Silverlight 5 doesn't appear to do HW acceleration of Netflix content - by byronm

Status : 

  Won't Fix<br /><br />
		Due to several factors the product team decided to focus its efforts on other items.<br /><br />
		A more detailed explanation for the resolution of this particular item may have been provided in the comments section.

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ID 667422 Comments
Status Closed Workarounds
Type Bug Repros 23
Opened 5/9/2011 7:21:53 AM
Access Restriction Public


I have an AMD 255 (3.1ghz) CPU system with built in IGP (AMD 880g 4250 chipset) and Silverlight 5 doesn't appear to offer any acceleration service of Netflix Video. Both my cpu cores are near 100% load when playing HD content. I am testing primarily through MCE plugin (windows 7 x32)
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Posted by Ladislav Mrnka on 12/19/2013 at 5:15 AM
I was looking for more information about this problem from developer's perspective and so far I generally found this:
- It looks like adaptive streaming is not HW accelerated (Netflix and other content providers are using adaptive streaming)
- It looks like DRM protected content is not HW accelerated (again content providers are using DRM)
- It looks like the problem is even worse on Mac, especially when Silverlight is not running in fullscreen mode - probably HW acceleration is worse or doesn't work at all
- It looks like non accelerated decoding utilises only single CPU core so even powerful computers can have a problem with decoding super HD content

Especially the last one looks like a pretty bad bug.
Posted by Microsoft on 7/3/2013 at 8:23 AM
Thanks for your feedback!

We have reviewed this issue, and unfortunately are not able to address it in the currently released version of Silverlight.

Silverlight team
Posted by kimeddie on 9/3/2012 at 3:29 AM
I am experiencing this issue also
e-350 processor and AMD Radeon™ HD 6300M.
sony vaio

the workload doesnt appear to be offloaded to the GPU.

netflix and lovefilm are unusable for me until this is resolved.

any news on a patch/workaround that works?
Posted by FijiSunshine on 7/26/2012 at 8:10 AM
Can't try that title, its only available on DVD on my account. How are you able to stream that? For me, silverlight 5 has resolved all issues on my DM1. If others are not getting those results it's a complete mystery to me. All I can suggest is doing what I did:

1. uninstall silverlight in programs and features
2. Install silverlight 5
3. Install firefox 14.01
4. Install AMD Catalyst 12.3
5. Install all windows updates
6. If you have an HP run and install all updates on HP support assistant

That's all I can offer. If things break on my end I will report that. Otherwise, good luck everyone in getting silverlight/netflix to run. I know how frustrating that is.
Posted by mr_arc on 7/26/2012 at 5:11 AM
Can you try The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, that is the test movie I've been using. It's possible that Netflix are using h.264 on some movies and VC-1 on others. I will try the same film that you tried.

Regarding me outputting to less than 1080p, I don't know. This machine is mounted on the back of my TV and is only ever connected to that. I don't have any monitors lower than 1920x1200. I guess I could try dropping the resolution in Windows and just see how it handles that. I don't know how it was with Silverlight 4 as I didn't use Netflix till around 6 months ago.

Are you running 32 or 64bit Windows 7 Home Premium there.
Posted by FijiSunshine on 7/25/2012 at 8:57 PM
Ok, to put this to rest I went ahead and hooked up my DM1 E-350 to my 55" vizio 1080P via HDMI. I hate to disappoint but it WORKED on both better and highest settings on HD movies on Netflix. I watched K-19 widow maker for about 10 minutes. CPU cycled about the same from 70 to mid 90's but did not see any noticeable frame loss or sync issues. It appears for now, my DM1 has just enough horse power to run all of netflix's content from its own screen or outputting to 1080 via hdmi.

