I’m a big fan of Netflix. Any given day, and it’s likely we’ll stream a couple of hours of content though the little red service.
All is not rosy, however. You see, I have a decent internet connection, but there are still times where data is lean and Netflix starts buffering. It’s sadly more common in my household, what with all the reviewing I need to do.
It’s always bothered me that Netflix doesn’t allow me to control the quality of the stream; you know, for those times when I’ve got three review tablets updating apps all at the same time. I’d be content to watch in SD for smoother playback.
Well. If you don’t mind a little behind-the-scenes action, you can tweak the stream on a computer.
While streaming, hold down ALT and SHIFT–then left click anywhere on the screen. A small Diagnostics menu will pop up, and if you select Stream Manager, from that menu you can manually control the quality of the video stream. This is also a handy trick for under-powered computers.
Unfortunately, if you stream Netflix to your TV through a console, this diagnostic trick wont work. On XBox and PS3, you can reach a system menu by entering “Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, Up, Up, Up, Up”, but it wont allow you to alter the streaming quality.