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Netflix is choppy with Silverlight 5

    General discussion

  • Now that Silverlight 5 is required to be installed by Netflix, Instant Play of Netflix movies has become unwatchable on my computers.  While it worked just fine before the Silverlight install.  My computers are running Windows XP, so maybe this is just limited to installs with XP.  

    I have narrowed down the problem, somewhat, to the fact that it not using my video card, aka, enableGPUacceralation is disabled.  When I open up the Silverlight app, the check box to "Enable hardware-accelerated playback" is grayed out.

    With my 2 computers, one has an ATI HD Radeon 4650 AGP card and the other 4670 PCI-Express card, both with 1 GB of RAM.  My computer with the 4670, the better of my two machines has dual monitors(the other is hooked up to my TV and is used pretty much just for Netflix).  With my dual monitor computer, I can open up the ATI Catalyst control panel and let in run on the 2nd screen while I play a movie from Netflix, in full screen mode, on the other screen.  Doing this shows zero actiivity of the GPU.  But if I go into the registry and change "GPUVideoDecodeEnabled" from 0 to 1, then play a movie from Netflix, it shows 10-15% usage of the GPU.  (If I open the Silverlight console, it changes that 1 back to 0.)

    Doing this on my faster machine makes all the difference in the world and movies play just fine.  The problem is that while it does help on my slower machine, it does not help enough to keep movies from being unwatchable.  It basically speeds it up from 1 frame per minute to 10 seconds of fine play and then a minute of nothing.  So this registry tweak is not a complete fix.

    So this is definitely an issue of Silverlight not taking advantage of my GPU, and most likely not my SoundBlaster sound cards either.  This problem has the look and feel of a codec(s) not being installed or configured correctly  

    Quite a few people are complaining about this across the Net, any advice on how to fix this issue... or news of an update to take care of it?

    BTW, this isn't just limited to Netflix, in another article somewhere in this forum, there was a link to Silverlight videos that showed the bitrates as part of the video (not just doing a Shift-Alt click deal).  I had the same problem there too.  I also noticed that when the bitrate dynamically adjusted, it stopped receiving network packets, making it look like an ISP problem, which is not the case.  It appears that when it dynamically adjusts the bitrate, it actually locks up the NIC for a second or two.  So Silverlight 5 appears to have more than just a simple, the GPU acceleration isn't enabled, problem.

    Monday, December 19, 2011 10:21 PM

All replies

  • When I open up the Silverlight app, the check box to "Enable hardware-accelerated playback" is grayed out.

    Same for me. On my Windows XP machine (Nvidia GT240, latest drivers from nvidia.com), the check box is also greyed out. Using your registry fix did not enable the checkbox.

    Tuesday, December 20, 2011 8:26 PM
  • Correct, changing the registry so GPUVideoDecodeEnabled is set to 1 and then just opening the Silverlight console instantly changes it back to 0.  So yes, the box is always grayed out.

    On the other hand, in that same key, if I change UpdateMode to 0, 1, or 2, opening the Silverlight console does reflect that change.  It doesn't reset it to whatever it was set to before.

    Tuesday, December 20, 2011 9:53 PM
  • True, same for me.

    http://postimage.org/image/vyxtelepz/

    My screenshot says "use blocked display drivers", so maybe our drivers are somehow blocked by Silverlight. Setting the site manually to "Allow" allowed it to use hardware acceleration like normal.

    There's more about this at the following link:

    http://www.sharpgis.net/post/2011/12/10/Why-Silverlight-5%E2%80%99s-3D-is-%28almost%29-useless.aspx

    You have to enable it manually... :)

    Thursday, December 22, 2011 7:26 PM
  • I never got the "use blocked display drivers" message.  All I got was a message, for Netflix.com, saying "Stay full screened even if unfocused.   Allow" or something to that nature.  And even when I went to a few of the other Microsoft test sites, I still didn't get anything else added.