Now this is on a machine that I never reformatted. Its one of the very first E-350 DM1 machines that HP shipped over 1.5 years back. It has the base memory (3 gigs) I even use HP's support assistant to update some applications as well as windows update and also use Norton internet security 2012. I did uninstall some initial bloat applications but no real tweaking on this machine. I wish I could give more info on why it works on my machine but it simple does at this point.
Posted by FijiSunshine on 7/25/2012 at 1:00 PM
But before, with Silverlight 4, it would drop frames like crazy at 1366x768. I'm happy I can just watch netflix on the dm1. My question to you is can you at least watch netflix HD on your system, without sending it to HDTV at 1080P? And if so, did you have issues before with Silverlight 4? Because from this end, the new netflix interface along with silverlight 5 improved things quite a bit.
Posted by mr_arc on 7/25/2012 at 12:08 PM
ah, so you're running at 1366x768 not 1900x1080.. that might explain why it's handling it with around 90% use. Thanks for the extra info though
Posted by FijiSunshine on 7/25/2012 at 10:22 AM
I tried running a HD video with IE 9 with highest settings on netflix and it also streams ok. Seems to spike around 92 percent. Averages around 80 percent utilization. This is around the same for Firefox.
Posted by FijiSunshine on 7/25/2012 at 10:07 AM
Using windows 7 premium, Silverlight 5.1.10411.0 with hardware acceleration turned on. AMD Catalyst 12.3 . Using firefox 14.01 AMD wanted to update the Catalyst today and I decided for once to not update it for fear it might mess something up.
I also have one of the first DM1 E-350 systems that shipped about a 1.5 years ago. It has the base 3 gigs of ram. But as long as I don't try to do anything else the HD netflix is streaming well under 100 percent cpu utilization. Its got to be offloading to the GPU part of the APU. This is all based on running netflix on the DM1. I don't connect it to TV via HDMI anymore being my BD player has the netflix application already.
Posted by mr_arc on 7/25/2012 at 9:23 AM
FijiSunshine - which version of Windows are you running, can you confirm which build of Sliverlight and ATI drivers you have installed.
Posted by FijiSunshine on 7/24/2012 at 12:01 PM
I just installed the latest Silverlight on 7/23 on my HP DM1 with E-350 and netflix HD works fine. CPU does not max out and as far as I can tell, does not drop frames. Using Firefox 14.01 with the latest ATI drivers. Not sure why but its working good for me. I went to my account on netflix and changed to stream on highest settings and then proceeded to stream a few from the HD section.
Posted by mr_arc on 7/22/2012 at 5:32 AM
After looking more into this there are two problems here.

1> Silverlight can only offload h.264 to the GPU, not VC-1. Which is very strange considering that VC-1 is an MS developed codec

2> Netflix uses VC-1 and not h.264.

Until either of these points is addressed then there's zero chance of any of us being able to play Netflix in HD on our systems - despite them having a more than capable GPU.

I wouldn't hold out much hope of MS fixing it; Silverlight seems to have been pretty much abandoned and good luck getting anywhere with Netflix.

Posted by Hinderer on 7/16/2012 at 11:14 AM
Still doesn't work on my E-350 system with win7 and connected to my 1080p TV either.
Posted by mr_arc on 7/16/2012 at 7:03 AM
No, it hasn't fixed it on my E-350 system. Win7 x64, Zotac Zbox AD03, 8GB, SSD and outputting to a 1080p TV panel.
Posted by somewhere in idaho on 6/30/2012 at 9:31 AM
Can anyone else confirm that the silverlight update fixed the HD netflix streaming issue for the AMD 450?
Posted by Mr.Edw on 6/30/2012 at 8:36 AM
As of 13th June 2012, this entire issues appears to be fixed! There was a Silverlight update in MS Update--I vaguely recall seeing and approving it--and voila! FINALLY!
A bit of a shame it took well over a year to get around to it, but kudos to Microsoft for finally resolving what was (to those of us who experienced it) a major issue. But it's finally working (was just watching an HD video) and that's great.
Posted by DaRk1oN on 6/10/2012 at 9:26 PM
Microsoft Silverlight
Version: 5.1.10411.0

Hardware acceleration

Silverlight will use supported video or graphics hardware to improve playback.


I believe this is Netflix issue. I have a AMD E350 /w 6GB of RAM and cannot play Netflix smoothly even with the option above enabled. Maybe Netflix needs to enable something on server side that allows Silverlight to actually use that feature...Maybe contacting Netflix would help.
Posted by horrorace on 4/23/2012 at 6:40 AM
Yes. I have the same problem. I am running a AMD E350 system and HW accelleration on Silverlight does not work. LoveFilm and Netflix are useless. Mind you BBC iPlayer doesn't work with flash in HD either. I wish this would get sorted out.
Posted by VKRASH on 4/4/2012 at 2:24 PM
I also have the same problem.

