Problem with 4K video playback on a MacBook Pro 2009

I’ve noticed that footage shot in 4K at 24 FPS lags badly on playback on my old MacBook Pro unless I slow the speed right down. I use VLC player and a SanDisk Extreme Pro 64gb card. I’m guessing the laptop can’t handle the size of the files? Will shooting in 2.7k or even 1089 make a difference? Any help/tips please. Thanks.

1 Like

Are you playing from the card or from the HDD.

It should easily play them.

Have you tried in preview instead of VLC ?

Thanks for your reply. I replaced the HDD with a SSD and play from that after I’ve copied the files from the SD to the laptop.
How do I play in preview please?

Right click any of the files and then open with ‘quicktime’ which should be the default

Just confirming it’s a 2009 model and not a 2019 model @Jem1 ?

What is the spec of the Macbook Pro? For a 2009 model it would struggle a bit anyway, whatever the graphics card on board.

I was thinking the same, I’d be surprised if a 2009 model would handle 4K :thinking:

I’m hoping the topic title is a typo :grimacing:

1 Like

I’ll try that. Thanks. The files seem to play fine on my iPad 5, just not on my old laptop.

1 Like

Processor is 2.53 ghz core 2 duo.
Graphics is NVIDIA GeForce 9400M 256 MB
Resolution is 1280 x 800

Does this all mean something to you?

I would say you’re laptop definitely isn’t up to it. I’m running this and this struggles sometimes with VLC player. For this reason alone I stick to 2.7k at 60fps

Sadly you will need a better spec MacBook to play 4k video

1 Like

Thanks. I’m running El Capitan. What setting do you suggest I set my mini 2 video? 2.7 but what shutter speed please? I usually film in auto as I’m a newbie.

Try 2.7k at 25fps and see how the MacBook deals with it.

As for shutter speed will depend on the iso and the light exposure

Leave it on auto until you get use to using the drone then when your ready try manual and you will see that depending on the light the shutter speed will need changing to get the correct exposure

The lower the iso the better the quality (less grainy) but in lower light you may need to increase it

Thanks for the advice. I’ll certainly try that. I’ve formatted a usb drive to play my footage on my smart tv which I’m very pleased with. Now I need to find more places to fly close to west London. I’m so pleased a bought the mini 2 combo.

1 Like


Give this a try 2.7k video at 30fps, see if it plays ?

1 Like

You can also upload to YT and then view it in 4K on your TV, YT does take 24hrs or so to process the high-resolution

I always leave it in auto. I’m no pro photographer or videographer and judging by some of teh comments on my videos and photos it seems to work.

I had a similar problem when switching from H.264 to H.265 video, playback became jerky.
The problem was that the graphics card on my PC wasn’t up to the decompression job and, as I have an all-in-one, I couldn’t upgrade it.
However, when I edited the video and rendered it, it played normally.
As video is getting ever more hi-res, investing in high performance graphics is a must.

Thanks for your reply. What editing software do you use please?

I use Vegas Pro from Magix.