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Poor YouTube HTML5 video performance in Firefox - fine in IE

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I have a quite low end system set up, so I'm not expecting miracles from it, but there seems to be some problems playing Youtube videos on Firefox.

If I load a video on Internet Explorer, it will play fine, even on 1080p with CPU usage of about 20%. Firefox often exhibits problems playing videos.

If I launch Firefox immediately from signing in, the videos will play fine. If I navigate to another video, there will usually be dropped frames and high CPU usage.

I understand that Internet Explorer will use the h.264 codec which is GPU accelerated whilst FF will use a more CPU intense task, but that doesn't really explain why sometimes the videos will play fine and others, it won't.

I have tried on a completely clean install of Firefox, so it will unlikely be extensions, profiles or add-ons. I have then changed the timing of the sessions saving and disabled smooth scrolling as advised elsewhere, with no success.

All help gratefully received.

All Replies (5)

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check this:

  • see if there are updates for your graphics drive drivers

  • disable protected mode in the Flash plugin (Flash 11.3+ on Windows Vista and later)

  • disable hardware acceleration in the Flash plugin See also:

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Thanks for your reply, I've tried all of that.

Unfortunately, not much of that is appliciable to my situation. Video performance with Flash is absolutely fine. If I use one of the Firefox plugins to force YouTube to use the Flash player, video up to 1080p is absolutely fine.

If I use the HTML5 player, the CPU usage is sky high and the video is unplayable.

Internet Explorer 11 using the HTML5 player plays everything perfectly with minimal CPU usage, so it would suggest that something is different in Firefox's implementation which is causing poorer playback. I'd really rather not use IE for anything other than installing another browser, so I'd really like to get to the bottom of this!

Thanks for your help so far :)

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I've called the big guys to help you. Good luck.

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Thanks for your help :)

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I had this issue as well! Posted about it here:

I hope that this is solved promptly, especially with the possibility of flash being phased out. I've tried just about everything to fix this.