The 4 Ways I'll Be Taking Advantage Of Netflix Downloads

On the face of it, offline playback on Netflix doesn't seem revolutionary. Unlike music, which we regularly consume on the go, we mostly watch TV at home, on a couch. Usually with a cable connection or — at worst — decent Wi-Fi.

But think of the possibilities.

The most obvious win from this move folks with limited mobile data. The ability to download shows at work or at home before long commutes is invaluable. Hopefully every livestreaming service follows suit.

But how are we gonna use this new service to its maximum potential? In what situations will this new functionality work best?

1. On The Plane

This might be the most obvious one. We live in Australia. How many times have you sat down for 14 hour flight to find you've seen every goddamn trashy movie the in-flight entertainment has to offer.

The ability to download Netflix shows to your tablet or mobile phone is going to make long haul travel a helluva lot more palatable. That's just a fact. One of my favourite things to do is blast through four or five episodes of a show on a hefty flight. Usually I've been limited to certain shows or certain episodes. Now options have expanded considerably.

2. Holiday Destinations With Terrible Internet

A weeklong holiday in the middle of fucking nowhere is a family tradition for me. It's mostly great. A nice big house, a swimming pool, bushwalks, etc.

But these places tend to have terrible internet (if they have internet at all) meaning you tend to be limited to a terrible bookshelf of DVDs with weathered covers and scratched discs. This is what I like to call 'a bad time'. I don't want to watch The Sound of Music for the hundredth goddamn time, I want to eat Christmas dinner and settle in for Season 1 of The Expanse.

This Christmas, I'm bringing a tablet a Chromecast and a big ol' buttload of pre-downloaded movies and TV shows.

3. Road Trips With Terrible Children

I have terrible children.

More precisely, I have one terrible child and a baby that could swing either way. Either way, this whole downloading thing is gonna make long car trips a lot more manageable. It's also going to save me serious dollars in mobile data.

I regularly make the drive from Sydney to Canberra. I'm sure most of you reading at home make similar trips. They're tough with kids. Really tough. And being that we live in a glorified desert with no human life between cities, there tends to be a lot of mobile dry spots. Best believe I'll be loading my son's iPad Mini with the Netflix's entire library of Pokemon episodes.

Fuck Team Rocket.

4. Public Transport

Back in the dark days, before iPhones, I had a PlayStation Portable (PSP). I used to download anime. Loads of it. I'd then use some bullshit bargain basement application, convert the files to a very specific file type and resolution, all so I could watch anime during my morning commute.

Sometimes those conversions would fail. Sometimes they worked, sometimes they didn't. I'd switch to episode 54 of Naruto or whatever, only to find that the file had been corrupted. The absolute worst. Dark days.

Even today, watching video during my commute is a funny business. I burn through data listening to podcasts and music, so I rarely make the leap to video.


Thanks Netflix.

How will you use Netflix's new download option, let us know below.


    I wosh this was there last year. I used to drive every week canberra to melbourne n back. Would have love this.

      How would being able to watch Netflix while you drive be a good idea?

        Sorry, I should have elaborated but I was eating lunch and commenting from my phone so got lazy.

        I used to drive with 3 other guys, so we would take turns at driving. These guys were way older and for some reason weren't that willing to let me drive, which was fine by me. And that's when I would use up all my data watchibg Good Game on Youtube.

    It's so good! Downloaded and watched the first two eps of Stranger Things this morning on my train commute. Yas!

    I'll be taking another look at how to change the DNS settings on my ipad so I can see what's available to download on US Netflix.

    The way I understood it, Netflix was clamping down on the loopholes that allowed unblocking services (whether they be simply DNS number providers, or full-blown VPNs) to do this. It became 'easier' for me to unblock the website on one of my computers, set and forget.

    This creates yet another tier. I had Aus NetFlix, and US NetFlix, and was happy to dart between the two. Now I will have to work what's downloadable on the Aus one, and what's only available on the US one, but still able to be downloaded.

      Can you still get US netflix? I can see the listing but can't play anything.

        It was always a bridge too far for me to make it work on devices other than the laptop I've always done it on, and my (now last gen) Apple TV.

        PS4, tablets, and so on have tutorials on how to do this, but they are far too intimidating.

        The Apple TV constantly needs tweaking, because Netflix itself has been tightening up its geo-blocks (I suspect you already know this though :) )

          Yeah, using a chromecast makes it a real pain. I have a go now and then as I bought a 30 year sub to the unblocking service I use (cost just above a 1 year sub on one of those deal sites).
          They recently emailed me some more details so I need to have a go again sometime.

    Already downloaded episodes of Stranger Things and Star Trek Voyager to start watching on the train. All the Star Trek is going to keep me busy for a while! Especially with everything else that I'm watching. Good thing we're heading into the mid season break. :)

    Does this then also mean, that if a movie gets removed from Netflix, that my download will stay on my device until I delete it myself? Because this would be extra handy for those things you know you want to watch again later but then the new cycle comes in and you were too late to watch it again.

    Does this mean that people with shite internet connections could potentially watch 4K? ie. Download an entire 4k episode and watch it back?

      I'm not sure about using it to download on devices like the PS4, attached to a 4K screen. Yesterday the PS4 app hadn't updated. The add I saw in my email was getting me to update on iOS.
      I suspect it'll be app-dependent?

      Stands to reason. If it was browser-based (so, chromecast too), the studios might have more concerns about piracy.

      Last edited 01/12/16 4:17 pm

        Yeah, fair point. I guess piracy will always be an issue as there'll always be someone out there to find away around it.

        I don't think my PS4 app has updated either, but it would be interesting to see what happens. Sure I don't own a 4k tv yet, but I also don't see the point in doing so on my ADSL connection unless by some miracle they decide to upgrade to NBN in my area.

      There are no 4k capable devices that have the download functionality from what I can see.

    I live like... five minutes walk from home, and without holidays in the near future I've got nothing to burn time on.

    BUT. I do some pretty damn monotonous work sometimes, the kind of thing that would be dramatically enhanced by listening to some stand-up comedians. Y'know. Stuff I don't have to WATCH and can just listen to.

    I guess filling a niche that everyone else fills with podcasts? I've never really liked those, though. At least a stand-up comedian on netflix has better scripting and is likely funnier.

    On the flight issue there's an issue far worse than having seen the movies. It's having to watch the PG edited super cut version on a plane.

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