I'm posting this thread to help out anyone with an ATI/AMD graphics and is having random problems with Metro streaming apps in Windows 8 (Netflix, Skype, Hulu, Youtube, Xbox Music, iHeartRadio, TuneIn Radio, etc.):
recap of the problem: metro apps having difficulty streaming or crashing back to the start screen. a lot of these problems were random. to be clear, the Metro app would either fail to connect to pull the stream or the app would dump the user back to the start screen.
it turns out to be the AMD Catalyst 12.6 Legacy Driver for Windows 8!!! Something with the driver is causing the problem! I uninstalled the driver and the entire Catalyst suite and rebooted. The ATI/AMD driver that comes with Windows 8 replaced the 12.6 version and every application started working again!
You can install the rest of the Catalyst suite again with a custom install as long as you DO NOT INSTALL THE DRIVER! Leave the Windows 8 driver for these legacy ATI graphics.
My offending system has an ATI HD4670 graphics card.
I won't take credit for this obscure bug. I found it in this thread:
I've already had 2 people confirm in another forum that this fixed their problems (one of them had an ATI 4800 series card and the other had a 3200 series card).
on a side note, a lot of third party security programs are blocking the Metro apps from functioning properly or even preventing them from launching. Most notably, Avast has commonly been cited as well as McAfee. The common answer is to wait for them to update their software to Windows 8 compatibility and to use Windows Defender in the meantime.
on another forum, some moderators are telling people to uninstall the Nvidia suite if they have problems (but keep the driver if it isn't causing a problem) because there are some components and services that are being installed that interfere with Windows 8 functionality.
here was my initial problem before it was solved:
I tried loading the Netflix app and it appears to try to load for awhile, unsuccessfully, and then it dumps me back to the start screen. So I check the apps list and it's still running. But when I select it again, it does the same.
I then play with Xbox Music. music is playing. I then went to search for a specific artist and try to play the song. it dumps me back to the start screen. the music is no longer playing. the app appears to be running (as seen in the apps list). if I play a song that was added to my music library or if I play an MP3 off the hard drive, there's no issue. but sometimes when i'm browsing for songs and selecting them to play, it'll dump me back to the desktop.
I've had this happen on a totally separate system with various apps where I get dumped back to the start screen.
and here's a sample video of the behavior: