Do you want to watch your favorite series on Netflix when you are currently without WiFi? But you don’t have enough mobile data to stream the movie? You can also download the episode beforehand and watch it when you’re offline. There are only two hurdles: You have to use the Netflix app on a suitable device. And your favorite series must have been released for download. However, this is not the case for all titles.
Install the Netflix App
Above all, mobile devices on which Netflix enables offline use: The current app runs on smartphones and tablets with Android from version 4.4.2, but also on iPhones and iPads with iOS 9.0 or higher. On the Macbook, Netflix cannot currently be viewed offline without an internet connection. This works very well on a laptop with Windows 10, provided the app from the Microsoft Store. These are the minimum requirements, so to speak.
You can check whether your Android device is HD-capable on the Netflix website. This is helpful, for example, if you want to take a tablet with you on vacation that you would otherwise not use and should only replace your home TV there. You can check the devices on which you have saved films and series to be able to watch them offline in your Netflix account.
Find Netflix movies that can be downloaded
You can tell whether a film or a series episode can be downloaded for later offline viewing by the download symbol on the detail page – an arrow pointing downwards. For series, you will find the symbol in the overview on the right or bottom right of each episode. For films, it is listed below the description in a row with My List and Rate.
If you want to get an overview of the entire download offer, you can find it under the item available for download in the Hamburger menu at the top left. For in-house productions, the Netflix Originals, this is always the case. For purchased material, it depends on how the licenses were negotiated.
You start the download by tapping or clicking on the arrow symbol. If everything went well, a blue smartphone symbol with a checkmark appears next to it. In the desktop app, this is a checkbox with a checkmark. The amount of data downloaded should be the same as when viewing via stream. The best thing to do is to download the films and series via the home WiFi network. In the area My Downloads you can check again before you go on vacation whether there is enough material for dark rainy days on your device.
Select the picture quality
A series episode with a length of 45 minutes occupies about 200 megabytes on the device. Then it is the so-called standard quality. However, this is just the minimum of storage space and not the standard. If you want to see the material in better quality, i.e. Full HD in 1080p, you have to set it before the download. The corresponding option can be found on the smartphone via the hamburger menu at the top left in the app settings sub-item, but in the desktop app via the three-point menu at the top right. When downloading, you can no longer determine the image quality.
Unlike streaming, there are currently only two options for downloads: Standard and High. The last point only means “higher quality with up to 1080p”. Movies in 4K cannot be downloaded. This may have licensing reasons, but above all the amount of data would be so large that it could not be stored on a smartphone or tablet. And most laptops would also have problems with it. With Android, the films and series episodes can also be saved on an SD card. This is also set once in the menu item App Settings.
All languages and subtitles included
Once downloaded, you can start playback in the My Downloads area. You just have to be logged into the app with your access data. An internet connection with Netflix is not necessary. This could lead to the idea of downloading films and series episodes for permanent backup before removing them from the program. But then you just can’t play them anymore.
Otherwise, Netflix has made playback very convenient: material stored on a smartphone can be displayed in the apartment on a large screen via HDMI (provided both devices understand each other at the hardware level). When watching, you can switch between the original language and the German dubbed version at any time or the subtitles can be added. The episodes can also be deleted after viewing in the My Downloads area to make room for new material.