Choppy Video on Netflix


  • I was forced to install silverlight to stream Netflix which resulted in choppy video and low resolution compared to old Media Player results.

    I called customer service at Netflix.  They had only two suggestions: Lower resolution of monitor and close other applications.  I tried lowering resolution which made image more pixilated and distorted.  There were no other applications running and I killed all other processes that were unnecessary which produced no improvement.  I have 1gb of ram on a inspiron 6000 with typical ati radeon.  I have cable modem with ample bandwitdth.  (Tested at time of issue)  All updates for os and latest version of IE as well as test on latest version of Firefox.

    Most disturbing is Netflix no longer supports Media Player and has little support for Silverlight which has obvious problems.

    Update:  I have now tried to run a Netflix film using Silverlight on a Dell optiplex 755 with 2gb ram and 128 ram on ati radeon typical.  Same choppy results with same pixililation.  I have tried to run two movies including the suggested "Heros Season 1" as suggested by Netflix.  Same choppy low res results.

    Tuesday, January 06, 2009 8:00 AM

All replies

  • If you run a speed test on your connection, what speeds are you seeing? http://www.dslreports.com/speedtest

    Tuesday, January 06, 2009 11:19 AM
  • approx 6800 down and 3000 up

    Tuesday, January 06, 2009 11:29 AM
  • How does the video on this site compare to Netflix? http://www.smoothhd.com/

    Is it all movies or just one in particular?

    Tuesday, January 06, 2009 11:38 AM
  • http://www.smoothhd.com is still choppy.  Rough resolution but slightly better in surfing documentary.  Looks like it skips a few frames for every other second.  Audio stays consistant through choppy image.

    Tuesday, January 06, 2009 11:52 AM
  • Interesting. When you go to play a video, what kind of CPU usage are you seeing both before and during the video playing? I'm guessing you must be having some kind of hardware issue since you seem to have a good connection.

    Tuesday, January 06, 2009 6:50 PM
  •  Seems much more like "design of software" issue.

    Guessing that it is not a hardware problem as it happens on two totally different standard issue relatively young Dell machines with ample proc/memory/video card.  My laptop plays back streams without hitch using other software.  Netflix now requires silverlight so I do not have a choice but to deal with software that has obvious issues.
     Seems much more like "qc of software" issue and I question Netflix wisdom of putting all stock into this low res-staccato playback pot.  Medium low light scenes that have extended shot times reveal horrific resolution quality.Dell Inspiron 6000
    1.6ghz proc
    1gb ram
    ATI Mobility Radeon x300
    Windows XP
    No other programs running
    No other profiles open
    Fresh boot

    Proc 0-10% prior to playback
    Proc 25-65% during playback
    Wednesday, January 07, 2009 11:17 AM
  • Well that is interesting. Silverlight is actually higher res than competing technologies and so I'm surprised that you're seeing it as lower res. There is obviously something else going on to cause these issues be it bandwidth or just lack of hardware. Dell hasn't made the Inspiron 6000 for at least three years which is pretty old by computer standards, but I think that it should still play pretty well. I'll have to boot up mine and see what kind of results I get (I have one here which I think also has XP on it).

    Wednesday, January 07, 2009 11:47 AM
  • I have the same problem with Silverlight on Netflix - the only place I use it.  All my other videos functions play well. I have Windows XP.

    Another problem:   every 20 minutes it goes to black screen.  The movie is still playing, I can hear it.  I move my mouse and the black screen goes away and the movie is still playing. 

    I need help - Netflix refered me here.

    Wednesday, January 07, 2009 11:59 AM
  • One interesting thing to try would be what bhuezo suggested in this thread:

     Hi let me cut this short, I was having the same exact problems as all you are I have both Vista and Xp and I'm a certified Tech and I still couldn't manage to make "silverlight" but what finally worked after countless reinstalls, was that I got so pi**ed of at trying to make it work with IE and I discovered this by accident is that I opened Firefox and it worked fine, I'm just surprised that "silverlight" didn't work with IE, I mean personally I find this laughable but anyways, I hope this helps you guys 'cos I was really considering canceling my netflix membership. Just download Firefox 3 and it should work fine. P.S. none of the other solutions worked for me and you guys dont disable those antiviruses and firewalls. Just login into your netflix account USING FIREFOX and make sure that you have Silverlight installed, pick your movie and it should work fine. I'm currently using Windows Vista Ultimate.

    Makes me wonder if there is a browser add-in (like Symantec or some other security add-in) that is "checking" the video stream which is causing it to become choppy and low-res. Are either of you guys running browser add-ins and/or have you tried using Firefox instead of IE?


    Wednesday, January 07, 2009 12:45 PM
  • Firefox does not help issue.  That was one of my first solutions that failed.  I have no anti-virus on my machine.  I installed Trend once and ditched it because it seemed to slow performance on several fronts.  I also do not run a local firewall and Microsoft firewall is off.  I have checked my objects in IE and there are no strangers lurking about in the plugins. 

    The "technology" may be able to represent better resolution depending on what silverlight is streaming but resolution was far better with Media Player.  There was no choppyness with Media Player either. The combination that seems to be more at issue is Netflix and silverlight.  



    Wednesday, January 07, 2009 1:09 PM
  • Wanoc:  Check your monitor energy saving settings.  It sounds like your going into energy savings mode and then moving the mouse and "waking it up". 

    Right click anywhere on the desktop where there is not an icon. 
    Click Properties
    Click Screen Saver Tab
    Click Power button in lower right of dialog
    Change "Turn Off Monitor" time

    Wednesday, January 07, 2009 1:10 PM
  • You could try installing the .NET framework 3.5 with Service Pack 1 -- if you don't already have that installed. I read somewhere that there were 30% performance increases with that update.
    Thursday, January 08, 2009 12:23 PM
  • I get the same results as the topic starter.  But I have two PC's with the Silverlight software for Netflix instant view.  The one that connects via Wi-fi works smooth, the one that is connected dirrectly to the router via cat5 is the one that stutters and skips.  I got the same no help from Netflix tech support.  They said try Firefox or reinstall Silverlight.

     They also said try firewall settings, but Silverlight is not an executable that can be excepted from blocking.

    The PC in question is: XP2800, Win XP/SP3, 6600GT, 1gig DDR

    Sunday, January 11, 2009 8:10 PM
  • The problem isn't resolved by changing web browsers or upgrading hardware. The instant play movies began stuttering as soon as Netflix forced us to start using Silverlight on PCs.

    I've been a Netflix subscriber for a year now, and this is clearly a Silverlight problem, which has now been passed on to us by Netflix. The standard media player software that worked just fine with Netflix even on low-end computers has been tossed in favor of a product that can't produce the same quality of playback. 

    If Netflix can do nothing but post mumbo jumbo about code and sources on its own site and refers us to this site, then it rushed into accepting a product without testing it carefully enough on its own instant play movies and deserves to have angry and frustrated subscribers.

    The caveat is an old one -- if it ain't broke, don't fix it.


    Sunday, January 18, 2009 11:29 PM
  • That's why I am not installing Firefox or Chrome or any other browser.  The problem is clearly with Silverlight and how it works on different PCs.  Like I said, one PC works fine and the other is choppy and lower resolution.

    I know it's not how powerfull a PC is, because you can buy a simple reciever box at the Netflix site for $99 and connect it dirrectly to a TV with HDMI and view all movies in your instant que.  I think that is the way I am going to go.  It's cheaper than signing up for $59 a year for Microsofts Live Gold on my X360 to play Netflix movies.

    I imagine Microsoft will eventually fix the Silverlight problems.   I dob't if Netflix will do anything because it seems Netflix is just using whatever Microsoft tells them to at this point.

