Ways to watch Netflix on your TV
- How to watch Netflix on your television
- Using existing devices such as Sky or Virgin boxes
- Using games consoles such as Xbox, PlayStation or Nintendo Wii
- Using a streaming stick / box, or your PC or laptop
How to watch Netflix on your TV – guide
If you want to watch Netflix on your TV there are a wide range of options open to you. It isn’t even necessary for you to have a smart TV because it’s possible to connect a number of devices to your television which will effectively turn it into a smart TV.
You can still watch Netflix on an individual device such as a phone or tablet, but now you can stream or cast content onto your TV using devices such as set-top boxes, games consoles, Blu-ray players, phones, tablets, streaming media boxes or sticks, PCs or laptops.
Our guide covers all the main ways in which you can connect a device to your TV so you can view Netflix in the comfort of your front room.
If you have bought a TV in the last couple of years it is highly likely to be a “smart TV” – the main advantage being that it can connect to the Internet. This will allow you to run online apps such as YouTube or Netflix direct from the TV itself.
Netflix recommend certain brands of TV manufacturers so if you have a smart TV made by one of the following companies there is a very high probability that you will already have the Netflix app available on your TV. Netflix recommended TV makers include LG, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Sony and Toshiba.
According to Netflix in order to carry the Netflix Recommended TV Logo in 2018, the smart TV must have passed at least five of the following criteria:
- TV starts up instantly and apps are ready to use right away
- The Netflix app launches on the TV quickly
- There is a Netflix dedicated button on the TV remote control that not only starts Netflix but also powers the TV
- The Netflix app is easily found on the TV menu
- The TV remembers what you were doing and wakes to the same place you were when it was switched off
- There is high resolution 1080p available on the TV
- The latest Netflix version is available
Setting up Netflix is extremely easy on a smart TV. It is likely that the Netflix app is already available in the app menu on the TV. If so, just click on the app to launch Netflix. If the app is not present, you may need to search for the Netflix app on the TV’s app store and download it to the TV.
Depending on the capability of the TV you may want to opt for the Ultra High definition version of Netflix if you know your TV supports 4k.
Remember that the higher quality the Netflix stream resolution, the faster broadband you will need and the faster the data will be transferred. So you will likely need a superfast or fibre broadband connection with unlimited data if you plan to stream Ultra HD Netflix content.
Another thing to bear in mind is that wired connections tend to be more reliable and faster connections than Wi-Fi connections. So if you want to maximise the reliability and quality of your Netflix viewing you may want to consider using a wired broadband connection to your smart TV.
In March 2018 Sky announced a partnership where customers that are signed up to the Sky Q package will eventually have the option of running Netflix directly from the Sky Q box.
From November 2018 subscribers to SKY Q will be able to add a Netflix subscription to their Sky package. By subscribing direct through the Sky service users will be able to watch Netflix films and TV series’ on their Sky box, so you will be able to have Game of Thrones alongside Ozark, The Crown and Sons of Anarchy on your Sky Q planner.
The standard monthly Netflix subscription fee will remain the same, but handily if you are already a Netflix subscriber you can simply link your existing Netflix account to the Sky Q service for seamless integration.
If you’re a Sky Q subscriber linking your current Netflix subscription or taking out a Netflix subscription from Sky will be one of the easiest ways to watch Netflix on your TV because you won’t need to switch between different auxiliary sources, cast TV or switch cables, etc. – Netflix will be right there on your Sky box.
Although bear in mind that if you like to watch Netflix on multiple TVs in your household you would need to have multiple Sky Q boxes or use an alternative way to watch Netflix, of which there are many! Also if you want to watch Netflix in Ultra HD quality you will need one of the latest Sky Q boxes such as the 2TB Sky Q box option.
There are several set-top boxes that are already capable of receiving Netflix (Sky Q to incorporate Netflix soon). The most popular models are by:
- Virgin Media
Watching Netflix on a set-top box is extremely convenient because you can view and control content direct from within your current TV viewing setup. There are no extra wires to add or extra procedures to follow to “cast” content – the Netflix content is simply available on the set-top box ready to be viewed on your TV.
Each company will have a specific method for subscription so contact your current set-top box provider for more details on subscription.
You can of course watch Netflix directly on a mobile phone or tablet but the viewing experience can be less than ideal due to the small device screen. Also, it is impractical if you are in a group who want to watch the same content.
Many people prefer to use a mobile phone or a tablet device essentially as a controller device which will “cast” Netflix to a connected TV.
