I've been having this problem for a long while and I've been looking around for a solution. And I found a very similar question explaining my very same issue. I edited it so I can give you all more details. Unfortunately, I don't know how that's going to work. So I decided to post it again in a new question hoping for your help.

I have a new 15" MacBook Pro with the highest specifications, running Lion version 10.7.2. However, when I watch movies they sometimes lag on my computer: frozen screen (for 3-4 s) with lots of broken cubes and with the audio track still playing). What could be possibly wrong with my computer?

For example, today I watched the Fast Five Blu-ray movie (which is almost 50 GB) with the VLC media player and suddenly it started lagging on some episodes (especially on intense action ones with lots of special effects). Moreover, it lags not only on Blu-ray movies but also on movie files ripped from standard definition DVDs and other formats as well.

I play all those movies with the power plugged in from downloaded files, not from optical DVDs. Even Stanford University lectures from iTunes sometimes lag for me.

UPDATE: I was in the Genius bar several times, reinstalled Lion on my own and also in the Apple Store.

After the fresh install I tried to test videos. I watched House, M.D. season 8 episode 2 (395.9 MB) yesterday, and it started lagging all over again. I do not really know what to do. Is this a bug in VLC, iTunes, and other media players, or it is something wrong with my hardware? (They actually tested my Mac in the Genius bar with their cable plugged in but did not find any problems.)

I've also tried using different software like Movist and Miro but I still have the same problem. It almost always happens on intense scenes but when I rewind it and play that same scene over and over it works eventually! So I don't think the problem is from the movie file itself. I noticed a few things though:

  1. It happens with YouTube videos as well, regardless of the browser used.
  2. It NEVER happens with I connect my computer to an external screen via HDMI cable.

I had an issue playing HD videos on my older computer and it's the main reason I bought this MacBook Pro. So you can see why this issue is very frustrating to me.

  • 1
    Do you have Perian installed? if not give that codec pack a try with quicktime and see if its still happening. Also try playing that same movie on a brand new user account with no settings migrated. Mar 10, 2012 at 7:14
  • I agree on the new user suggestion, that's always a good idea as a first step in isolating a problem like this. You might also look at your hard disk performance, I've had various hard disks that did odd head calibration that messed up movies playing from my computer. If you can, try running a movie from an external hard disk to see if that helps, better yet, do a complete backup of your computer onto an external, start up from it, and run the movie. If the problem goes away consider having Apple or you replacing the internal hard disk. Consider an SSD.
    – Richard
    Mar 10, 2012 at 12:17
  • If you are able to reproduce the problem, you should insist that the Genius Bar folks sort it out. Your computer is very new, and Apple's warranty is very good.
    – Ash
    Mar 10, 2012 at 14:30

1 Answer 1


I had this same problem and had already installed perian as suggested above. This seems to be a frequent problem, I've had read the explanation but it's a long time ago so don't ask me anymore what the cause is. I fixed it with 'Niceplayer' this player can preform a pre buffer. So if you load in a large mkv file for example with nice player you'll see a small white line going across let the loading complete (goes fairly quick) and press play. No more lag :) at least for me.. Hope it'll help you too...

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .