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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I found out that streaming Netflix HD cannot play on my dual-core 1.66ghz D510 Intel Atom processor.


So what is the bare minimum needed to run Netflix HD? Does anyone know? I did some googling and was unable to find a definitive answer.



It seems the definitive factor is the CPU

Minimum Hardware requirements (Updated as of 11/23/10)

dual core 2.5ghz 1mb L2 cache (Intel or AMD)
 

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Unfortunately, I already got rid of my Pentium E2160 1.80 GHz so can't test with that. At a guess, probably somewhere along the lines of 1.5~2.0 GHz Core 2 or Phenom II. The nice thing is even a $40~50 modern CPU will exceed that.


The Celeron E3300 2.5 GHz handles it well enough. Never really took note of CPU utilization, though. You might wanna check the Dell Zino thread to see if it handles it any better than an Atom.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovejedd /forum/post/19178819


Tried the same stream on other computers.


GF9300-G-E + Celeron E3300 2.50GHz

Average CPU: 40%

Maximum CPU: 55%

No framedrops


GTS 250 + Core i7-860 2.80GHz

Average CPU: 7%

Maximum CPU: 15%

No framedrops


From the AV Stream information:

Playing bitrate (a/v): 128 / 3800

Buffering bitrate (a/v): 128 / 3800

GPU Acceleration (attempted/enabled): True / True


However, here's an interesting observation (happened to have GPU-Z open on the i7-860+GTS-250 while doing the tests). On Hulu HD (Flash), GPU load is 4% while Video Engine load is 20%. On Netflix HD (Silverlight), GPU load is 40% but Video Engine load is 0%. Tested some H.264 and VC-1 streams on MPC HomeCinema and results are similar to Hulu. High Video Engine load but fairly small GPU load. Really curious how Silverlight implemented hardware acceleration given it doesn't appear to offload the decoding which is fairly CPU intensive.

Well, would you look at that... Apparently, I did take note of CPU utilization.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovejedd /forum/post/19528949


Well, would you look at that... Apparently, I did take note of CPU utilization.

That is definitly helpful, Thanks!


So at the moment we are looking at the following CPU requirement to stream Netflix HD content.


dual core

2.5ghz

1mb L2 cache
 

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well i can stream netflix hd on my oldie...


its a dell precision 450

daul xeon 3.06ghz w/ ht (yes these are single cores, but at least i have two of them)

hd2400pro agp card with 256meg of ram...

4gb of system memory


never have any dropped frames, can't remember what CPU % is like, but can't be too bad.


also i'm not sure how much this will help. windows experience shows that my dual 3.06ghz are about the same as a e4300
 

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Has anyone been able to display @ 24p (24hz) any HD content from Netflix?


I was trying to get the silverlight player on my PC to do 24p, but it would jump around and stutter, playing back at 23/24/25fps every few seconds.


My Question:


- Is 24hz possible from Netflix? using the Silverlight player on a PC, or on a hardware device (ps3, roku, etc) ??


I'm trying to figure out if I'm on a wild goose chase trying to get 24p from Netflix on a PC.


thanks!
 

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I have a dual core 2.2ghz & 2gb DDR2 on XP and I can play Netflix HD (now that I have Fios that is) but I do need to make sure nobody is doing anything else on the PC as my CPU load runs at 50% ish. I watch through firefox.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by TornadoTJ /forum/post/19529811


The feeds are 60hz, not 24. Wild goose chase.

Thanks for the reply!


hmm, while watching the silverlight stats screen (ctrl+alt+shft+m), it claims to be playing back @ 24fps, but then jumps around to 23/24/25 for a few seconds, depending on activity in video.


I guess it can vary from content to content. Even at 60hz I'm getting strange stuttering.


- Q6600 cpu (quad), ATI 4XXX gpu, 4GB memory, Win 7 x64
 

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Netflix is known to stutter/judder on the PC. Smooth on PS3.


Can you post one of those that showed 24fps? I'd like to be proven wrong on this, I have a TV that's 24fps compatible. I can test it at my end and see what it looks like for me.
 

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^ AFAIK, Netflix streams whatever the source is. Movies are 24fps, TV shows are 60fps. You would need to set the PC refresh to 24Hz as well to pass-through successfully to the TV.


