Earlier this month, we reported that Netflix was mulling over the possibility of an offline viewing feature. The company had stated that it was thinking of providing the service for low-speed areas across the world that rely more on downloading content.
It certainly wasn’t the first time that such a feature had been considered by the company. Users have been asking Netflix to include offline viewing capabilities for some time now, but company officials weren’t completely sure how to handle storage or whether it would be worthwhile endeavor.
But in an announcement today, Netflix said that an offline viewing feature is now available for users of the company’s app.
“While many members enjoy watching Netflix at home, we’ve often heard they also want to continue their Stranger Things binge while on airplanes and other places where Internet is expensive or limited. Just click the download button on the details page for a film or TV series and you can watch it later without an internet connection,” the company said.
How it works
According to the company, many popular TV series are already available for download. Users simply have to make sure that they’re running iOS 8.0 or later or Android 4.4.2 or later on their devices and that their Netflix app is updated to the most recent version.
Gizmodo reports that the amount of storage space that will be needed varies depending on the show or movie that is being downloaded. The site says that a 1 hour and 3 minute show takes up about 280 megabytes in standard definition and about 440 megabytes in high-definition. If you’re planning to binge watch many shows, you’ll likely need gigabytes of storage space.
Keep in mind that shows and movies should be downloaded before a long trip since doing so without an internet connection will eat up about as much data as streaming the content would. Netflix hasn’t released what kind of file type videos are saved as, but early indications suggest that they are not viewable from a laptop or other device; downloaded videos can only be accessed through the Netflix app.
Downloads do have an expiration date as well. TV shows and movies expire after seven days, and some exclusive content expires 48 hours after you start watching it. Users can see how much time they have left by checking the “My Downloads” section of their Netflix app.
For more information on how to download content, Netflix says to visit its Help Center here.