Seems to be an issue with siliverlight and APU combination. I have enabled Hardware acceleration in silverlight playback settings.

Config: AMD E450 dual core 1.65 GHz Chip with Radeon 6320 Graphics

Youtube HD works fine. Netflix is a problem. After about a min of playback, video plays choppy, lags behind audio. CPU maxes out to 100%.

Posted by HoffaGotti on 4/2/2012 at 7:58 PM
I am having the same issue as well, I have an Asus i7-2620 2.7Ghz with 8GB Ram 64 Bit Windows 7 HOme Premium. On my PS3 the movies show perfectly fine in HD, however the HD streaming is not working properly. It is always laggy in HD. Very frustrating as I want to use the Widi technology on my other TV with HD but I can't do it properly.

Regardless I have been trying to find a solution since I got the laptop but no luck yet. I called Netflix and they stated that my internet may be slow, I stated on my test speeds I get 20Mbps easily. They said my wifi router maybe the issue, I did a direct ethernet connection and still the same issue. I am able to stream 1080P on Youtube just fine works like a champ, but for some reason Netflix HD is not working!    

Here is the kicker, I tried Netflix HD at my work, with i3 processor with silverlight and all, it worked like a champ. Maybe it is due to I dont have a dedicated video card? IDK!

I dont know what else to do other then wait maybe... it is frustrating, an suggestions would help.
Posted by kitwingate on 4/1/2012 at 8:04 AM
I can totally agree with this. the only reason it seems that this issue is not fixed (or even warranted a response from MSFT) is that they don't care.

Way to treat your customers with respect...
Posted by AdamTomo on 3/29/2012 at 7:30 AM
I can't believe this hasn't been sorted yet. There are so many HTPC ion based computers yet something as simple as playing a HD feed can't be sorted? Please MS can you provide an update that will get this running smoothly on Netflix.
Posted by Mr.Edw on 3/28/2012 at 1:21 PM
It is an entire year after the first post on this thread, and the problem documented here has yet to be fixed. As with hay_j in his post on this forum, I also have a Jetway net-top system (Win7 64-bit Atom Dual-Core 525 CPU with ION2 GPU + 4gb RAM) that flawlessly plays streaming Blu-Ray at 1080p over our home wireless network from a desktop htpc (2.8ghz dual-core, with Radeon HD 2400 GPU, Win7 64-bit) from another room. The Net-top plays the Blu-Ray stream at 60% or less CPU load.

Yet Netflix pegs the CPU cores at 100%, and drops frames all over the place. The fact that a 40gig Blu-Ray file plays over the wireless connection tells me Netflix's problems are NOT bandwidth related, and confirms what others have said--the GPU is not being utilized.
Not being an uber-geek (that is, not intimately familiar with the internal programming of Netflix and Silverlight) I'm wondering whether this unwillingness by Netflix to implement Silverlight's ability to harness the GPU might have something to with DRM or similar issue wherein handing off the video processing to the graphics processor might circumvent continual checking to verify the Netflix stream is being displayed by a "properly-subscribed and logged-in" client.
In any event--these little Net-top and notebook Atom/ION2 boxes are more than capable of doing the job, if the content provider (i.e. Neflix) is committed to allowing them to play their video streams. They are not "too small" or "underpowered." Metaphorically, they perform as reliable small V-8 engines with Blu-Ray, YouTube, and Hulu, but only run on four cylinders with Silverlight.
That this problem has continued for at least 18 months at least <appears> intentional on the part of either Netflix or MSFT.
Posted by Kevin Flannery on 3/27/2012 at 9:49 PM
Yes, I confirm this problem still exists. My Netflix audio/ video become desynchronized with SL5, and they previously worked.

