Netflix continues to surprise me with not only the new shows and movies that they keep adding to their catalog, but also the number of ways you can customize your binge-watching experience.
One of this is the ability to control the playback speed. A few days back, when I was watching Sacred Games, I felt the need to go through certain scenes faster. Like when you begin watching the same episode and can't wait to reach where you left?
But how fast is not too fast? Let’s do some math.
At 1.2x speed, you can complete a one hour episode of Sherlock in 50 minutes. How? Just divide the length of the episode with the speed at with you are going to watch it.
Episode length / playback speed = new episode length
You can also use speed watching technique to save some valuable time. If there are 10 episodes in a series, you save one hour! That’s not bad and at 1.2x speed, you won’t notice the difference after a few episodes.
Now that I have you convinced with this new way to binge on Netflix, let’s take a look at some Chrome extensions that will help you change the playback speed.
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1. Video Speed Controller
First one on the list is Video Speed Controller. Install the extension like any other on your Chrome browser. A new shiny red icon will be added. Open Netflix and play your favorite episode.
On the upper-left side of your screen, you will see a number. By default, 1.00 is the video playback speed. When you hover over it, it reveals additional options. The plus and minus buttons will increase and decrease the Netflix playback speed by 0.1 on every click.
You can hide the video playback controller option by pressing V on your keyboard. Press it again to bring back the playback speed controller. You can also use shortcuts for rewind (Z) and fast forward (X) or reset (R) playback speed.
Other options include an ability to set rewind and advance time, setting preferred speed, and change the rate at which the playback speed will increase or decrease every time you hit the plus/minus icon.
Note that the extension claims to work on any video streaming site that plays HTML5 videos though I have only tested it with Netflix.
Unlike Video Speed Controller, this particular Chrome extension is built specifically for Netflix users. After installing it, you might have to refresh your page before you see the translucent controls overlay at the top of your screen. It packs a bunch of options so let’s get on with them.
The playback controller option is the second one from the left. Click on it once to reveal a scrollable bar that you can drag with your mouse. Minimum playback speed is 0.5 and maximum is 4x. It is easy to use and works like a charm. But that is not the only trick Super Netflix is hiding under its sleeve.
You can also skip intros, change video streaming quality on the fly based on your Internet speed, and best of all, blur images and thumbnails to avoid spoilers. You know, when a major character is dead and you accidentally see his face in the thumbnail on the next episode! Yeah, those kind of spoilers.
This is another free Chrome extension to control Netflix playback speed with a few clicks of a button. Clicking on the extension button will reveal a drop down menu with an annoying rainbow colored background. The color keeps changing constantly. More on that later.
You can change the playback speed here easily by dragging the bar. If you find the mouse to be oversensitive, use the arrow keys on your keyboard. Playback speed begins at 0x and goes all the way to 30x. A bit too extreme, eh?
Now, about that rainbow background. Though I am not sure what was the developer thinking when he added it, he had the sense to insert an option to disable it. Click on Options at the bottom and deselect the rainbow background option.
Video Playback Speed works with other video streaming services like Amazon Prime (tested) and Hulu too but lacks several advanced features that we saw in the previous Netflix Chrome extensions.
This playback speed controller for Netflix was developed by a Portuguese developer, so you may see a notification to translate the page in English. You won’t face any issues while using it.
Once the extension is installed, just click on it to reveal playback setting options. There is a ‘+’ and ‘-’ button that will allow you to manipulate playback speed on Netflix. There are also some preset shortcuts that you can use to slow down and increase playback speed.
Other than this, there are no additional features available but the extension works just fine.
Last but not the least on the list is Video Speed. Again, install it and click on the extension while watching Netflix to reveal playback options. While I was able to control playback speed of the movie just fine, I had less control over the numbers.
The values are preset and you can only select one of the given options. I cannot choose precise 1.1x or 1.2x but have to directly jump to 1.25x which was a little frustrating because I am more comfortable at 1.2x. Also, there were no advanced features. This one might work if you are just starting off to watch videos with a faster playback speed.
Increasing Netflix playback speed will actually help you watch more episodes and movies in less time. Now you can cram marathons on Netflix to watch more over a period of time. Your friends will be surprised at how fast you are going through the seasons without knowing any better!
Next up: Watching Netflix on your smartphone? Worried about data usage? Check our tricks on how you can control data usage and still enjoy Netflix while traveling.