Netflix is a worldwide phenomenon. It’s one of the cheapest streaming services in the world and practically everyone has it. It’s a great way to catch up on old classics and some old not-so-classic films. If you plan on getting (or you already have) it, here are some essential Netflix tricks you can’t miss!
1. Make an effort to use the rating system
It may seem tedious to rate everything you watch on Netflix, but it’s a practice you should totally get into. Every time you rate a title, Netflix adjusts its recommendations for you. It’ll also ask you questions like how often you watch certain genres so they can even better tailor your experience to your tastes. It takes some time but after a while, Netflix will seem to just know what you like. The best Netflix experience you can give yourself is one where you rate everything. That includes low ratings for shows you don’t like. You should also be honest. You may tell your friends you like a show you really don’t, but if you do it with Netflix, it’ll give your recommendations for more shows you don’t like.
2. Actually use the user profiles
Netflix allows you the ability to create profiles for multiple users and that’s a feature you should absolutely be using if you have multiple people in your household. Each person can keep their own profile and that allows everyone to rate titles, answer questions, and cater the My List to their tastes. If each person practices #1 on this list as well, everyone in your house can have a totally different Netflix experience.
3. Get Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb ratings (web browser only)
If you use the web browser version of Netflix, you can get more than one rating system by installing plugins that also show Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb ratings. What plugins you get depends on which browser you use. Netflix enhancer for Chrome seems to be highly recommended. Netflix Plus seems to work well on Firefox.
4. Use a Chromecast to stream to your TV
Google’s awesome little dongle allows you stream Netflix from practically anywhere onto your television. You’ll need a Chromecast ($35) which is very cheap. From there you can get use Google Chrome on computers (with the Chromecast extension). You can also pick up the totally free Netflix app on Android or iOS. From there, it’s just a matter of playing a video and tapping the cast button to send it to your Chromecast. If you’re tired of watching on your phone or laptop, this is a cheap and effective way to get it to your TV.
5. Find out what’s new on Netflix
There are several sites and services that’ll tell you what’s new on Netflix. One is What’s New On Netflix, another is Netflix USA, and yet another is Instant Watcher. Using these resources, you can stay up to date on all the stuff that gets added to Netflix and help yourself find fun new stuff to watch!
6. Search more intelligently
Simply put, Netflix search isn’t all that great unless you know exactly what you’re looking for. Thankfully, there is a resource that can help with that. If you head over to All Flicks, you can search by year, director, actor, category, and for TV shows and movies. This is also really helpful if you want to see if Netflix has a title but you’re on a PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, or an Xbox One and you don’t want to use the joysticks to navigate to every single letter.
7. Access secret Netflix streaming options
If you’re on a computer, an Xbox 360, or a PS3, you can access a set of secret Netflix options. On a computer, you simply need to do a Shift + Alt + Left Click to access it. For Xbox 360 and PS3 owners, you need to enter the Konami Code. Your options change depending on which platform you’re on, but it’s fun to see what else you can do.
8. Watch the whole movie or show
Netflix programmers are smart people and they have programmed Netflix with the ability to tell if you’ve watched an entire movie, part of a movie, a whole episode of a TV show, the whole season, or the whole series. These have an effect on your recommendations. So if you stop watching your favorite movie 15 minutes in, you should go back and watch the rest eventually or Netflix will be less likely to recommend more movies like that one.
9. Complete your personalization profile
According to sources, only about 5% of Netflix users actually use this feature. If you go complete your personalization profile, Netflix can immediately and definitely recommend better video options for you. It’s easy to do. Just sign into Netflix on your computer, go to Personlization at the top, and fill out the questionnaire. Then prepare for better recommendations!
10. Go explore your account settings
There are a bunch of settings that allow you to further customize your Netflix experience. Under your account settings you can turn off post-play (where Netflix automatically plays the next episode of a TV show whether or not you tell it to), change your subtitle settings, streaming settings, and a surprising number of other settings. You owe it to yourself to check it out so you can see what options you have when it comes to using Netflix.
Netflix has over 50 million subscribers and we, like everyone else, expects that number to climb dramatically as we slowly transition to streaming video over conventional television. With these tips, you’ll be ahead of the curve and you’ll be able to help your friends and family when they get Netflix.
Featured photo credit: Netflix via netflix.com