13 Replies Latest reply: Aug 3, 2012 11:56 PM by grahamcolinclark
CrackNCheese Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Hardware Overview:


  Model Name:          MacBook

  Model Identifier:          MacBook2,1

  Processor Name:          Intel Core 2 Duo

  Processor Speed:          2 GHz

  Number Of Processors:          1

  Total Number Of Cores:          2

  L2 Cache:          4 MB

  Memory:          2 GB

  Bus Speed:          667 MHz

  Boot ROM Version:          MB21.00A5.B07

  SMC Version (system):          1.17f0


System Software Overview:


  System Version:          Mac OS X 10.5.8 (9L31a)

  Kernel Version:          Darwin 9.8.0

  Boot Volume:          Macintosh HD

  Boot Mode:          Normal


So I've had this issue with streaming Netflix Instant play videos on 3 different browsers: Safari, Firefox, and Chrome. Streaming works well for a variable amount of time, from 1 minute to 10 minutes. Then, the playback gets choppy and the audio stutters. During this time, when I try to move the cursor there is a significant delay. It's as if my computer is too slow to handle the streaming. But everything else from youtube to hulu works fine.


I've been told by Netflix that this problem is processor related. Everytime I'm streaming, their statistics are showing that my processes are eating up 90+% of the CPU. When I go to Activity Monitor, I see Silverlight plugin (which is what Netflix unfortunately streams through) is the only thing that's causing the high usage.


Netflix has said I should uninstall Silverlight 3 and run an older version. Did that...no success.

Then, they said I should defrag my hard drive but did not give me specifics on how to do it. So when I googled it, I pretty much came to the conclusion that a Mac does not need to be defragged, and even if I did it, the results will be miniscule. So I'm not gonna throw away $20-$40 to buy some stupid 3rd party defrag tool when I don't need it.


So I've come to you, Mac community. What do you think I should do now to fix my choppy audio/video problem?

MacBook, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • CrackNCheese Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Ok, since no one has any answers to that question, I might as well try the defrag. Anyone know a good defrag tool? Or walk me through the free, manual way to do it, if there is such a thing?

  • rvaro2 Level 2 Level 2 (310 points)

    I would think it would be more of an ISP issue rather then a laptop issue... do you have any other computers or PS3 or Apple TV that you can test netflix on?


    If you have a basic ISP plan then this is what would be causing some of the issues... as well you didn't say if you were connecting wireless or direct to the router... i would reset the router as well if your using a wireless one..

  • CrackNCheese Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I wish you were right, but my sister has a Macbook Pro (not sure what year, but it's one of the newer Unibody ones. Maybe 2 years old or so) and it streams fine. My dad has a $300 ASUS with Windows 7 that streams netflix better than my computer does. How sad!


    I have tried streaming on Verizon DSL and Fios. Doesn't work on either. DSL is fast enough to handle Netflix, and Fios is even more capable than DSL. But I get stuttering on both.


    My fans are running at a constant 6200 rpm when I'm streaming. And like I said, when the audio stutters, my cursor stutters too as if my entire computer is momentarily freezing. That shouldn't happen if my ISP is the issue. Sounds like a laptop problem to me.


    But how do I fix it?

  • rvaro2 Level 2 Level 2 (310 points)

    you failed to mention that your fans are running like crazy in your original post...

    Since they are running like that then yes it is a computer issue...

    It may just be that you have too many applications running at the same time which is eating up your VRAM... what is your VRAM on your model?

    You can also try increasing your RAM from 2GB to 4GB... it will increase the performance overall but for video it really depends on the VRAM..

    You can check to see what it is by going to about this mac, more info, under hardware select graphics/display and next to it you will see.

