Ten Netflix Hacks for a Better Streaming Experience
Ever wondered how to add subtitles to your favourite TV show? Or how to delete titles from your viewing history so that your roommate doesn’t make fun of you for watching Sharknado? Wonder no more. Here are ten Netflix hacks that will turn you from novice Netflix enthusiast into streaming guru.
More and more people subscribe to Netflix to enjoy thousands of hours of content at their fingertips. Figuring out what to watch can sometimes feel overwhelming (so many choices!), but navigating the streaming service is fairly easy, due to Netflix’s intuitive and user friendly interface. However, there are a few ways to make your streaming experience even smoother; and we’ve got an insider scoop we’re eager to share.
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1. How to find Netflix’s original programming
Netflix is producing 1,000 hours of original content this year alone. While you might already be familiar with hit shows like House of Cards, Stranger Things, and Orange is the New Black, less popular gems like the brilliant animated series BoJack Horseman can go unnoticed. To make sure you don’t miss a thing, head to the “Browse” menu up top and select “Originals” to see a complete list of Netflix originals, all in one place.
2. How to quickly browse by genre
Keen to see more of the same? Click the row names on the homepage in your browser. This will bring up a full gallery of TV shows and films within that genre.
3. How to find 4K content
If you own an Ultra HD TV, type “4K” in the search bar to see a full list of Netflix TV shows and movies available in 4K resolution. It doesn’t get easier than this. Recent versions of the app add a special 4K menu to your screen if a 4K display is detected, too.
4. How to change video quality
Netflix allows you to manually adjust the streaming rate. Photo: Netflix
If you’re worried about data usage, you can manually adjust the streaming rate by hopping into your Netflix account settings and choosing Playback Settings, then selecting one of three options. If you want high-def or 4K to be your default, select High.
5. How to eliminate buffering
You only need a minimum of 0.5 mbps to stream Netflix content, although 5 mbps is recommended for HD quality. You can manually adjust your streaming options in the Playback Settings menu (see above). For smooth viewing, reduce the quality manually if you’re seeing too much buffering. Netflix usually will detect a slow connection and automatically drop the quality until the connection speeds up.
6. How to access subtitles
All programs on Netflix have the option to add English subtitles — handy if you’re watching a cockney movie or are hard of hearing. To activate subtitles, 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. Moreover, there are usually subtitles available in several languages, so that’s a plus if you’re watching Netflix from another country.
7. How to change subtitle appearance
It gets even better. You can easily change the colour and font size of subtitles to match your eyesight or personal style preference. To do this, head to Your Account and select Subtitle Appearance. You can tweak everything from colour and font, to the background and shadow appearance.
8. How to delete titles from your viewing history
If you want to hide your embarrassing movie selections, you can easily delete titles from your viewing history. Photo: Netflix
You can delete titles from your viewing history if multiple people have been using your account. Or, you know, if you just want to hide your embarrassing movie selections. After all, we’ve all spent at least one night sipping wine and enjoying a guilty pleasure we would never admit to watching.
Head to Your Account and under My Profile select Viewing Activity — here you can see all the shows you have recently watched and delete accordingly. Handily, this also wipes the titles from Netflix’s activity log, so they’ll stop messing up your auto-recommendations.
9. How to watch Netflix overseas
If you’re planning an overseas holiday there’s a pretty good chance your account will continue to work like magic. You will also have access to all the titles available in that region while you’re over there. If shows you’re in the middle of watching aren’t available in the country you’re in, you won’t see them in your list any more – but don’t worry, they’ll be back once you get home!
10. Mobile Devices
While Netflix can be streamed from your smartphones and tablets using a Google Chromecast device, it can also be done using an appropriate video-out cable. Just plug in the cable into your mobile device and HDTV, and you will be able to stream videos from the Netflix app. The only concern is resolution! After all, there is a huge difference between the size of your mobile screen and a 42-inch HDTV screen… Make sure to force video quality to High in your account if you want to try viewing using this method.