To the OP: Get a video card that handles decoding of MPEG2, h.264, and VC-1 and you willl have no problems playing back HD on your Atom machine.


Remember that the Atom is just a Pentium III with a new name. It's fine for web-browsing and email, but not much more these days.
 

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I thought I read somewhere that Netflix had converted all their sources to 60fps, but that doesn't mean it was correct or that I read it right. Like I said, I'd love to be wrong on this. On the PS3 I don't know of any way to check it, but it's already set to play BD at 24fps. But I'd love to find this works on the HTPC. The juddering drives me nuts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by spivonious /forum/post/19530259


^ AFAIK, Netflix streams whatever the source is. Movies are 24fps, TV shows are 60fps. You would need to set the PC refresh to 24Hz as well to pass-through successfully to the TV.


To the OP: Get a video card that handles decoding of MPEG2, h.264, and VC-1 and you willl have no problems playing back HD on your Atom machine.


Remember that the Atom is just a Pentium III with a new name. It's fine for web-browsing and email, but not much more these days.

spiv, I have an ati 5570, it doesn't fix the problem.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by spivonious /forum/post/19531759


Hmm, that should be all you need. What's your CPU usage like when playing HD?

Silverlight has gimped support for hardware acceleration. See the following thread:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1275584

Quote:
Silverlight GPU acceleration is for now very limited. It only allows screen elements to be cached in video memory, which will massively improve performance on many types of animation such as scaling, translating, rotating, skewing, etc, but only if the element's untransformed appearance rarely changes. When they change, the cache in video memory is invalidated and must be refreshed, meaning the CPU must re-render the element and push it across to the video card, which is what normally happens when it isn't cached. Because videos are changing dozens of times a second, enabling hardware acceleration will actually reduce performance because that cache is constantly being invalidated.

It's a limitation of Silverlight. Maybe in future versions Microsoft will improve it.
 

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Just tried Legend of the Seeker s02e01 on my CULV laptop with Core 2 Duo SU7300 1.30 GHz. Got a few framedrops whenever CPU usage hits the 70~80% range. Same thing with Heroes s01e01. Guess Core 2 @ 1.3 GHz isn't quite fast enough for a smooth experience.


On a side note, anyone have a suggestion on what video is available on Netflix HD that's taxing on the CPU while being fairly decent? Legend of the Seeker sucks. The opening scene of s01e01 was fairly acceptable since it was mostly just action but s02e01 has very little action scenes while being heavy on the cheesiness.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovejedd /forum/post/19531813


Silverlight has gimped support for hardware acceleration. See the following thread:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1275584

That's outdated information. Since Silverlight 3, it has had full DXVA support on Vista and Windows 7. Only XP still has partial support but you can't blame Microsoft for not putting in too much effort on a 10 year-old OS. The quote from that thread is from a random developer on the Silverlight forum, not from Microsoft.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by spivonious /forum/post/19532916


That's outdated information. Since Silverlight 3, it has had full DXVA support on Vista and Windows 7. Only XP still has partial support but you can't blame Microsoft for not putting in too much effort on a 10 year-old OS. The quote from that thread is from a random developer on the Silverlight forum, not from Microsoft.

That was for Silverlight 4 and I'd like to see a document from Microsoft stating that it supports DXVA per se and not just GPU hardware acceleration as those are two different things. You can have GPU hardware acceleration (e.g. for resize, etc) but still have the CPU doing all the decoding. I've actually read through some of Microsoft's white papers and I've found none that specifically mentioned Silverlight supports DXVA.


From what I've noticed with the way Silverlight works, video engine load is near zero while most of the load is on 3D (!). Try playing a Netflix HD stream (in browser) and monitor GPU load with GPU-Z and see what you get. Pressing Ctrl+Alt+Shift+M in the Netflix window during playback should bring up a menu and you can select A/V Stats to monitor the Netflix stream (bitrate, frames rendered/dropped, etc) as well as CPU usage.


I don't know if the issue with DXVA not being supported is related to Silverlight itself or just the Netflix implementation. Either way, the outcome is the same - for now, an Atom still won't do for Netflix HD.
 
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