  • CrackNCheese Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Lately, I've been making sure all other applications, inlcuding other browsers and even Apple Mail, are closed while I stream Netflix. Here are my Video Card specs:


    Intel GMA 950:


      Chipset Model:          GMA 950

      Type:          Display

      Bus:          Built-In

      VRAM (Total):          64 MB of Shared System Memory

      Vendor:          Intel (0x8086)

      Device ID:          0x27a2

      Revision ID:          0x0003


    Color LCD:

      Resolution:          1280 x 800

      Depth:          32-Bit Color

      Core Image:          Hardware Accelerated

      Main Display:          Yes

      Mirror:          Off

      Online:          Yes

      Quartz Extreme:          Supported

      Built-In:          Yes


    I suppose I could lower my Res but it looks awful at 1024x640. Like a computer from the 80s

  • CrackNCheese Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Update: Just had a kernel panic ("you need to restart your computer") while streaming. WTtruck is going on? I think I'm done with Netflix til I get a new computer.

  • ghostiewm Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Looks like you have a very old mac.  Me too.  and I had the same problem.  Its the heat sink.  Its piled on years of dust, and now the fan can't keep the processor cool enough to play streaming video or processing intensive applications like WOW.  Solution: you need to get your computers guts dusted.


    you will have to open her up



    and use  an air duster for keyboard ( approx $6 at walgreens) , (or if you can blow hard.. that should work too).  to dust out the heat sink and fan. while your at it you might want to dust out every thing inside.


    Reassemble, and youre back to watching viedos like you would.


    if youre squirmish about opening up your mac, and end up with extra screws, like i did, maybe you can use a powerful vacum, like the ones at the car wash.... that might do the trick. Im not sure if that would work but some one give it a go.Let me know if it worked out.

  • rvaro2 Level 2 Level 2 (310 points)

    You can try to do that... but i think the root of the problem is the VRAM... you just don't have enough...

  • CrackNCheese Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    That's a lotta freakin screws. I might do it. I wanna wait to get a new computer til next year. 5 years is a pretty decent shelf life for a computer don't you think?


    Btw, if I'm mostly using a computer to go on the internet, read emails, stream netflix/youtube/hulu, and use word/excel/powerpoint...should I bother spending the money on a mac? I feel like i could just get a $300 pc, put ubuntu on it, and it'll do everything I need. But I could be wrong.

  • rvaro2 Level 2 Level 2 (310 points)

    The purchase is up to you... but as you stated above... you have been using the laptop for 5 years and the only small issue your having is watching netflix.


    I think that you get a better shelf like out of the Apple products then something that is only 300 and is really only made to last half the time if your lucky... battery will be the first to go as they always do in a regular PC (in my opinion)...

  • ghostiewm Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Run to the carwash and give it a vaccum. se if that works. If you are just using it to watch tv, I dont see why you cant save the money and fix the one you currently have.  High power vaccum 1.00.

  • CrackNCheese Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    This is kinda ghetto but I put an icepack under my macbook and it's been streaming like a champ. Guess I gotta get around to cleaning the inside one day but this'll do in the mean time. Thanks rvaro and ghostie.

  • grahamcolinclark Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    this is not a laptop or browser issue. this is an issue that has gained noterity and popularity just as of recent with silverlight and netflix. this has been an issue for numerous people, all of which have been using various different browsers, hardware, isps, and operating systems. netflix has claimed ignorance despite multiple complaints from discontent users and proprietors of the company. wootinany, the only effective method of fixing this streaming problem that the anyone has been able to figure out, (since netflix nor silverlight seem to be doing a **** thing about it) is changing the buffering rate of the video you are watching. you can do this by holding shift+alt, Shift+Option(Alt) clicking, then clicking stream manager and selecting manual selection and changing it from the default option of 1050 to a lower buffering rate. this seems to be working for most people but not all. since there is no way to save this preference, unfortunately you must select your buffering rate every single time you start a new movie. if this doesnt work try deleting your facebook account and mailing tons of money and/or drugs to 1375 williams st. #102 denver CO. and upon reception of said comodities i will send you an email of thanks and say a meditative mantra in hopes that your problem will be fixed which will hopefully do something. its worth a try. preffered drugs include in this order, heroin, marijuana, cocaine, any form of psychedelic(preferreably DMT) and heroin. send any of these and i will say the mantra to fix your problem. again, wootinany.