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Choppy/jerky Silverlight 5 video playback

    Question

  • I recently signed up to both Netflix and Lovefilm streaming services in the UK.  Netflix playback was fine, but lovefilm seemed to drop a few frames ever second or so.  To try and resolve this I installed Silverlight 5 (was previously 4).

    That is when the real problem started - now both services give poor playback!  I have tried both on my XBox 360 and playback is nice and smooth, so I do not think bandwidth is an issue (especially as on quick test showed >5Mbit/s whilst also streaming).

    I am running this on my Dell XPS 15 laptop with Core i5 (2nd gen), 4GB memory and Geforce 525 video card as well as the intel integrated.  I have tried to set the internet explorer profile to use each, but this does not affect the quality of the playback. 

    Uninstalling and re-installing silverlight did not help, and when I tried to use system restore to go back to v4, it no longer worked either. 

    Any advice gratefully received.

     

    Sunday, February 26, 2012 7:39 AM

Answers

  • What is the system performance like when playing back video? These include network packet delays, CPU spikes, memory pressure and hard drive access. Silverlight uses a software based decode for DRM playback Since this is an isolated issue to your system, there may be other factors about your configuration that are causing performance hits during playback. You might want to try it out on a variety of systems, with/without the software you currently have installed on your system.

    Jittery or dropping out video is due to frames getting dropped or delayed. This is caused when the playback engine is taking too long to process each frame and scheduling those to be displayed. It may be cumulative where things are getting compounded.

    You can also try other sites that I recommended in this post:
    http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/silverlighthosting/thread/64e7b627-5a04-45c0-bb72-91afb1c6548f//1/10?Silverlight+eats+all+CPU+on+Netflix+HD+streaming

    If you need specific help on performance profiling for your system, you will need to open a professional support case with Microsoft so they can gather specific data directly from your system.

    Wednesday, February 29, 2012 5:15 PM
  • Your CPU is not getting stressed out, so I can only think of a media pipeline starvation issue. The media buffers are not getting populated fast enough to keep up with the frame rate. There are numerous things that can cause this, such as, network bandwidth, disk cache, memory bandwidth or other software that may be "monitoring" data coming into your system. If you have a "clean" system, without any third party software, that would rule out some of the other software.

    Without direct access to your hardware, it will be difficult to determine.

    Monday, March 05, 2012 5:56 PM

All replies

  • Hi csh98p,

    Please try the suggestion given by a commutity which is setting buffer set manually.

    The best suggestion I found on the web to deal with this is to manually set the buffer rate in Silverlight by holding down [Shift][Alt] and left click the mouse pointer in the movie window to bring up a Silverlight menu where you can select “Stream Manager” and manually select the Buffering Rate between 500 and 3800. 

    http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/silverlightstart/thread/92856c12-14f3-40a7-9255-952cd194762a//1/10

    Please let me know if this helps.

     

    Best Regards,

    Monday, February 27, 2012 9:33 PM
  • Setting the buffering manually does not resolve the issue (I have only tried on Netflix as the option does not seem available for Lovefilm).

    Do you know if manually setting the buffer affects the playback quality?

    Regards.

    Tuesday, February 28, 2012 3:37 PM
  • What is the system performance like when playing back video? These include network packet delays, CPU spikes, memory pressure and hard drive access. Silverlight uses a software based decode for DRM playback Since this is an isolated issue to your system, there may be other factors about your configuration that are causing performance hits during playback. You might want to try it out on a variety of systems, with/without the software you currently have installed on your system.

    Jittery or dropping out video is due to frames getting dropped or delayed. This is caused when the playback engine is taking too long to process each frame and scheduling those to be displayed. It may be cumulative where things are getting compounded.

    You can also try other sites that I recommended in this post:
    http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/silverlighthosting/thread/64e7b627-5a04-45c0-bb72-91afb1c6548f//1/10?Silverlight+eats+all+CPU+on+Netflix+HD+streaming

    If you need specific help on performance profiling for your system, you will need to open a professional support case with Microsoft so they can gather specific data directly from your system.

    Wednesday, February 29, 2012 5:15 PM
  • The processor usge is under 25% (windows average across 4 threads - 50% each on the two physical cores I think).  No particular spiking is seen.  Playback does not imrpve by enabling HW Acceleration.  Task amanger also states over 1.5GB of physical memory available.

    It does seem strange that the issue only became of note (for Netflix) after upgrading to Silverlight 5.

    Regards,

    csh98p

    Wednesday, February 29, 2012 6:07 PM
  • Your CPU is not getting stressed out, so I can only think of a media pipeline starvation issue. The media buffers are not getting populated fast enough to keep up with the frame rate. There are numerous things that can cause this, such as, network bandwidth, disk cache, memory bandwidth or other software that may be "monitoring" data coming into your system. If you have a "clean" system, without any third party software, that would rule out some of the other software.

    Without direct access to your hardware, it will be difficult to determine.

    Monday, March 05, 2012 5:56 PM