Back in olden times before Netflix, you had to wait days, even weeks, between episodes of your favorite show, and it was terrible. Then the streaming service came along and changed everything.
Today, the time between episodes has been reduced to seconds, the term binge-watch has been added to the Oxford Dictionary and, thanks to Netflix’s seemingly endless options, there’s really not any reason to go outside any more. (Who needs sun when you have self tanner, Vitamin D fortified milk and “Orange is the New Black”?)
And if you thought Netflix was amazing already, here are some easy tips and tricks to make your viewing experience more impressive than the “Cosmos”:
1. Watch Titles In HD
Many Netflix users aren’t aware that HD is already available through their subscriptions. They just haven’t been using it. To set up your account for HD, Netflix says to perform the following steps:
1. Navigate to Your Account.
2. Select Playback settings.
3. Under Data Usage, click High.
4. Click the Save button.
Just remember that streaming in HD uses up a lot of data, so you’ll probably want to make sure you’re using a Wi-Fi network and not your data plan. After you’ve done that, your picture will be so clear that next time you watch Walter White throw a pizza on his roof, tomato sauce will probably splash in your face.
2. Access A Hidden Menu To Eliminate Buffering
As far as first world problems go, it doesn’t get worse than buffering, but now there’s something you can do about it.
Netflix has a secret menu you can access while watching videos in order to cut down on buffering during playback. To access the menu, perform the following action: Shift+Alt+Left Click (Shift+Option+Click on a Mac).
After that, select the stream manager and manually match up the playback with the buffering rate. This should cut down on the buffering issues you’re experiencing, and your friends will think you’re the coolest.
3. Use A Cheat Code To Log In On A Gaming System
Being stuck in someone else’s Netflix account is the worst. Your preferences are all wrong, the recommendations are atrocious and anyone who stumbles in thinks you were the one who left off halfway through “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never.”
As Lifehacker explains:
If you want to log out of your account and login into someone else’s on a Xbox 360 or PS3, you just need to get into the debug menu. From the Netflix app’s main screen, hit the following buttons on your controller:
Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, up, up, up, up.
4. Clear Your Netflix History To Stop The Haters
If you’re trying to clear your viewing history, you have a couple different options. The simplest way is through profiles. According to Netflix, you can have up to five different profiles for each account. Once these are created, all the preferences and everything you watch is associated with the profile you’re using. Deleting these profiles will clear all viewing history.
The only issue is your main profile can’t be deleted. If you’re trying to remove the viewing history from your main profile, you must delete the account and resubscribe to Netflix. This may sound like a hassle, but it’s actually pretty easy and super worth it if you’ve been watching a few too many critically panned movies with George Lopez pretending he’s a Chihuahua. (We’ve all been there.)
5. Turn Your Phone Into A Personal Netflix Remote
Besides the debugging menu, another Netflix hack for PS3 is turning your smartphone into a remote. All you need to do is connect your gaming system and your phone to the same Wi-Fi network and log on to the same account in the Netflix app on both devices.
Speaking of remote controls, there are also tricks you can use with a remote on an Apple TV, according to Tech of the Hub. Just hit the up arrow twice on the remote to display a banner with the thumbnail of the show, its description and a rating. Also, clicking the remote’s down arrow breaks up the program into 20 sections of equal length. By hitting the left or right arrows on the remote, you can jump between the sections.
6. Use Keyboard Shortcuts To Binge-Watch Like A Pro
Netflix has a variety of keyboard shortcuts you can use to improve your viewing experience. Here is a list via Reddit (for the Silverlight desktop version):
Space – Toggle Play/Pause
Enter – Toggle Play/Pause
PgUp – Play
PgDn – Pause
F – Full-screen
Esc – Exit full-screen
Shift+Left arrow – Rewind
Shift+Right arrow – Fast Forward
Up arrow – Volume Up
Down arrow – Volume Down
M – Mute toggle
7. Websites And Add-Ons Make Netflix Even Better
When it comes to Netflix, there’s usually an app for that.
Using InstantWatcher.com is a user-friendly way to navigate Netflix, allowing you to review titles, check out ratings and be connected directly to the video you want to watch by clicking on it.
There are also a lot of different Chrome extensions, such as Netflix Enhancer, which can let you get more out of your streaming by showing you trailers and ratings.
Bonus: Never Fall Asleep During Netflix Again
During Netflix’s 24-hour hack day, the company discovered how to use a Fitbit to tell devices when a Netflix user had fallen asleep. Using this technology, you could doze off during a binge-watching session and start from the same point you left it at the next time you use Netflix, without having to scroll back through episodes.
Though the technology is not available yet, there is one other guaranteed way to not fall asleep while binge-watching Netflix: Just turn off Netflix!