Browsers Entertainment

How to Channel Surf on Netflix, Hulu & YouTube (Like Cable TV)

Joel Lee 11-02-2016

There are many reasons why you should get Netflix if you don’t already have it — such as the fact that it has many original shows in development 13 New Netflix Originals You'll Be Watching in 2016 Netflix has released a lot of original content -- including House of Cards, Orange Is the New Black, Narcos, and Master of None -- but 2016 is slated to be Netflix's most exciting year yet. Read More and it can reduce your household expenses How to Slash Your Household Expenses in 7 Easy Steps Tired of seeing all of your income go towards bills and expenses? You aren't alone. We show you some of the best ways to slash your household expenses. Read More — but perhaps the most compelling reason is that it’s way more convenient than traditional television The One Reason You Need to Cancel Your Cable TV Cord-cutting is an over-reported phenomenon. The bigger trend is the cord-nevers, who have never and will never get cable TV. Why? For the simple reason that cable TV sucks. Read More .

That being said, nostalgia can be a powerful force, and maybe you miss the “old way” of watching TV. On-demand entertainment is awesome, but there’s a strange appeal in being able to “surf channels” to see what’s “currently playing”.


If you feel like that describes you, then here’s the good news: there’s a new Chrome extension called OttoPlay that brings back the whole activity of channel surfing, and in addition to working with Netflix, it also supports Hulu and YouTube.

Once installed, the extension lets you pick from a particular theme (e.g. drama, comedy, girls, science fiction, anime, etc.) and will load up a “schedule” of shows to watch. It’s really simple and highly reminiscent of cable TV.

Those outside of the U.S. may experience regional playback issues due to content unavailability. It’s a bit inconvenient, but should work fine otherwise.

So if you want to cut the cord of cable Considering Canceling Cable? The True Cost of Cutting the Cord When you add everything up, do you really save money by cutting the cord? We do the math involved with cancelling cable in favor of Internet services. Read More but still want the magic of channel surfing, this is one way to do it. Hopefully in the future OttoPlay will support all of the other streaming services on the market Cut the Cord Forever With These 15 TV Streaming Channels Cable TV is in decline, as the internet provides cheap, on-demand entertainment. Here are 15 of the best TV streaming services to help you cut the cord. Read More .

Have you cut the cord yet? Do you miss channel surfing? Or are you 100% happy with on-demand entertainment? Share your thoughts with us below in the comments!

Image Credit: Netflix by scyther5 via Shutterstock

Related topics: Browser Extensions, Hulu, Netflix, YouTube.

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  1. SteveJ
    December 13, 2016 at 7:35 am

    I finally got sick of being gauged by cable and cut the cord, and you know what, I really don't miss it. I already had Subscribed to Netflix, and Amazon Prime looking for content I actually wanted, on demand, so I was doing more streaming than channel surfing anyway, and I added on Hulu and HBO Now, and the whole thing brought my TV charges down about $60 a month. Is it worth it to lose the Home Shopping Network, FOX and the rest of the drivel I never watched anyway. I think so.

  2. Mike Vertx
    February 14, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    ottoplay is incredibly glitchy unfortunately and pretty frustrating to use, would recommend steering clear of it for the time being.

  3. david johnson
    February 12, 2016 at 4:35 am

    i still have dish. My wife is disabled and stays at home. I would want all the different streaming services on one guide. No idea how that would work. I will wait until this cord cutting is more user friendly.

    • Joel Lee
      February 18, 2016 at 4:21 am

      For on demand, streaming is way better, but for user friendliness across multiple services, you're right... there's still a lot of progress to be made. :( Hopefully it catches up sooner rather than later!

  4. JaneG
    February 12, 2016 at 4:13 am

    Cut the cord over a year ago. Don't miss it one bit. And since we weren't channel surfers anyway, we miss nothing! Best decision we ever made.

    • Joel Lee
      February 18, 2016 at 4:19 am

      I agree, one of the best decisions I've made as well. Thanks for sharing, JaneG. :)

  5. Al
    February 11, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    Recently cut the cord. I miss the surfing sometimes, just a different way to watch.

    • Joel Lee
      February 12, 2016 at 3:28 am

      As much as I love Netflix and such, you're right. There's something comforting about channel surfing. Or maybe it's just nostalgia. I wonder what Netflix babies think about surfing! :)