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Does this include Netflix? It's been getting really annoying to have random videos your mouse is on, as you scroll, start playing automatically.

Netflix is horrible for this. It's even worse on a smart TV, where navigation is already cumbersome enough without auto-play videos starting every time I'm on a menu item for more than a second.

I've noticed buffering and locking issues on Roku as well. There's too much crap going on when you're trying to browse, to the point where my TV misses lags on user interaction while it tries to load a video for autoplay, making it impossible to even navigate the app. Sometimes I can't even use the app at all.

I've pretty much entirely gone back to pirating because of those fucking auto-play trailers they have now (and this is on the Roku app, where Firefox wont' help me).

~~I've~~ A friend of mine has done the same, but only because they require him to install surveillance software on his machine, turn off his VPN, switch to a different browser, and at the end of it all they refuse to serve him video at more than 720p...

Two clicks and he's watching the same episode at 4K on any platform he well likes, with no spyware running on his machine.

> turn off his VPN

I just gave up on Netflix because of this, but not because I actually use a "VPN." It's because my ISP doesn't provide native IPv6 support so I use a tunnel from Hurricane Electric's TunnelBroker service. A couple of years ago, Netflix published AAAA records in DNS and decided that HE's IPv6 service is a "VPN" so they block it.

I made do with forwarding *.netflix.com in my usual DNS server to another DNS server configured to not return any AAAA records but that only works about 80% of the time now and I've had to do even more drastic things (like forcing a DNAT rule for anything heading out on port 53 to be rewritten to my own DNS server to avoid the apps getting "clever" and just querying whomever they like in spite of my DHCP server's config) to the point that I gave up. Hulu and iTunes don't give me crap so I just use them.

That's one approach! I took the lazier route -- I just stopped using Netflix.

Looking for a specific thing is such a pain. Is it on netflix? Nope. 2 minutes loading the prime video app. Is it on there? Yeah, 3.99 for the privilege of streaming for a couple days. 2 minutes checking hulu. Nope. 2 minutes loading the HBOGO app. Not there either. Turns out, it was on showtime, the one service I don't have access to.

If its not there I'll pirate without hesitation. The only inconvenience is the time it takes to drag my laptop to the HDMI cable on the TV.


I use it on occasion instead of doing the 2 minute search dance.

If you use Roku the main search on the Roku home screen will search for content on all Roku services (installed or not) and sort them by price. It is an amazing little tool. Also Plex works on Roku and will stream pirated content as happily as it streams anything else.

Something like Plex might help with the HDMI cable issue.

I have my computer streaming to my TV (minidlna), so no more HDMI cables for me :)

Indeed, the autoplay feature of Netflix is insanely intrusive. How are you supposed to let menus sit while you do something else, or even just read details.

I noticed something that struck me as an extremely dark pattern the other day. I was in the Netflix menu on my TV, and I loaded a show and was hovering over the "play" button, but figured I'd leave it there and not start it yet.

A few seconds later, the video fades in and the episode starts playing! I didn't even notice it and kind of started watching the episode, but then realized that I hadn't actually started it myself!

Netflix almost roped me into watching an episode even though I didn't explicitly ask them to, and that seems very manipulative to me.

This only just started happening? I use a PS4 to watch Netflix and the auto-play has been happening for months. I find it so irritating that now I don't go to Netflix to browse anymore, because I don't have long enough to consider an option before it involuntarily begins happening to me. Now I only open the interface if I already know what I want to watch, which means I'm no longer exposed to anything new they add. That single feature has single-handedly driven me into being almost entirely a Hulu watcher, because I can browse their app and not be blasted by whatever the algorithm wants to force on me. If my fiance didn't watch a number of Netflix Originals specifically, I would've cancelled my account by now, and not out of principle or something, just because I cannot stand the autoplay interface. It's completely killed Netflix for me. I used to go to Netflix by default to browse, when I didn't know what I wanted to watch. Not anymore..

I wonder if Netflix has overoptimized this for their metrics. I realize "the plural of anecdote is not data", but I've had the same problems with it lately; it's impossible to "browse" anything before the UI starts yelling at you. I'm sure their metrics look awesome, though, with engagement up in all sorts of ways, but I question if it's "real" engagement.

If I’m ever willing to make the time, I think I’ll complain to Netflix about this while framing it as an accessibility problem.

They must know by now how many people hate this, but they refuse to let users disable it. If you CC their general counsel and point out that it raises access barriers for users with attention or anxiety disorders, they might actually do something.

Netflix keeps making their UI worse, to the point where its unbearable now.

You would think by the comments here from Netflix employees that one or two of them would appreciate our feedback and pass some of it on to higher-ups.

Or perhaps management already knows and deliberately makes these decisions based on internal metrics and HN folks are essentially a non-existent blip on their radar...

EDIT: I also regularly leave feedback using the ? button (only available in Watch mode) but it seems to go unread. I don't even get an email "we take your feedback seriously and will look into this" which other sites tend to provide.

Couple of points

1. It struck me at some point that Netflix UI is carefully designed to hide the fact on how little content they really have now. If you go into different genres at times there are barely 40-50 things you can watch (sometimes much lesser). They have lost a ton of items from their catalog (A queue I had which had ~85 items has dropped to 3 items without me removing anything because of shows / movies being removed). If you think of content that in the past would be > 4 stars, you will see most categories have <5 titles that fall under this criteria.

2. Netflix UI is now optimized only for surfacing the 3-4 new shows they launched this month.

3. The autoplay feature (with an impossibly short hover timeout ) appears to be an output of a quantitative metric based engagement maximization process. I suspect they have some charts internally which measure engagement and this specific design hits some local optimum there.

4. Lastly, as a world cinema movie buff I do not think I am the audience anymore. The long tail of delightful movies from across the world is long gone.

I wish them well, they were immensely educational when I first moved to the US. Growing up in India I never had the means to see cinema from across the world, so a service that would allow me to go through various best movies lists and see them two movies a week at a time was magical.

> You would think by the comments here from Netflix employees that one or two of them would appreciate our feedback and pass some of it on to higher-ups.

I'm sure they are. And as long as Netflix posts above-estimated profits and/or revenues, it doesn't matter one wit. (whit?)

I have heard that the strongest signal that you can send about Netflix UI changes which degrade your Netflix experience is to call customer support and complain. If you cancel your service for that reason, complain when cancelling.

Metric: Stuff that techies like deliberately leaves money on the table

Fortunatley Kodi now can play netflix and it doesn't use the netflix interface; only issue I have is that searching netflix in Kodi is not great, but I can just search on my phone, add it to my list and then see it in my list on Kodi.

I remember how much excitement Netflix created in the data science community when they used to run their recommendation competition. There was so much optimism that big data would bring big benefits for consumers. How naive we were. Of course the data is used to extract maximum value for the data owner, not consumers. I guess we used to think their interests were aligned; the dream of the free market: that companies will compete on who makes customers' lives better. So so wrong.

There is no free market if there is copyright.

Absolutely terrible on the xbox. It seems like the trailers they shove down my throat are playing at explosion-level volume rather than voice-level volume; back to the blaring TV ad problem again. I have to frantically hit the search bar just to have a few moments to take a deep breath and actually think about what I want to watch.

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