It should work, it does work, but not quite...
I was looking at the Windows Media High Definition Content Showcase site the other day, and downloaded some of the files to check out on my PC. Very nice I thought. The 1080p files play very nicely on my 3Ghz/1Gb/Radeon 9800 (128Mb) system. I woudl have expected as much... but was that some articacting I saw? Just a little bit. Well never mind. It still looks pretty amazing!
Then my thought turned to my Mac. I've just got a new 1Ghz G4 Laptop. after an accident with my old TiBook. It's got 1.5Gb RAM and a ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 (64Mb) ... it's below equivalent spec of what's on the site for a PC but I thought I'd give it a whirl. The 720p videos did open, but didn't play at all efficiently. No surprise there.
So In turn I decided to try it on Adam at SHOWstudio's G5 tower. Dual 2Ghz with 1.5Gb RAM and ATI Radeon 9800 (128Mb) ... generally consdiered faster than most Pentium based machines. I donwloadede the .exe's [which are self extracting winzip files which Stuffit easily expands].The 720p file mostly played, with a couple of stutters where there were large changes on screen [a fade at the begining of one of the files]. With the 1080p it just didn't handle it.
Which seems a bit odd, given that the shorted pipeline [and I could be wrong here] in the PowerPC processors should be better for the kind of maths involved in video decompression. My conclusion is that Windows Media Player 9 for the Mac just isn't as well written. This might not be microsofts fault, it could simply be that it _can't_ be as well written because of the OS X environtment [again I could be wrong here] or it could be that it's intentionally not as well written for OS X.
I wonder if anyone has any more thoughts on this?