Video playback is hogging CPU like crazy

I’m working on the soundtrack for a short film in Cubase 7.5. The video playback function eats inordinate amounts of CPU (sometimes 25-30 % and even more of the total system resources…). I am working with a H.264 QT file 1920 × 1080. I’ve been checking the Activity Monitor, and both the video decode and video preload threads are marked as not responding, even though the playback runs without problem. The only issue is that there is precious little CPU left for any real audio processing… Any solutions/workarounds for this that I should know about?

MBP 2.66 GHz Intel Core i7, 8GB 1067 MHz
OS 10.9.1
Cubase 7.5.0
Ableton Live 9
Max 6
Lots of other stuff…

I am a film music composer, and although I use a Mac Pro, I always ask for a lesser resolution video file. Good thing you are using QT format, but I guess 1920x1080 is way too big a resolution your MBP can handle while running a huge video file and a DAW with VSTi’s at the same time.

As a rule of thumb, always try to ask your client for a lower resolution (even a 320 x 240 size would totally do the job for you, coz high video quality is irrelevant to making music for it) OR you can lower the size yourself if you have a video converter software. I’d suggest the former though. Just compare the file size between the two resolutions. Here size matters…! (I don’t know if you’re running your video and/or VSTi’s from a 5400RMP drive or an equally slower "like a USB2 external drive. Those could matter as well.)

All this is because you need as much resources as your computer can allocate to your DAW.

Good luck

Thanks for the tip, ipanema! I’ll try just simply reducing the file…