Download Netflix shows and movies
Netflix has made select TV shows and films available to download and watch offline. Chris Martin shows how
Netflix has finally introduced a feature that lets you download TV shows and films to watch offline. This follows Amazon’s lead after the company introduced of offline viewing for Prime Video last year, but does come as a surprise because an interview in November with Netflix COO suggested that the company wasn’t intending to introduce the much sought-after feature for the UK or US any time soon.
In an interview with CNBC in November, Netflix’s COO Ted Sarandos said that the company is looking into making movies available to download, but that this would only be for countries that have low broadband speeds. Other sources suggested that Netflix would introduce downloads but only for its Originals. However, while the selection is still limited, there’s much more than just Netflix’s Originals available to watch offline.
To download Netflix shows and movies to watch offline, you’ll need to first have a compatible phone or tablet running Android 4.4.2 or later, and then ensure that you have the Netflix app installed and up to date.
Then, you’ll need to sign in to your Netflix account and navigate to the Available for Download section in the menu. There, you’ll see a huge selection of shows available to download including Netflix Originals such as Narcos,
Stranger Things and The Crown as well as some of the most popular movies and programmes like
The Hunger Games and Poldark. Netflix has said that there are “more on the way” so expect many more popular titles in the catalogue to appear over time.
Once you’ve found a show you’re interested in and want to watch offline, perhaps on your commute or on a long flight, select it and then tap the Download icon next to the episode you’re after. You will then see a blue progress bar along the bottom of the app. Once downloaded, you’ll see a blue icon next to that episode. You can find your downloaded shows by navigating to the menu and tapping My Downloads. Simply press play and watch away.
If you have enough space on your phone or tablet and some time before you’ll be disconnected from the internet, you might want to download in Higher video quality. To do so, go to the menu and scroll down to App Settings. Under Downloads, tap Video Quality and choose the option that suits you.
For shows that aren’t available using Netflix’s official download feature, there are workarounds, but be warned. Just like watching the US Netflix from outside America, this method is not something which users are freely allowed to do. It violates the firm’s terms and conditions. You do this at your own risk.
There is no official way of ‘downloading’ Netflix content that isn’t available through Netflix’s built-in feature, but what you can do is watch the TV show or film you want to view offline and capture the screen as you do it. This does mean playing it from beginning to end but it’s really the best – and only – way of doing it. It’s a workaround, really.
Download and install a screen-capture program. There are many to choose from, both free and paid, including CamStudio (camstudio.org), Audials Moviebox (tinyurl.com/ztLutex) or Screencast-OMatic (tinyurl.com/j5qLbdm). For this tutorial, we’re going to use CamStudio.
Once you’ve installed the software of your choice, fire it up and get Netflix ready in your browser. By default CanStudio will record a fixed region, so in the Region menu select Full Screen. This will capture Netflix video in its entirety.
You’ll also want to change the audio settings as the software will not record anything by default. Click Options and choose Record audio from speakers. We got a message pop up but audio records without a problem.
Select Options > Program Options > ‘Minimize program on start recording’ to automatically minimise CamStudio before your recording starts. With Netflix ready to go with the TV show or film you want to capture, hit record (the round red button) and switch to Netflix. Hit play on the video and go full screen. You will have to let the episode or movie run to the end but when it’s done go back to CamStudio and hit stop.
Now save the give the file a name and save it where you want. Annoyingly, Windows will automatically play the video back.
This method will result in files which you can then transfer to Android, which is probably the easiest thing to do. However, you can record the screen on your Android device if you wish to ‘download’ Netflix content.