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I'm using a 5 year old laptop. Sometimes, when I play 720p videos, the video will hang for a few milliseconds and then continue playing.

This doesn't really bother me, but it'd be nice if I could have smooth video playback.

I've recently learnt about codecs, and I'm wondering whether I can reduce the workload at play time by converting the MP4 video stream to a MPEG video stream beforehand, or any other codec that doesn't use intrapolation. It would be cool if this would result in smoother playback.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Many different factors can contribute to stutter in video playback. It could be a CPU issue (check your CPU when playing the video) in which case, a simpler codec or a player that can leverage the graphics card for decoding would help. It could also be data rate related though. In this case, using a simpler format would actually compound the problem as less compressed formats (easier to decode) require proportionally more disk space to store the same quality.

If you are constrained by memory or disk I/O then you would actually make it stutter more by moving to a simpler format (and there would also be quality loss unless you made the file size much much higher due to loss of compression efficiency as well as a second generation encoding penalty.)

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Very helpful, thank you! –  Exeleration-G Nov 12 '13 at 22:40
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