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Netflix rolls out downloads for offline, mobile viewing

Because the reception is terrible in the Upside Down

Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

Netflix announced today that select shows and movies on the streaming service are now available to download through the service’s mobile apps for offline viewing. The new feature is included on all of Netflix’s streaming plans, though iOS and Android phones and tablets, right now.

The service released this video to introduce downloads:

“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,” a subsequent Netflix press release explained. “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.”

Only the most up-to-date version of the Netflix app would have the feature, Netflix cautioned. Users who cannot see the download button are advised to update their app. Netflix’s help page for downloading has more useful tidbits, such as the assurance that downloading and streaming consume similar amounts of data — and that users can chose one of two different levels of video quality to download. “Standard” quality is slightly lower resolution than “Higher” quality, but takes less time to download and requires less storage space on the mobile device.

At the moment, it appears that all Netflix Originals content — including Stranger Things, and Orange is the New Black — are available for offline viewing, as well as a somewhat eclectic smattering of other shows and films.

Notably absent are Netflix’s collaborations with Marvel Studios; Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage. Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels are also unavailable for download, indicating that this might be a Disney-wide refusal of the feature.

But even given that restriction, this is undoubtably good news for a lot of travelers this holiday season.

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