    Monday, January 19, 2009 11:16 AM
  • You do realize that Microsoft does not tell Netflix to do anything? Netflix is its own company, and it decided to use Silverlight technology. Also Silverlight most likely is not the problem, you say you do not run any antivirus or firewalls? Are you sure your computer isnt infected with malicious software that could be slowing down your computer?


    Min system requriements:


    Monday, January 19, 2009 1:26 PM
  • You people are crazy. How can you claim that the problem is Silverlight when you've not seen the code that plays the movies, and you don't know the status of the Netflix servers? Here's a thought: maybe Netflix's live movie server is over-worked? Maybe the code that plays the movie is buggy? Here's what you guys are saying:

    My English essay was poorly written and received an "F" -- something must be faulty with the English language.

    This isn't a Silverlight issue, and even if it were, you wouldn't know because you don't have access to the Netflix code. Your complaints are mis-placed and hilarious.
    Monday, January 19, 2009 1:43 PM
  •  i'm gonna have to agree with pachuka and rick.  it sucks that it doesn't work the way you guys would like, but saying "it works on one computer, but not the other" and then saying its "obviously a problem with silverlight" is pretty comical.

     if it was an issue with just silverlight, then everyone would be experiencing the same thing.  i have 4 computers at home that i watch netflix movies on, and it works like a charm on all of them.

    keep in mind that the netflix silverlight experience is relatively new, and as with any new app, bugs have to be worked out.  keep providing feedback to netflix, they'll iron out their application sooner or later.

    Monday, January 19, 2009 2:14 PM
  • Logic follows:

    Computer A - For over a year, movies from Netflix shown on Microsoft Media Player have fair resolution and play without choppyness start to finish. 

    Computer A - Only change is use of Silverlight to play same Netflix movies.  Movies show with poor resolution and choppy.
    Fact that plugin may be driven wrong does not excuse Silverlight as it is part of the problem.

    Further since there are claims from Netflix and others that Netflix and Silverlight works "well" on particular clients, indicates it is more of an issue with the client plugin: Silverlight.
    Further: Netflix ushering users to Silverlight support indicates they feel that it is not a "Netflix" issue.



    Monday, January 19, 2009 2:18 PM
  • I'm getting a new faster and bigger hard drive this week for the PC that gets the choppy video.  While I don't think the new HD will make any difference, there is a possibility that the fresh install of the OS may have an effect.  The main difference of my two PCs is that one is a single user PC and the other has four user accounts.  My wife originally installed the Silverlight software on her logon, so I tried uninstalling and reistalling on my user logon.  No difference at all.  I also bumped the GPU card up from an FX5500 to a 6600GT I had as a spare and there was no difference.  I'll post back after the fresh install.

    Someone said above that if it was a Silverlight problem then everybody would have the exact same problems?  Now that's funny.  And calling Netflix support has already been addressed as indicated by those of us that have called......and we are being told the same thing.  Get support from MS Silverlight and visit the forum for their software.  Netflix could have gone with Quicktime or something other than Media Player originally, and with the exclusive playbility on the X360 console I think MS has a big hand in which player that Netflix chooses.

    Monday, January 19, 2009 3:12 PM
  •  you guys are leaving out a key part of the equation.

    not netflix's software.  not microsoft's platform.  YOUR computer.

    its not working on one computer, but works fine on another?  hmm, it must be the 2 things that both have in common.   it couldn't possibly be the one thing they don't have in common and you have control over.  everyone else in the world has the same exact hardware, software, and ISP as you.  silverlight is just targeting random computers to act quirky on.

     oh man.  i can't copy/paste with my keyboard anymore.  windows must be broken.  microsoft is always putting out crappy software.  nevermind that i spilled coffee all over it.

    keep passing the buck.  enjoy your choppy video.

    Monday, January 19, 2009 4:13 PM
  • LOL!

    What do you want or hope to hear from this forum? I mean, what would you "ideally" like to hear? This forum is [largely] for developers to assist developers, and to help educate people with various aspects of the RIA process.

    We can speculate Netflix's performance on this or that system until we are blue in the face; and all joking aside I would love for it to work for you, and I truly want to help you with Silverlight in any way that I can -- but you have to realize that no one here can speak for Netflix's code -- unless someone that works for Netflix happens to just stumble on this thread.

    Did you guys download the Service Pack 1 for .NET 3.5 -- it gives you a 30% speed increase according to articles I've read.
    Monday, January 19, 2009 9:02 PM
  • If you think it's a (netflix) code, then why does it work on one comp. and not the other?
    Wednesday, January 21, 2009 11:04 PM
  • Don't know -- can't see the code. This is fun.
    Wednesday, January 21, 2009 11:54 PM
  • Someone at Netflix (perhaps in tandem with Microsoft) appears to have done something about the problem since my contribution to these posts. The last couple of times I watched an instant view film, it's been much improved over the initial attempts to view with the required Silverlight software. Last night (Jan. 24), I didn't notice any choppiness with a 90-minute film -- in fact, I forgot there had been a problem. I also received in my Netflix email a query about whether or not my viewing experience had been satisfactory -- hadn't received anthing like that for instant view before, only for DVD shipping, etc.

    Just FYI, I ignored all the suggestions for cures posted. So I haven't changed a thing on the way I was viewing before or added any hardware or stopped the virus checker from running in the background.

    Sunday, January 25, 2009 12:33 PM
  • It sounds like it will be worked out eventually.  Did you notice if there was any sort of update before playing?

     I haven't received my new hard drive yet so I have not been able to verify if a fresh OS install on the same PC makes any difference.  I haven't tried playing a movie on the one PC lately because I bought a Roku box for watching Netflix now instead of using the PC connected to the TV.  It's much more practical than moving around with a cordless keyboard and mouse to watch a movie in the living room.

     I'm going to try playing a movie on the PC anyway to see if anything has changed before switching to new hard drive.

    Sunday, January 25, 2009 1:16 PM
  • Sad to report there does not seem to be a change as mentioned above.  Although choppiness seems slightly less frequent, image resolution is still poor enough to produce "rainbow effect" on last scene (cloudy sky) of Angel-A. (Black and White French Film) from heavy pixilation.  Last night was the first time I actually sat through an entire film with Silverlight and noticed an additional problem.  Width of image would shift by about ten pixels every five or ten minutes.  Usually shrinking and falling back within a second.  I was in full screen mode on the computer listed at the beginning of this thread.

    Considering the lengths film makers go to in creating pristine image/resolution, the Netflix/Silverlight combination is an abomination of the art.
    Even 525 lines deserve better.



    Monday, January 26, 2009 7:55 AM
  •  Have any of you considered that this may be a codec problem? Just because Netflix streams the video/audio to you doesn't mean its software is the one doing the decoding. Please try downloading the K-Lite Codec Pack and install with default settings. If that doesn't help, well then I guess either move on, or get a better computer/internet connection.

    Monday, January 26, 2009 9:16 AM
  •  Have any of you considered that this may be a codec problem? Just because Netflix streams the video/audio to you doesn't mean its software is the one doing the decoding. Please try downloading the K-Lite Codec Pack and install with default settings. If that doesn't help, well then I guess either move on, or get a better computer/internet connection.

    Monday, January 26, 2009 9:24 AM
  • I will try the k-lite codec pack.
    Considering the specifications of my Inspiron 6000, recommendation of getting a better computer for streaming video is like telling better than three quarters of the nation that their equipment is inadequate.  Further I have a cable modem and have written once in this thread that I had 6800 down and 3000 up.  If that is inadequate, I wonder what connection speeds your suggesting are.


