This has nothing to do directly with points and miles, but is something that I know a lot of flyers (myself included) have been hoping for. Netflix is finally adding offline playback! This means you will be able to download and save content from Netflix for your next long-haul flight, or for watching abroad. This is huge, especially in light of the fact that Netflix said, literally, “it will never happen” to offline viewing less than 2 years ago. Never say never!
While many global airlines have a decent selection of in-flight entertainment—heck, you can even take a class while in the air—that’s not universal. Sometimes you can get stuck on a 16-hour flight with just one episode of 10 different TV shows, or on a United 747 with just mains screen programming. In-flight Wi-Fi is getting faster, and some airlines like JetBlue will even let you stream content live, but you’re mostly out of luck on long haul flights. Finally, nothing beats your personal selections.
I have been renting and buying TV episodes from iTunes, or downloading selections from Amazon Instant Video (which does allow offline playback) to use as my personal in-flight entertainment. However, buying and renting episodes can get expensive, and Amazon doesn’t have the widest selection out there. That’s why Netflix’s offline playback will be an amazing addition for me, and I imagine for many others as well.
Of course, with the ability to download shows, you can also save them for viewing once you’re abroad, which may not have the same selection.
The functionality will be available on smartphones and tablets, and will require an app update. The update is already available, but Netflix says it might take a while to appear in the app stores. There will be two quality options for downloads, Standard and High Quality, though Netflix didn’t specify the resolutions.
Are you excited about the ability to watch Netflix videos offline?