Netflix is one of the best tools movie lovers can use on their PC, tablet or smartphone. It also gives access to some of the best TV shows, musicals, documentaries and many other types of video content.
However, if you’re reading this article, you probably know a little about Netflix already. While you may be aware of some neat things you can do with it, knowing how to make the most of your subscription is not something that everyone is familiar with.
It doesn’t take a lot of skills and you don’t need to be a nerd to use Netflix the right way. All you need to do is open your web browser, go to the main website and start exploring. Does it feel like Netflix isn’t doing the job for you? Well, you might not be doing the right things, so let’s see what you could do in order to have a better experience.
Search Netflix Across Regions
Not all content are accessible from all regions. This is true even if you are in the US. For example, the US Netflix doesn’t have Godfather movie series. But there’s a way out. Assuming you have VPN access, head to uNoGS.com and search for territories across the world which has the particular movie or TV show listed. Extremely handy and works great specially considering that Netflix was recently launched in 130 new countries.
Personalize your account
On the left top side of the screen on Netflix, you should be able to find a tab called Taste Profile. This is where you can tell this website a lot more about your taste in movies, so that it can make better suggestions for you.
The same thing can also be done if you go to My Account and scroll down for more options. You will see the “Taste Preferences” one listed together with “Subtitles” and many others. Once you click on it, you will be taken to a new web page that asks you how often you watch certain types of videos.
It takes a while to fill in all 14 sections, but it’s definitely worth it. You will be asked about featured categories, mood, genres, qualities, storyline, release date, sub-genres, languages, children’s age, sports & fitness, music, story source, cultures and special interest, as shown in the image above.
Add IMDB or other extensions
If you use Google Chrome, Opera, Firefox or most other well-known web browsers, you will most probably be able to install extensions to make it more fun. When looking for various extensions related to Netflix, you should be able to find one that enables you to see IMDB ratings.
I almost always had to open a different tab with IMDB just to check how good a movie was before watching it. Then I found out that I could instantly see the ratings, trailers and other information directly on Netflix. All I had to do was to install Netflix Enhancer, and it all became easier.
Rotten Tomatoes can also be added to your Netflix account. You will then see both the ratings from IMDB and those from Rotten Tomatoes right next to a movie’s name and duration. Visit your browser’s extensions page to see what you could get!
Take some time for ratings
Every time you watch something, you have the option of rating it. Apart from that, the Taste Profile tab that we previously mentioned will let you manage your taste preferences and reviews see what you’ve rated and rate a bit more.
By clicking on the first option – rate shows & movies – you will be taken to a place on their website where you will see a list of varied films. If you’re familiar with them, you can rate them using stars from 1 to 5, and if you haven’t seen them, you can click on the button below the stars.
You may think that this is a waste of time, but it helps Netflix a lot. This is the only way for them to know what kind of movies you’d like to find on their website. Therefore, the more movies you rate, the smarter Netflix will get.
Use AllFlicks for better searching
Netflix will let you type the name of a movie or actor within the search bar, and you can also look it up by genre. However, you will only have access to few suggestions and types of films. If you want smarter searching, though, we suggest taking a lot at AllFlicks.
This is a website that lets you look films up by title, category, rating and year. It also shows you the most popular ones this week and lists movies by director. Once you register for free on All Flicks, you will be able to add your favorite releases to a watchlist and customize your playlists.
You can also separate movies from TV shows by checking or unchecking the two boxes below the search bar. The most impressive 100-250 movies rated on IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes will also be listed right below your search results.
Write a few reviews
The same as you’re free to rate a show or film after seeing it, you can also add a review. This doesn’t have to be like a professional movie review written for an online magazine. You can see some examples in the image above – all you need to do is write a few words.
Your opinion is important because it shows Netflix which movies mattered to you and which ones didn’t. Similarly, other people may find your review useful in terms of knowing whether the movie is worth watching or not.
Set up a few different profiles
You may have noticed that once you sign up for a Netflix account, you’re instantly given access to two different profiles. The first one is your own while the second profile is called “kids”. This is how Netflix tries to protect your family and make sure that your children won’t be able to see violent or adult content. This plays an important role in managing your parental control as you can see in the video above.
If you simply go to your account and check your existing profiles, you will see that you can add and delete as many as you want. Once a new profile is created, you can personalize it by choosing a type: young kids, older kids, adults, etc.
Apart from letting you set parental controls, this feature also lets various users watch movies on the same Netflix account. When you go to the homepage, you will usually be asked “who is watching”. This way, you can personalize each profile and have different taste preferences for one or the other. If your boyfriend is into sports and action movies, that doesn’t mean that your Netflix account has to suggest you new sport series to watch every time you sign in.
Access the hidden menu
When you’re streaming content, no matter what movie you’re watching, you will only see how long you have left until it’s over, be able to move on to the next episode and skip a few scenes. However, there is a secret menu that not many of you know about.
The hidden streaming menu can be access by pressing Shift, Alt and the left-click button on your PC. You will then be able to change the buffering rate manually, and in case you’re using a PS3, you will also be given the option of deauthorizing a certain device and swapping accounts.
Use your smartphone as a remote control
This is a trick that doesn’t work for all Netflix users, as you will need to be using a Sony PS3 for streaming playback. If that’s your case, you will be happy to know that you can easily download the Netflix app on your mobile device or tablet and start having some fun with it.
As long as you’re using Android or iOS, you can install it for free on the device you prefer. You will then have to browse through the Netflix library the same as you’d normally do it on the PC, and then simply choose which movie you’d like to play. When asked to choose a device, you will have to select the Play Station 3 from the list, and the movie will automatically start playing.
Personalize your subtitles
Sometimes you may be watching movies from a foreign country, in which case subtitles are very important. You will have them automatically set up once you create the account, but colors and dimensions will not always suit everyone.
Depending on the movie you’re seeing, you may also want to adjust the subtitles, so you can see them better. To do this, you should go to your account and scroll down – the list at the bottom of the page will guide you to “Subtitles”.
Once you click on this tab, you will be given varied options – you can change the text color, text outline, background, font, style and size of the text. As shown in the picture, the changes can be easily saved and then changed again whenever you find it necessary.
Get notifications when new content arrives
New arrivals come up every day, and while Netflix will occasionally send you a few emails with content you might like, it never lets you know exactly what’s new. This is where Netflix USA comes in – it’s been initially designed to work as a blog, but you can now integrate it within the Netflix app you have.
If you’re using Netflix on your PC, you can easily go to their website and check the arrivals by date and type – TV arrivals or movie arrivals. Find out more about this tool here and learn how to add these great features to the already existing application.