Netflix lets you download content from its streaming service to watch offline

By Matthew Dunn

Ever wanted to download content from Netflix to watch later, without chewing up your data? Now you can.
Ever wanted to download content from Netflix to watch later, without chewing up your data? Now you can.

The ability to download content from streaming services for offline play is one of the most requested features from subscribers.

And now Netflix has come to the table, much to the delight of many binge-watchers worldwide.

"While many members enjoy watching Netflix at home, we've often heard they also want to continue their Stranger Things binge while on airplanes and other places where internet is expensive or limited," Netflix's director of product innovation Eddy Wu wrote in a blog post.

"Many of your favourite streaming series and movies are already available for download, with more on the way, so there is plenty of content available for those times when you are offline."

Netflix said their original content such as Orange is The New Black, Narcos and The Crown can be downloaded from today.

The feature is available across all package options and would work on iOS and Android devices - although, there is no such feature for laptop or desktop computers.

Netflix said subscribers would need to update to the most recent version of the app to use the feature.

"Just click the download button on the details page for a film or TV series and you can watch it later without an internet connection," Wu wrote.

The move comes as a new app makes it possible to download content from any streaming service to consume without the need for internet.

While now redundant to Netflix - except for content it doesn't have for download - PlayOn Cloud will work for the likes of Stan, HayU and the soon to be killed Presto.

The iOS application uses "cloud DVR" functionality to download the content to the user's smartphone, where the recording will remain for 30 days.

AdSkip technology has also been added to the app for anyone hoping to skip commercials from services with such features.

Obviously to use the app on a streaming service, users will need account credentials to access the content to begin with.

While many members enjoy watching Netflix at home, we've often heard they also want to continue their Stranger Things binge while on airplanes and other places where internet is expensive or limited.
Eddy Wu, Netflix's director

It must also be mentioned that the app will only download content in real-time - meaning it will take 60 minutes to record a show that is 60 minutes long.

If you are curious about the legalities of such an application, all we can say is the answer isn't clear-cut.

While many streaming services and other streaming services make users agree to not archive, download, reproduce, or distribute content, PlayOn falls in a legal grey area.

As the app uses screen capture technology, instead of breaking or circumventing copy protection mechanisms, it isn't necessarily infringing copyright.

Although, as it is a blurry legal area it could be wise to use with caution.

While the app itself is free, the company earns revenue by selling "credits" the users require to download the content.

Credits will cost $0.99 each, although people subscribing to the app will get five free credits as a welcome gift.

Whether the streaming services will attempt to shut down the app is yet to be seen, alternatively it could force companies like Netflix to add the feature they have been toying with for a while.

- news.com.au

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