Video streaming services like Netflix are pretty great. For a flat monthly rate, you get to enjoy all the video you can eat from a huge range of programming - and in the case of Netflix, that includes a growing selection of high-quality original content, such as Orange is the New Black or House of Cards.
But one major limitation of streaming services is the need to have a stable high speed web connection any time you want to watch something. If you're on a plane without Wi-Fi, or in a tunnel on a train journey, or just in an area with poor Internet connectivity, you won't be able to enjoy that content at all.
As Netflix continues to grow in popularity, many of its subscribers have been wondering if the company might launch an offline mode, allowing them to download video to be stored and watched later. Unfortunately, those hopes have now been decisively crushed.
Cliff Edwards, director of corporate communications and technology at Netflix, was asked by TechRadar if the company was planning to add an offline viewing option. The response was unequivocal: "It's never going to happen."
Edwards said that downloads for offline viewing are a "short-term fix for a bigger problem", adding that he expects public Wi-Fi coverage to improve significantly over the next few years - particularly on planes, trains and buses. He believes that within five years, there will be sufficient Wi-Fi access available to make discussions of offline downloads irrelevant.
It seems then that Netflix is banking on the ubiquity of Wi-Fi networks in the future to solve the current problem of not always being able to stream your content - but in the meantime, customers will just have to keep on streamin'.