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Battery Life and Video Player - Yes it does seem to matter

illuzn

New Member
This is my testing setup:
- Surface Pro running on Battery.
- BatteryBar to monitor battery usage.
- Same AVI Video File (xvid/ mp3).
- Brightness at 30%.

Video Players tested:
  • Xbox Video - In Snapview
  • Windows Media Player 12 (Default Windows Codecs)
  • VLC
  • MPC-HC

My results show the following average discharge rates:
  • Xbox Video - 9W (maybe less than this in full screen - I had to use snap view)
  • Windows Media Player 12 - 9W
  • VLC - 9W (a little bit more actually)
  • MPC-HC -10.5W

This might not seem like a lot but that extra 1.5 W gives an extra 30 minutes or so of viewing time.
 
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illuzn

New Member
Just did the same test for H264 video and I get these results:
  • Xbox Video - 9.3W
  • Windows Media Player 12 - 8.7W !!!
  • VLC - 9.8W
  • MPC-HC - 11W

The results are fairly consistent and I've tried a couple of videos now. So if you are catching a plane and marathon battery timing is crucial, I would re-encode to xvid and stick to xbox video.
 
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Mattman3234

New Member
Did you try with windows media player? I've been doing similar testing and found that it was using the least amount of cpu and was giving me the longest playback times.
 
OP
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illuzn

New Member
Did you try with windows media player? I've been doing similar testing and found that it was using the least amount of cpu and was giving me the longest playback times.
I presume using the default windows media player codecs? or are you using a custom codec package?

That is not the use case I am getting at all. I've updated my post with the updated data.

Edit: Scratch that... WMP12 is epic when decoding H264. Granted that .3 W difference only results in an extra 15 minutes worth of playtime at best. But quality junkies should definitely look at re-encodes to H264 in order to minimise battery drain.

Also remember this is at 30% brightness. 0% brightness reduces that drain to around 8.2W (although barely watchable with any ambient light).
 
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