Remember when Netflix was just a service for renting DVDs by mail in the United States? It wasn't that long ago and, thanks to bold choices based on content quality, it has become the de facto first choice worldwide (or almost) in the now crowded on-demand streaming industry.
Netflix, of course, doesn't sit back and rest on its laurels and repeatedly churns out new streaming series and features. So much so that, in many cases, it's hard for users to keep up with the latest Netflix catalog or know the list of streaming movies and TV series. Thanks to some tricks, however, you can make the most of all the features of the service. With some codes you'll be able to explore the "secret" subcategories to more easily find what you're looking for, while some tricks will let you better manage your account and find out who's using it without your permission. Or how to become part of those who experience, before others, the new features that Netflix is testing in a continuous stream. And much more.
Secret codes and hidden subcategories of Netflix
The Netflix movies and series offerings continue to increase and the list changes every month often making it a difficult task for the user to figure out what to watch in the upcoming future. Although the on-demand streaming service has simplified the search in recent months by dividing content into genres and subgenres, there are still plenty of "secret" codes to really explore the entire Netflix catalog. Here's how it works. Each genre contained in Netflix's library has a unique code. So, for example, the URL www.netflix.com/browse/genre/6839 corresponds to the page dedicated to documentaries since 6839 is the code chosen by Netflix for this kind of content. The list is quite long, but all you have to do is find your favorite genre, copy the code and replace it in the previous URL: in a matter of seconds you'll have access to all the Netflix programs you want. Alternatively, Chrome users can install the "Netflix Categories" extension, which will allow you to easily browse the entire Netflix catalog and avoid getting lost.
Manage data usage on the go
In addition to computers, TV series and movies are also accessible from smartphones and tablets thanks to Netflix apps for iOS and Android. In this case, however, you'll need to pay attention to data consumption: if you're not surfing on Wi-Fi, you risk seeing your subscription's data allowance drop. The on-demand streaming service, fortunately, lets you manually set the amount of data to use for each hour of programming. Open the Netflix app and go to Settings> App cellular data usage. You can decide to keep the streaming quality set automatically or choose between lower or higher quality. Here's how different video quality settings affect data consumption:
Low: 4 hours per GB of data
Medium: 2 hours per GB of data
High: 1 hour per GB of data
Requesting favorite movies and shows
Your movie or TV series is not in the Netflix catalog? No fear: just request them. Those who wish, in fact, can make a request by filling out this form and wait. It is not certain, of course, that Netflix will grant your "wish", but it's worth a shot.
Download Netflix movies and TV series
Netflix took some time before deciding to enable this feature, but it is undoubtedly one of the most appreciated. Downloading streaming movies and TV series is convenient and easy. To find out what content is available, go to the Netflix app menu on your device and select "available for download". This will open a page where you can search for a particular title or simply browse through the Netflix programs available for download on smartphones, tablets and computers. In case you want to delete all downloaded content in one go, go to Menu> App> Settings; Delete all downloads.
View or delete history
You're trying to remember the title of that movie, or TV show, you watched a while ago, but no dice: your memory is not helping you. No problem. If you ever need to check out the history of content you've watched on Netflix, you can do so from your "Activities" page. The same goes for shows you've rated: one click on the "Rating" option and it all comes back to you. If, on the other hand, you want to delete some titles from the history, just press the "X" to the right of the name to make them disappear.
Is someone using your account without your knowledge?
It is quite normal for users of the various streaming sites to share their passwords with friends and relatives, but there is always the question of how many hands your credentials are passed into. When in doubt, it's always better to do a check every now and then. To find out who is using your account, or even just to make sure that you have not been "hacked", you can check the list of all IPs that have connected to your account through the page dedicated to recent accesses to your Netflix. In this area you'll find useful details, such as, for example, information about the city from which the login was made and whether it was from a desktop computer, a portable device or a set-top box.
If you're running out of ideas or don't know what to watch from the Netflix catalog, there's a fun game to play. The Flix Roulette site (http://netflixroulette.net) - not affiliated with Netflix - randomly suggests a movie or TV show for you to watch, or allows you to narrow it down by setting certain parameters such as, for example, genre, director's or actor's name, or by keyword or rating. And here comes the content that "destiny" has chosen for you. No one is forcing you to watch it, mind you!
Become a beta tester for Netflix
Netflix is a big fan of testing as the company is always experimenting with new layouts, algorithms for recommending content tailored to users and much more. If you feel like giving Netflix a hand, log into your account, scroll down the page until you find the "Participate in Testing" option and select it. Netflix explains that by enabling this request, "you'll help improve the experience Netflix offers" and more importantly, "you'll experience potential changes before they're available to all other users."
All intruders out!
If you forgot to log-off from a particular device, there's an option to "pull down the curtain" on all open accounts in one simple step. Go to your Account section and select the "Log out of all devices" command found on the Settings page. Voila, everybody out!
Change the display of subtitles
If you happen to watch some shows with subtitles, maybe to practice your English, you can change the way the subs appear on the screen. It may seem trivial, but if you read a lot - whether the text is translated or in the original language - the color of the subtitle can be more or less fatiguing to your eyes if it is white or yellow, depending on the type of content you watch. Set them as it suits you best from Netflix's "Subtitle Appearance" section.