Please fix!
Posted by ReverendDC on 3/25/2012 at 7:16 AM
Still a confirmed bug. Even on systems that are able to run HD from the CPU, the performance of SL4 vs SL5 is far and above better. Would LOVE to see a resolution, as I use an AMD E-350 perfectly as an HTPC for all except Silverlight content. Netflix does identify the proper EnableGPUAcceleration tag. Please, MS, HALP!!!!!
Posted by CtitanicMVP on 3/19/2012 at 5:27 PM
Any update on this bug?
Posted by nocoloco4155 on 2/11/2012 at 2:44 PM
Greetings Silverlight Support Team-
AMD Fusion processors (1.6 GHz + HD Radeon 6310 ) are absolutely ideal HomeTheatre PC platforms.
Can Microsoft Silverlight team recommend a specific release version whereby this issue is resolved ?

As others' have posted.. the workarounds suggested to date are not practical.

Let's work to resolve this issue which is impacting end-users.
Posted by ran_r on 12/22/2011 at 10:15 AM
+ just wanted to mention that the work around is straight BULL CRAP ( if this does not get edited) While streaming, how a layman is supposed to edit HTML that is generated on server side? Plus Netflix HTML already turns the flag on
Posted by ran_r on 12/22/2011 at 10:14 AM
AMD Fusion 1.6 GHz + HD Radeon 6310 - No H/W acceleration with Netflix content.
Videos are choppy and like Power point presentation.

Validations of H/w capability :
Youtube 1080p works great
H 264 encoded 1080p videos with subtitles smoothly plays with MPC and even when it is streaming over local wifi
No issue with network connection as netflix video is flaw less on much powerful (CPU-wise) Mac

Posted by war59312 on 10/20/2011 at 12:49 PM
Is there a list of supported GPUs?

Sadly my Lenovo B575 can NOT play Netflix HD. Video lags and near 100% CPU. :(

This laptop has a AMD Radeon HD 6310 graphics so I was expecting Netflix HD to play back fine.
Posted by nbindo on 7/19/2011 at 8:03 PM
I confirm that with a Zotac Ionitx Dual Core Atom 1.66, Ion system, both Silverlight 4 and 5 Beta bog down with Netflix content. Silverlight 4 becomes a slideshow, Silverlisht 5 Beta slows down framerate and drags far behind the audio stream.

The same system plays back HD video content with no problems, and based upon the CPU cores being 100% with Netflix, it sounds like hardware acceleration is not working.
Posted by Zverev Eugene on 6/24/2011 at 4:12 AM
Galacticus, no, I do not see such a possibility that a non IT specialist could hack in the workaround.

First of all, the silverlight application has to be built for SL5 runtime. The term "built" may be is a bit too strong here. Let me explain. When silverlight application is built the output is a banch of dlls zipped into a xap file along with the application manifest (AppManifest.xaml). The dlls are much the same for SL4 or SL5. Inside the manifest the version of silverlight runtime is put and this is the problem to solve. It states which version is intended for the particular application. Even if your (client) runtime is SL5 an application with manifest stating that the application is for SL4 will force the SL5 runtime behave like SL4 would i.e. won't allow SL5 to use most of it's new features. MS call this "quirks mode". What could you do here? You can download the XAP that netflix use, unzip it, change the SL intended version from RuntimeVersion="4.bla.bla.bla" into RuntimeVersion="5.0.60401.0", zip it up again and try to force your proxy catch http requests made by netflix web pages for *.xap files and return your "hacked" xap instead. Do not make your eyes so big. That's fun. Besides, this first step is to be done only if MS have put the h.264 hardware-accelerated video decoding feature into the quirks-mode authority.

Second step is to make your proxy rewrite the html document to inject the "<param name="EnableGPUAcceleration" value="true" />" tag into silverlight object declaration.

Such triks are exosting for people who are lucky enough to have their meal without having to mess with other's web installation guts. Hereby I would suggest you to address neflix administration directly. It is so darn easy for them to present a beta http page for SL5 runtime evaluation to their most progressive customers. All they have to do is to compile the application with SL5 tools, insert the param and append a nice little button near their current player: "SL5 beta version player".
Posted by Galacticus on 6/22/2011 at 9:34 AM
Zverev Eugene, is it at all possible to apply that workaround without dev intervention?
Posted by Zverev Eugene on 6/22/2011 at 6:01 AM
I have put the workaround as a comment to the SL5 Beta Performance article in MSDN. Hope MSFT guys stuble upon it here or there someday.
Posted by Galacticus on 6/21/2011 at 8:05 PM
I also wanted to verify that my MSI E-350 AMD APU system is NOT running correctly with the SL5 beta runtime.

The workaround has my hopes piqued.
Posted by byronm on 6/21/2011 at 5:16 PM
Is there anyone in the SL team that can comment on the work around? Is it possible to coordinate this with the netflix developers so if they detect SL5 as the runtime in media center/web they enable gpu?

Also, where has the SL5 runtime gone? i can't find it for the life of me to download and test again
Posted by sharp_newbie on 6/14/2011 at 11:45 PM
I have the same issue. Running Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit with all updates. Installed SilverLight 5 Beta. It did improve the situation but it was like going from 1fps to 2fps on Netflix HD playback.

The hardware I have is an Atom 330 processor + Nvidia ION.
Posted by hay_j on 5/24/2011 at 11:36 AM
I found SL5 to be worse than SL4 in terms of CPU usage. My CPU usage doubled with HD playback for Netflix upon installing SL5.
Posted by byronm on 5/24/2011 at 6:34 AM
Did some more testing last night and SL5 actually has worse playback than SL4. SL5 was dropping so many frames it made me dizzy at times to watch :)

is there a way to log the applications to capture which rendering it is doing and playback metrics?

Posted by byronm on 5/23/2011 at 7:57 AM
Any update/info on this? I'd really like to build a low power system that can play netflix but in its current silverlight environment it requires way too much CPU power.. with Fusion APU & Sandybridge CPU's shipping in abidance it would be a darn shame if Netflix can't take advantage of GPU acceleration for smooth playback. I'm not even sure who owns the netflix plugin on media center to begin with, but the browser playback is also extremely cpu intensive. I would think smooth HD netflix playback would be priority #1 with silverlight - especially as you guys move into more mobile space & tablets!
Posted by Abu Garcia on 5/10/2011 at 10:07 PM
I would recommend that MS does the following:
Silverlight should be programmed with a specific subsets for HD decoding separate from DRM decoding
HD decoding have hardware code imbedded within silverlight for popular Chipsets that have native HD hardware acceleration have silverlight All main companies such as: AMD/ATI, INTEL, Nvidia. All legacy products included, those that have HD hardware acceleration. For example the intel G43/G45 chipset, this chipset since introduction will be in production for 4-5 more years. These types of chipsets are popular among all workstations and general populations.
DRM needs to be compressed and decompressed on the user computer utilizing multiple cores if possible. Additionally the 32 bit and 64 bit versions of silverlight should be automatically detected and offered within windows update if needed.

This really isn't rocket science.
-Utilize native HD hardware accel for anything built 2008 and up
-Digital surround such as Dolby digital should be a capability and use onboard sound sound controllers for decoding or stream through PCM.

silverlight 5 should be able to play 1080p netflix with audio at 5.1
I mean, a PS3 can do it why cant a PC?

Posted by aerischan on 5/10/2011 at 9:16 AM
I've tried Legend of the Seeker s01e01 720p 3600Kbps stream (Netflix) on both an Atom 330/ION and AMD E-350 and have experienced constant stuttering and audio sync issues. It's hard to even call the issue as dropped frames when only 5~6 out of 24 frames get rendered. Even tried playing in IE9 fullscreen but still don't seem to get any form of hardware decode acceleration.

Not sure if Netflix uses H.264 or VC-1 for their encoding.
Posted by byronm on 5/10/2011 at 7:37 AM
Can anyone clarify which codecs / modes / profiles are correctly accelerated in SL5.
Posted by Microsoft on 5/9/2011 at 8:13 AM
Thank you for your feedback, we are currently reviewing the issue you have submitted. If this issue is urgent, please contact support directly(
Posted by hay_j on 5/9/2011 at 7:46 AM
I'm having a similar experience. I have a Jetway Mini-Top with an Atom Dual-Core 525 CPU and an ION2 GPU. Anything above a bitrate of 1500 begins to stutter, drop frames, and develop major audio sync issues. This is essentially the same as running Silverlight 4. It seems Silverlight 5 is not increasing any performance with HW acceleration. The system can easily play 30+ Mbps video outside the Netflix environment with no problems. Running Windows 7 64 bit with 4 Gb of RAM. I primarily watch Netflix through the Media Center plugin.