    Also, I don't know if it was in one of the XP updates in the past few days or what, but it now shows it is using my GPU even when I don't have the registry tweaked.  Of course this happens right as I was going to take a video of it and post it on Youtube.  LOL

    I also noticed that my feed in Facebook has been extremely slow the past few days, which started right around the time I installed Silverlight 5 on this machine.  Rebooted my machine, FB feed still slow... literally taking minutes to fill the FB feed.  Uninstalled Silverlight, another reboot, and FB feed instantly fills up like it used to.  WTH is Silverlight 5 doing?

    So I have no freakin' clue what all Silverlight 5 is touching.  But from looking through the Registry, it adds more entries than any other program I have ever seen in my 18 years of being a Systems Engineer... literally about 1,000.  Exchange Server doesn't add that many... at least not with the name "Exchange" attached to it.

    As far as I have encountered, Netflix is the one thing I truly need Silverlight for, and I've already told them that if this isn't fixed in a few weeks, I'm cancelling my account.  Streaming their movies used to work great on a very old machine, with a pretty decent video card to handle the load, and now I either have to buy a new computer that is dedicated just to my TV, or buy a new TV or blu-ray player that will stream Netflix.  Considering I already get all the movie channels, Netflix is just a bonus and their streaming is of movies that have already been on the movie channels.  So it isn't that big of a plus for me.

    I'm huge Microsoft fan.  I've seen networks setup so wrong that they shouldn't run, but still did because of Windows Server.  But Silverlight 5 is a piece of crap.

    I don't know who they have Q/Aing their software these days, but I do know when they had a division of Veritas doing it, their software sucked because Veritas was screwing them over.  I just happened to be trying to install Exchange Conferencing Server while at the same time my cousin was the QA person for it.  (What are the chances of that?  LOL)  Anyways, she would find, lets say 1,000 bugs and submit her findings.  Veritas would then cut out about 80% of her findings and submit it to Microsoft to have them fix them, knowing that their new version would still have plenty of bugs, plus newly created bugs.  It was a ploy to make more money by Veritas.  Since this was really delaying Microsoft's rollout dates, programs like Conferecing Server and SMS 2.0 were released and completely didn't work.  Around the end of 2002, Microsoft found this out and fired Veritas, hired someone else, and all of a sudden their products became pretty rock solid.  Even SP3 for Conferencing Server came out and it actually worked... after having my boss ride my back for an entire year to get it working.  Well, it looks like they may need to check up on their Q/A people again.

    Friday, December 23, 2011 4:23 AM
  • Does this site work for you without doing any config, then?

    http://david.blob.core.windows.net/babylon/Babylon.html

    Use task manger and GPU-Z to test as if your GPU is doing the work.

    Saturday, December 24, 2011 12:40 PM
  • Sorry, but my family celebrated xmass today (multple families to contend with, lol, makes it easier) so I haven't got a chance to check this out yet because I will need to reinstall Silverlight 5... after making sure my machines are clean to begin with and such.  But I should get a chance tomorrow and let you know how it goes.

    BTW, I've received multiple notices, hours apart, that you replied to my post.  I don't know if you just edited a few typos or something, but that's why I am posting this reply, instead of just waiting until tomorrow to give you my results.

    Sunday, December 25, 2011 3:17 AM
  • Well?

    Saturday, December 31, 2011 12:50 PM
  • From what i've read here about fixing Silverlight to get it running with Netflix I have to be a computer geek?  That is ridiculous.  Can anyone give me a laymans explanation of how to get Silverlight to work with Netflix without having to be a computer engineer.  This should not be so complicated. 

     

    Thanks, TG

    Monday, January 02, 2012 8:58 PM
  • On both of my XP machines, when I go to your website, I get a prompt about Silverlight... I forget the exact wording, but it is something like you might need to bring up the console.  I can right-click on the web page and have it bring up the Silverlight console, and then I have to change "3D Graphics: use blocked display drivers" from deny to allow... this being listed under your website address.

    Then using GPU-Z and also ATI's console, I can see that it is using the GPU.

    I mentioned before that once I reinstalled Silverlight, my main machine started using the GPU for Netflix already.  The same appears to be true for my slower... but worked fine with Netflix 2 months ago... machine too, which is now useless for running Netflix.

    So I am not sure what to do next as far as Netflix is concerned... except cancel them.

