while reading through reviews, I came across the CoreAVC codec and decided to try it out. It's amazing the difference it makes!
Now I don't even need to drop frames to watch the H.264 720p videos and even 1080p almost plays to the point they're almost viewable. They even play on the Samsung NC10 netbook now which is great because they used to lag and, it also means I'll be able to play videos without having to re-encode them. Just make sure your video player is configured to use the codec i.e. In Media Player Classic go to Options, External Filters and add in the CoreAVC codec. Make sure it's set to preferred and your HD Ready videos should play smoothly.
Goes to show what good optimised software can do unlike Microsoft which I heard reuses their old code a lot in their programs.
Now I just need to replace my old CRT monitor so that I don't have to boot up my netbook every time I'm updating my blog and calibrating graphics! I could use the extra resolution too and, Anime shows just don't look right either since they're all produced on LCDs these days.