Netflix isn’t exactly new anymore. The company started with mail-order DVDs, you may recall, before it revolutionized streaming video. Netflix has a lot of competition these days, and its selection can feel a little piecemeal. So I wouldn't blame you for getting a bit bored with the platform – which is why a lot of customers jump around services.
There are ways to liven up your Netflix experience. Some methods only work on computers and laptops, while others require Google Chrome or a particular app. But when you think you know everything about Netflix, you suddenly find ways to search, view, and organize its offerings that can freshen that ol’ queue.
Here are some favorite Netflix hacks.
1. Use special browser extensions
If you watch Netflix on your laptop or computer, there are several Chrome extensions you can use to streamline Netflix functions. If you’re not sure what an extension is, these are just programs that help you customize your browser experience – in this case, using streaming video. To find them, go to chrome.google.com and search for extensions by name.
No Netflix Originals
Not everyone is a fan of Netflix Originals. They only want to see the movies and TV series that have already circulated. This Chrome extension removes all Netflix Originals from your home screen, which clears up space to see what else Netflix has on deck.
A word of caution, though: the explosion of streaming services is taking a big bite out of Netflix's offerings. Soon it will lose "Friends," all Marvel, Star Wars and Disney titles, and DC films, to name just a few.
As a result, Netflix is offering more foreign movies and TV shows – and original content. At some point, the No Netflix Originals extension may leave you with slim pickings.
This extension allows you to pick the quality of video streaming, rather than using Netflix's default setting. Why would you want lower quality?
Well, you can use less bandwidth on your Wi-Fi network or data on your phone. That way, you don’t slow down the other devices in your home, and you don’t have to worry about buying extra data from your carrier.
Never Ending Netflix
With this extension, you can automatically play the next episode of whatever series you're binge-watching, skip title sequences and search more than 3,000 genres.
Best of all, you can disable that "Are you still watching?" prompt, so series will continue to play until they run out of episodes (or you hit pause on the remote).
2. New discoveries with category codes:
Netflix has nearly 14,000 programs you can watch from the main browser. As if that wasn't enough options, there’s even more that you might not know about. I’m talking about secret menus and codes. The downside to the codes is that you can't access them through your TV. You have to use a computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone browser.
3. Create multiple profiles based on your tastes
Many times I look at my recommendations and wonder whether Netflix knows my tastes at all. Most people like more than a handful of genres, actors, and directors, which is why some of these recommendations seem limited or off-base.
This may seem like extra effort, but others haven't commandeered all your profiles, you can create new profiles that reflect your likes. One profile could be for action-adventure, another for horror films, and so on.
4. Play Reelgood Roulette
Reelgood Roulette is a delightful website that is also an app for iPhones. Better still, through a free subscription, you can add all of your streaming services and networks and "spin the wheel" on all of them or just one.
Go crazy and turn off all the filters and see what you get. Or if you're really in the mood to see the works of a certain actor or director, you can use those filters and spin the wheel again to see what's available.
Besides being fun, it can help you decide what to watch. Also, if you don't want to play roulette, the site is a one-stop place to see what's on your services, what's leaving and what's new.
Finally, this site doesn't tie you to any one device. No matter how you prefer to watch your TV and movies, Reelgood Roulette is a helpful resource to have around.
Your Insider Bonus Tip:
With all the video streaming options out there, are you struggling to find all the worthwhile content you want to watch? You need to use a specialized search site to find what’s new and popular on the various streaming services from Netflix to Amazon and beyond.
Best of all, you can see where your favorite movie or show is available for free before you buy it on another service. Tap or click here for my favorite streaming media search site.
What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call Kim’s national radio show and tap or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to or watch the Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, television or computer. Or tap or click here for Kim’s free podcasts.
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Learn about all the latest technology on the Kim Komando Show, the nation's largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today's digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.