    Tuesday, January 03, 2012 3:06 AM
  • Also, one other thing I noticed this past week, as it seems that Silverlight 5 is basically malware.

    On my dad's Vista machine, .NET framework 4 was not installed on his machine.  I thought that odd that it wasn't even a choice to install via a Windows Update (nor was it hidden).  I then uninstalled Silverlight 5 and ran Windows Update again, Silverlight 5 was the only thing that showed up.  Installed it, rebooted, ran Update again... and now all of a sudden .NET framework 4 was listed as a mandatory install.  ???

    Plus, on my mom's XP machine, uninstalling and then reinstalling Silverlight sped up her machine greatly.  Both my parent's complained of their machines suddenly slowing down, which was why I was checking them out to begin with.  BTW, neither watch Netflix on their machines, but they do use Automatic Updates.

    What the hell is up with Silverlight 5?  

    It's almost looking like an attempt of Micrsoft's to force everyone to upgrade to Windows 7.  Which is something I might have a few of my coder friends look into.  I just build, config, and troubleshoot servers, for the most part, when it comes to the Microsoft stuff... I don't do any coding past basic scripting.  But Silverlight 5 seems to effecting machines across the board.  And so far, I've noticed that it needs to be uninstalled and reinstalled to work halfway correctly.

    Tuesday, January 03, 2012 3:22 AM
  • True, XP support is terrible. All Windows wants in cash.

    Sunday, January 08, 2012 8:21 PM
  • I find it pretty amusing that people expect everything to work perfectly on their 10 year old OS. Are you guys still running IE6 as well? Just bite the bullet and update already.

    Wednesday, January 11, 2012 2:56 PM
  • I find it pretty amusing that people expect everything to work perfectly on their 10 year old OS. Are you guys still running IE6 as well? Just bite the bullet and update already.

    Mark, you obviously don't understand the issue.  The issue is that Netflix streamed just fine on an old machine I have dedicated to my TV.  Then Netflix insisted on us installing Silverlight 5 and now it is no longer watchable, while all other things that don't use Silverlight 5 work just fine.

    BTW, XP still has a 35% market share.  If it ain't broke, why fix it?  Or in this case, why spend $150 to upgrade to Windows 7 just to get your machine to do the exact same thing?  My main machine is still XP and it runs Netflix with Silverlight 5 just fine... but it isn't hooked up to my TV.

    Windows 7 isn't going to run on the old machine I have hooked up to my TV, it needs to be replaced totally.  That is a lot of money to spend just to watch Netflix, which, like I said, worked just fine until Silverlight 5 became mandatory.  

    So why don't you bite my bullet and send me the cash for a new machine?

    Wednesday, January 11, 2012 8:05 PM
  • I love XP just the same. Microsoft should support XP till the very end of it's lifecycle in 2014. Forcing us to update also promotes piracy...a lot of people have done that just for support. By the way, I use IE8 and Firefox 10. Drivers are all fully up to date. Some people still care about their PCs.

    Wednesday, January 11, 2012 8:56 PM
  • Yeah, me too.  I see nothing wrong with XP.  Basically about 7 or 8 years ago, the machines surpassed the speed of the average apps that people run, like Office, IE, etc.  So while the latest and greatest machines may load these apps in half the time, it is just 1/2 the time of a very short time.  Honestly, opening a Word doc is practically instant on my main machine, it really couldn't get much faster. (Having WD Caviar Black hard drives helps a lot in this example.)

    Granted, my machine isn't up to par for high end video editing.  And I also have to turn the graphics down a tad for the latest high end games, but Half Life 2 still has a high frame rate with the graphics maxed out.

    But with budget constraints, I can't justify buying a new machine just so I can play the latest games at their highest res, or for video editing, which I don't do.

    Do I want the latest and greatest machine and O/S?  Definitely.  And I will eventually upgrade.  But when it seems that Microsoft is purposely releasing software that doesn't run on older, slower, machines, that just pisses me off.  Silverlight 4 ran Netflix fine... Why doesn't Silverlight 5?  And why is Netflix making it mandatory?  That sounds like some collusion is going on.

