Windows 8 & RT Go to Sleep while Video Playing

Have you tried watching video in an app on your Surface RT only to have the system go to sleep at the two-minute mark? Kenold Pierre-Louis (@kenoldp) experienced this and tweeted about it. I hadn’t played much video myself, but what he was describing sounded odd. I fired up the Stanford app as he suggested, and sure enough, the screen dimmed after one minute and the system went to sleep after two.

A quick check of the power settings showed that, the Surface RT’s default power plan (its only power plan it turns out) is set to dim the display after one minute and sleep after two, both on battery and on AC. So even while video is playing in the Stanford app, Windows seems to think the system is idle, and puts the system to sleep.  I tried the NBC News app and experienced the same thing.  I even tried the same apps on Windows 8 Enterprise on a Samsung Series 7 Slate. Same behavior.

If I’m watching a video, I don’t want to have to hit keys or tap the screen to keep the system from going to sleep. I could change the power settings, but the real issue here is why the system thinks it is idle. The Netflix app keeps the system from turning the display off while playing video, so why don’t the other apps I mentioned earlier?

Has anyone noticed this behavior?  Is there something these apps should be doing to let Windows know they’re busy, or is this intentional?  Maybe I’m just missing something obvious. Any Windows 8 app developers that can shed light on this issue?

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3 Responses

  1. Pingback: My Obligatory Surface RT Blog Post | Scott Ladewig's {insert site name here}

  2. We have notified the owners of this app of what they need to do to fix this so that it works like the Netflix app.

    For developers of Windows apps, they need to call the WinRT DisplayRequest.RequestActive function to keep the screen on and machine awake.