10 essential ways to enhance your Netflix experience

Picture: Netflix
Picture: Netflix
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Netflix is popular for a reason – but despite a well-stocked viewing library it’s far from perfect as an experience. Fortunately there are a range of tools and features that can make Netflix searching and streaming more user-friendly.

1. Find the cream of the crop

With so many TV shows and films to wade through, and user ratings not always helpful, just deciding what’s worth your time can be a chore. So sort through the library with the NEnhancer Chrome browser extension, which adds critical aggregates from Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes, trailers to nearly every film, and links to IMDb pages. Firefox users can also find a similar tool in the form of Netflix Rate.

2. Use your phone for added value

While many now watch on smart TVs, circumventing the traditional web entry point for Netflix, you can also turn your phone into a useful streaming accomplice with the Upflix app. It allows you to sort and filter titles by rating, actor, director, and more. iOS users can download it here, while Android owners can find it here. 3. Cover your tracks On Valentine’s Day, Netflix revealed facts and figures that showed just how prevalent the heinous crime of “Netflix cheating” is. That is, watching a show on your own and not waiting to watch it with your partner. Nearly half of all users do it – and it has the potential to cause an argument. Those who just can’t resist can easily cover their tracks, however, by heading to their Viewing Activity page and removing any offending items. It also means your recommended viewing won’t be affected by what you’ve removed, so if an ill-informed viewing has ruined your suggestions forever, you can sort that out too.

4. Make a completely random choice

As a counterpoint to wading through the Netflix library looking for gems, you could take the

opposite approach and pick something entirely at random. Flix Roulette allows you to take a lucky dip on your viewing, though you can

narrow the field by directors, actors and other keywords if you want a slightly more targeted spin of the wheel.

5. Avoid spoilers

In the online age, spoilers can take many forms. Even the thumbnail images and text descriptions for future episodes of a series can be a minefield. Handily, you can disable these with Chrome browser extension Flix Plus, which allows you to tweak up to 18 individual features to get the Netflix experience you desire. 6. Get recommendations Reddit is a good place to start. There’s a whole subreddit dedicated to discussing the best things on Netflix, recommending hidden gems and helping you discover overlooked shows and films. There are numerous other sites to explore as well, with What’s on Netflix regarded as one of the best.

6. Get recommendations

Reddit is a good place to start. There’s a whole subreddit dedicated to discussing the best things on Netflix, recommending hidden gems and helping you discover overlooked shows and films. There are numerous other sites to explore as well, with What’s on Netflix regarded as one of the best.

7. Binge-watch efficiently

Eliminate unnecessary time-wasting by installing Flix Assist, an extension for Chrome browsers that removes the ten-second countdown between episodes so you can get to that next one even faster. It also removes certain intrusive pop-ups.

8. Say goodbye to buffering

If you’re viewing on a laptop or computer, pressing Ctrl+Shift+Alt+S will bring up a “hidden” menu, allowing you to tinker with a few settings to improve your streaming experience. Turning down the bitrate of your stream should reduce buffering in most circumstances.

9. Sync your streaming with friends

If you want to catch the latest episode of a show with friends, simply launch video-chat service Rabbit and you’ll be set. Rabbit allows you to launch a window that can be seen by everyone partaking in the chat, while another is kept open for video chatting.

10. Make sure you’re getting the HD stream you paid for

Netflix’s premium options allow subscribers to stream content in Ultra HD. But some users aren’t quite getting what they paid for. You can check whether your stream is set to Ultra HD by default by heading to netflix.com/HdToggle and making sure you’re getting your money’s worth. You also adjust your stream’s default quality to “Low” if your Wi-Fi connection is struggling, or you’re watching on the go.

- This article was originally published on i News