I've noticed that since android 4.3 something changed in terms of hardware video acceleration.
I used to watch movies on my Galaxy Nexus and the same movies that played nicely with 4.2.2, now stutter or lag with 4.3
I've tried with the latest MX Player and BS Player and even the internal stock video player. All do the same.
I used to play HD 720p videos and some 1080p videos without a single glitch, as long as HW or HW+ (MX Player) were enabled.
Now, after a few reencodes and tests I've come to the conclusion that the reference frames can't be higher than 5. An AVC video with ref frames of 6 and higher play with stuttering, but when in SW mode, they play OK.
You may download the samples to test:
H.264 HD 720p High@L4.1 ref frames 5
H.264 HD 720p High@L4.1 ref frames 6
Ref frames= 5 plays like it should, no problems with HW acceleration
Ref frames= 6 stutters, lags. Only plays nice with SW mode.
I've tried with a Galaxy Nexus of a friend, also with 4.3 and it happens as described.
Anyone would know why would Google break the acceleration, or how can I report this?