    Monday, January 26, 2009 9:37 AM
  • Depends on what you are trying to stream, 6800 down and 3000 up, is definitely inadequete for HD streaming, and its not always your end that is the problem, there could be network traffic conjestion, etc. Also Netflix gives their minimum specs in order to be able to open their player, in order to decode video/audio takes a fair bit of CPU power, hell my core duo can't even decode HD movies in realtime.

    Monday, January 26, 2009 9:42 AM
  • Would anyone care to stab at the percent of http delivered high definition content in this country (USA)?  HD specs only cloud issue as Netflix/Silverlight cannot deliver on 512.

    Netflix and Silverlight look like full screen youtube video on 512 lines.

    Monday, January 26, 2009 9:52 AM
  • All I can tell you is mine improved and I didn't change a thing. Last couple of times, Silverlight worked as well as Windows Media Player did. I'm using a laptop and full screen mode and it's more than adequate for my purposes. I don't think streaming can ever be perfect -- I never expected it to be the same quality as a DVD -- but with Silverlight it was so much worse as to be noticeable to a lot of people and unwatchable for some.

    Since so many people on here want to blame user error for this problem and advocate bigger, better computers, let's just say my own H.A.L. healed itself. "Sorry, Dave."

    Monday, January 26, 2009 11:03 AM
  • Hard to quantify as I cannot A-B compare but I would say resolution loss in Silverlight is one third to twice that of Media Player.

    To the average viewer the difference is very noticable. 

    This is beyond the choppiness and the shrinking/expanding problems that also came with use of Silverlight.

    Monday, January 26, 2009 2:05 PM
  •  Again, I ask have you downloaded any codec packs? Playback is limited by two things, bandwith, which as you said you have a decent enough connection for SD movies, and Codecs. Codecs are necessary to decode video and audio, some codecs work better than others. I currently use the K-Lite Standard Codec Package. I'm not trying to place blame on Netflix, Microsoft or the user, just trying to help find a solution. I am going to assume that the problem is not Silverlight, or Netflix, because it works just fine for me, on multiple computers, so let us know how it goes after installing a codec pack.



    Monday, January 26, 2009 4:01 PM
  • I have Tryed EVERYTHING that people have been posting and nothing has worked... But i have tryed 1 thing and it seems to help but doesnt " Fix " the problem.... But what i would do is change my display resolution to 800 by 600 and change my refresh rate to 56 hertz and this seems to help but it doesnt fix the problem...  I never had this kind of problem streaming videos before untill i joined NetFlicks...

    Friday, January 30, 2009 8:38 AM
  • I seem to have the exact same issue sconard if reporting

    Inspiron 8500
    2.59 GHZ proz
    2 GB of ram
    NVIDIA GeForce4 4200 to go
    Fresh install of windows XP home
    fresh boot

    0 - 5% when netflix isn't running
    46 - 96% CPU usage When Netflix is running

    Changed Screen Resolution to 1024 X 768

    k-lite Mega Codec Pack 4.5.3

    Download Speed: 3423 kbps (427.9 KB/sec transfer rate)
    Upload Speed: 3909 kb

    I've tried going down to 1024 X 768 and it really doesn't hep.


    Does anyone have any ideas?


    I feel I was deceived by netflix support into opting into silverlight.  In every quantifiable  way it functions worse than media player.


    Friday, January 30, 2009 8:28 PM
  • If you look at a lot of strange, degrading pornography with the computer, then you could possibly have all sorts of reasons why this isn't working. Just putting that out there.

    @ koc77: that "fresh boot" of windows XP doesn't come with .NET 3.5 SP1. (Which everyone seems to be ignoring for some reason -- except the guy that said he tried "EVERYTHING", so I guess he also went out and bought a new computer like that other guy did.)
    Friday, January 30, 2009 9:05 PM
  • So I am having the same problem some of you are experiencing: choppy bad resolution video with Netflix's new silverlight player and I think I found out what's going on.

    Here's my 2 cents: It is not Netflix or silverlight, but indeed something software or hardware related. Why? Read on:

    First, my specs: Athlon 2.6 GHz, 4GB ram, Win XP Pro SP3 with latest updates.

    I followed all the suggestions made here: tried different browsers, installed the latest .NET 3.5 SP1, stopped every program running in the background. Nothing helped. Video was still choppy and bad resolution. I used "Air Force One" as my instant watch movie to test.

    Then, I used the same computer and booted into Windows 7 BETA and tried it in IE8 and it works flawlessly! Choppiness is gone completely and the resolution is almost DVD quality.

    So why is this? This is not a retorical question, I'm really asking. What makes the video crap in Win XP but good in 7? Is it the browser? I doubt it. Is it because Win 7 is a fresh install whereas XP is not? Maybe, but still doubtful. Could it be that Win 7 manages the CPU better? (I noticed that my single core CPU was at 95-99% when I played the movie, both under XP and 7.) Maybe, but I don't know. What else could it be? Any ideas?

    So how about this guys: instead of b*tching whose fault this is, could we be grown ups and focus our energy on solving the issue? I think it would help if people posted the OS and browser they're using, and whether playback with that combo is smooth or crap. Also, did anybody do a fresh install of XP and try it?

    Come on guys, let's fix this damn issue already! :)

    Saturday, January 31, 2009 2:58 PM
  • fullsailrick must have experience with "strange, degrading pornography" as I was able to stream Netflix films via mediaPlayer (no porn ever on this machine) without issue until Silverlight required.  Please mr. fullsailrick. Enlighten us as to your experience with downloading strange and degrading pornography and how it creates the issues depicted..
    Saturday, January 31, 2009 3:40 PM
  • Yes, yes I do. Strange stuff that would blow your mind.

    What does my porn viewing habits have to do with your problems? Problems which I'm starting to notice are extreamly varied if you go back and re-read everyone's complaints / system specs.

    Anyway, I don't think you can blame my special time alone with myself for your Neflix problems.

    I don't know guys; I really don't know. I mean, my best guess is that .net framework update -- but that one guy says it didn't work for him. It makes me think that it DOES work though, because he said he updated to windows 7 beta, and I'm pretty sure that Windows 7 will have the latest .net framework, drivers, and codecs.

    Saturday, January 31, 2009 7:27 PM
  • What makes the video crap in Win XP but good in 7? Is it the browser?

    That framework-thingy I keep talking about -- windows updates -- os updates -- browser updates -- new codecs -- improved codecs.
    Saturday, January 31, 2009 7:33 PM
  • @fullsailrick - notice in my list I had "Fresh install of windows XP home" and "fresh boot".    You were correct about .net 3.5 sp1.  I did not have it installed.  I've now installed it and I'm still not seeing any improvement.  Do you have any other thoughts?  I have done every windows update available.  There aren't even any opitonal ones left to try.

    I'm using XP home edition SP 3

    Internet Explorer ver. 7.0.5730.13

    Firefox 3.0.5

    Saturday, January 31, 2009 11:08 PM
  • Ok, so I did some reading and snooping around -- to everyone that has Vista, you might consider installing service pack 1 (if you don't have it).

    You can find more information about upgrading here.

    The reason I say that is, if you look at the white-paper for the update, and look at the section labled performace: it has this sentence: "Improves overall media performance by reducing many glitches."

    As for XP people (koc77), I don't know what enhancements Vista has over XP; I mean, I have some vague ideas, but I have no way of knowing.

    "Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) is the complete set of Windows Vista updates Microsoft has issued over the past year plus additional enhancements to improve your PC experience."

