Ah, Netflix — our great nation’s favorite pastime (no, really — given the number of hours people logged watching it in 2015, we’d say that’s a more than fair statement). As it turns out, there’s actually more to Netflix-ing than, well, Netflix and chilling — a whole lot more.
1. Buh-Bye Buffering: Know how there’s absolutely nothing more annoying than getting to that oh-so-pivotal point in a movie when your Internet suddenly decides to crap out? Suddenly everyone’s mouth is lagging a full 30 seconds behind their lines, making it nearly impossible to enjoy, or worse, you get the (gasp!) dreaded buffering wheel of death. We hate that, but it turns out, we’ve been suffering for null — all we ever needed to do was hit shift + alt on a PC or shift + option + click on a Mac. This brings up a super secret menu that will allow you to manually adjust bandwidth, as well as the audio and video synchronization. No PC? No problem! Simply bust out those old school Nintendo skills (remember resetting your device then pressing up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, up, up, up, up?). Easy, peasy!
2. Hellooooo, Subtitles: Okay, so this one isn’t exactly rocket science, but if you don’t normally explore your profile settings, you might not be aware that you can actually make those puny little subtitles life-size (or at the very least, legible), by making a simple switch. Under your account, your profile and finally, subtitle appearance, you can change both the size and the color of your captions to one that’s better suited to your needs.
3. Maximize Quality: If you want the most bang for your buck, studies have shown that it’s best to do your binging at unpopular viewing times. You’re far more likely to get a clear picture in the daytime or wee hours than at 9 pm, when everyone and their brother (or sister!) is trying to stream Orange Is the New Black. Just sayin.’
4. Shortcuts Galore: The laissez-faire among us will appreciate this “less is more” approach to ‘flixing, which involves a few pro PC shortcuts. Why drag a mouse (or your finger) around when you can simply hit the spacebar or enter in place of a play/pause? (You can also use the “pg up”/”pg dn” buttons if you’re so inclined to do the same thing). Try an “F” for a big screen and “esc” to exit. Shift + left arrow will get you a rewind, while shift + (you guessed it!) will get you a fast forward. Up and down control the volume, and “m” is for mute. Those lucky enough to be set up with an Apple TV can have even more fun with the remote — a double up push will get you a thumbnail preview, while a double down will launch a progress bar, complete with film chapters.
Do you have Netflix hacks of your own? Share them with us on @BritandCo!
(h/t The Telegraph, photo via Getty)