    Wednesday, January 11, 2012 10:22 PM
  • It is possible that I am misunderstanding the problem, but the article that was linked earlier in the thread seems to suggest that the reason that Netflix is choppy now is because hardware rendering can only be done safely on a machine with WDDM which is only available on Vista and newer versions. This suggests to me that there was a potential security hole in previous version so of SL that they decided to fix which is adversley affecting performance on your machine. Was SL4 using your GPU at all for video rendering? I honestly haven't payed that close attention to the what features have been added in each release, so I don't know. I feel like Microsoft has rightly placed a higher priority on safe computing over performance. It wouldn't take much for Silverlight to get a bad reputation if users found that malicious sites could crash their computer because of it.
    Again, maybe I am misunderstanding the problem.

     

    Friday, January 13, 2012 4:46 PM
  • It appears that everyone involved in this discussion has perhaps moved on to other concerns; however I have been working on this issue for my Win7 Professional 64-bit, 1.8ghz dual-core Atom (4gb RAM) with ION2 Nvidia 512meg video card, and a Win7 Ultimate 64-bit laptop (4gb RAM) with single-core AMD CPU and an equivalent (to the ATOM Radeon.  Both will play Blu-Ray movies at full 1080p beautifully, because they use the GPU.  The ATOM/ION combination seldom exceeds 10% load on the CPU when a Blu-Ray is playing, and although the laptop requires more CPU involvement it plays the Blu-Ray without a stutter.

    But neither of these will play the Silverlight driven Netflix.  I am wondering whether the lack of assistance from the GPU is by design of Netlix.  Clearly the wimpy little CPU/GPU combination built into the Kindle Fire is far less powerful than in either of the computers I mentioned above, yet it plays Netflix just fine, thank you--and in HD mode to boot--all with no stuttering or problems at all.  Bear in mind, The Fire uses a Netflix Java app for Android, apparently tailored to utilize the full functionality of the Fire.  Why, then, is the Netflix application such a wimpy performer on much more powerful boxes (the Atom and laptop)?  

    My experience coupled with the comments above lead me to conclude that use of Windows XP has little to do with the problem.  I continue to have problems with low-power CPUs (but still more powerful than the CPU of a tablet like the Fire) that are running Windows 7, yet with processing capability sufficient to handle much more data than a Netflix stream (i.e. a Blu-Ray disc at 1080p).  I think it is a Netflix software configuration issue that could be corrected should Netflix choose to configure it to work.  The question is, "Why haven't they?"

    Yes, my Win7 Home Premium 64-bit 2.8ghz dual-core box with 4gb RAM and an old 256meg HD Radeon PCIe card plays Netflix fine--again, probably not using the Radeon.  But as has been stated, machines that should play Netflix just fine.  All this leads me to believe it is not poorly-written, buggy software in XP or Win7, or even in Silverlight.  From my point of view it appears this functionality has been intentionally prevented.  I have my opinions and questions, but I will say this--there is a necessity for computer companies to sell more expensive hardware, and for software companies to sell OSes and such to run on the hardware.  The Kindle Fire's handling of the Netflix stream demonstrates that functionality can be acheived if it serves a marketing purpose.

    Tuesday, February 28, 2012 8:13 PM
  • I don't think any of us that were experiencing problems "moved on", I think we just gave up since there seemed to be no help being offered, at least of value, once we proved the GPU was being used.  Once that was proven, I haven't seen a single word of advice... except to upgrade my machine.

    Anyways, I was able to get my slow machine to prove it was using the GPU to stream Netflix, yet it was still completely unwatchable and still using 100% of my CPU.  So Silverlight 5, no matter what settings I changed, still uses the hell out of the CPU, which appears to be the bottleneck.  And it isn't just Netflix, go check out some of the Silverlight 5 demo sites and you will run into the same issue.

    BTW, I don't think you realize what the Kindle Fire is packing.  It has a dual core 1.0 GHz CPU and the video card is capable of over 200 GFlops.  