One of the most popular ways to cast Netflix to a TV is through the Chromecast device. This device is plugged into your TV and connects to your home Wi-Fi network – the same network that you are using on your mobile phone or tablet. The Chromecast device, your phone or tablet and your TV then work together to ensure that the content from the Netflix app is sent directly to your TV with no loss in quality or sound.
Watching Netflix on a TV is possible through a variety of different games consoles. The main consoles that have Netflix support are:
- Xbox 360
- Xbox One
- Wii U
Netflix on a PlayStation
Most people will be using a PS4 or PS4 Pro to view Netflix on a PlayStation console. Firstly you would need to go to the PlayStation Store, select “Apps”, then select “Netflix” and choose to download the app. You will need to be signed into a Sony Entertainment Network account to be able to access Netflix.
To sign into Netflix on a PS4 navigate to the TV and Video icon from the home screen and select the Netflix app (remembering to be signed into your SEN account).
If you have a PS4 Pro you are able to stream Ultra HD content providing that you have an Ultra HD or 4k capable TV, an Ultra HD Netflix plan and a broadband connection that is at least 25Mbps.
It is still, however, possible to watch Netflix on a PS3. You will need to download the Netflix app by going to the TV/Video Services column on the XMB and then signing into Netflix using your account.
Netflix on an Xbox
Many users will want to use the latest Xbox One games console to view Netflix on their connected TV. It is as simple as signing into your Xbox account, going to the “apps” section and browsing for the Netflix app. Once found, select, download, and install the app onto the Xbox One.
To view Netflix content go to the “Video” menu, select “My Video Apps”, then choose the Netflix app. Provided that you are signed into your Xbox account and have a valid Netflix subscription you will then be able to search for and view your favourite Netflix content on your Xbox device.
If you have an Xbox One S along with an Ultra HD capable TV you will be able to subscribe to an Ultra HD Netflix account and view content in crystal clear resolution.
Netflix on a Wii U
Getting Netflix on a Wii U is easy. You need to ensure that your Wii U is connected to the Internet and that you are signed into a user account that has a linked Nintendo Network ID.
Open the Nintendo eShop by touching the orange eShop icon then search for the Netflix app using the search box in the top right hand corner.
Follow the onscreen instructions to download and install the app (ensure that you have enough storage on your device to download the app).
Once installed you can find Netflix from the Wii U menu.
After many months of promises, it is now possible to get Netflix via a NOW TV Smart Stick or Smart Box.
The following NOW TV devices have compatibility for the Netflix app:
- NOW TV Box (Black)
- NOW TV Smart Stick
- NOW TV Smart Box with 4k & Voice Search
- NOW TV Smart Box with HD & Freeview
If you have one of the older white Smart Boxes you’re out of luck unfortunately. The good news, however, is that NOW TV Smart Sticks can be picked up for around £15 so even if you don’t have a smart TV you can get all the NOW TV programming as well as all that Netflix has to offer on your TV.
Getting the Netflix app on your NOW TV device is as easy as adding a new app to the interface. Simply connect your NOW TV device to a spare HDMI slot on your TV, plug in the power plug into a nearby power socket and launch NOW TV. From the NOW TV home screen you will have the option of adding new apps, search for Netflix and install the app.
Once the Netflix app has been installed you just need to enter your login details or sign up to the free 30 day trial if you aren’t a member and within seconds you will have Netflix on your TV.
There are a wide variety of streaming media players that are capable of running the Netflix app. If you search on eBay or Amazon you will find hundreds of different options, although there are four main options that are recommended by Netflix themselves. These being:
- Apple TV
- Nexus Player
You may be surprised that the Amazon Fire TV Stick is not listed here, but bear in mind that Amazon and Netflix are fierce rivals in the content-provider arena and you’ll soon see why not – Netflix clearly has no desire to assist their competitor in selling their hardware! This is no reflection on the device itself – more bout that below.
Netflix on Amazon Fire TV Stick
The Amazon Fire TV Stick is a low cost option to turn your existing TV into a fully featured smart TV. There are a wide range of apps that can be loaded onto the Amazon Fire TV Stick of which Netflix is one of the best.
If you already have a 4k capable smart TV you can pair this with the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4k version for stunning 4k viewing on Netflix.
Using an Amazon Fire TV Stick on your television is simple. Just connect the stick to your TV using the HDMI port and plugin the power cable to an available power socket. Once you have added the Amazon Fire TV Stick to your home network and completed the initial online setup you can add the Netflix app to the Amazon Fire TV Stick.
