Netflix adds SD card support on Android for downloading offline movies, TV shows


Added within an update to the Android version of the Netflix mobile app, subscribers will now have the ability to select a location other than the hard drive for storing large video files. Specific to version 4.13 of the Netflix app, users will need to select the “Download Location” option in the app settings menu in order to switch between hard drive storage or SD card storage.

Hypothetically, a Netflix subscriber could download a large quantity of movies and television shows to multiple SD cards and simply swap out the cards as needed. However, Netflix has set limits in place in regards to how long an offline video can be accessed; typically within a week. Time limits to finish each video vary based on each piece of content. For some movies and television shows, a subscriber must finish watching the video within 48 hours of hitting the play button.

Of course, users won’t be able to share SD cards between personal Android devices. Offline content downloaded to a SD card is only accessible on that specific device. In addition, Netflix has included DRM to halt users from transferring the files to a computer in order to watch video on a larger screen. The files are encoded in a “.nfv” format, thus making the content incompatible with media players on other devices.

As detailed on the Google Play store, Netflix indicates that the SD card storage feature will not be available on all Android devices. It’s unclear if that notation is directed at users operating older versions of Android or users that simply have an Android phone without a SD card slot. At this time, Netflix hasn’t released a full list of compatible devices that can take advantage of the new feature.