How much time will you have for TV this weekend?

Nearly everyone — even those who love streaming videos — has some sort of mobile time limit. Many apps typically limit the amount of time you can watch a video. YouTube’s limits mobile users to 90 minutes. Netflix has limitations, too, but they’re lighter. Still, depending on the show you’re watching, even a few minutes can have serious consequences. Plus, your device can jam up if you watch content on more than one device in quick succession.

That’s why you need to set a time limit before you go to bed — that way, you’ll be clear when you wake up the next morning. Then, as you plan your entertainment day, find out exactly how much time you’ve got left, and how much you’re likely to see (we won’t judge if you use a calculator).


In an effort to keep people from stacking their viewing times, some streaming services automatically set them at one, two, three, five, or 10 hours. YouTube, for example, will set your window between 9 p.m. and 9 a.m. as the max time you can watch a video. Hulu will set your maximum time for each category of content between two hours and 10 hours. But if you’re feeling especially clever, you can set a time for each video category, say, two hours of Lost episodes, or three hours of Planet Earth.

But there’s a downside to automating these settings, whether you’re on a single device or a massive, rotating array of ones. A shared device should automatically set your time limit, even if you’re splitting your viewing time across several devices, because it knows how many people are using the device and has access to shared user data. If you’re with a bunch of people and a single device picks up, though, sharing your time limits could be problematic.


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