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Important Keyboard Shortcuts for Netflix Streaming Video

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom•updated: 8/5/2011

Netflix has transformed the home theater model, and since it is often used through a computer it is going to have a different type of interface than most people are used to. Here is a look at the primary keyboard shortcuts that you will use with the Netflix Silverlight player.

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    Subscription Success

    Netflix Instant Streaming has shifted the home theater market into a completely new way. More than any other force, Netflix has actuallyNetflix Logo  pushed us away from the movie rental and DVD / Blu-ray system of physical storage to a subscription-based model, where access to thousands of movies requires only a log-in.

    The reason it has been so successful is the basic usability of the streaming tools, which works well on most computers and Internet connections, and is reliable more often than it is not. The main issue for many people who are beginning to watch content on Netflix is that they are not used to utilizing a computer interface. Though it is available on the television through many services like Apple TV, it is still standard for most users to just tap in through their computer. To speed up the process, and make it more user-friendly, there are Netflix player shortcut keys that allow you to do the basic commands necessary both for watching your video and for controlling the general interface. Here is a look at these keyboard combinations, as well as when they should be used.

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    Play Functions

    Netflix Player The most standard Netflix keyboard shortcuts are correlated to simply playing the movie. Since these tend to be based around a computer interaction, they use the keyboard to quickly mimic the basic commands of a traditional remote control. These, however, are not implicit on a computer based system.

    • Play and Pause Video – Spacebar or Enter
    • Play On Its Own – PgUp
    • Pause On Its Own - PgDn
    • Full Screen – F
    • Exit From Full Screen – Esc
    • Turn Down Volume – Arrow Down
    • Turn Up Volume – Arrow Up
    • Fast Forward – Shift and Arrow Right
    • Rewind – Shift and Arrow Left
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    Complex Functions

    Netflix tends to hold a number of different options which go beyond standard home theater controls. This is partially because of its unique streaming element which deals with computer technology rather than a simple television in most cases. When working with the Silverlight version, there are going to be a few functions available that are not conventional to most types of media playback. Several Netflix player shortcut keys will deal with specific commands for how Netflix works and how to interact with specific changes.

    • Bring Up Audio Video Statistics – Control, Shift, Alt, and D
    • Bring up Menu – Control, Shift, Alt, and M
    • Bring Up Logging Window – Control, Shift, Alt, and L
    • Load Player Info – Control, Shift, Alt, and P
    • Allow for Codes, Such as Frame Rate – Control, Shift, Alt and C
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    Full Screen Mode

    If you are already in full screen mode in your Netflix account, the keyboard shortcuts may be even more important since you will not want to interrupt the playback. There are going to be certain Netflix keyboard shortcuts that will only work for full screen mode. These extend some of the standard playback control options that you already had.

    • Change Modes to Frame Forward and Frame Backward - Control and Spacebar
    • When in Key frame Mode to Move Backward a Frame – Arrow Left
    • When in Key frame Mode to Move Forward a Frame – Arrow Right
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    Using the Keys

    When you are using Netflix player shortcut keys, you may find that they end up shutting out other types of media controls. For example, it will not be controlled by the Microsoft Windows Media Center remote controls that you may be used to when utilizing Netflix through that shell. The regular keyboard shortcuts are best used when using a standard Internet browser, such as Mozilla Firefox or Safari. The basic keyboard shortcuts that your browser already has will be applicable to the browser's function, but not necessarily to the Netflix player specifically. This is especially true since the majority of the time the player will be operating without much interaction between the user and browser, these shortcuts will likely go unused unless there are functions outside of Netflix that you need.

    You also have the option to go with more additional keys if you add the Auto Hot Key script, but this is not a standard form of shortcuts. For most users, this is going beyond what is necessary, and will provide unneeded functions. If there are more controls necessary for use, it will be best to funnel the service through another medium which can provide you with a remote control.

    Do you have other tips for readers using the shortcut keys for Netflix? If so, be sure to visit the comments section below.