Best Netflix Shows to Download – January 2017

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So Netflix has finally given us what we wanted: offline playback. Now we can download our favorite shows to our phones or other devices and watch them at our leisure. But, as always, there is a catch. So far Netflix hasn’t enabled offline playback for all the series it offers.

Even so, this is great news. I can watch many of my favorite shows during my morning commute, which makes a very boring journey much more bearable. I can download episodes at home on cable and then transfer them to my phone–no more waiting for Wi-Fi or using my data plan. Now I really can get my media my way.

So what’s in and what’s out? What shows can you use this new feature with?

TV shows you can download on Netflix

As you might expect, the Netflix originals are enabled for download with Offline Playback. They include:

  • The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
  • Love
  • Stranger Things
  • The Crown
  • Orange is the New Black
  • House of Cards
  • Master of None
  • w/Bob and David
  • Narcos
  • BoJack Horseman
  • Making a Murderer
  • Amanda Knox

Some other TV shows are also available with Offline Playback, though not as many as I might have hoped. Here are some of the Netflix streaming shows you can currently download.

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  • Friday Night Lights
  • Breaking Bad
  • Dexter
  • Gossip Girl
  • Freaks and Geeks
  • Crazy Ex Girlfriend
  • Arrow
  • Parks and Recreation
  • Peaky Blinders
  • 30 Rock
  • The Office
  • Better Call Saul
  • Bloodline
  • Green Wing
  • Jane the Virgin
  • The Blacklist
  • Supergirl
  • Black Mirror
  • Californication
  • Damages
  • Mad Men
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation

There are some top TV shows on there, especially Peaky Blinders, Breaking Bad, and Dexter. Those are some of my all-time favorite shows that I gorged on over the holidays. Some of the others are welcome additions too and I’m sure Netflix will add more as time goes on.

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Movies you can download on Netflix

There are a bunch of movies also enabled for download with Offline Playback too. I sincerely hope this list grows as time goes on, as it’s quite limited right now. However, it includes Pulp Fiction, which absolves Netflix of anything ever.

Here are some of the movies you can download.

  • Jaws
  • Aileen: The Life and Death of a Serial Killer
  • Love Actually
  • Cape Fear
  • Swingers
  • The Summit
  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  • Spotlight
  • Chicken Run
  • Antz
  • Iverson
  • The Babadook
  • Tangerine
  • Trainspotting
  • Burn After Reading
  • Blue is the Warmest Color
  • Nightcrawler
  • Wet Hot American Summer
  • Boyhood
  • Adventureland
  • Hot Fuzz
  • Pulp Fiction

How to use Offline Playback

Netflix have done their typically sterling job of making the new feature easy to find and use. To get it, you will need to update the Netflix app on your phone or other device to the latest version. Once done, navigate the listings and open a TV episode as usual. If you see a download icon (an arrow pointing downwards), the episode is available for offline viewing. Hit the icon and the episode will download onto your device. Once complete it will appear in the My Downloads list. Tap it to watch.

You can select the video quality of the download to manage file size or download time if you like too:

  1. Tap the three line menu icon in the Netflix app.
  2. Tap App Settings.
  3. Tap Video Quality under Downloads.
  4. Select Standard or Higher as you like.

Once you have downloaded and watched your show using Offline Playback, you can delete it. The process is the same for both iPhone and Android:

  1. Tap the three line menu icon in the Netflix app.
  2. Tap My Downloads and then Edit.
  3. Tap the red X icon to delete the file.

You can also delete all your downloaded episodes in a series.

  1. Tap the three line menu icon in the Netflix app.
  2. Scroll down to App Settings.
  3. Tap Clear All Downloads.
  4. Confirm to delete.

This will delete all the titles you have downloaded from that series, even ones you haven’t watched yet, so use this function with care.

The new download feature kind of caught me by surprise. Netflix said for the longest time that they were not likely to consider offline playback. However, with Amazon and others allowing downloads it was only a matter of time before Netflix followed suit–I just didn’t expect it so soon. It goes to show that the people in the boardroom listen to their customers and for that they will continue receiving my subscription for a while yet.

How about you? Have you tried Offline Playback yet? Found anything that has been added since I wrote this? Tell us about it below!

Posted by Jamie on January 8, 2017

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