Entertainment

Here's how Netflix downloading works

The streaming service finally unveiled a long-awaited feature this week. Here's what you need to know.

The latest season of Black Mirror is among the Netflix-created shows you can download for watching offline. Why, it's almost as if the dystopian screen-soaked future we're hurtling toward isn't coming quickly enough...

Netflix

The latest season of Black Mirror is among the Netflix-created shows you can download for watching offline. Why, it's almost as if the dystopian screen-soaked future we're hurtling toward isn't coming quickly enough...

It’s been on the wish lists of subscribers for a very long time, and this week Netflix finally announced users will be able to download programs for offline viewing.

So to all the straphangers, frequent flyers and sufferers of wandering wi-fi, here’s everything you need to know to get started.

Can I Download Anything For Future Viewing?

We’re afraid not. At least for now, only Netflix-owned shows like Making A Murderer, The Crown and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt can be saved for offline viewing. It's a good bet that copyright lawyers were involved in this decision.

Well That’s A Bit Of A Drag, But I Get It. What Devices Can I Download To?

If you want to take your Netlix shows on the go, you’re going to need the iOS or Android app. Then again, if you want to take your Netflix shows on the go, you probably already have it. Either way, your device will need to be running at least iOS 8.0 or Android 4.4.2 to be compatible with the app.

I Notice “Laptop” Missing From That Answer

Correct! Only the mobile app can download programs for future viewing. You also won’t be able to move downloaded files over to your computer.

How Much Data Does Downloading Guzzle?

Downloading a program requires the same data needed for streaming it, so it’s best to load up at home on your personal network before hitting the road to avoid hitting your cap.

How Much Storage Space Will I Need?

That all depends on how much programming you save, of course. An average hour-long episode in standard definition clocks in at around 280MB. SD is the default download setting, but if you crave that high-definition action, you’ll need roughly twice that. Everything you save will be stored by and accessible within the app, similar to Spotify or common podcast apps.

Will My Downloads Expire?

This one is kind of all over the place because each program has a different shelf life. If a saved episode expires in less than seven days, your app’s My Downloads section will show you a countdown. Other programs will have to be completed within 48 hours of the first time you press play.

Sounds Simple Enough.

Totally.