    That sentence is from vista's service pack 1 page, and I have no idea what those "enhancements" are specifically. So, what I'm saying is: I'm basically out of ideas if you have the service packs for the os; the latest and greatest .net framework; the newest codecs; the newest versions of the netflix player; and your internet connections are fine: both with your wireless, or if you are plugged strait into the wall; and you don't have any spyware, malware, or viruses; and your browser doesn't have any funky add-ons; and your anti-virus isn't --

    Oh! Hey, I wonder if this is some strange anti-virus firewall thing. What happens if you take turn your firewall off (humor me)?

    Also, you could right-click the movie player, and click "silverlight configuration" and play around with the settings. Maybe make sure the application storage is enabled and the DRM is on -- or off. Also, make sure you've set that silverlight can auto-update itself.
    Sunday, February 01, 2009 12:42 AM
  • Again, this could just be a Netflix server issue. It all makes total sense if you look at the amazing picture I made in mspaint:

    Ok, so if I made my own version of Netflix, I would have 4 servers, like in the picture. (Not really, but let's roll with this.) The first server people would come in contact with would be the main server. This handles all the log in information and it forwards your movie connection request to the correct server that has the movie.

    But what happens is, if, say, a lot of people log in and they want to watch Xena, and Sailormoon, and Pokemon, that server is being watched by 4 people! And look at the server that is holding the other movies. The people watching Spiderman 3 and Hotel for Dogs are having a gay old time. (I mean that in the flintstones sense.)

    Especially look at the two people trying to watch Pokemon -- their video is going to be ultra choppy, because not only is that server being over-accessed with the other movies, but it is also trying to play that movie to two different people.
    Sunday, February 01, 2009 1:11 AM
  • Read this article by Neil Hunt, Netflix chief content officer, posted on the Netflix Blog: http://blog.netflix.com/2008/11/encoding-for-streaming.html


    It reveals a lot about the Netflix Silverlight player (second generation encodes) that may help improve the instant movie viewing experience. 


    First: Unlike the old player, Silverlight adjusts the bitrate your viewing on the fly by detecting your CPU load and bandwidth.  If you have an unstable internet connection that is bouncing around between 3Mbps and 5Mbps you'll probably experience some loss in visual quality as the player switches from the 1000kbps encode to the 1500kbps and vice versa.  Of course the way the player behaves and responds to fluctuating internet speeds has everything to do with how the code is written, not so much the fact that it's Silverlight.

    Second: The Silverlight player uses more efficient encoders (VC1) than the old player (WMV3).  With the old player there were some films with encodes up to 3400kbps.  These high quality streams were playing at 720x480.  This is of course the exact same resolution of a storebought DVD-Video (NTSC standard).  Currently, the highest silverlight bitrate is 1500kbps.  I seriously doubt it is storing content at a resolution higher than 720x480.  That means, although not a fix, you will still get the full experience viewing at 800x600.  Running 800x600 simply won't result in a loss of video quality unless you're using a really cheap LCD monitor and you're 6 inches away from the screen.

    Third: Improvements will continue to come beacuse it's the code behind the player that plays such a huge part in driving it's performance.  It needs to know how to respond to sudden and unexpected increases in CPU load or decreases in available bandwidth.  The player will improve with time, and unlike most things, should perform better on your PC as time passes.

    Fourth: While some may not consider this a fix, hear me out on this one.  The highest bitrate available for PC/Mac viewing is 1500kbps which we've established is probably around the 720x480 ballpark.  Starz Play content plays back at 29.97 fps because Starz source material is the same as what they show on TV, all SD TV shows play at 29.97 fps in the US.  The vast majority of non Starz Play titles are taken from the original film source, wich plays at 24 fps.  Now depending on your video card and the varying refresh rates available to you, your best bet is to do the following:

    Play most titles at 1024x768 or 800x600 with your refresh rate set to 72Hz.  This will put minimal load on your CPU and (in theory) avoid the 2:3 pulldown effect.  You'll be viewing at 3:3 resulting in smoother character and camera motion, and you'll be making things easy for the CPU, so you're attacking choppy playback from two sides.

    For Starz Play titles you'll want to run at 1024x768 or 800x600 with your refresh rate set to 60Hz.  This will come with the same benefits as above.

    Adjust as necessary for widescreen displays.  Please be aware that running a higher resolution on your monitor does absolutely nothing to aid in the visual quality of your instant watch experience, and only serves to potentially hinder it.  Changing the resolution once at the start of the movie and once at the end is a lot less painful than choppy playback all throughout the movie.

    If all this doesn't help fix the problem, you may want to test the stability of your internet connection by running a smokeping or 24x7 line monitoring test at http://www.dslreports.com/tools.  Overloaded servers will not result in dropped frames (choppy playback).  They will result in lower bitrates and frequent rebuffering issues.

    If you are using a laptop be sure to check your power saving settings and see to it that you're CPU is allowed to max out at all times.  For example, with Vista if you select "Power Saver" mode, it caps your CPU at 50% performance which will obviously have a horrible effect on instant watch playback.

    Sunday, February 01, 2009 4:14 AM
  • So I called Netflix yesterday to report an incomplete episode of a TV program. I was advised to try Sliverlight to see if it fixed it. It did but now I am a victim of choppy video. I had absolutely no problems before this.  I used shift-crtl-alt-d to bring up the A/V statitics and lo and behold the chopiness is due to massive frame dropping. In full screen I'm getting about 9 frames out of 30-32. If I shrank down the explorer size to an almost unwatchable size I lose only have the frames. I tried Firefox and its even worse with it cutting out all together sometimes. I don't think it takes much deductive reasoning to figure out this is a Silverlight problem. Windows Media Player- no problems. Silverlight - problems. There obviously is an agenda here since Netflix is refusing to let members who can't use Silverlight go back WMP. After a couple of hours lost in discussion with 2 different supervisors I was finally told that it was unnessecary for me to install Sliverlight, and that all reps are directed to push it on any members who call with a tech problem whether they need it or not. So basically I got shafted for no reason.  And rick just because you have no problems is not proof that silverlight isn't too blame.  As with any software programs, there are gads of different hardware and software comfigurations that the program will be installed on.  Just because your configuration has no conflict doesn't mean that someone with a completely different setup won't. Supposedly at this point it must be my ISP or Silverlight according to the las tech supervisor I talked with although I find it hard to believe since I had no problems with my ISP on WMP.  I'm pretty cheesed off especially since I didn't even need Silverlight yet.  And being told it's basically a free service they provide is moot now that I can't really use it.  It doesn't really make me happy that in the end instead of providing WMP as alternative for those who have SL problems, we're basically being told " Too bad, So Sad, Thanks for the cash suckers. I hope someone might be able to tell us why frames are being dropped from something that is suppose to be download to ahead of the play mark. I was told that Silverlight doesn't intergrate graphic card acceleration putting the full load on the CPU. I have a P4 2.66 GHz which is just shy of the 2.8 GHz needed for HD playback so I can't see why this would be affecting SD playback.  I never have had this many dropped frames from watching WMV HD clips.

    Sunday, February 01, 2009 4:27 AM
  • I know very little about the tech end of computers, but if Silverlight is different than Windows Media Player in the way it processes the incoming stream -- adjusting on the fly as opposed to storing and feeding at a steady rate -- then it's pretty obvious that could be the source of the choppy video and why there is nothing in common with hardware or software among users who are reporting the choppy video.

    I've noticed improvement over time with Silverlight, which I joked about in a previous post, ie my computer "learned" how to use it. But now I see this phenomenon supports part of what one of the tech people on here has posted. When I first started using Silverlight for Netflix, the video was not only choppy but hung up while audio continued to play and then leapt ahead to catch up to the audio. After a few days, the video was only choppy when I started a stream and played OK throughout the remainder of if. Now it's not choppy at all. Over that period -- about two weeks --  I haven't changed any settings or upgraded any software but I have continued to watch an instant feed of some kind on Netflix nearly every night.