    So while your one machine has a dual core 1.8 GHz, the ION 2 video card is only capable of 39 GFlops.  So the Fire is beating you big time GPU-wise.  On the other hand, my slow machine has a Radeon HD 4650 that does 480 GFlops... but the CPU is a single core P4 2.5 GHz... which seems to about balance our machines out.  And yeah, just like yours, mine can play Blu-ray 1080p movies "streamed" from another computer just fine... yet Netflix with Silverlight 5 is a joke.  I even have an Audigy 2 sound card to help take the load off the CPU.

    I think it just comes down to is that Silverlight 5 requires you to have a rather fast machine and Netflix's insistance on requiring it is a very bad decision.  I also heard that Netflix has lost Starz and a couple other big providers of the latest movies, so they are going to move their focus to TV shows and not movies.  (I literally just heard this about an hour ago and haven't got a chance to check it out yet).  So it looks like I might be dropping them no matter what.

    Oh, and to top things off... I got a very late xmass gifts because Costco's had a sale, and I now own a Blu-ray player with WiFi built-in, and all the features of Netflix, Flixter, Hulu, etc.  So no need to worry about my slow machine running Netflix any more... if I do decide to keep them.  So unless I stumble upon a fix for Silverlight 5, since I won't be looking for one any more, I have pretty much put it behind me and just given up.

    Sorry I haven't found any help for you since I started this post.  

    Wednesday, February 29, 2012 1:41 PM
  • Have you tried using GPU-Z to see if the GPU is even being used?

    When I use Silverlight, it burns out one of my Phenom 9750's cores, and leaves everything free. Video is very laggy.

    Just not bother with Microsoft forcing you to buy new software or hardware and use the Blue-Ray player. Screw them for making us pay up.

    Tuesday, March 06, 2012 8:54 PM
  • Just an FYI - my core 2 Macbook pro gets overwhelmed by Silverlight/Netflix now, just like everyones Windows machines.

    CPU % goes through the roof, the fans all ramp up to full speed, and the video is chopped to hell and back.

    Why Why Why Siverlight on Netflix? Makes absolutely no sense.

    Thursday, March 15, 2012 11:10 PM
  • Why Why Why Siverlight on Netflix? Makes absolutely no sense.

    Who cares about Netflix, guys... just stop your suscription if you think its not worth your money...

    I wanted to sign up, but after seeing this I don't want to... let this be a lesson to all future members.

    Saturday, March 17, 2012 8:00 PM
  • Since they updated their player, I've been having a lot of problems. Choppy video, out of sync audio, the menu bar won't come up so I can't even stop the video, cpu usage jumps... I've update my drives, updated everything in windows, but no solution. Called Netflix and the instantly said it's not Silverlight, that it must be my internet connection. But everything else (Hulu, Youtube, etc.) works fine. I did a speed test and a ping test, both fine. 

    I've poured over forums, and most of the post are older, I haven't seen that many newer ones (since the new player release on May 16). Yours is one of the few, so I was wondering if you've found out anything else?

    Tuesday, June 05, 2012 2:30 AM
  • I've poured over forums, and most of the post are older, I haven't seen that many newer ones (since the new player release on May 16). Yours is one of the few, so I was wondering if you've found out anything else?

    I came to the conclusion that Netflix will not admit a problem exists and that Microsoft is unhappy that over 30% of all PCs still run Windows XP, so they are doing what they can to make people upgrade.  So, basically, neither Netflix or Microsoft is going to do anything about this.

    Since my original post, I received a Blu-ray player with WiFi as a gift.  It plays Netflix just fine, so I didn't need to worry about my computer any more.  But Netflix's selection of streaming movies has become so poor that I actually ended up cancelling my account.  Not only did they lose movies from several large vendors because they didn't want to pay their prices, but they tend to not put popular movies up for streaming, even though they are available via DVD/Blu-ray.  It seems that Netflix doesn't want to pay for the increase in bandwidth, and the extra servers required, to handle the load of having too many good movie available for streaming.  Basically, Netflix just down right sucks these days... after being awesome for many years.

