The Netflix app has many settings that most viewers have never used. Let us look at some of these underused features and how you may be able to use them to improve your experience.
Netflix has a number of built-in search hacks that make it easier to find particular content. Using the search term “Netflix,” for instance, will return an inventory of every Netflix original movie or TV show ever released. You can also use the search term “interactive” to pare that list down to just the interactive specials that Netflix has released. Netflix provides similar shortcuts to find content that is available in 4K and HDR. Just use the search terms “4K” and “HDR.” There are a lot of these hacks built into the search feature, so if something comes to mind, try it. You may be surprised at what it returns.
Filtering by Category Codes
While Netflix lets you peruse and search by category, it also has many subcategories that are not made available through the UI but which are accessible. These are often referred to as hidden codes, but they are not so much hidden as just not made readily available. You can easily find a complete list of these codes online, and while these codes may not be practical for searching in general, they are very useful for favorites. As fans of martial arts movies, we have code 8985 memorized, and using it lets us pare the Action & Adventure selection down to just martial arts movie so that we can easily find the flicks that we have not seen yet.
Adjust Data Usage
Netflix offers a number of tools so that phone users—or anyone dealing with a data cap from your internet provider—does not consume too much data. One setting of note is Wi-Fi only when you have a home internet plan, which will not use any cellular data at all. If you do want to use your data from cell phone service but conservatively, you will find more options under Playback Settings. The Low setting, for instance, ensures that you do not use more than 0.3 GB per hour, and it does this by scaling back the resolution, which you will usually not notice on a small phone screen.
Personalize Your Subtitles
Many Netflix users who watch subtitled content do not realize that they have great control over those subtitles. To access these settings, you will typically have to log in to your Netflix account via a web browser. From the account page, select Subtitle Appearance. You can now adjust font type, font size, subtitle background color and text shadowing. The webpage even provides you a preview of your changes. Note that if you are watching Netflix on your TV or phone, you will need to restart the app before the changes will take effect.
Stats for Nerds
Stats for nerds is the unofficial name for the advanced audio and video data that you can access in Netflix. Ctrl + Shift + Alt + S opens up the Stream Manager. Ctrl + Shift + Alt + P opens up Player Info. Ctrl + Shift + Alt + D opens up A/V Stats, and Ctrl + Shift + Alt + L opens up Logging. This is most easily achieved on a PC. You can also do it on any smart TV or media player that supports a keyboard. It is also possible in some cases do via a remote, but you may need a universal remote with an Info button. Roku devices in particular provide this feature when you press the asterisk button twice.