    If the Silverlight you downloaded has to learn how to use your computer (and I have no idea if it does or not), then it may be that you have to keep feeding it information from your internet connection and CPU by playing the instant watch movies for several days -- even if you can't stand watching the things. Just a thought.


    Sunday, February 01, 2009 11:32 AM
  • My problem is solved now.

    I received my new hard drive and installed XP Pro w/SP2.  I left IE at 6.0 and did not install SP3 for XP.  I installed DX9.c / Aug 07 redist.   The Silverlight player is now smooth as silk and picture quality is high.  No more choppy playback in this PC.

    So a fresh OS install did it for me.

    Sunday, February 01, 2009 2:04 PM
  • My problem is solved now.

    I received my new hard drive and installed XP Pro w/SP2.  I left IE at 6.0 and did not install SP3 for XP.  I installed DX9.c / Aug 07 redist.   The Silverlight player is now smooth as silk and picture quality is high.  No more choppy playback in this PC.

    So a fresh OS install did it for me.

    Good to hear!  What browser are you using now, and what CPU do you have?  Just curious.

    Sunday, February 01, 2009 2:15 PM
  • I'm using IE 6.0 that is part of the XP Pro w/SP2 install disc.  I woun't even bother upgrading to IE 7 or adding SP3 for the OS.

    The CPU is AMD XP2800 socket A.  MSI Nforce2 mobo,  Evga 6600GT 128mb AGP.

    Sunday, February 01, 2009 4:38 PM
  • @ DharmaBummed69 : "There obviously is an agenda here since Netflix is refusing to let members who can't use Silverlight go back WMP."

    You're right. I never considered an evil agenda. We all know what they have to gain from this: money. But how can we fight this? We need to show Netflix and Microsoft that we aren't afraid of their plans to keep us from watching movies on demand. Meet me in Redmond on Tuesday. I'll PM you for more information.
    Monday, February 02, 2009 12:52 AM
  • @fullsailrick

    I never said evil. I invite you to quote any of my statements. At this point I fail to see rick how you are helping people in this thread. You seem to be ridiculing people who are having a problem your not. I don't see that as constructive to helping us get back on track and at this point if you have nothing to say to help us please say nothing at all. If you continue to flame I will be force to sumbit you for abuse.  I tried all the suggestions from lowering the res and installing the K-lite codec pack short of the re-install. None of it worked. If you had spent half the time researching the web as you did making fun of people here. You would have learn as I did that it was possible to record the stream from WMP and wash the DRM with a certain program. Silverlight effectively put an end to that. That's the agenda pure and simple. And for you to come on here and try to make fun of my problem makes me think you (A). work for microsoft, (B). are a jack hole, or (C). both.

    Oh yeah, I actually live in Washington rick. I didn't see you at Microsoft on Tuesday.

    One thing I do see we have in common here is Windows XP SP3 with IE 7.  My computer at home runs it more smoothly on VIsta, but at full screen it still drops 3-5 frames pre second.

    Work computer -P4 2.66Ghz 1GB DDR2 PC2700 Geforce 6600 512mb  Windows XP SP3 IE 7 - Netflix confirms this to be more than adequate for smooth playback.

    Home Computer- Intel E2180 2.0 GHz dual core cpu 3GB DDR2 PC5300 Geforce 8500GT Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 IE 7

    Wednesday, February 04, 2009 7:34 PM
  • So I found something interesting and thought I'd post and see if anyone can reproduce this and confirm. I found while looking for solutions to this problem, that when I had a 2nd internet browser fullscreen over the already playing movie browser, the noises I associated with choppy playback disappeared. When I clicked back to the Nexflix browser, I saw 24/ 24 frames rendered but after 1-2 secs the frame rate dropped to it's usual loss. I then tried the same thing again but minimized the 2nd browser to custom sizing. Through some trial and error I was able to size the 2nd browser to a size that let me see part of the netflix browser behind it.  By getting it to a certain size I could get a frame loss of 2-5 frames with the picture playing acceptably(of course there is another browser over it so it's still not watchable). I tried shrinking the size of the browser down and after a certain point the frame rate dropped again to choppy video effect, so the size of teh 2nd browser definitely made a difference. I haven't tried it but I think I migh be able to do dual screens and watch it that way but if you try to full screen the netflix browser the frame loss returns as will just making the netflix browser the active one. Hope to hear if anybody can do the same. Oh yeah I tried this on both IE and Firefox with the same result.

    Commands I know

    master list shft-ctrl-alt m(can't do these in fullscreen. Sometimes it's hard to get menu up

    choose feed stream shft-ctrl-alt-s

    A/V stats shft-ctrl-alt-d

    Friday, February 06, 2009 2:34 AM
  • Guys, please keep this thread on-track, and stop with the name-calling.  DharmaBummed69, if you read the entire thread you will see that fullsailrick has offered suggestions and advice throughout, even treating us all to his self-proclaimed amazing drawing talent. :-)

    It's interesting that the common elements seems to be Windows XP SP3 with IE 7.

    DharmaBummed69 -- did you read zentho's post in this thread, and the linked Netflix blog post?

    Friday, February 06, 2009 11:20 PM
  • With all due respect Terri this began when fullsailrick responded to my 1st in a flipant and disrespectful manner. I am just trying to get a problem fixed and attitudes like fullsailrick do not help. While he did offer some suggestions(which I tried and had no luck with) he has posted just as many rude and off topic responses. I paste some for you review. 

    {You people are crazy. How can you claim that the problem is Silverlight when you've not seen the code that plays the movies, and you don't know the status of the Netflix servers? Here's a thought: maybe Netflix's live movie server is over-worked? Maybe the code that plays the movie is buggy? Here's what you guys are saying:

    My English essay was poorly written and received an "F" -- something must be faulty with the English language.

    This isn't a Silverlight issue, and even if it were, you wouldn't know because you don't have access to the Netflix code. Your complaints are mis-placed and hilarious.-fullsailrick

    If you look at a lot of strange, degrading pornography with the computer, then you could possibly have all sorts of reasons why this isn't working. Just putting that out there.

    @ koc77: that "fresh boot" of windows XP doesn't come with .NET 3.5 SP1. (Which everyone seems to be ignoring for some reason -- except the guy that said he tried "EVERYTHING", so I guess he also went out and bought a new computer like that other guy did.) -fullsailrick

    You're right. I never considered an evil agenda. We all know what they have to gain from this: money. But how can we fight this? We need to show Netflix and Microsoft that we aren't afraid of their plans to keep us from watching movies on demand. Meet me in Redmond on Tuesday. I'll PM you for more information.-fullsailrick}

    This last one was a direct response to my first post which started this whole thing. In these examples Terri I fail to see where rick was being helpful. It seems to me he was just making fun of people who are already frustrated in the first place. I re-read the thread at your suggestion and as I remembered rightly the only advice fullsailrick gave was 1.upgrade to .NET 3.5 SP1    2. Play around with the Silverlight settings, and 3. His creative drawing which is mostly a theory not hard fact. I suggest you re-read the thread and count how many responses rick gave that didn't contain useful info. I've listed just as many in this post that were unhelpful as ones he he posted that were.

    And yes I did read zentho's post and attached blog. I tried lowering my res and changing the Hz my monitor was running at and it made very little improvement. I did .NET 3.5 SP1. None of this worked. I'm so happy rick has had no problems, but this is not true of many who had no problem before Silverlight.

    Since you deleted my last post I will repeat that I read an article on the web that said that MLB.com dropped Silverlight for Adobe Flash after 1 1/2 years of  use because of complaints of choppy video.

    I apologize for my behavior but it makes me angry that a person who's suggestion's didn't help turns to ridicule after a lack of results.

