I know this is an old post. But with streams becoming more stable since the xc crash, hw+ just gets audio with a frozen picture on a 4k firestick. Hardware works with most streams. Software runs but is choppy (video seems off to the eye and has blips every 5 to 10 seconds), but if the Hardware decoder isn’t working, you have to use Software and just deal with the bad video. No noticeable difference for Native. HW+ also allowed for closed captions in most cases, but since the video is just a frozen picture, it makes closed captions a non factor. When using the streams in VLC or Tivimate, the issue doesn’t occur so I could make sure it wasn’t the stream.
Also, The auto feature used to seem to pick the best decoder for the stream, but now setting to auto just seems to pick the first one that works. So it could stop on the Software decoder even if the Hardware decoder might be better for that stream. So now have to set the default to Hardware instead of Auto. Not sure if it’s a version issue (haven’t reverted to past versions).