Netflix now in HD in WMC!

There have been news and rumors of Netflix streaming to HD via silverlight on PCs and MACs, but now it is officially go time! Engadget and The Green Button are reporting that the WMC plugin for Netflix is now streaming HD, however there is no indication inside the plugin that the content is HD (which will probably be in an update).

Full Article:

Update 1: I have been doing testing as well and things aren't looking good for 1600 owners as it is sucking up the CPU and creating extremely choppy video. If you are simply using IE then you are in luck as you can manually force a bitrate, I recommend 1500. To do this start a video(not in full screen mode), on your keyboard press CTRL+SHIFT+ALT+M. This will bring up a menu for the player and you will need to select "Stream Manager". Check the "Manual Selection" option and then select 1500, and now it should stream back just fine. I am interested how it is working for 3610 owners. I have no fix right now for WMC except to avoid the HD videos :(

Update 2: Reports from users are that the AR3610 seems to be performing just fine. I did some testing on my Acer Aspire One netbook which just has integrated graphics and I get the exact same results as with my Revo which is very suspicious. I also overclocked my Revo to 1.8ghz and got the same results. Keep checking back and I will update with any other news and tests that I can. I created a thread in the forums for discussion.

Update 3: After looking around and watching the latest HDNation it looks like Silverlight does not take advantage of "Hardware Video Decoding", which is why this is choking on Atom Chips.

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  1. Wow. The HD content is great to have, unfortunately my REVO 1600 cannot handle it. To make matters worse, you won’t turn it off.. you have to keep refreshing the browser or sliding the position bar back in order to trick it into SD. Is silverlight not working with Nvidia for hardware acceleration? I’m very sad and am getting Nagged by my wife now (making the matter even worse).
    Anyone have a solution?

  2. Did you try Silverlight 4? I installed version 4 and it is very smooth in WMC.

  3. I installed Silverlight 4, I have the AR1600, so it’s is a single core. Jason do you have the 1600 or 3610?

  4. 1600, I watched The Machinist last night in WMC and it was perfect the entire time. It looked high quality, is there a separate section for HQ movies?

  5. How can I tell if I am on HD stream.

  6. Jason: As long as it has the HD icon then it is streaming. I would say try it in IE and bring up the Stream Manager: CTRL+SHIFT+ALT+M and let me know if it is streaming 2600 or 3800. Also what nvidia drivers do you have installed do you have the specific version number. Also are you running windows 7 x86 or x64?

  7. I tested it on the 3610 with FFox and the normal Silverlight 3. Works great, though only after it buffers and gets going.

    I noticed when not full screen it is not HD, mouse over the HD icon and a pop up states so. Go full screen and the HD icon pop up states buffering in HD.

    I’ve had no issues, though different shows/movies buffer faster or slower at first.

  8. Yeah it starts buffering at 500 and slowly ramps up. If you want to see what it is buffering and streaming at hit CTRL+SHIFT+ALT+M and it will show you the different options.

  9. Buffering HD means it is still buffering… then it switches over a few secomds later if it can keep the buffer filled. I have an ION system with IE and silverlight 4 and while SD appears to be HW accelerated and smooth, HD appears to play in software and is only 1 fps (I have 22mbps cable internet so that isn’t the bottleneck, xbox plays HD netflix just fine).

  10. oh, forgot, also have latest ION drivers from nvidia installed.

  11. Motz, I am using the latest nvidia drivers from Friday and x86 win7 home premium. I tried watching the office and it shows the HD at the bottom, it is unwatchable and dropping many frames.

    When I change the stream manager to 1000 it is finally watchable, but it’s unfortunate silverlight/netflix can not do better to display the content properly.

  12. Same thing here AR1600 chopping like crazy HD content. I hope a solution is found. I guess it’s not a huge deal to manually select the stream, but my wife isn’t “that” tech inclined to do this on her favorite shows…

  13. Has anyone tried to Overclock their CPU and reduce the resolution to 720P? (I think Netflix broadcasts in 720P anyways)

    If not, I’m going to try that tonight.

