With people across the globe spending more time at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, we expect many of you have taken to Netflix to help ease the boredom and while away the hours of lockdown monotony. There are indeed some real gems on Netflix, both big hitters such as Stranger Things and Tiger King, along with lesser-known titles like Lovesick and On My Block. But, there is also a lot of dross.
To help you navigate the sea of series and multitude of movies, along with some bonus hints and tips for maximising your subscription, we’ve put together our top five Netflix hacks, tips and tricks.
Use Netflix Category Codes to Navigate to Genres
The biggest and best trick you can use to maximise your viewing experience is to surf the video wave using category codes. Please note, these codes only work if you’re using Netflix on a web browser and won’t work on any apps such as those on games consoles, phones or tablets.
When opening the Netflix home screen on your laptop, head to the URL bar and you’ll see something like this:
The numbers at the end of the code directly link to whichever genre you’re browsing; in this case, it’s ‘Action & Adventure’. However, thanks to the hard work of some US journalists, these codes have been reversed, meaning you can search a specific code and arrive at a genre page of your choice.
For example, if you replace 1365 with 74652, you’ll arrive at ‘Cult TV Shows’, or the code 9916 will present ‘Romantic Independent Comedies’. These range from broad categories such as ‘Horror’ (8711) to as specific as Mother-Son Movies from the 1970s (20000). For an extensive list, check this out! You could also do you very own random selection, try typing in four or five numbers and see what you get given. Not all numbers have genres, and not all genres have films in the category. Naturally, the most specific ones are the least populated, but you’ll still find things you never knew you wanted to watch!
Alternatively, you could choose to do your research on your laptop, adding anything you find to your watchlist, then head over to your phone and start binging!
Again, this can only be done when watching Netflix on your web browser, but it’s oh so worth it! The Super Netflix extension has the power to alter the playback speed of the video, useful for watching instructional videos such as languages or baking.
You can also blur the descriptions of upcoming episodes to avoid any spoilers and skip the intros of each episode automatically so you can binge with absolutely no interruptions.
Host a Netflix Watch Party!
Whether you’re away from your other half or want to enjoy a Netflix show with your buddies, the Chrome extension Netflix Party has you covered. Part of the joy of watching live TV is the fact that you know others around the world are experiencing the same as you at that exact moment. Netflix Party looks to replicate this by allowing you to send out a shareable link to friends and family that opens up the show you’re watching on their screen.
Equally awesome is the live chat feature which allows you to chat about what’s happening on-screen with everyone else watching using a comments bar on the page.
Turn Your Favourite Shows into a Podcast
This is a game-changer for anyone wanting to enjoy Netflix content without being able to focus on the screen. Whether you’re driving, heading out for a walk or at work, there is a super handy feature called ‘Audio Description’ which provides audio narration in between speech to detail the actions on screen.
This feature was initially designed to allow visually impaired users to enjoy their favourite shows; however, it can also be doubled for those who want to enjoy their shows on the go. Whether this is checking out the latest stand-up performance or listening in to documentaries and interviews, you can take Netflix with you while enjoying their content.
If you’re watching on your refurbished iPhone XS Max, simply click on the programme you want to play, then select ‘Audio & Subtitles’ and then switch on ‘Audio Description’.
Set Up Content Watching Profiles
We all like to flit between documentaries about gruesome murders to light-hearted comedies featuring the likes of Ben Stiller (Zoolander, anyone?) However, this can create some seriously mixed messages for your personal Netflix profile resulting in some alarming suggestions. So, why not create multiple profiles that fit your different binging personas?
Splitting these out means you’ll only be suggested movies and shows that conform to what you’ve watched in the past, allowing you to find great new content without the hassle of flicking through the dregs. Equally, this allows you to hide some of your guilty pleasures away from potential on-lookers.
For more news on the world of TV, film and tech in general, stay tuned to our blog here!