    BTW, after watching movies in Blu-ray, 1080p, watching streaming movies at 720p really sucks.  :)  So now I have the 2 discs at a time via mail deal with Blockbuster.  My only gripe with them is that their turn-around time is slow.  A movie picked up from my mailbox at 2pm will show up as returned that very same night in my queue, but it will take 3 days before the next movie is shipped out, so it is 4-5 days before I get the next movie.  I'm going to give them another month or two to see if this is just an issue of them opening a new location.  If not, I'm going to drop their service too.

    Tuesday, June 05, 2012 5:39 AM
  • Since my original post, I received a Blu-ray player with WiFi as a gift.  It plays Netflix just fine, so I didn't need to worry about my computer any more.  

    Wow...Imagine that! Come on people!  XP is a 12 year old operating system.  Complaining that netflix won't run smoothly on it, and claiming Silverlight is the problem, is like me complaining to Sony that I can't play a Blu-ray disk in my Betamax VCR!!!

    Upgrade your systems, and stay current if you want to be able to use new technology.  If you choose not to, then so be it, but don't then blame YOUR poor performance on Silverlight!

    Thursday, June 07, 2012 1:43 PM
  • Wow...Imagine that! Come on people!  XP is a 12 year old operating system.  Complaining that netflix won't run smoothly on it, and claiming Silverlight is the problem, is like me complaining to Sony that I can't play a Blu-ray disk in my Betamax VCR!!!

    Upgrade your systems, and stay current if you want to be able to use new technology.  If you choose not to, then so be it, but don't then blame YOUR poor performance on Silverlight!

    Dude, you are missing the entire point... and being an ass about it.  

    Netflix ran great on these old machines until they forced us to upgrade from Silverlight 4 to Silverlight 5.  And unless you have plenty of money to blow, buying a new computer, just to hook up to your TV to occasionally watch streaming movies, isn't an option.  As I stated in my post, I received my Blu-ray player as a gift... I don't have the money to go buy one.

    So, basically, Microsoft and Netflix are saying F-you... go out and buy a new computer.  And you don't have a problem with that???

    Why don't you stop your bitching about our posts and send us the cash to buy new computers?  Then we won't have anything to complain about.

    Thursday, June 07, 2012 7:20 PM
  • It's completely on the mark if people think it's the age of the computer problem but may not be as simple as upgrading to any ole machine.   I have the same problem on a current generation MacBook Air.   What people should try is if they have seamless playback via software decoding - i.e. going into Browser Full Screen mode - instead of via hardware decoding - pushing the player full screen button.

    This is how I'm currently working around the issue. 

    To be clear my MacBook Air is the 4GB 1.7 i5 model with an Intel HD Graphics 3000

     What is probably happening (for me at least) is that the CPU is chunky enough to decode the video - albeit it with pumping out the heat and pushing up the fan vs via the hardware decoding where the GPU can't handle the decoding and (probably) doesn't benefit from a fan assist for overburn and there is no cascade from hardware to software in full screen mode - it's either on or off.   Of course turning it off doesn't help because the increased framesize means my CPU limits are reached as well (fan or no fan) - so I lose both ways in full screen mode.  (remember that going to full screen means the screen resolution is switched to the frame size of the video whereas in full screen browser it's limited to the current screen resolution - so full screen browser works because the frame defintion is much smaller)

    That aside it's probably worth remembering (or knowing) that the reason Netflix switched to Silverlight is for DRM reasons.  All the major content rights owners (Hollywood studios for example) demand a robust DRM package and Windows DRM has been approved for a very long time.   Other DRM packages are being looked at (Ultraviolet is a framework that supports at least 3 DRM platforms) but right now Windows DRM is the de facto.

    Netflix has switched to Silverlight for that reason.   So how does that probably effect your playback?   Well one of the features of Windows DRM is that they protect content rights through to the pixels on your display.   They do this by the Driver Certification program.   So the newer cards by NVidia and the like go through the program and get a digital certificate that Windows recongises and makes available to other apps like Silverlight.   One of the criteria of the certification is content protection from the card to the screen so minimising any threat vector for illegal copying of a stream from GPU memory (as an example).  With a trusted authority like this that means  Silverlight can allow hardware acceleration and ensure DRM safeguards are in place which then works it way back up the chain to the Netflix business and allowing them to secure the content rights they are after where Microsfot is the trusted independent authority between the studios and Netflix.  