  14. Also, can you trick the ION drivers for the 1600 to enable full ION instead of ION LE (within Windows 7)..

  15. I have overclocked mine to 1.8ghz, and i also tried 720p and it was the same thing.

  16. The only difference between the two is that ION can do DirectX10 and the ION LE can not, this shouldn’t be an issue for silverlight though as it doesn’t require directx10. This is the only requirement for silverlight 4: X86 or x64 1.6-gigahertz (GHz) or higher processor with 512-MB of RAM

  17. I dunno. I’m using silverlight 3 and can’t get silverlight 4 to work even with first uninstalling ver 3 and then rebooting and installing silverlight 4.

    Regardless if v4 is having the same issues, it doesn’t matter.

    I know v.3 and v4 of Silverlight supports hardware acceleration, but I don’t know to what extent Nvidia and Microsoft have worked together to optimize their drivers.

  18. I noticed GPU acceleration isn’t enabled on mine.

    Anyone else getting gpu acceleration?

  19. Edit: GPU acceleration is only enabled when using browser plugin. WMC7 it’s not. Still goes choppy once 2200 kicks in.

  20. I have the Acer Revo 3610 (Atom 330 + ION) and it doesn’t work. I have two problems:

    1) In a brower (Firefox and IE), it will start streaming in HD (bitrate of 2600-3800) but then it will start dropping almost all frames (1 frame displayed, 23 dropped). It says hardware acceleration is enabled. CPU is at about 30%.

    2) In Media Center, the bitrate never goes above 1500. GPU acceleration is not used and the CPU is at 80%.

  21. Update 3: After looking around and watching the latest HDNation it looks like Silverlight does not take advantage of “Hardware Video Decoding”, which is why this is choking on Atom Chips.

  22. I don’t thnk ths is this just an issue of silverlight not supporting hw acceleration with certain video encoder formats like they alluded to on hdnation. I tried lost in hd and while it played okay for a couple seconds at a time, it was still unwatchable. I think silverlight just doesn’t accelerate hd even if the player says it is, or it is horribly unoptimized for it. The fix isn’t reencoding videos, it’s optimizing silverlight and video drivers.

    BTW, even with flash 10.1 the hdnation videos are choppy on an ION, at all of their quality levels. Software has a way to go on nettops/netbooks for hd even if the hw is ready now.

  23. I have the 3610 and cannot play Netflix in HD. Bandwidth not an issue at 15Mbps, doing the CTRL-ALT-SHIFT-M brings up the diagnostics – I am showin 35-45% GPU, acceleration enabled and being used, but 1 frame displayed/ 23 dropped continuously. Local HD video plays just fine at 720p. Using Silverlight 4 and FF. Turing off HD works. Wish I could get the HD stuff.

  24. Any progress on this? I am in the same boat (Revo 3610 poor HD performance on Netflix) but have not tried SL 4 as it doesn’t sound like it will make any difference.

  25. Same story with my brand spanking new revo 3700 with a d525 and ion2 (2gb ram). It’s a disappointment that netflix HD won’t play. Anyone hear of a solution to the problem? Is every atom owner out of luck when it comes to netflix HD?

    Additionally, I’m getting red digital pixelation issues in all types of video when using my HDMI out to a 1080p lcd tv (lg lh90). No pixelation issues using the vga connector. Crazy.

  26. Does anybody know if there’s any way to get the silverlight (I think) netflix application from windows media center to just always show in non-HD as a solution to the netflix hd streaming problem? It’s annoying because you can specify this in a browser, but not in the netflix application that opens up from windows media center.

  27. My Revo 3600 plays 1080P Flash from You Tube with no problem on a wireless connection. But it is a no go for Netflix HD. I started a thread on the Silverlight forum site several months ago. The Microsoft moderator has offered liitle help or prospects of seeing hardware acceleration anytime soom. This is a Microsoft/Netflix problem. I suspect Netflix could demand a fix and get it. I used to hate Flash video, but Adobe got its act together. Maybe Netflix needs to dump Silverlight and go to Flash unless it and Microsoft do something to make Silverlight work properly.

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