    Saturday, February 07, 2009 2:25 PM
  • I read the Netflix blog and I've read all of the posts on here, and I appreciate the time people have put into the issue, but the only solutions offered seem impractical or for the technically savvy. I think we've lost sight of the average user.

    The problem for most people is instant play movies worked on Windows Media Player and don't work as well using Silverlight. Buying new hardware is out of the question for most of us now days. So if there is a combination of some version of Windows and service pack and browser that works consistently to smooth the choppiness, then Netflix should inform us of that. Otherwise, the combinations are many and the frustration level high.

    Personally, I haven't changed a thing on my computer setup. Silverlight was very choppy the first few times I used it but then began to behave. Now it stutters a bit at first but then plays smoothly enough. It has apparently adapted to me, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't use Windows Media Player again if I had a choice.



    Sunday, February 08, 2009 12:56 AM
  •  Regarding the problem described extensively in this thread: choppy Netflix instant viewing: On my forth time calling Netflix tech support, I finally got a technician who admitted that Silverlight works better for those users who had problems with insufficient bandwidth, and worse -- much worse -- for viewers with older computers or slow processing speeds. Their suggestions ran the gamut from upgrading RAM (I did, no change,) to changing monitor resolution (tiny, TINY improvement) to getting a faster computer. In short, they punched my T-S card four times (the last time very politely with a lot of sensitivity and respect.) THIS SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Saturday, February 14, 2009 7:42 PM
  • The Netflix technician's vague reference to "older computers with slow processing speeds" doesn't define anything really. What is an older computer? What is a slow processing speed?  I think that must cover a lot of hardware considering how many people are posting on this thread.

    Silverlight is brought to you by the same folks that thought Vista was going to be better than Windows XP.  That's all you really need to know.

    Sunday, February 15, 2009 1:46 PM
  • I'm having the same issues with Silverlight as listed above, the choppy video etc. I'm running XP Pro sp3/ IE 7 and FFox 3 a P4 2.4ghz, 512mb ram, and a GeForce 6200. Everything was fine until Silverlight came along. I've tried Firefox, no luck, lowering res only amounted in a minimal frame gain. Thought about increasing ram, but I don't really want to spend the money. I get fine frame rates on my bedroom monitor, but in the living room where I have this slightly less powerful rig, chop-city. I don't really care about HD or how sharp the image is, I just want to watch a movie without it skipping. If the SP2/IE 6 deal really works, I might try it. Has anyone tried yet? Also, to ms-paint mcgee up there, this is *absolutely* the fault of a new and unstable software technology being introduced that only seems to work if we upgrade our otherwise fine-for-any-other-type-of-streaming-movie-watching boxes. I'm not saying it's not inevitable, but I'm saying that netflix should know better, or at least offer other options until they figure it out. I can run any other kind of video just fine. I've installed K-lite, I've got every codec imaginable, divx/xvids run like butter, HD is smooth, dvds aren't a-ok, and my up/down speeds are fantastic. I just wish they'd give up an option to revert back to WM until they have their sh*t straight. There's no way to adjust quality in Silverlight, is there? You know how when you right click on flash sometimes it gives you that option? Or is there a setting you can adjust manually to down-grade resolution so that the video plays smoother even if it's lower quality? I'm only running it on a 32" non-flat panel crt-type tv. I don't need bells or whistles. I barely rent from netflix anymore, and primarily use it for streaming. If I can't watch it, there's no point in keeping my subscription, as I live in Chicago and there are at least 3 stores that carry all of the more obscure stuff I can't stream. Maybe some more user control over settings in silverlight would help out? Anyway, any ideas would help, thank you to all of the already helpful and insightful posts.
    Sunday, February 15, 2009 2:33 PM
  • oh, and wilson50rice: Vista is the new WindowsME. Hopefully 7 won't suck. Maybe I'll download the Beta and see if it handles the video better...
    Sunday, February 15, 2009 2:36 PM
  • In an above post I have some of the Netflix Sliverlight commands.  Shft-Ctrl-Alt-M brings up the main menu. All other commands go to the individual sections on the the main list.  Changing the stream speed is Shift-Ctrl-Alt-S. It takes several minutes for it to buffer change while watching. You can "rewind" the place marker a frame and it will stop the movie, rebuffer at the highter bit rate and then continue from where it stopped once fully buffered. Shift-Ctrl-Alt-D will bring up A/V statistics where you can see how many frames are being rendered and how many are being dropped among other info. You can't be in full screen for the commands to work, the mouse pointer needs to be somewhere on the movie playing. Sometimes you have to push the sequence of few times before it takes.

    It really frustrates me that some would imply that it couldn't be a Microsoft problem. As if we are not constantly getting emergeny updates when some malicious hacker finds a hole they were to lazy to fix in the first place. And this has been from Win 3.11 to Vista.  For me Microsoft has been a company that intentionlly lets the problems happen to save money, then scrambles later to fix it when it's discovered by the public(usually someone with ill intent.) If Microsoft was a car company they would have been litigated out of existence by now for intentionally fautly products. Now I know some are going to take offence at my comparison but seriously, if a car company consistently released car lines that they knew had faulty parts and did nothing to fix it before they sold it, they would get sued so hard when people started to have accidents, not to metion criminal charges for knowingly distributing a faulty product.  Now I know Windows is not a car and no one has been physically hurt by Microsoft, But I have no doubt that many of us have lost data due to a Microsoft bug or glitch.  While not life threatening it still represents a loss of time and income if you lost business documents or school work. Now I know I'm going to hear "back it up" and that's all well and good if you had a chance to before you lost it.  Sometimes it happen so quick that you lose something you just started and are currently working on.

    I want to also put that my first experience with Silverlight was during the '08 summer Olympics. I gave up on it then because of the choppy video experience. It was literaly better to watch it on a lower bit rate because at least playback was smooth.  This was on my home computer which has minimal problems with netflix silverlight, but still has problems(dropping 2-6 frames in fullscreen at 1920x1080). It sounds like Netflix decide that the amount of people who would have problems with Silverlight would be outweighed by the amount of people that can now watch on Silverlight, that couldn't on WMP.

    Monday, February 16, 2009 11:29 AM
  • dharma, i just talked to bill gates and he said he wanted silverlight written so that it would never work well for you.  what a drag, dude...

     here's a great thread:

    it sounds kinda like your situation, but that guy is quite a bit more sane than you and actually tried to help himself.

    the problem is with your computer.  the only difference between someone telling you that now and someone telling you that when you first dropped your pants in this thread is that no one wants to help you at all now.

    however, i'll be the first to extend the olive branch; if you want to tell me what videos you wanted to watch, i'll be glad to watch them on any of my computers and tell you how i enjoyed them.

    OK BYE!

    Friday, February 20, 2009 2:45 PM
  • oh, and wilson50rice: Vista is the new WindowsME. Hopefully 7 won't suck. Maybe I'll download the Beta and see if it handles the video better...

    I've been using Windows 7 for a month now, and it's definately exceeding Vista's performance levels.  I have it installed on my day-to-day computer that I do everything on: gaming, Silverlight, and XNA development.  I've only had one "bummer" moment, with 7, and that came when I tried to play a bootleg rip of Fallout 3; I just couldn't get it to work.  But, it's the little things that make 7 so improved; like being able to open .docx in Wordpad; wallpaper rotations;  and a having platform to experiment with DirectX 11.

    Actually, I would seriously advise you to install Windows 7 and see if that improves your situation; a fresh installation of Vista helped someone above.

    I'm not potty-trained, or I'd offer to make a house call and fix it for you.  :( 


    Friday, February 20, 2009 10:22 PM
  • Also, I would like to add that a new release of Silverlight, version 3, is anticipated to be released around March 20.  This version is rumored to (most likely will) support hardware acceleration, and could implicitly improve everyones' framerate that has posted at this forum.  Hardware acceleration works by using your GPU, the special processor that is dedicated to computing Graphics, to render rich images to the screen.  (It is the heart and soul of all computer and console games.)

    It is unclear at this time if the current version of Silverlight will automatically update to version 3.

    If it does not "automagically" update, then I will post a new response to this topic with upgrade instructions; and you should get the notification that I responded sent to the email that you signed up with. (Unless you have opted not to receive them.)

    Until then, there is always hulu.com.

    Friday, February 20, 2009 10:36 PM
  • I just read that March Madness on demand is going to be upgraded to Silverlight to improve the viewing experience. Can't wait for that.
    Sunday, February 22, 2009 9:26 PM
  • I was just forced to install Silverlight a few days ago.  I have been using WMP for over a year now and is the reason why I still am a Netflix member so I can watch movies when I travel.  Now they decided to switch to thiss Silverlight crap!  Sorry but you guys have never learned if its not broken dont fix it.  I have 3 computers at home.  One that is pretty old, another somewhat newer and a newer one just purchased.  I was able to watch any movies on any of them before Silverlight.  Now it is so choppy that it gives me a headache.  I called Netflix tech support and a girl tried to troubleshoot and finally told me to call my techsupport becuase it seems like my computer can not handle it.  Sorry but it was working fine before  and I mentioned to her that I am in the IT business and my computers are running fine.  I told her that they are going to have many customers cancel their subscriptions due to this really stupid decision.  I know Im going to spread the word if this is not fixed soon.  Why pay for choppy movies if I can go to Hulu.com and watch them free with out any choppy video. 

    Thursday, February 26, 2009 5:47 PM
  • Why pay for choppy movies if I can go to Hulu.com and watch them free with out any choppy video. 

    then why are you complaining.  no one here is going to miss you.
    Friday, February 27, 2009 1:38 PM

  • then why are you complaining.  no one here is going to miss you.

    I'll miss him.

    This is a real issue that should be addressed.


    Friday, February 27, 2009 2:47 PM
  • I think the issue is being addressed, albeit slowly. My Netflix instant play movies are choppy only for the first minute or two and then play OK. So I'm still watching them, and now I get an email from Netflix after every other one I watch, asking how the video quality was. With the latest response, I was able to add a comment after indicating that it was less than satisfactory, and in the comment I referred them to this site, noting that many people are complaining about being forced to use Silverlight. That being said, Netflix has tied its instant play to Silverlight, and the only way the experience will be improved is if the next version of Silverlight is more backwards compatible, as someone recently posted on here that it may be. Until then, you wonder how many subscribers will say kiss off to Netflix because not enough thought or testing was put into "upgrading" to Silverlight when WMP worked just fine for everyone on nearly any computer. A lot, I hope.
    Friday, February 27, 2009 4:50 PM
  •  Wow...your briliant at expressing your views.  Crying out loud, you must be on Microsofts payroll.  I am a paying customer of Netflix and if I have a legitimate concern then it should be heard.  It sounds like this issue is real and many are having the same issues.  This switch to Silverlight is like someone trying to reinvent the wheel.  Its not broken fools... so why change it.  If the old player plays on older computers as well as newer faster computers then what is the problem.  Switching to Silverlight means you just want customers with the latest and greatest.  Does not sound like a good business sence to me.  So if you and I mean "you" are a representative of Microsoft, then you have represented them very well

    Friday, February 27, 2009 4:57 PM
  • Finippino, Microsoft has no control over who uses their products or technology. Examine it from another angle:

    Let's say that I like to do copious amounts of recreational drugs every Friday night. A little oxycotin, Jagermeister, and maybe some ecstasy at the club. If I were to die, my loved ones would be unable to sue the drug dealers, even if they knew who they were, because ultimately the drugs are not what killed me, they are inanimate objects, it was my decision to take them that led to my death.

    That's why gun manufactures can't be sued: because people kill people, guns don't kill people.

    Microsoft is the shady dealer in the alleyway to the left of the liquor store on Ogden Ave. Netflix is the confident young man that just wants to take the edge off before going to the club with his friends. Microsoft would never say, "well this is how you use this, and take this amount for this," because it's Netflix's job to look out for Netflix. What Netflix does with his drugs is his business. If Netflix wants to do these drugs and then get behind the wheel of his car because he has to pick up a friend, then that's his decision. It had nothing to do with Microsoft. And Microsoft isn't "evil," he's only selling drugs so he can pay back his student loans he accrued in college ...

    No one here has ever denied that there is a problem with a very select number of computers. Silverlight is performing very well for everyone else. Don't take my word for it. Click here to look at Netflix's stock since Silverlight streaming was added. Or click here to read a Forbes article on how "Netflix is thriving despite a recesssion, because of streaming service."

    Please don't antagonize the Silverlight experts -- sure we're crazy -- but we really are ultimately trying to help. Plus, we're friends with the dealer, so we get a discount on our drugs.

    Have you tried any of the solutions that have been suggested above?
    Friday, February 27, 2009 5:36 PM
  • fuulsailrick and ccoombs. What the hell is your guys problem. At this point I figure you must work for MS. You have degenerated into ridicule for those who are on here for help. I tried all of your solutions and as I don't have SnoopFree ccoobs your pointless link was pointless in helping.  I have fixed the problem and unfortunately it was upgrading hardware. I was kicked down a ASUS P5N32-E with a P4 3.2GHz and 1 gb DDR2 PC5300(667MHz) and a Nvdia Geforce 7600 512mb. I transfered the hard drive from the computer that had problems and ran a repair. After updating Windows I tried Netflix and it works fine. I didn't do a full format and re-install, these are all the same programs that were on it with the computer that didn't work.  I'm guessing that changing to a faster CPU is what did the trick all though I do admit I since I upgraded the Video card and a better class of RAM it's hard to tell. Under a certain hardware spec must cause trouble for Silverlight. I think you have to have a rig capable of smooth HD playback for Silverlight even if your watching SD programs. It's a bunch of BS that the only way you can watch video on NetFlix is to buy a better computer if your having problems now.  This is exactly why so many businesses are skipping on Vista. Not many of them want to have to upgrade to new computer to use the new OS. It just gets to expensive. That is exactly why most businesses are sticking with XP. At least until they are forced to change. And I know more than a few small business owners who still get by fine on crappy computers running Win98

    Friday, February 27, 2009 8:09 PM
  • I'm happy my advice led you to fix your problem Darma. So, it looks like everyone needs to just buy new computers.

    Please mark this post as the solution to the problem.
    Friday, February 27, 2009 8:39 PM
  •  "Microsoft has no control over who uses their products or technology."  When the majority of the computers that are sold are given the options of a different OS instead of Microsoft, then I will believe this statement.  So how much is Microsoft paying you guys to discredit the people who are expressing their dislike and issues of this Silverlight?!?!  You know the more you guys try to discredit the people who are putting this to light the more you guys sound so rediculous.  Netflix has made a stupid decision.  No one should have to go through all these fixing, troubleshooting and useless tech support to watch a movie.  What kills me is that we are paying for this headache.  To have the techsupport tell me that my system is not capable of playing the movies is so rediculous.  I have been watching movies for more then a year with the WMP with no problem.  It sounds like they know that there is a problem but do not know how to fix the issue.  Or they just do not want to fix it and turns the issue back to the customer blaming their system.  Why accept the problem when you can do mind games and turn it around to the customer. 

