TV Answer Man, our family is driving 10 hours to visit South Carolina in a few weeks. We have a Netflix subscription, and we would like to keep the kids entertained during the trip. Do you know if there’s any way to watch Netflix on their devices during the trip? We won’t have an Internet connection in the car. — Cheryl, Alexandria, Virginia.
Cheryl, you will be happy to hear that you can watch both TV shows and movies from the Netflix catalog without the Internet, which means you can do it in your car during a long trip. It’s a relatively simple process and it doesn’t require extra subscription fees.
Here’s how you can do it:
First, you will need one of the following:
* An iPhone, iPad, or iPod running iOS 9.0 or later;
* A phone or tablet running Android 4.4.2 or later;
* A tablet or computer running the Windows 10 (Version 1709 or newer) or a Windows 11 tablet or computer.
* An Amazon Fire tablet running Fire OS 4.0 or later.
* Select Chromebook or Chromebox models.
You cannot download a Netflix title on any other device. But if you have one of the five devices listed above, you’re halfway home. (You’ll also need the latest Netflix app for Windows 10 or 11, Apple iOS, Android and Amazon Fire TV.)
Next, you will need an Internet connection to download the Netflix title, and of course, an active Netflix streaming account.
Once connected to Netflix, you can then search for titles that are available for downloading (watching the title offline) by going to the Menu and clicking, ‘Available For Downloads.’ (Note: Not all titles can be downloaded.)
Once you find a title you want, go its description page and click on the download icon, which looks like this: If your Internet connection is at least moderately fast, the download should take less than 10 minutes. (By example, I recently downloaded a 90-minute movie in just two minutes using a coffee shop Internet service.)
Once the download is completed, you can access it from the ‘My Downloads’ section of the app you are using to watch Netflix. Click on the ‘Play’ icon next to the title, and it will begin to play, whether you are connected to the Internet or not.
The downloaded title will stay in your Netflix ‘My Downloads’ file so long as it’s available in the Netflix catalog. If the title expires, and is removed from Netflix’s library, it will no longer be available for downloading. You can have up to 100 active downloads at a time per device on as many devices in your membership plan.
You can also set the video quality of your download, from standard-definition to 1080p High-Definition. The higher the video quality, the longer it takes to download the show or movie.
Last note: If you plan to watch Netflix on an app installed on your hotel’s TV, or one in a vacation rental one, be careful of inputting your user name and password. If you don’t log out of the account before the end of your stay, the next person who stays here will have access to your account. So be sure to log out.
Cheryl, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!
Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at firstname.lastname@example.org Please include your first name and hometown in your message.
— Phillip Swann