It’s impossible for me to recall my life prior to Netflix, and I’d rather not. Even the best things in life have potential for change, and the age of all-day binge-watching and getting endless titles waiting eagerly at our literal fingertips has totally revolutionised the way we consume media.
Here are 12 tips, tricks, and “hacks” (for lack of a better term) that will significantly improve your Netflix experience, all of which are compatible with Netflix’s fresh, improved edition. There’s a chance you’ll never leave your house again.
1. ADD RATINGS, IMDB LINKS, AND TRAILERS FOR ROTTEN TOMATOES.
The Netflix Enhancement Suite, a smorgasbord of critical add-ons in one concise (and free) box, should be your first move if you want to better your bingeing right away. From Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes pop-up scores (so you can tell the good from the bad), to IMDb profiles, to trailers for almost every movie, you’ll wonder how you ever Netflixed without it.
2. GET NETFLIX MOVIES FROM OTHER COUNTRIES WITH AN UNBLOCKER.
Did you know that Netflix in other countries has movies and TV shows that aren’t available on Netflix in the United States? What the heck is going on here?! Why should Argentina get Modern Family when we’re stuck watching Undercover Boss for five seasons? Unblockers like Smartflix (for free) and Media Hint (for a fee) fool the web into believing you’re in another country, allowing you to watch hundreds of new movies. Despite the fact that Media Hint isn’t secure, it could be a safer choice than Hola, which has recently been in the news for security concerns. At your own risk, unblock.
3. WATCH ROULETT ON NETFLIX
Do you ever wish Netflix had a “random” button so you wouldn’t waste your prime years skimming through 4,000 titles before settling on watching Parks and Recreation for the hundredth time? Flix Roulette is this wonder system, plus a lot more: you can narrow down your searches by selecting directors, actors, or even keywords (such as sexy thrillers with a strong bisexual lead). I’m up for an all-day Frank Stallone marathon.
4. ELIMINATE BUFFERING.
Bingers all over the world suffer from the scourge of buffering time. How does one hope to get through Mad Men’s dark themes and dramatic buildups if the climax is hampered by the horrors of unnecessary loading? While playing a game, hold Shift+Opt (Shift+Alt for Windows) and left click to reveal a “hidden” menu (called the Stream Manager) with buffering fixes and other streaming options. This menu can be accessed by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Alt/Opt+S in Chrome. Using the directional pad to swipe up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, up, up, up, up, up, up, up, up, up, up, up.
5. FOR BETTER VIDEO QUALITY, WATCH NETFLIX AT WEIRD TIMES.
According to a Digital Trends survey, streaming during off-peak hours (early in the morning, late at night, etc.) is one way to increase video quality. During the research, they discovered that video quality and speed were dramatically enhanced during hours when less users were logging into the web binge-watching. Finally, a good reason to give up your work and sit at home watching Kimmy Schmidt.
6. BE AWARE OF ALL COMPUTER SHORTCUTS.
These five keyboard shortcuts will speed up your binge-watching, giving you more time to scare yourself for life by watching Black Mirror: Season One.
- F will take you to full screen; Esc will take you to the previous screen.
- PgDn will pause; PgUp will play;
- and the spacebar will pause and play as well.
- Shift + Right Arrow quick forwards;
- Shift + Left Arrow rewinds
- M toggles the mute button, depending on your screen
7. CHECK TO SEE IF YOU’RE OPTIMIZING FOR HIGH DEFINITION.
Wouldn’t it be embarrassing if you paid for HD streaming but never watched it? Many Netflix users overlook their streaming settings; simply go to Netflix.com/HdToggle to ensure you’re still set up for HD viewing. WARNING: If you want to watch Breaking Bad when you’re not near a Wi-Fi hotspot, this will wreak havoc on your data plan (HD videos use up more data, duh).
8. CREATE YOUR OWN SUBTITLES.
If you enjoy foreign films but don’t have 30 copies of Rosetta Stone, you probably rely on subtitles heavily. Even the most ardent Fellini and Kurosawa fans of being unaware that the default Netflix subtitles can be customised to change colour, size, font, and more, depending on your tastes and the title you’re watching. Simply go to Your Account > Your Profile > Subtitle Appearance and prepare to absorb all of the delicious cultures.
9. HAVE A RABBIT BINGE WITH YOUR Mates
Rabbit, a video-chat app, is a perfect alternative to FaceTime and/or Skype if you’re in a long-distance relationship and waiting to finish House of Cards before you and your significant other are reunited. Rabbit, unlike the two video-chatting services listed previously, allows you to open a window that can be used by all parties in the chat—inside that window, you can do anything you want, like watching your favourite shows and movies. So, in essence, you can enter someone else’s viewing by using another window to video chat and message them in real time
10. WEAR NETFLIX SOCKS TO AVOID SPOILERS ON NETFLIX 10.
Nothing is more annoying than dozing off during the third episode of House of Cards only to awaken during a particularly spoilery scene in episode 10. That was the inspiration behind Netflix socks, which have an embedded pulse sensor that senses when you’ve fallen asleep and instantly stops whatever you’re watching so you don’t miss a thing. They don’t come ready-made just yet, but a step-by-step guide includes everything you’ll need to make them.
11. FIND Just WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR IN THE “NETFLIX BIBLE.”
If basic categories like “Action” or “Romance” aren’t scratching your itch, What’s On Netflix has a veritable encyclopaedia of strange, wild, and fascinating subgenres that you’d never find by skimming the site’s surface. They have simple ID codes that can be attached to the end of every Netflix URL to take you directly to the promised land. If you’re looking for a good sob, dial 6384 for “Tearjerkers.”
12. SEARCH FOR THE BEST TITLES TO WATCH ON REDDIT.
On the other side, If you don’t know what you’re searching for, the vast Internet wasteland/gold mine of Reddit, where the devoted subreddit r/NetflixBestOf features a frighteningly inspired group of film and television fans who have endless reviews on notable titles they’ve stumbled across, is an excellent point of reference. In addition, if you’re looking for a Netflix original, this list should have some suggestions.