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Netflix open causes massive frame stuttering

I listed this as UE 4.21, but I'm seeing it also on UE 4.18. Like the title says, having Netflix open causes stuttering of my game. Every second or so, I see a freeze that lasts about a fifth of a second, rendering my game unplayable. Details are as follows:

  • Happens in a brand new project, default level.

  • Happens whether in play-in-editor mode, or shipping packaged build.

  • Happens if in fixed frame rate, smoothed framerate, or unlimited frame rate mode.

  • Happens whether in fullscreen or windowed.

  • Happens if running 1 or 2 monitors (both are 1920x1080).

  • Happens regardless of which browser Netflix is running in. Happens whether Chrome hardware acceleration is on or off.

  • In Task Manager, CPU usage hovers around 40%, no cores are maxed out, and I see no spikes anywhere in CPU, Memory, Disk or CPU (low usage in all).

  • before you say its my specs, I'm running a Core i-7 3.40GHz, GTX 1070 GPU, and 16 GB of ram. My game sees 600 fps when in unlimited frame-rate, but still gets this stuttering. It happens on all other computers I've tested it on as well (all core i-7, all GTX GPUs).

  • It seems to happen in other games made with UE4 as well (I tried Fortnite and Abzu), but it seems to happen far worse in my game than these other games.

edit - the stuttering occurs even if Netflix is paused, and minimized in the background. Other streaming services like YouTube does not cause this issue.

I ran profiler (image attached), and it shows FFileTransferRunnable and FMessageBug.Router taking large amounts of CPU Stall time. Googling around didn't give me any hints. alt text

Has anyone else seen this issue? Its been plaguing me for months. I don't want to have to put up a message to users "turn off Netflix to play this game, even if your computer is amazing".

Product Version: UE 4.21
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netflixstutter.jpg (509.5 kB)
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asked Nov 10 '18 at 06:20 PM in Using UE4

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Nantuk
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avatar image ThompsonN13 Nov 10 '18 at 06:40 PM

now this is just a philosophical point but wouldnt people watching netflix while playing mean that your game isnt interesting or engaging enough. now dont take that as criticism on you personally or anything its just a thought.

avatar image Nantuk Nov 10 '18 at 06:58 PM

Its a nice thought, but this bug happens even if Netflix is paused, and minimized in the background (I'll add this point to the post). Its purely a usability concern. As well, some people like to multi-task and watch/listen to television while they play a video game. Most games don't have this bug, and I'd like to solve it if I can. While I personally don't like to multitask like this, it's their spare time, and they can use it however they please. If someone buys a $2000 computer so that they can play games and watch TV at the same time, by golly, it's my duty to align them 1's and 0's to allow them to do so.

avatar image Everynone Nov 10 '18 at 07:59 PM

I just tested it and (surprisingly!) got the same result; even though the engine is outputting hundreds of frames, the whole thing is jerky and the behaviour is cyclical. And there are no CPU / GPU utilisation spikes.

Interestingly enough, I can watch 4k YT with no problems. Neither are there problems with playing an interesting or engaging game and watching Netflix. ;)

Engine quirk, perhaps.

avatar image Nantuk Nov 10 '18 at 08:06 PM

can confirm, Doesn't happen in YT for me either.

avatar image xa_ver Dec 31 '18 at 04:31 PM

I observe the same problem. It happens with Netflix as well as with HBO go, perhaps it's related to some kind of DRM. I get FPS drops twice a second or so, it's unrelated to the engine you use. Which browser are you using? This happens when I use Chrome, switching to Firefox solved the issue for me.

avatar image xa_ver Dec 31 '18 at 07:26 PM

I observe a similar problem

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I observe the same problem. It happens with Netflix as well as with HBO go, perhaps it's related to some kind of DRM. I get FPS drops twice a second or so, it's unrelated to the engine you use. Which browser are you using? This happens when I use Chrome, switching to Firefox solved the issue for me.

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answered Dec 31 '18 at 07:38 PM

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xa_ver
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avatar image Nantuk Dec 31 '18 at 08:06 PM

indeed it does happen in many games, not just ones made with UE4. But I did also find that it doesn't happen for a lot of games.

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