We’re living in an age where television viewing is more than just your local freeview or dish TV subscription. With the advent of streaming services such as Netflix, viewers now have access to a huge range of movies and shows, by creators from all over the world, spanning across many cultures, languages, and even decades.
Unless you know exactly what you’re looking for, wading through this sea of options can be overwhelming.Your search for an entertaining watch can leave you bored and empty handed, or leave you settling for something unengaging. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Did you know that Netflix suggestions can be tailored to your taste? Yes, it can!
For Netflix to make better recommendations for you, it needs to get to know you. You can start by setting up different user profiles for yourself and for other members of your household who may be sharing your Netflix account. This will neatly segregate viewer preferences by profile and adjust your feed based on the users’ viewing trends — what they like, what they don’t like, and the genres they are into. As you watch content on Netflix, the information captured from your profile starts programming your feed to reflect recommendations that are more aligned with your taste.
Once you have your profile management right, you have set the wheels in motion for a more informed feed. Rating movies and TV shows that you watch will also aide in fine-tuning the algorithm that tracks your streaming history. Netflix can use these ratings to find users with similar taste as yours and help generate a more personal feed. It barely takes a second to give a thumbs up or thumbs down, and Netflix can use that information to accurately suggest content that meets your requirements. A little goes a long way — as you will find out.
While most people watch Netflix on TV screens, there are a lot of users who watch it on their laptops and tablets. This is where browser extensions come in. Many users use Google Chrome to browse the internet, and there are a bunch of viewing extensions which tweak and change Netflix, allowing you to enjoy an enhanced Netflix experience. Let’s dive into the most essential Chrome extensions you should have installed.
The first noticeable difference upon installation of this extension is that it adds a toolbar to the top of the screen. This lets you import subtitles, change the playback speed, change audio/video bitrate, adjust the brightness, and skip in defined intervals. Furthermore, there are features that you can enable via the settings panel to blur the synopsis on future episodes, preventing spoilers. The feature that stands out, though, is the subtitles import, which is useful to those whose language options aren’t prioritised by Netflix.
Netflix Categories allows you to quickly look at categories or genres you may want to shortlist while searching for your next watch on Netflix. You can “heart” your favourite categories from the main list so you can easily revisit them at a later date. This list is by no means complete but there are over 30,000 categories to choose from, so you’re bound to find a few that reflect your interest.
Simkl Browse (Enhancer for Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon)
This versatile enhancer has a more sophisticated approach to tracking your Netflix preferences, compared to Netflix’s native algorithm. Simkl connects to a larger database which tracks all the TV you have watched, not only on Netflix, but other streaming platforms as well. The Netflix recommendations are therefore more relevant to your interests and you are able to hover over cards of titles to view the IMDb score, TV rank, and drop off rate. It also has some extra features, including a randomizer and Netflix categories. Decision making on Netflix couldn’t be easier with this extension! The only perceivable drawback is the lengthy setup time. However, when you consider the significantly improved user experience it offers across so many streaming platforms, a little extra setup time is hardly a concern.
Skipflix: Auto Skip Netflix Intro
One of many life hacks for the lazy man (or woman), this little enhancer automatically clicks the “skip intro” button when title credits appear on Netflix — too easy! There is nothing more or less to this simple fix, so if you’re one of those people who can’t wait to get on with the show, this extension could give you a sense of divine contentment.
There is a whole world of Chrome extensions out there, but be warned — there is also a lot of spam and extensions that don’t work.
Are Netflix Alternatives as Easily Customisable?
Netflix is awesome for the fact that it allows you the flexibility to watch your favourite shows and movies on your television, personal computer, and mobile devices. However, it is not your only streaming choice. There are other streaming platforms, both free and paid, that can expand your TV shows and movie choices, such as Amazon Prime, Stan, Hulu, and Foxtel Now. However, some of them are lacking in certain aspects of usability, which gives Netflix an edge over the others.
Foxtel Now does not provide you with the option to create a list of favourites in the way that you can on Netflix and Stan. If something piques your interest while browsing on Foxtel Now’s recommendations, there is currently no way for you to earmark it to watch at a later date. You’re going to have to rely on your memory or physically make a note of it somewhere.
Stan is as good as, or in some areas, better than Netflix when it comes to grazing on content. In addition to being able to organise your favourites, Stan also provides you with the option of streaming videos in the highest video quality your internet connection will allow. This can be done by changing your video quality to “Auto” in the settings menu.
Unlike Netflix and Stan, the Amazon Prime Video app lets you download select TV shows and movies to watch later. This works well for tablet and laptop users who want to watch a TV show or movie when travelling on a flight in offline mode or otherwise when there is no internet available.
Whatever your chosen streaming service, you can gain the most from it simply by playing around with your settings. Also, take the time to provide feedback to the streaming service providers to help them learn more about how they can improve your experience. Now that you know more about customising Netflix, you can enjoy better recommendations tuned to suit your personal taste.