'Netflix and chill' is part of our vernacular. There are now over 11 million Netflix subscribers in Australia and the majority are probably just using Netflix's search and recommendations to find stuff to watch. But you can get way more from Netflix by employing a few simple tricks via these hidden tools and extensions.
Adding extra features to Netflix
If you're using Chrome to access Netflix, there are a bunch of extensions that can enhance the viewing experience.
For example Super Netflix lets you set the bitrate Netflix will stream on (with an option to let Netflix decide for you, to automatically skip intros without needing you to click on anything and blurring previews so you don't see any accidental spoilers.
And the IMDb Ratings for Netflix extension adds IMDb's ratings to movies as well as quick access to other movies and TV show metadata.
Find the categories you want
Behind the attractive Netflix user interface lies a massive database packed with information about all the movies in Netflix's library. That content is tagged into over 30,000 different categories - everything from 'Action and Adventure' through to 'Zombies'.
If you want to find a specific category, like 'Violent Movies starring Arnold Schwarzenegger', then you need to know that's category '632'.
In your web browser, enter the following
All you need to do is substitute the category number at the end of the address and voila!
You can find a listing of all the Netflix categories here
Instead of reaching for the muse or trackpad all the time, there are some keyboard shortcuts you can use to manage your Netflix experience . Here are few of the most useful ones:
- F = enter full screen
- ESC = exit full screen
- Shift + Left Arrow = rewind
- Shift + Right Arrow = fast-forward
- M = mute
- Up arrow = volume up
- Down arrow = volume down
- Enter = play/pause
- Page Up = play
- Page down = pause
Keep track of when shows are leaving
Netflix constantly updates its library. Each month, lots of new shows appear but plenty get culled as well. One of my friends had been watching There Vampire Diaries and was mightily pissed off when the series disappeared from view while she had a few more eps to go.
I had been watching Hot Fuzz with my son and only got half-way through. When we went back to watch the end - it was gone.
Each month, we publish a list of everything coming to Netflix (and all the other major streaming services) as well as weekly updates to keep you up to date. But we also publish a list of everything that's leaving Netflix regularly.
Clean up your viewing history
Your viewing history is a big part of what drives Netflix. It's used to drive the service's recommendation engine and it's an interesting artefact to look back on as your tastes and preferences change. If you want to edit your viewing history, you can do it quite easily by going into your profile and looking at your viewing activity.
From there, you can take a walk down your personal Netflix memory lane and delete any item that that don't want listed.
Customise Netflix subtitles
You can add English subtitles t every show streamed on Netflix. This is great if you're watching something late at night and need to keep the volume low or if you area little hard of hearing. Turning on subtitles is easy.
Select the movie or TV show you want to play, head to "Audio & Subtitles" in the options panel then press Back once you're done. Your movie will now play with English subtitles.
But if you go to your user profile settings using a web browser, you can also edit the font, colour, size and shadow applied to the subtitles.