6 Things We Learned From the Unofficial Netflix “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit
Yesterday, the Ask Me Anything community on Reddit was surprised to see a Netflix employee on the site offering to answer any questions the community had. A customer service representative opened an AMA to answer questions, providing a picture of their lanyard as proof.
While the proof provided was not a major identifier, the amount of knowledge the person had about the company helped back up their case. After a few hours, the account was deleted along with the picture of proof. The comments they made addressing questions remain however, and they contain some pretty juicy information about the movie providing service.
1) Netflix doesn’t actively monitor VPN usage
Question: How do you feel about people outside the supported countries accessing Netflix using VPN [virtual private network]. And what’s happening with the Netflix expansion in India? Or at least Asia?
While the question doesn’t relate specifically to the usage of VPN, the customer service representative shared information that should put all VPN users at ease. According to them, Netflix isn’t actively monitoring VPN usage.
Answer: No word on Asia as of now from me, and we don’t actively monitor VPN usage. If you ever need to call tech support they can see right away, and will just advise you to turn off the VPN before they troubleshoot because most issues are slow connection from VPN.
Recently, there’s been a myth that Netflix wanted to crack down on VPN usage when accessing their platform. However, when speaking to The Next Web about the rumor, a Netflix employee said they aren’t actively cracking down at all.
“Netflix simply uses industry standard methods to prevent illegal VPN use,” seems to be the official word, backing up the anonymous customer service representative’s remarks.
2) Netflix buys DVDs in bulk
Question: Why are all the good movies only available on DVD?
Ever wonder why all the best movies are always on DVD, or why that service still exists in the age of streaming? The answer isn’t amazing, but it provides one of those “Oh!” moments.
Answer: DVD is different than streaming because we can pretty much buy all the DVDs in bulk and mail them. Don’t have the same licensing limitations
There’s the “Oh!” moment. It makes perfect sense that Netflix would simply buy the DVDs in bulk and mail them out to users. They don’t have to worry about acquiring rights or cutting deals with productions companies. The answer is so simple it makes you feel dumb.
3) Netflix is working on HTML5 videos
Question: Netflix Player to HTML5, when? If you know…
If you’ve never experienced the amazing feats of an HTML5 video, you’ve been missing out. All those low-quality Tumblr GIFs that you’ve been experiencing for the past few years are about to get blown out of the window once HTML5 video takes off.
Here’s an example of a great HTML5 video:
Sick of watching slow-loading videos on YouTube? Well, the format also supports sound!
According to the Netflix employee, Netflix is testing this out now.
Answer: [It’s] happening right now through chrome 37+.
4) Netflix is expanding to more cable boxes
Question: Is it true that Netflix may soon be working with Cable providers, so Netflix will be accessible with Video On Demand, and [through] a cable box?
The answer? A quite enthusiastic yes.
Answer: Yes! If you’re in the U.S. and have a dish hopper, you’re able to grab the app from your dish receiver now. The U.K. has TiVo through Virgin and some BT boxes as well. More are being added very soon.
5) Netflix is testing skipping opening credits of TV shows
Question: How come there isn’t an option to skip the opening credits of any TV show you may be binge watching?
Ever binge watch a show for hours on end, just to hear that same opening jingle over and over each time? I get it; I’ve seen all of Futurama at least 12 times. I don’t need to hear that same song again and watch Leela crash the Planet Express ship through the billboard for the hundredth time.
Well, it looks like Netflix is currently testing a tool that would skip the opening credits for binge watchers.
Answer: That’s on some accounts right now being tested. Have it happening on my personal account actually.
6) Netflix is currently rolling out a new user interface
Question: I feel like the Netflix UI is really clunky across almost all of the different devices. I’ve only used the Roku, PS3, AppleTV, and a normal web browser so far and none are really that good. I don’t have any suggestions, but I feel like there could be a better way of displaying the UI.
So my question is, are there any plans on unifying the UI across all devices (this might be difficult) or just a more user-friendly UI to use in general instead of endless scrolling?
This one has been a gripe of many Netflix users over the past few years. As the services rolled out on nearly all devices, some interfaces are clearly superior to others. Once you get used to a certain layout, it’s hard to switch back and forth – especially to one that doesn’t perform as well.
Answer: Yes actually! It’s rolling out now actually!
It looks like Netflix is bringing a lot of things to the table, and it’s unfortunate to see the AMA end. Netflix representatives and public relations people were certainly watching, so the hope is that they saw the community response and can use that to address certain features in the future.
Featured image from Shutterstock.