Netflix offers thousands of movies and TV shows online, but finding videos you want to watch can nonetheless prove challenging. Luckily, there are tons of mash-ups, search engines and other tools out there that help you to maximize your Netflix experience.
Here’s our list of ten tools to get the most out of Netflix:
Instantwatcher.com. This site is invaluable for Netflix users, if only for one feature: Netflix regularly has to take offline movies and TV show episodes based on the rights it has negotiated. Instantwatcher has a list of all these “expiring” titles so you can catch them before they’re gone. The site also makes it possible to browse the best- and worst-ranked movies on Netflix (B-movie night, anyone?), and it even offers advanced queues, including the ability to restrict access to content based on age ratings to members willing to pay $10 bucks a year. That said, it’s free to browse all the lists, and definitely very helpful.
The Instant Watch DB. This site offers detailed search functionality for Netflix’s online catalog. Want to find a PG-rated comedy released after 2004 that’s available in HD? Then this is the place to go.
WhichFlicks. Yet another way to navigate Netflix’s online catalog, utilizing Rotten Tomatoes as well as Netflix ratings. Very visual, it provides an easy way to find something in seconds. WhichFlicks also has its own iPhone app.
Netflix’s RSS feeds. Another way to keep track of all the titles added to Netflix’s online catalog is to subscribe to the site’s RSS feeds. Netflix has a dedicated feed just for new Watch Instantly additions, which you can add to your Google Reader or your browser’s live bookmarks (check this helpful guide if you’re new to RSS feeds).
Feedfliks. Is it time to finally downsize or ditch your DVD subscription and possibly go streaming-only? Feedlix analyzes your Netfix usage data and tells you how much you’re actually spending per movie watched. The site also offers a list of titles that will be added to Netflix’s online catalog in the future, complete with the ability to automatically add them to your Instant Queue once they’re available.
Clicker. Want to watch a movie, but don’t know whether it’s available on iTunes, Amazon VOD or Netflix? Then use Clicker’s search engine, which lets you select from various sources.
Netflix Ratings Granulizer. Not satisfied with the current Netflix ratings system? This browser extension allows you to add half stars, so you can differentiate between the movie you absolutely hated and the ones you just didn’t like at all. Available both for Firefox (with Greasemonkey) and Chrome.
Netflix Pivot. This may not be the most useful tool to explore the Netflix catalog, but it’s definitely cool, if only for the fact that zooming in and out of all of those movie titles really shows you how much video you’ll have at your fingertips. The site makes it possible to browse Netflix’s top 3,000 titles and arrange them by rating.
Rottenflix. This is a Greasemonkey script that displays the Rotten Tomatoes rating of any Netflix movie directly on Netflix.com. You’ll need both Firefox and the Firefox Greasemonkey extension to make this work.
And here’s our latest episode of Cord Cutters, which explains how to get the best quality Netflix streams:
Got some tips and tricks to share that helped you to improve your Netflix experience? Fire away in the comments!