How to re-enable sorting for instant Netflix videosThousands of Netflix subscribers howled in protest last week after a controversial site redesign left movie lovers without the ability to sort streaming “watch instantly” movies by year, MPAA rating, or star rating. But a simple tweak to the Netflix URL will have you sorting again in a jiffy.

Update [7/12/11]: Good news, Netflix fans. Netflix just announced that it will re-enable sorting for instant videos starting “later this month.”

The clever tip comes from Hacking Netflix and its intrepid readers, who found that if you visit a main genre page (like “Comedies” or “Dramas”) in Netflix’s instant streaming collection and add a few characters of code—”&vt=tl”, to be precise—to the end of the website address, you’ll re-enable the now-missing sort ability:

For example:

New (useless) anime genre:
http://movies.netflix.com/WiAltGenre?agid=7424

Old (sortable & awesome) anime genre:
http://movies.netflix.com/WiAltGenre?agid=7424&vt=tl

I’ve tried the tip myself and yes, it works.

Update: Here’s another great way to sort through Netflix’s instant videos—a free website called InstantWatcher.

How to re-enable sorting for instant Netflix videos

Just type "&vt=tl" at the end of the URL for a Netflix "Watch Instantly" genre page to re-enable video sorting.

Nearly 5,000 comments—mostly angry—have piled up on the official Netflix blog post that first announced last week’s site redesign, which added larger, scrolling box art for “Watch Instantly” movies and TV shows but (inexplicably, if you ask me) removed the ability to sort by year, MPAA rating, and star rating.

Company exec Michael Spiegelman wrote that the redesign “provides more focus on the TV shows & movies streaming from Netflix, but enraged subscribers called the change “terrible,” “laughably bad,” and “utter rubbish.”

Source: Hacking Netflix

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