Netflix Hack Days are opportunities for developers at the video streaming service to come up with some new ways to interact with Netflix. Some previous projects have included a hack to run Netflix on a Nintendo Entertainment System and another to limit bandwidth usage over 3G networks.
Now Netflix is showing off a few projects from its most recent Hack Day, and some seem more useful than others.
My two favorites are Tetris, and QuietCast.
Tetris lets you reorganize your home screen layout. For example, you can drag “Recently Watched” to the top of the screen if that’s not where it’s already located. And if you keep getting recommendations for genres you’re not interested in, you can remove them.
QuietCast is a hack that allows you to cast your screen to a Chromecast or TV with Google Cast, but use your smartphone or tablet for audio. That way you can plug headphones into your phone and listen while Netflix plays on your TV without disturbing anyone else in your household.
A less useful, but kind of fun hack is called Netflix Zone. It’s basically an alternate home screen that’s designed for use with an HTC Vive virtual reality headset. Instead of navigating through a 2D list of videos, you can explore a virtual video store featuring shelves stocked with boxes for movies. You can pick up any of those boxes for more details or to start watching.
Like most Netflix Hack Day projects, it’s unclear if or when any of these features will be available to the general public. But I’d really like to see Tetris and QuietCast in the real world.