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Why does Firefox 5 have to run in 32-bit mode to stream Netflix with the latest Silverlight? Safari does not seem to have this limitation.

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  • Last reply by saultsj

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Why does Firefox demand to be run in 32-bit mode on a Mac to stream Netflix? If I try to stream a movie when I do not have Firefox set to run in 32-bit mode, I always be a message thanking me for installing but then a warning that I should restart in 32-bit mode. When I choose to restart in 32-bit mode, the movie will stream, But I get the same message every time, UNLESS I set Firefox to run in 32-bit mode only. Safari does not seem to have this limitation, it does not have to run in 32-bit mode to stream Netflix. I do not think it is a Silverlight 5 (or 4) limitation. It seems to be a Firefox problem.

Why does Firefox demand to be run in 32-bit mode on a Mac to stream Netflix? If I try to stream a movie when I do not have Firefox set to run in 32-bit mode, I always be a message thanking me for installing but then a warning that I should restart in 32-bit mode. When I choose to restart in 32-bit mode, the movie will stream, But I get the same message every time, UNLESS I set Firefox to run in 32-bit mode only. Safari does not seem to have this limitation, it does not have to run in 32-bit mode to stream Netflix. I do not think it is a Silverlight 5 (or 4) limitation. It seems to be a Firefox problem.

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This appears to be a limitation with the Silverlight plugin which is developed by Microsoft. It only is able to run in 32-bit mod. If this is a source of annoyance all the time (because you often use Netflix or other Silverlight services), then is suggest making Firefox always start in 32-bit mode:

  1. Go to Finder
  2. Right click on FireFox in applications folder
  3. Select Get Info
  4. Select "Open in 32 Bit mode"
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You solution is simply the suboptimal option I described in my question. Evidently, you missed the point of my post

Safari CAN run in 64-bit mode and STILL use 32-bit Silverlight to play Neflix streaming. So why does Silverlight constrain Firefox to 32-bit but not constrain Safari in the same way? Obviously, this means I always have to run Firefox in 32-bit mode (or switch manually just to stream Neflix), and accept the performance tradeoffs that entails. I'm afraid this limitation changes my browser preferences on Mac from Firefox to Safari.

Modified by saultsj