    Friday, February 27, 2009 10:38 PM
  • As was mentioned previously, Silverlight attempts to optimize for CPU load and available bandwidth. This means that you may get a sub-optimal experience if either condition is triggered while watching.

    On the CPU front, you should check if you have background applications running. It could be some utility, such as Windows Search, Diskeeper or other defragmenter, SETI@Home, or any other application that might be easy to forget is running.

    The bandwidth issue can be a little trickier. Since the problem could be outside your control, such as a temporary high load at your ISP, I'll try to list some things that might be the cause. Outlook has been mentioned as one application that can trigger the lower bandwidth setting, but other background applications might also be the cause. Peer-to-peer applications such as Skype or Torrents might be using your connection if you have them installed and are easy to forget. If you have multiple machines on your network, you should try shutting them down, and if your router provides a throughput display (log/current statistics/bytes in and out or similar), that might be a useful tool to check what is happening on your network.

    There was also a mention that no antivirus application is installed. If some malicious virus or trojan has in fact infected your machine, it could be using up your bandwidth. I would recommend running a scan just to be safe. If you don't want to install a full application, try something like Trend Micro's Housecall at http://housecall.trendmicro.com/ . It will need to run a browser plugin, either ActiveX or Java, but won't install anything else.

    Good luck,

    //Tomi B.

    Saturday, February 28, 2009 12:16 AM
  •  dharma, thank you for proving my point.  remember when i said this:

    "not netflix's software.  not microsoft's platform.  YOUR computer."


    and then remember that time you upgraded your computer and kept microsoft's platform and netflix's software and it worked?  that was good times.  we should hang out more often.

    by the way, you totally missed the point of the link that mentioned snoopfree.  i guess its my fault though, since it doesn't seem like you've really read any post in this thread to begin with.

    i really am glad you got it working though.  i was sure you'd end up mental before you even tried to help yourself.

    PS you'd think that if i worked for microsoft i'd be a little more helpful and i'd be a lot less "if-i-say-this-i-could-lose-my-job"-y.  so no, i don't work MS; i just enjoy heckling morons.

    Saturday, February 28, 2009 9:49 AM
  • I am a paying customer of Netflix and if I have a legitimate concern then it should be heard.

    We can all agree that you're voicing your concerns.  I tried your strategy last night at the store actually.  I was buying some diet coke and the cashier at the store double charged me.  well i did the obvious thing and marched straight down to the coca cola's corporate office and told everyone i could about how the cashier mishandled my money and didn't even seem to care.  i demanded that the problem be fixed immediately.  however, i was thrown out of the building before i ever got my money back.  you'll have to explain a little more about how your strategy works, since i must not have done it right.

    ...you just want customers with the latest and greatest.  Does not sound like a good business sence to me.

    you're right.  this is the exact reason most successful companies won't adopt email.  the ol' penned message in an envelope has worked fine for hundreds of years.  i guess new technology is only good when you understand it for yourself.  give it a few years and maybe you can wrap your head around it.  at the very least you might forget that there was ever something that came before it.

    now if you'll excuse me, i've got to saddle up my horse and head into town. 

    Saturday, February 28, 2009 10:13 AM
  • I'm unsubscribing to this board because all of this cat and dog sissy-baby slap-fest b.s. is a waste of my time. And everyone else's who came here to find a legitimate solution to this problem that didn't entail spending anything extra on hardware. The point of this whole board isn't what it's turned into, and blaming the users for not upgrading dated equipment that worked just fine just a month ago isn't helping anyone. The point is that Silverlight is not ready for mainstream, especially in an economy that is slowly taking a plunge. It's a proprietary slap in the face. From the sound of things as they stand right now, the only solution is to cancel my netflix account. I will say that reducing the resolution from 1024 to 800 helped a lot, and also manually adjusting the buffering helped a little as well. But not enough to make it worth keeping. Unfortunately, I don't think netflix really cares about their old customer base now that they've acquired the MS-Live xbox360 market. Oh well. F' em. This is exactly why bittorrent was invented. I know I won't have trouble playing xvid on my old machine.
    Saturday, February 28, 2009 5:37 PM
  • All:

    This thread has long since degraded into something of little value. This is not the Netflix support forum.

    If you have a silverlight-specific topic, related to Silverlight development, please feel free to post it. Otherwise, please discontinue this line of discussion. 


    Saturday, February 28, 2009 5:50 PM
  • I agree that the thread has lost its value, but if you read the entire thread, you will see that several people who posted said they had been sent to this forum by Netflix support. The thread has lost its value because we are treading the same ground for the third time, with sniping and all of the usual silliness that comes with posting any kind of comment or question online. The best information we've gotten -- other than the fact that there is no solution to the problem at present -- has been about how Silverlight works differently than WMP. If there are programs running in the background on your computer -- and I think a lot of people are unaware of how much does run in the background -- then there could be some improvement with Silverlight if these programs are turned off. On the other hand, to think that the solution is to buy a new computer is laughable. I also don't think that it's a few selected computer users who are having the problem, and I really doubt that Netflix's improved profits have anything to do with Silverlight but more likely are a result of increasing numbers of people who see subscribing to Netflix as a cheaper alternative to going out to a movie and dinner in this kind of economy, especially when prodded constantly by Netflix's heavy-duty television and internet advertising campaign. And so, goodnight (and goodbye).
    Saturday, February 28, 2009 11:31 PM

  • Well we know how this forum is being administrated.  Fullsailrick and ccoombs have been mocking and disrespecting people throughout this thread but have been left to leave their post.  I responded to ccoombs for his childish responses and my post gets removed. Netflix did tell us to go to this forum for issues we are having with Silverlight but instead are mocked by two people who seems to be allowed to do so.  So for those who are still Netflix mambers, I strongly suggest to cancel your membership since they feel that the only people who can watch their movies are people with the latest and greatest.  Now Ill probably get banned from this forum.  See ya!

    Sunday, March 01, 2009 11:08 AM
  • I was having the same problem with the screen going off every 20 min. I managed to figure out the problem, it's very simple to fix, altough it took forever to figure it out. Ok, here it is:  go into your screen saver (under control panal, then personalization, finally screen saver), change your screen saver to none, then click on  change power settings, go into all 3 of your preferred plans, and change your settings to never, click save changes. It solved my problem completely. Only thing is, if you leave your computer on alot you may want to go back in and change it back wen your not watching movies. I hope this helps. I went through Netflix and Microsoft and no one could tell me to do this simple little thing.  As far as the choppy video, i don't know, mine does that too. Netflix tried to tell me my server wasn't fast enough, so I checked it. It requires a 700kbs and mine runs at 1285kbs, I think it is a glitch in the Silverlight programming.

    Sunday, March 01, 2009 11:28 AM
  • To the best of my knowledge, no one has had their posts removed here. I've seen several reports based on this thread, but my tools are limited.

    Despite what Netflix is telling you, I want to remind you that this is not a Netflix support forum. Silverlight.net is a resource for developers of Silverlight applications. I don't believe it was appropriate for netflix support to direct you here, as there is no provision for end-user support on this board. For end-user support, I encourage you to contact Microsoft directly: http://support.microsoft.com/contactus

    Problems with streaming media can be related to the third-party server infrastructure, available bandwidth, what streams they decide to offer, and the coding of their plugin application. If Netfix is offering only a higher bandwidth stream to the SIlverlight client, then they are correct in saying it will require a "faster" computer. Higher bitrate and resolution streams require more bandwidth and more processor power on the client. However, that is not a defect in the Silverlight plugin, it is a design/infrastructure decision on the part of the partner. I don't know if that's what is happening here, but it seems pretty likely. 

    I'm going to review with the other moderators and decide on an appropriate course of action.


    Sunday, March 01, 2009 11:53 AM