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Cannot play most Flash Video Content under XP, SP3

  • 13 replies
  • 15 have this problem
  • Last reply by Compumind

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Hi all -

I am using a 10 year old XP SP3 system for some legacy things and running FF 50.x. very nicely.

Let's face it, XP's days are past numbered. However, sites like CNET, CNN, etc. will not play the main video content. I've tried many of the articles and attempted fixes on this forum and understand that time is running out.

Is there some program or plug-in that can buy me some extra time or is it just going to be hit or miss? BBC's site works fine. It all depends on the website that is streaming the video.

How can I tell what format the video content is being streamed in?

I thought that Firefox would bring built-in compatibility by translating these new video formats so older systems can play them. Am I incorrect?

CNN Image attached to show example.

Any help appreciated and thanks! :)

Attached screenshots

Modified by Compumind

All Replies (13)

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If you have problems with current Shockwave Flash plugin versions then check this:

  • see if there are updates for your graphics 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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No updates for the Graphics Drivers for nearly six years. Shockwave up-to-date.

Again, this is XP, SP3. Running on fumes, lol.

Modified by Compumind

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As you know, XP no longer receives any updates. I called for more help but installing a newer Windows (7, 8, 10) may be the best thing.

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Can you post a link to a publicly accessible page (i.e. no authentication or signing on required)?

Is the Shockwave Flash plugin used or the HTML5 media player?

You can check via the right-click context menu of the player area what kind of media player is used. A Flash based player shows a context menu with the Flash version.

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Hi cor-el -

Any video on or will only play the commercial before the start of the main content. (see my posted CNN image.)

CNET player will just be dark. I tried right clicking on both players and I don't see anything about them using Flash at all. Interesting.

I am using Shockwave Flash for the entire system v 23.0 r0. Flash Protected Mode is disabled (wouldn't work in XP anyway.)

I have attached the image for that as shown in the add-on's page within the FF browser, under options (for Shockwave).

FYI - Both Shockwave and Flash Player for FF were cleanly uninstalled and reinstalled to their latest revisions.

Important - uses Flash for their Videos and all play perfectly fine. (See the image posted.)

I don't have a HTML5 Media Player. Is there a special plug-in?


Modified by Compumind

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Of late, I have noticed that some clips will not start on their own. But if I click on the time bar near the beginning, then it starts.

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FredMcD -

Tried that. Makes no difference. See my posted CNN screenshot.

cor-el -

All YouTube Videos play just fine within FF on YouTube with their HTML5 Web Player. Attached is another screenshot from within their online player.

I still do not know what CNN and CNET are using, do you?


Modified by Compumind

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I would appreciate a reply to my previous post,

I wonder if CNN and CNET detect XP as the OS and are deliberately blocking video playback, in a scheme with Microsoft...

Could anyone test the above posts in this thread to confirm the problem?


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Look at the attached image... What's going on?


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That is from FileHippo, not CNN.

Type about:addons<enter> in the address bar to open the Add-ons Manager. Hot key; <Control>(Mac=<Command>) <Shift> A)

On the left side of the page, select Plugins. Make sure the ones you want to use are set to Ask or Allow. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Go to the web page. Once the page is loading, mouse to the address bar and Left click the icon. Select Permissions. In the menu, Make sure the ones you want to use are set to Ask or Allow.

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Compumind said

Look at the attached image... What's going on? Thanks.

Well as the message says, your WinXP does not fully support HTML5 video as Microsoft only provides the needed codecs for Windows Vista and newer.

Because such codecs and such is needed on Windows for HTML5 videos to work there is this for Windows N and KN users as they do not come with the needed media packs. This article is not for WinXP users though.

You should not be able to play the H.264/MP4 video on ignore the table on page as it is very outdated.

Also a test at

You sure the videos on Youtube is not actually using the Flash Player Plugin?. To make sure set the Flash Player Plugin (uses old name of Shockwave Flash in Addons) to either click to play or deactivate it then try to play videos on Youtube.

With some workarounds you may be able to play some HTML5 videos.

Modified by James

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Hi James -

I cannot play the video at:

I can play the video at:

The built-in YouTube video player says that it is HTML5. To check, pick a video and click right inside it. "About the HTML 5 Player"

Test link used -

Now, I turned of Shockwave Flash and it made no difference with the YouTube Player, Also tried on CNN and CNET - still cannot play video, aside from the "commercial" right before the main content.

The workarounds seem to be a bit clumsy at best (I appreciate it! :) ) though very informative. Still dont know why everything is OK on YouTube but not on CNN and CNET and the test site above.

Please note that I also have the VLC Media Player which installed a VLC Media Player Web Plug-in.

From MSFN -

"If you're here because MP4 video has stopped working after you upgraded to Firefox 49.0 or higher, that happens because 49.0 introduces a new pair of preferences."

Suggestions? I'm running 50.1.0 and prefer not to downgrade.

Modified by Compumind

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@FredMcD -

Everything is properly set, so the result is still the same. I think that James might be getting closer to the root of the problem.

As always, I appreciate your help and continued efforts! See the image attachment for CNN. Thanks.

Modified by Compumind