iMac-Intel Owners Report Video Glitch

 
 
By John G. Spooner  |  Posted 2006-02-10
 
 
 

Apple Computer appears to be investigating reports of a video glitch within its new Intel-processor-based iMac.

Some iMac owners, posting on various online forums, have reported distortions when playing in videos and other files inside Apples Front Row application.

Front Row, which comes preinstalled on the iMac, provides a special user interface with large, on-screen buttons for accessing music, video and other multimedia files, via a remote control.

According to accounts on numerous sites, including MacFixIt.com, some files showed tearing or the appearance of horizontal lines or other distortions when played by Front Row.

However, files shown by other applications, including Apples QuickTime multimedia software and the iMacs DVD player generally appeared free of any glitches, the site said.

Apple representatives did not immediately respond to requests to comment for this story.

But in a statement recounted in several published reports on Feb. 10, the company said it was investigating the issue and referred customers who were experiencing problems to its technical support organization.

Although the cause of the problem is unclear at the moment, some owners suggested it could be solved in software. Accounts published by MacFixIt.com said some owners were able to solve the problem by reloading their machines with a different build of Mac OS X 10.4.4.

The site itself predicts the issue could be resolved by an upcoming maintenance release of Mac OS X 10.4.x.

The site also described a workaround. Switching the machines display colors from millions to thousands using the Display pane in its System Preferences menu solved the issue for some.

As the first Apple computer to use an Intel chip, the new iMac has received a lot of attention from Apples constituents as well as industry watchers. The computer maker rolled out the new machine nearly a month ago.

Apples two Intel-based iMac models retain the same design, features and prices as earlier iMacs. However, under the hood, they include Intels dual-core Core Duo processor.

A 17-inch model, priced at $1,299, incorporates a 1.83GHz Core Duo chip and offers built-in wireless and ATI Technologies Radeon X1600 graphics card with 128MB of video memory. A 20-inch model, priced at $1,699, ads a 2GHz Core Duo.

Read more here about the first Intel-based iMacs.

Apple is also using the Core Duo chip in its MacBook Pro, a replacement for its PowerBook portable. The MacBook Pro is due to ship this month, Apple has said.

Apple, which had been developing a special x86 version of its Mac OS X in parallel with its more well-known Mac OS X for PowerPC chips, surprised many by announcing a plan to switch to Intel chips from PowerPC last June.

Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis on Apple in the enterprise.

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