Netflix Tricks (Of The Trade)

When Netflix announced about a month ago that it would provide streaming movies to it’s subscribers I got really excited. You see, sometimes I’ll hold onto a movie for a couple of months without ever watching it because I won’t be in the mood for that particular movie. For instance, I had “In The Mood For Love” for at least a couple of months before it was returned because I rarely found myself with the patience or interest to read subtitles for an hour and a half (I know, I know. For shame. I’m lazy). This results in a waste of my subscription dollars.

With streaming media I could just watch those movies whenever the mood strikes me. Anyway, Netflix said that the feature should be rolled out by July or so. With streaming movies, a person with an $18 per month subscription should be able to watch 18 hours of online video a month. Last week I have found a way to get this feature immediately. If any of you Netfix subscribers are interested follow the steps below:

    1. Log into Netflix.
    2. Click on “Your Account”
    3. Look for a small graphic on the right column that says “How can I watch movies on my PC?”
    4. Click the “Start Now” link, and voila, you have a new tab next to Queue.

This worked great for me. After hooking my computer up to my television I loaded up Cowboy Del Amor, which I thought was a great movie. I’d love to hear what others though about this flick (post in the comments). The streaming quality was excellent. Both picture and sound were great. The only thing lacking, when compared to having the actual DVD mailed to your house, are the special features and director/cast narration.

While perusing the internet today I came across this streaming Netflix hack that will trick Netflix into thinking you watched just a few minutes of video, when you actually watched a 2 hour movie. Netflix will probably fix this hole soon, not to mention I’m pretty sure it breaks your terms of service, but i though I’d post I’d here if anyone wanted to give it a try. Here is what you do:

    1. Wait for the movie to finish downloading, and then disconnect your network adapter.
    2. Clear your browser cache and cookies.
    3. Reconnect your network adapter after you’ve finished watching the movie.
    4. Netflix will subtract a few minutes from your clock, allowing you to watch dozens of additional movies this month.

On top of all that you’ll find some really cool Greasemonkey scripts behind the jump. Enjoy.

Netflix Randomize Queue – Install this Greasemonkey user script and you will get a new button on your Netflix queue page. Select any movies in your queue and they will be shuffled in place. This means, i.e., if you do not select the first movie, that one will definitely stay first.

The Movie Dude – This Greasemonkey script cross-links various movie related sites that normally don’t link to each other. It grew out of a desire to have links between NetFlix and IMDB movie pages, to be able to easily get to movie trivia or add movies to the queue.

The Netflix Queue Manager – is a drop-in replacement that seamlessly integrates into the standard Netflix queue page. It provides an interactive page with a much more efficient and effective set of controls that make queue management a breeze. Take a look at the features (* denotes features not found in the standard queue page):
* Move to top – move any item to the top of the queue (*without having to reload the entire page).
* Move to bottom* – move low priority items to the bottom of the queue with a single click.
* Drag and drop* – intuitively move any item to any position using drag-n-drop.
* Sort* – order the entire queue by star rating, title, genre, availability, and MPAA rating.
* Reverse* – reverse the current order of the queue (useful after a Sort).
* Shuffle* – randomly re-order the entire queue.
* Delete – mark any item for deletion with a single click (ok, so that’s not an enhancement).

The Netflix Queue Filter – To use the script, go to your Netflix queue, and you’ll notice a new search box next to the “Update Your Queue” button. Type anything in there, and you’ll see that the contents of your queue will only show titles that match what you typed. To clear your search, just empty the search box.

Autosort Netflix Queue – With this script when you change a movie’s priority in the queue, the rest of your queue is reordered and sorted automatically (you still have to hit “save” to load the changes to Netflix though).

The Netflix to Tivo Script – This script takes each movie title in your queue and searches for the text on TiVo’s site. If it finds a match it puts a link after the movie to TiVo’s search page. Use the link to open the matches in other tabs. This is especially handy since it takes a while to search TiVo for all the movies in your queue. Warning: Besides being a slow loader, the other downside is that any match will cause the link to appear.