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How do I force Netflix to use Silverlight?

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  • 7 have this problem
  • 1404 views
  • Last reply by John99

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I was going to post this question, but then I figured out the answer, so now I'll post the question and the answer for anyone else who searches how to do this. This is for windows but may work on other OS idk.

My older computer runs netflix smoothly in silverlight, but choppy in html5.

Netflix detects that I run a browser which is supposed to have html5 DRM support, so it goes straight to using the html5 player. So I disable DRM in firefox, and set Widevine to never activate. But then when I try to watch a netflix video, instead of it using silverlight, which I have, it plays nothing and tells me to Enable DRM. That's pretty much a bug with their system or firefox, or just a poor design choice imo.

To fix it and force Netflix to use Silverlight, you just have to install a User Agent switcher and pretend to be a slightly older version of firefox (for example 40). Then Netflix will think your browser doesn't have html5 drm capability and it will use silverlight.

Chosen solution

If silverlight was not being phased out, it would clearly be poor design to not fall back gracefully so the user can still get at the content. The phasing out is really the only excuse not to want to do that.

As it is, since silverlight performs more efficiently than the html5 player, this design choice (or oversight) is basically making a bunch of computers obsolete 5 months sooner than they need to be. (While a much much larger amount of computers are not affected lol.)

It's too bad that that html5 video is more demanding on hardware than silverlight and flash were.

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I did not know that happened. I would have presumed Netflix just no longer supports Browsers using Silverlight. I do not think it is a bug or poor design, you are just managing to exploit their loophole that allows support of legacy browsers.

At least by using a User Agent switcher to spoof a different version of Firefox you day to day browsing is done with a supported and safe Firefox version.

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Chosen Solution

If silverlight was not being phased out, it would clearly be poor design to not fall back gracefully so the user can still get at the content. The phasing out is really the only excuse not to want to do that.

As it is, since silverlight performs more efficiently than the html5 player, this design choice (or oversight) is basically making a bunch of computers obsolete 5 months sooner than they need to be. (While a much much larger amount of computers are not affected lol.)

It's too bad that that html5 video is more demanding on hardware than silverlight and flash were.

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I will mark this solved. There is not anything more we will be able to do to fix this issue for you. Solved threads show up in internal and external searches so your post will be found and seen by more people.