    As an aside this also works from a commercial liability persepctive.   Other DRM packages are either open sourced or underfunded - if there is a breach in DRM for Windows there is one behemouth with deep pockets the users of the platform can go after - if they used Marlin (for example) then there is areal chance that when something goes wrong (and it will) then they won't have the muscle to fix it and be accountable (financially) for any exposure

    (and we're back in the room)... In the case of older machines where the GPUs haven't been signed off / approved by Microsoft then Silverlight will proactively disable hardware acceleration (as you're seeing where the registry fix doesn't stick) and force the CPU to take the load and, as is the case, the CPU is old enough as well to really struggle on its own.  It's a true edge case where you get an up to date CPU and a very out of date GPU.

    So that all boils down to the fact you need a new(ish) computer that supporst all the security requirements of Silverlight so that Netflix can continue to secure the rights to the content that you want to watch.    If you think that is an unfair value exchange then that's a matter of opinion and debate.   Without the increased layer of security the rights won't be supplied and Netflix will cease to exist.    So for those wanting Netflix (and I personally love the service) then the monthly fee of £6 is the visible cost -what you need to factor in is that your hardware may need upgrading and that is a further price of the service.   Yes Netflix can do more to signal that when signing up (like an app to test performance) but to be fair to them they do let you try the service for free for a month.  

    I love the analogy about trying to play a bluray on a VHS VCR - it's absolutley spot on.  If you want to enjoy Netflix you need it on a specific hardware configuration.   That's it.  Lump it or leave it really.

    For me, on a Mac, it's the same thing.  If I want to watch full screen video at a high enough bitrate I need the hardware to decode that.   The MacBook Air currently doesn't have the horse power to do that.  But then again the Air isn't designed to be used in this way - I should have gotten a Pro if I really cared about that.   In a few more years it will be ... but by then the bitrates, DRM and content access will have moved on yet again as the dog chases it tail and the world turns again.  At least Moore will be happy.

    -- Cameron Church

    Friday, June 15, 2012 3:01 AM
  • I love the analogy about trying to play a bluray on a VHS VCR - it's absolutley spot on.  If you want to enjoy Netflix you need it on a specific hardware configuration.   That's it.  Lump it or leave it really.

    Thanks for the detailed post.  I think you hit the nail on the head of why we are having problems and why they aren't going to fix it.

    As far as the analogy, I think it is completely off.  A Blu-ray disc doesn't even fit into a Betamax player, let alone run poorly, it isn't even possible to get it to run at all.  It is completely incompatible.  

    A better analogy, that I can think of offhand, is forcing us to use E85 gasoline in our current car (one that isn't already made for it).  Yes, it will run, it won't cause any damage (unless it was built before the late '80s)... but it will misfire and idle terribly... basically run like crap... but it will still run.  So in essense, to keep driving a car, you will need to buy a new one (or make major upgrades to your current one).  This is basically what happened with us by being forced to use Silverlight 5.

    Friday, June 15, 2012 4:08 AM
  • I'm running Windows 7 and my desktop is less than 3 yr. old.

    Saturday, June 16, 2012 2:01 AM
  • Wow...Imagine that! Come on people!  XP is a 12 year old operating system.  Complaining that netflix won't run smoothly on it, and claiming Silverlight is the problem, is like me complaining to Sony that I can't play a Blu-ray disk in my Betamax VCR!!!

    Upgrade your systems, and stay current if you want to be able to use new technology.  If you choose not to, then so be it, but don't then blame YOUR poor performance on Silverlight!

    Some people refuse to update even with excellent computers that are perfectly capable of running 'newer' operating systems, because, quite frankly, operating systems above windows XP suck regarding program stability, compatibility, and drivers. There are programs that run just fine on windows XP, that run terribly, or even not at all, on windows vista or 7. Even NEWER programs have this issue. Gaming especially sucks on vista and 7, in spite of the allegedly more advanced direct x's built in. The Witcher, and the Witcher 2, for example, rather modern games, that very much do not like windows 7.

    Sunday, June 17, 2012 2:29 AM