Earlier this year, the number of streaming subscriptions worldwide passed one billion. Yet despite that large population of people who use streaming services, many don’t know about certain features or tricks that could be used to improve their streaming experience. So today, let’s go over five tips and tricks you can start using today!
Best Features to Take Advantage of
Access Locked Content With a VPN (All Streaming Services)
Let’s start by discussing the absence of content. Depending on where you live—in other words, what country you are currently residing in—certain content will be locked behind a filter known as a geo-block.
Geo-blocking is an annoying practice that most, if not all, streaming services practice, and if you want to get around it, you don’t have many options. But there still is a solution: a VPN (Virtual Private Network).
With a VPN, you can encrypt your data and route your connection through a VPN server that is located in the country of your choice. With a reputable VPN, you can trick streaming services into believing you’re in a different country entirely.
So, using a VPN to watch the newest season of your favorite show might be worth it!
Use the “Add” Feature (HBO Max)
HBO Max has tens of thousands of hours’ worth of content. So the chances of you seeing a show or movie that looks really cool are high, yet you may decide to watch it later. Here’s the problem: some streaming services don’t allow you to create a watchlist, a list containing shows you plan on watching at some point. And forgetting that show you so desperately wanted to watch is possible.
HBO Max does! All you need to do is click the “Add” button that pops up when looking at a show/movie. This adds it to your own “watchlist” of sorts, removing the need for you to remember the show or movie all on your own. It’s a small feature, but a fantastic one, nonetheless.
Choose English or Japanese VA (HBO Max/Hulu)
The 2010s saw an anime boom—anime became ingrained into mainstream culture. As a result, Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and even Amazon Prime Video started offering anime along with their usual content.
However, some anime fans find themselves disappointed at times due to streaming services offering the show or movie in a language they either don’t understand or don’t prefer.
Fortunately, both HBO Max and Hulu offer most of their anime offerings in both English and Japanese. Therefore, switching between the two versions is easy as well, making both HBO Max and Hulu the best streaming services for anime fans.
Remove Ads for an Additional Fee (HBO Max/Hulu)
Speaking of HBO Max and Hulu, the ads both services shove in the faces of their viewers can quickly become annoying. This is partly because Hulu has spent the past few years sneaking in longer ads and more ad breaks.
There is a solution to these annoying advertisements, however—a monetary one. Both streaming platforms give subscribers the ability to disable ads as long as they are willing to pay an extra $5-or-so a month. In other words, pay $5, and you get to watch your shows without any interruptions.
For some of you, this may seem like a rip-off. For others, it’s perfectly sensible. But it is an option for those of you who want to binge your favorite shows without an ad appearing every five minutes.
Find Shows and Movies Using Category Codes (Netflix)
Netflix is host to thousands of shows—thousands of movies that could entertain a person for a lifetime and then some—but finding the perfect show to watch can be difficult. Yes, Netflix splits all of its content by genre, but users are left without the ability to specify their preferred subgenre. For example, a user could only search via the broad “Action” genre, not specific sub genres like “action comedies” or “military action.”
As it turns out, there is a way to search by subgenre. Though. It is (relatively) complicated. See, Netflix uses category codes to organize shows and movies by their genre and subgenre. Users can find and use these category codes to explore Netflix’s catalog, and all they need to do is find a list of the category codes.
Despite Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and HBO being around for most of the last decade, there are still many secrets they hold that you may not be aware of, and today was just a small look at all the features streaming services have nowadays.