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Netflix Tech Tips: Tricks and Hints for Getting New Releases

NetflixConsidering the number of times we've uttered, "I'll watch it when it comes out on DVD," it's no wonder we're such hounds for new releases. Sadly, we've become used to the new movies in our Netflix queue being perpetually stuck at "Very Long Wait." It's bad enough that we have to hold off until we can watch something of merit. (Damn you, New York movie ticket prices!) But having to wait indefinitely even after a movie has come out on DVD? No way. Here are some handy tips we've compiled to make sure you can get the freshest releases ASAP.

If you have a Netflix app on your phone (and, after our extensive examination, there's no reason you shouldn't), you can add movies that look interesting as soon as you see a trailer or commercial for them. These films will be placed in your Saved DVDs list (and later shuffled into your main queue), so, once you know the release date, you should preemptively move them to the top of your disc queue (or stick them in the middle when the film is still in theaters, so they gradually make their way up by the time it's release). Make sure to keep films with announced release dates at the top of your queue at all times in order to ensure they ship as soon as they're released. Having unreleased DVDs in the number-one spot won't keep you from getting the movies in the rest of your queue, so it's always a good idea to keep a few up-and-comers at the top.

If you're more inclined to check for new DVD releases each month, make sure to look at a resource like Rotten Tomatoes' new releases section, as Netflix does a poor job of presenting what they have in. Once you know a new release is hitting stores, it's important to know when to return the discs that you've already got out. Properly timing your disc returns will ensure that you get a newly released disc shipped to you right away. Netflix sends out new releases on Mondays, so they can arrive by Tuesday. The best way to make sure you'll get the freshest flicks is to send back your current movie on the Friday or Saturday prior.

The sad truth is that, if you're a heavy Netflix user, then you'll probably end up getting releases more slowly. It makes sense from a business standpoint for Netflix to limit the flow of DVDs to heavy users, delaying send time to cinemaphiles. Netflix acknowledged this practice of "throttling" back in 2004, when a class-action lawsuit was brought against it. While it may seem counterintuitive, decreasing the amount of films you watch each month -- even by shipping them in the afternoon instead of first thing in the A.M. -- will actually increase the speed at which new discs are shipped. Silly, yes -- but it does work.

Tags: movies, netflix, techtip, techtips, tips, top, web