Technology

The Netflix Secrets You Need To Get The Most Out Of Your Binge-Watching

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As temperatures rise and we all realize going outside is terrible anyway, summer becomes the perfect time to binge on Netflix. But how many tricks do you know to improve your viewing experience? There’s a lot you can do to improve the binge-watching experience, if you know where to look.

Take Total Control Of Your Stream

Hate buffering? Sick of using the “Low” setting just so the next episode will start? While setting your video quality is pretty easy while watching, there’s a more granular option. On Windows, hit Ctrl+Alt+Shift+S, or hold down Shift and Option and left-click while a video is playing while viewing on a Mac, and you’ll open the Stream Manager. This lets you manually configure both the audio stream and the video stream separately, allowing you to bump it up to the highest bitrates when you have a great connection, and step it down when things are busier.

If that’s a bit too elaborate for you, or you never want to step it down, simply go to Netflix’s HD Toggle and you can automatically set a global video quality, no matter where you’re watching. And that’s not the only handy setting.

Turn Off Playing The Next Episode Automatically

If you want to savor each episode, or just find Netflix’s auto-skip of a show’s opening titles a distraction, you can also use the HD Toggle screen to disable that feature. Just uncheck the box and Netflix will ask you before booting up another episode. This is particularly useful with shows that have an opening bit before the credits, or if you’re trying not to fall asleep in the first season and wake up to spoilers in the third.

Install The Netflix Enhancement Suite

Netflix’s recommendation engine and star ratings are relatively useful, and recent app upgrades have offered a nice touch where you can see how much of a “match” each movie is compared to stuff you’ve watched recently. But that’s still not enough for some people, and if you want more data on your Netflix selections, the Chrome extension Netflix Enhancement Suite adds all the data you could ever need.

The add-on places the IMDb score, the Rotten Tomatoes scores from both critics and audiences, and most usefully, the trailer  over the Netflix rating. Clicking on any of them will redirect you to the web page for more information, perfect for those movies that might be hilariously bad or just dully bad, like Gigli. The trailers alone make it worth it just for settling arguments over which movie looks more fun to watch. Not on Chrome? Firefox has Netflix Plus.

Tweak The Subtitles To Your Liking

Are the accents too thick on Peaky Blinders? Do you like foreign movies, but hate the default white that blends into the background? There’s an entire hidden menu of subtitle options for you to play with that let you adjust subtitle color, size, background, and the color and style of drop shadow to make them stand out.

Keep The Netflix Bible Handy

Finally, if you’re tired of sorting through Netflix’s dizzyingly granular categories and just want to see one, you need the Netflix Bible. Some brave soul figured out the ID numbers for every Netfix genre code, all 20,000 (!) of them, and you can just search the page, type in what you’re looking for, and see what Netflix has to offer. Sadly this only works on the webpage, but if you’re looking for a very specific genre, or want to see just how narrow Netflix can really get, it’s a good resource. Happy streaming!

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