Netflix screenshots

A new season of Castlevania came out, and all-in-all, I was not disappointed. There was some great action, good character development for everyone except Hector, and some really funny moments.

But it’s those funny moments that I want to talk about. Castlevania is a Netflix-exclusive show, and Netflix does not let you screenshot. For me, this means I can’t share those aforementioned “funny scenes” with my friends.

When you do take a screenshot, no matter what device it is on, it comes out like this:

Image taken from Netflix, Neon Genesis Evangelion

It simply blacks out the screen, and whatever image you wanted to use for a meme or whatever becomes useless. It’s really frustrating, because it means I either have to verbally describe it to them or search for the same image online, which can take a while.

But why does Netflix do this?

Well, screenshotting, and screen capturing, which is your device recording the video and audio on your screen to make a video that you can share, use the same general technology. Obviously, Netflix can’t have people recording their shows and movies, because they could end up on pirating sites, which isn’t good for anyone at Netflix, because then other people are profiting off of their work. Because of this, it’s a lot simpler to just not let viewers screenshot.

So, how do you get around this?

Well, it’s not as simple as it seems at first. There are several videos on YouTube that show you how to on Apple or Android devices, but these are constantly being updated because Netflix keeps catching up to them, so there’s a chance whatever videos show you how to do it are currently inaccurate. There are also some solutions that involve rooting your device if it is an Android, but I would not do that because rooting is a difficult process and voids your warranty. 

What I find weird about this whole situation is that other streaming websites, and apps like VRV, don’t do this at all. Also, phones still have cameras, so as long as you have two devices, you can still share images from their shows, although they won’t be as good.

Funnily enough, the reason I ever thought about this topic is because Nintendo does this two, at least in a way. On Nintendo Switch, you can screenshot and record whatever you want from any game, but you can only share on Facebook and Twitter. If you want to share it on another social media platform, you have to go and first post it on one of those two sites, either share it from there or download it, and then post it somewhere else. Because of this convoluted system, I’ve seen many people on other social media just take pictures of their TV’s with their phones and then share it directly, which is much easier, but again, the pictures are a lot worse in quality.

My point with this entire article is that not having the accessibility for your fans to share nothing more than subtitled pictures is stupid. It’s definitely not piracy, most people just do it for memes or laughs, and if you can constantly update your systems to stop the lastest form of screenshotting, then you can find a way for people to screenshot and not screencast. 

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