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12 Hacks To Make Netflix, Hulu And Amazon Prime Streaming Better

Make your binge-watching less basic with these tips for Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.

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1. Use an add-on like NEnhancer for a better browsing experience.

NEnhancer / Via chrome.google.com

Chrome offers a few apps to make the Netflix menu a little more helpful, including ones that put trailers or Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB ratings right on the info panel.

2. Use your smartphone as a remote with certain devices.

Roku / Via phonearena.com

Losing the remote is annoying, but you probably always have your phone on you, right? If you're watching on a device like Roku or Xbox One, you can download the product's official app to use your smartphone as a remote across all apps supported by the device.

3. Watch Netflix and Hulu in actual HD.

Netflix

By default, your Netflix playback settings will be on "Auto," meaning the service will determine your streaming quality based on connection. You'll need to go into the Account menu, then Playback Settings and set your data usage to High in order to force HD or Ultra HD playback. In Hulu, you can change this in the settings menu in the control bar of any video you're currently watching.

Bear in mind, this will use up a ton of data (up to 7 GB per hour for Ultra HD), so if your internet company charges you for overages, you might want to leave your settings as-is.

4. Want better streaming quality? Watch during the day.

Wavebreakmedia Ltd / Getty Images

If you're watching Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime or other popular streaming services during peak hours (i.e. in the evening, when everyone is home from work), the increased traffic will mean poorer picture quality for you. To watch in the highest quality possible, plan your binges for weekday afternoons if possible.

5. Watching in a country where content isn't available? Try Hola.

Hola / Via chrome.google.com

Hola is an extension for Chrome that provides a free, easy-to-use VPN that can allow you to watch content that might not otherwise be available in your country. Especially useful if you're a U.S. resident traveling overseas.

6. Going on a long flight? Download movies from Amazon Prime.

Ponsulak / Getty Images

Airplane Wi-Fi is expensive and spotty, so streaming on planes isn't a great experience. However, eligible Amazon Prime customers can now download movies to their mobile devices and watch them offline, eliminating the need for Wi-Fi. If you're eligible, you'll see a download option when browsing Prime Video shows and movies on a Kindle, Android or iOS device.

7. Change your subtitles so that they're actually readable.

CBS

In Netflix, head to My Account and click on Subtitle Appearance to change the size, font, color, background, and other settings on your subtitles. The default is yellow, which isn't always all that visible, whereas white with a black outline is readable on almost any background.

In Hulu, similar settings can be reached by starting a video and clicking on Options under the Closed Captioning menu.

8. Can't decide what to watch? Roll the dice and leave it up to fate.

Netflixroulette.com

When you're truly at a loss as to what to watch on Netflix, try Netflixroulette.net. Press the "spin" button to get a completely random movie or TV show available on Netflix, or narrow it down by genre, actor, director, keyword, or average rating first.

9. If you watch using mobile data a lot instead of Wi-Fi, you might want to consider T-Mobile.

Dan Graziano / Via Twitter: @DanGraziano

The company just announced that it won't count most video streaming services as mobile data usage, helping protect you from monthly overages or data throttling.

10. Is your ex still using your Netflix account? Boot everyone off of your account and reset your password.

Lightcome / Getty Images

In Netflix's Account Settings, there's an option to "sign out of all devices." That will effectively sign everyone using your credentials out on all of their devices, allowing you to reset your password and get that one freeloading ex off your account for good.

11. Watch while you work with Helium.

If you don't have dual monitors, it's tough to watch shows while you work. The Helium app attempts to make things easier by providing a floating, resizable window with adjustable opacity to play videos. You can either upload a file or enter a URL, and the media will play in a semi-transparent window over your current one. You can even click anywhere on the window and it will ignore the player, meaning it won't interrupt your work at all.

The transparency takes a little getting used to, but if you're mostly just watching something for background noise while you work, it's a good option.

12. Create different profiles for different moods.

Netflix / Via reddit.com

Your ratings and watch history on your profile will determine what Netflix recommends for you, so creating different profiles for when you want specific types of content can give you more specific options in the future.

You could make one profile that only watches goofy TV comedies, or one that only watches sad movies, or even one that you only use when you're drunk, like this girl did.

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