While it’s easy to get started watching your favorite programs on Netflix, some have a less than perfect experience when they stream content. Here is our list of helpful Netflix tools to help you tweak your settings and improve your Netflix experience.
Use Netflix Tools to Find Something to Watch
Deciding what to watch can be difficult for Netflix users. It’s especially easy to run out of fresh things to watch if you are a binge viewer, and Netflix’s own recommendations are frequently off the mark. Some of these sites and tools make using Netflix easier and more enjoyable!
What’s Up With Netflix’s Own Recommendations?
If it seems as though the recommendations that Netflix’s offers up to you are a bit lacking, it’s not just your imagination. Many people find that Netflix’s own recommendations, which are supposed to be based on your preferences and viewing habits, lack a lot to be desired.
The primary cause of this goes back to your profile and the viewing habits of everyone that uses your account to stream content. Be certain that you use the profile section to create a separate profile for each user, and make certain that everyone signs into their own profile before they start streaming.
Overtime, you’ll start to get recommendations closer to your personal preferences, and you’ll stop receiving those more wacky and outrageous suggestions that are based on your kid or neighbor’s weird-to-you viewing habits.
Netflix New Releases
Netflix’s own site also has a tab that lets you know what movies and shows are now available. It can be a bit cumbersome and time consuming to use this feature to find out what titles have just been added to the catalog. Use one of these sites instead:
WIOFLIX, or, What Is On Netflix? is a handy little app that at the click of one button lets you find a random recommendation, or the best ranked movies from popular ranking sites like IMB, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic and New on Netflix.
Goodfil.ms makes it easy to find what’s great to watch on Netflix as well as the other major streaming providers: Apple TV, Amazon Instant Video and Hulu/Hulu Plus. To get started, just sign up for a free account, rate a few movies and then search by genre, sub-genre, topic, or interactive graph. You can also discover more about this service by reading our article about how to use Goodfilms to find great movies.
Don’t forget to keep an eye on programs that will be leaving Netflix soon with Now Streaming’s “Leaving Netflix Soon Archive.” This site provides a by week and month updates for shows that will soon be removed from Netflix’s catalog so that you don’t miss out on watching your favorites.
Don’t forget to check out our article, 11 Great Sites for Netflix Recommendations, if you need more help finding something great to watch on Netflix.
Netflix Tools to Increase Playback Quality and Performance
Do you find the auto-play feature annoying? This is the feature that causes Netflix to automatically begin streaming the next episode in a series a few seconds after you finish watching the current one. If this or your video quality lack a bit to be desired, you can adjust both the Playback Settings Menu
Depending on your connection speed, you might find that streaming your favorite program is a bit tedious at times if it keeps getting interrupted by the infamous “buffering” warning. You can minimize the possibility of this type of interruption by giving up a little of your audio and video quality and manually adjusting your rate of buffering. Just hit Ctrl-Shift-Alt while pressing “S” while you are streaming to gain access to your buffering rate, and manually adjust it to a lower value to make your streaming smoother.
Sorting Your Queue
If you are frustrated by the way that Netflix prioritizes content in your queue, you can turn on Manual Ordering to sort titles by hand.
Captions and Subtitles
Are you a foreign film fan that needs larger subtitles? Maybe you are at the opposite end of the spectrum and find those captions distracting? Use the Subtitle Preference Menu to adjust the appearance of your subtitles and other captions to manually make them either easier to read or less noticeable. If you watch Netflix with Chrome’s browser, you can also download a handy tool from their store, Super Netflix, that will allow you to upload your own subtitles and captions in your own language as well as adjust settings without pressing shortcut keys.
If you are watching Netflix on your laptop or other Wi-Fi enabled device, you may need to physically move your device closer to the source of the signal, or change to a wired connection, to increase your download speed and thus improve the quality of your playback. You may also want to contact your ISP and increase your bandwidth by bumping up your plan to the next tier if you are on a reduced or “lite” plan for data. If you would like to check the rates for bundled services at different providers, don’t forget to use our handy comparison tool when you shop for upgraded service.
Keyboard Shortcuts That Make it Easier to Control Netflix
While many Netflix users stream content directly from their device to their TVs and can use a remote to control their Netflix settings, others stream content from their computers or laptops, in which case some of these keyboard shortcuts come in handy to help you control playback.
Need to pause playback? Hit Enter or the Space bar.
Want to Rewind, use the Left Arrow; Fast Forward is the Right Arrow.
Turn the volume up or down with UP and Down Arrows, and mute by pressing “M.”
Tell Us What You Think!
What did you think of our list? Did we miss any tips? Why not share your favorite Netflix tricks and other feedback with us and your fellow readers in the comments section below?