Bandwidth Limiting Workaround for Stuttering Netflix in Windows Media Center

Netflix on WMC homescreen
If you are experiencing stuttering and video tearing due to your home theater PC not being able to decode Silverlight, Netflix has unintentionally done you a favor recently.  As they note here on the Netflix blog they added a bandwidth management section to their website.  That section has also come out to the U.S.  In doing so they unintentionally offered a workaround for the fact that Silverlight is not GPU accelerated and chokes on many Atom HTPCs  during HD playback.
  • Go to
  • In the upper right click “Your Account & Help”
  • About halfway down the page you will see this

netflix menu

  • Click on “Manage Video Quality” and you will see this page

Netflix menu 2

  • Select a different bandwidth and click save.  “Better Quality”  worked with my dual core atom HTPC.
  • Be sure to click “Save”!
  • Dance.

One last tip.  If that did not work or for some reason you need to temporarily change the bitrate you can do so with a hidden menu in Media Center.

  • Start playing whatever you wanted to watch, but was stuttering
  • Hold Alt-Shift and left click anywhere in the middle of the picture

Diagnostic Netflix Menu 1

  • Select “Stream Manager” from the drop down list.

Diagnostic Netflix Menu 2

  • Check the box that says “Manual Selection”
  • Select a new Buffering Rate, 1500 was the best that worked with my dual core Atom PC
  • Click “Apply”
  • Rewind the video or seek anywhere to get it to rebuffer.  As long as you see this screen, then it should rebuffer with the changed bitrate

Netflix Loading

  • Dance, because you are done.

Both of these methods should work to cure the GPU acceleration Silverlight blues.  That said, you will not be watching in HD, but you will be watching.  Hit me up in the comments if that did or did not work for you!



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  1. Anonymous February 24, 2013

    Matey, you are an absolute star! worked perfectly. I have multiple devices here that I use it on – and was struggling to get the oldest PC working – this is working like a dream now! Thanks!!!

  2. Even worse it looks like Microsoft is not going to move forward with silverlight as a browser plug in. Netflix will have to switch at some point. Anyway this works for now.

  3. Anonymous January 1, 2012

    Thank you!!! I was just about to cancel Netflix…it is shocking that Microsoft has allowed this problem with Silverlight to persist for over a year when every other streaming video solution has solved it…it is clear that MS does not intend to maintain Silverlight and Netflix should change platforms or risk losing even more customers.

  4. Been bad for a long time. It is nice to finally have some control over it. They did this long before “the change”. When they rolled out to Canada they flipped this option on

  5. THANKS!!!!
    Been looking for this fix for about 6 weeks, must of been around the change…