If the Netflix app is not already available on the device, follow these steps –
• On the main screen choose the “search” option.
• Type in “Netflix” and then click on the Netflix app.
• Select the download option.
• Once the download has completed, open the Netflix app.
• Sign into your existing Netflix account or sign up for a new account.
You will then be signed into Netflix and you can begin searching for movies and TV series’ to watch straight away.
Netflix on Apple TV
You can get Netflix on either the standard Apple TV or Apple TV 4k. Getting Netflix and viewing it on your TV via Apple TV is extremely easy.
First ensure that your Apple TV device is connected to your TV. Then all you need to do is search the app store for the Netflix app, click “get” and then download and installation will begin.
Once the app has installed, click on it to launch Netflix and sign into your existing account or sign up for a brand new Netflix account if you aren’t already a subscriber.
Netflix on Chromecast
Chromecast is a small and versatile device that connects to your TV and allows you to stream content from a variety of devices such as mobile phones, tablets, or laptops. It is a particularly useful device because it allows you the flexibility to “cast” content onto your TV using many different devices – you aren’t stuck with using one single device. So you could cast content from an Android phone, iOS phone, a tablet or a computer that is able to run the Google Chrome browser.
Another benefit of Chromecast is that it will turn a standard TV into a smart TV. As long as the TV has a spare HDMI port and a free power socket nearby it will be compatible with Chromecast.
There is the standard Chromecast device which streams content in 1080p HD, or the Chromecast Ultra options which shows TV and movies in 4k (providing that the broadband connection is 25Mbps or faster).
Using Chromecast is simple.
- Plugin the Chromecast device into your TVs HDMI port and plug the power cable into a power socket.
- Switch the TV on and choose the AV setting used by the HDMI port you have chosen for Chromecast.
- Follow the onscreen prompts to connect Chromecast to your home Wi-Fi network (if you haven’t done this already).
- Select the device (phone, tablet or computer) that you want to use to cast the content to your television and open Netflix on it. (Make sure your device is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your Chromecast device).
- Find the “cast” icon, click it and then choose the name of your Chromecast device.
- Choose and movie or TV show and click to watch. The content will then show on your TV.
Remember that Netflix is basically controlled from the device that you are casting from. So if you are using your iPhone you would control Netflix using your iPhone which means you can alter settings, choose new programs to watch, etc.
Netflix on a Nexus Player
The Nexus player is a streaming media device developed by Google. It was discontinued in 2016 so rather than using the Nexus player you would be better served to find an alternative device to stream or cast Netflix to your TV.
Netflix on Roku
Roku are leaders in streaming media devices so there are a variety of model options to choose from depending on what your requirements are. Broadly speaking the models can be split between a streaming stick and a streaming box.
On a Roku device you will be able to get Netflix as well as a variety of other TV viewing options. In fact Roku currently manufacture the NOW TV stick so if you are using one of these devices it is technically a Roku device.
There are Roku devices that are capable of standard 1080p HD and there are 4k models so depending on which model you have you should choose your Netflix subscription appropriately (providing that your TV supports 4k).
With most Roku models Netflix will already be available but if it isn’t it can be downloaded simply by navigating to the “Movies and TV” section, selecting Netflix then “Add Channel”.
Watching Netflix on a Blu-ray player can be one of the most convenient ways to watch Netflix on your TV because your Blu-ray player will be permanently connected to your TV.
Netflix themselves recommend Blu-ray players from the following manufacturers:
The main thing to check when considering Netflix playback through a Blu-ray player is the network capability of the Blu-ray player. To get Netflix you need the Blu-ray player to be able to connect to the Internet. Many of the newer Blu-ray players can connect to the Internet either by Wi-Fi or through a wired connection direct to your broadband router. If the Blu-ray player isn’t able to connect to the Internet you won’t be able to obtain Netflix on it.
Many people are content to watch Netflix on their laptop or PC screen. Desktop monitors can top 30 inches so the viewing experience can be just as good as on a top quality smart TV. But watching on a computer can be inconvenient particularly if there is a group or family planning to watch together.
A good option is to connect a PC or laptop directly to your television. Provided that your computer and TV both have an HDMI port you can simply hook them up together with a standard HDMI cable.
Once the TV and computer are connected by the cable, turn them both on and login to Netflix on your computer.
Select the correct HDMI input on your TV and the content from your computer will then be displayed on your TV.
The slight inconvenience with this method is that you will need to use the computer to control Netflix as opposed to using a remote control – there are apps available that will allow you to use your mobile phone as a computer remote however.