03/06/2016 10:40 AM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:56 PM AEST

Netflix Hacks For The Non Gen-Y-er Among Us

Taking it back to basics.

Is this thing on?

Disclaimer: this article does not include phrases like "YAS" or "Netflix and chill."

It does however, include a bunch of helpful tips for those of us who haven't yet jumped on the Netflix bandwagon.

It's for those who associate the word "binge" with eating, not prolonged periods spent in front of the telly. For those who associate the word "stream" with running water in a forest, not watching a show in real time via data from the Internet.

It really is a whole new world out there. And we understand sometimes, getting back to basics gets lost when certain products and platforms catch on like wildfire among "the kids today."

Ahead, 12 tips for the Netflix beginner.

Netflix and chill?

1. Watch it on multiple devices

Netflix is available on a huge variety of internet connected devices. If you have a smartphone, tablet, laptop, PC, gaming console or smart TV in your home, simply login to iTunes or your device's app menu to find the Netflix app. Sadly, you cannot use Netflix offline (for instance, while on the bus or during a flight).

2. Creating a profile

The first thing to do once you've created your Netflix account is to create a profile. Simply do so by selecting 'Add profile' once logged into your account. 'Profiles' are intended to be used by different family members or roommates, to ensure the viewing habits of others do not affect Netflix's recommendations for you. The Netflix recommendations engine will suggest new titles based on what you watch, as opposed to it recommending content your children or grandchildren may be interested in watching e.g. The newest Dragons Race to the Edge film

3. Set up parental controls

Grandchildren over for the weekend? Netflix has an option to ensure little ones do not log in to your Netflix profile. You can control access to certain maturity levels of Netflix content from the "Your Account page" under "Manage Profiles." Parental control settings must be changed from a computer or mobile browser, and will apply to all devices currently attached to your Netflix account. Netflix also has a dedicated "Kids" profile, solely containing content appropriate for different age groups.

4. Find Netflix's original programming

Netflix is producing 450 hours of original content this year alone. "Orange is the New Black" and "Making a Murderer" are Netflix Original shows. Type "Netflix" into the search bar to see a complete list of Netflix originals, all in one place.

5 shows coming to Netflix this July

  • Father Ted: Series 1-3
  • Gilmore Girls: Complete Season 1-7
  • Judith Lucy's Spiritual Journey: Season 1
  • Free Willy
  • The Wiggles: Season 5

5. Quickly browse by genre

To see more, click the row names on the homepage in your browser. This will bring up a full gallery of TV shows and films within that genre.

6. How to change video quality

If you're worried Netflix is using up your data on your internet plan, you can manually adjust the streaming rate by hopping into Netflix's secret menu. You can access it on the desktop by pressing Shift+Alt+Left Click. Alternatively, head to your Netflix account settings and choose "Manage Video Quality" and select one of three options (if you want high-def to be your default, select "High").

7. Access subtitles

All programs on Netflix have the option to add English subtitles -- handy if you're watching a cockney movie or are hard of hearing. To activate subtitles, select the movie or TV show you want to play, head to "Audio & Subtitles" in the options panel then press "Back" once you're done. Your movie will now play with English subtitles.

8. How to change subtitle appearance

You can change the colour and font size of subtitles to match your eyesight or personal style preference. To do this, head to "Your Account" and select "Subtitle Appearance". You can tweak everything from colour and font, to the background and shadow appearance.

You can customise your account's appearance, according to your eyesight.

9. Delete titles from your viewing history

If multiple people have been using your account (or you just want to hide your embarrassing movie selections) head to "Your Account" and under "My Profile" select "Viewing Activity" -- here you can see all the shows you have recent watched and delete accordingly. This also wipes the titles from Netflix's activity log, so they'll stop messing up your auto-recommendations.

10. Watch Netflix overseas

If you're planning an overseas holiday there's a pretty good chance your account will continue to work like magic, provided you have access to Wi-Fi over there. You will also have access to all the titles available in that region while you're over there. Here's a complete list of Netflix enabled nations.

11. How to know which ISP to choose

Curious which Internet Service Provider serves up the fastest speeds for a better streaming experience? Check out the Netflix ISP Speed Index which each month shows you which Australian ISP supports the best Netflix Experience. Fast.com is another nifty tool that measures your personal Internet connection at any given time by performing a series of downloads from Netflix servers to estimate download speeds.

12. Helpful computer shortcuts

These five keyboard shortcuts will help you navigate Netflix like a pro:

1. F will give you full screen; Esc will take you out of it
2. PgDn pauses, PgUp will play
3. The spacebar will also pause and play
4. Shift + Right Arrow will fast forward; Shift + Left Arrow will rewind
5. M should toggle your mute button, depending on your computer


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