It doesn’t take an engineering degree to use Netflix for its intended purpose. You navigate to the user friendly website, choose what you want to watch, and in no time flat you’ve got season 5 of Dexter streaming on your computer or TV. Easy said and even easier done.
Netflix has reaped massive reward from this tried and true formula, and the need to improve it is scarce. An old adage says “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” though we believe even Netflix’s excellence can use some enhancing, and we’ve got ten ways to help you do this.
From taking advantage of their in-depth algorithms to improving the browsing experience, these tips will help you get the most out of your Netflix subscription.
Ten tips and tricks to get the most out of your Netflix account
1. Rate everything you watch
Every time you finish a television or movie stream, Netflix asks you to give the content a 1-5 star rating. While most people tend to blow past any sort of survey, it greatly benefits you to take the time to rate your Netflix activity.
The streaming service’s in-depth algorithm takes note of your ratings and tailors its suggested titles based upon those ratings. By using the rating system, you can save yourself from spending 30 minutes browsing titles in the back corners of Netflix’s catalog. This spot-on algorithm can cut out search time by suggesting selections related to what you’ve rated highly.
Conversely, the system also takes note of shows and movies you’ve rated low, and will avoid making similar suggestions in the future. Consistently rating what you watch helps fine-tune Netflix in the best way possible.
2. Edit your Taste Preferences
You can use Netflix’s recommendation system even further by editing the Taste Preferences within your account. Located in the Taste Profile tab, the Taste Preferences section lets you input ratings for even deeper options than just genre. Once you fine tune this extended preferences page, Netflix will update it’s sub-genre offerings to better suit your viewing style.
This feature is even more important for users new to the Netflix universe as it provides a starting point for the site’s algorithm to start recommending content right away.
3. Set up multiple profiles on your account
If more than just one person uses your Netflix account, setting up other profiles helps keep everyone’s preferences separate. Netflix allows for up to five different profiles and keeps everyone’s Taste Preferences and ratings specific to their profile. This is a particularly handy feature for those who have kids. The last thing you need is a row full of Dora the Exlporer-related suggestions when what you really want is bad sci-fi.
4. Add Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB ratings
If you’re a fan of combing through reviews before deciding on a movie, then adding both the Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB ratings to your Netflix profile is crucial. Google Chrome users can download the Netflix Enhancer extension to have both ratings show up when browsing through Netflix selections.
The extension also adds the ability to view trailers of any movie selections, but these features are only accessible via the PC/Mac browser version of Netflix and not on the TV, over-the-top (Roku/Apple TV) mobile app, or game system versions.
5. Add the Netflix Trailer Button Adder
The Netflix Trailer Button Adder is a Google Chrome extension which adds a Watch Trailer button underneath Netflix selections. It varies from the above Chrome extension due to its ability to watch trailers for TV shows as well as movies.
We recommend trying both trailer extensions, but we personally prefer the Netflix Trailer Button Adder application as it functions a bit smoother.
6. Alter Netflix’s hidden streaming options
If you have a slower Internet connection, changing the streaming rate in Netflix can help improve your viewing experience. During the streaming playback of any Netflix selection just press Shift + Alt + Left Click — or Shift + Alt + Click on a Mac — and the Stream Manager menu will open. You now have access to alter the buffering rate of your Netflix playback and can use the audio/video sync option to fix mistimed dialogue.
7. Turn your phone or tablet in to a Netflix remote control
This specific trick only works for Netflix users who use a Sony PlayStation 3 to stream TV and movie playback, but it’s nonetheless a useful feature. To use this, download the Netflix application to your iOS or Android powered device and make sure both your PS3 and desired phone or tablet connect to the same WiFi network.
Now browse the Netflix library like normal and once you select what you want to watch just choose which device you’d like use to play the selection. Choose your PS3 from the provided list and your selection will start playing through the system. You can even use your phone or tablet to fast forward, rewind, pause, or switch episodes during playback on your PS3.
8. Install a userscript to better sort your Netflix queue
Even while using the newly added “My List” to sort through your constructed queue navigation can be cumbersome. Downloading and executing the userscript Netflix Queue Sorter will make sorting your favorites a walk in the park.
Netflix Queue Sorter allows you to sort your DVD/Blu-Ray queue or Instant Queue by star rating, average rating, availability, language, and more. Netflix Queue Sorter is ideal for users who have a deep queue library or are looking for a cleaner way to navigate. The application is compatible with the Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera web browsers.
9. Stay on top of what’s new
It’s easy to get lost in Netflix’s constant shuffle of what’s in and out of their Instant Queue. Even when Netflix adds new movies they aren’t always listed under the New section, which doesn’t allow you to realize the entire offered library.
Luckily there are many sites devoted to listing what is available on Netflix’s Instant Queue and Instant Watcher is the best of the bunch. As soon as you visit the page you’ll see two columns which have organized what’s currently streaming on Netflix. The New & Noteworthy column lists the newest movies in the Instant Queue and the Most Popular in the Last 24 Hours column show’s you what’s trending.
Instant Watcher also offers you the ability to view Netflix’s Instant Queue roster by genre or critics picks. This makes it easy to choose a movie no matter what mood you might be in.
To view what’s set to expire on the Netflix Instant Queue visit the What’s on Netflix Now blog for a continuously updated list of expiring films.
10. Put your Netflix account on hold
Netflix’s $7.99 per month subscription fee for online streaming is a low price to pay for access to its deep library of movies. But what if you’re hitting the road for an extended vacation, or summer has arrived and you’ll be spending less time indoors?
Netflix allows you to easily suspend your subscription for up to 90 days without paying extra charges. This allows you to pocket eight bucks each month while still keeping your Netflix queue intact. The only stipulation is you have to return any physical disc you have before the account suspends.
Do you have a favorite Netflix tip or trick not on our list? Let us know in the comments section below.