Whether you’re thinking about signing up to Netflix, or you’re the type of person who already watches Netflix on your laptop, it’s good to know about the various ways you can watch Netflix on your TV. After all, everything is better on a larger screen.
Similarly, if you’re a cordcutter, or even just a cordshaver, watching Netflix on your bigscreen television set is the best way to reproduce that “cable TV” feeling.
So, what options are available to you? Let’s take a closer look, with five different ways to watch Netflix on your TV.
1. Use a Smart TV App
The world of smart TV operating systems is a confusing one. Ever since Firefox TV met its demise in 2016, there are four major operating systems still in use.
They are: Tizen, WebOS, Android TV, and Roku TV.
However, despite the core operating systems being identical, no two companies’ smart TV interfaces look the same. It’s like the early days of Android when every manufacturer was trying to customize the OS in their own way.
As such, there’s no simple way to explain how to get Netflix on your smart TV. The good news, though, is that all four of the major smart TV operating systems offer a Netflix app.
Some televisions will even come with the app pre-installed and with a shortcut button hard-coded on the remote control.
Install the app first if you don’t have it, then fire the app up and enter your Netflix credentials. You’ll be watching content in seconds.
2. Use a Chromecast
The smart TV apps aren’t always the best solution. Depending on the quality of your television’s hardware, the app could be slow and buggy. So, what other options are out there?
If you have a smartphone or tablet, you could buy a Chromecast dongle and cast Netflix directly from the mobile version of the app.
To cast from Netflix to your Chromecast, open the Netflix app and tap on the cast icon in the upper right-hand corner.
You will see a list of all your available devices. Tap on one to connect to it. The connection process will take a few seconds to complete.
Note: Before you buy a Chromecast, check your TV’s handbook. Many newer models have the technology already built in. Some set-top boxes, such as the Nvidia Shield, also offer it natively.
3. Use Miracast
The Wi-Fi Alliance finalized the Miracast technology at CES 2013. Since then, it’s become available on all Windows machines running 8.1 or later, and all Android-powered devices.
On the receiver end, Roku devices and the Amazon Fire Stick are Miracast-enabled. Many smart TVs also offer the technology natively.
To use Miracast on Android, go to Settings > Display > Cast Screen and tap on the receiver’s name. To use Miracast on Windows, go to Settings > Display.
Miracast is not available on Apple devices.
4. Use an HDMI Cable
Of course, you could try turning to a trusty HDMI cable. It might not be at the forefront of cord cutting technology any more, but it will always get the job done. You can pick up a functional six-foot-long HDMI cable relatively cheaply on Amazon.
Setting up the HDMI cable is easy. Just connect one end to your TV and the other end to your computer. On your machine, load up the Netflix web app and find the content you want to watch. And on your TV, make sure you have selected the correct input channel.
If you’re lucky, your computer will recognize your TV and it will connect immediately. If it doesn’t, the next step will vary depending on the operating system you’re using.
To tell your Windows operating system to send your monitor’s display to your TV, follow the step-by-step instructions below:
- Right-click on the Start Menu.
- In the pop-up menu, select Mobility Center.
- Locate the box called External Display.
- Click on Connect Display.
- A menu will pop out of the right-hand side of the screen, choose Second Screen Only.
Your Windows screen will go black, and both the video and audio will be playing on your TV.
Note: Some manufacturers might have included a keyboard hotkey to switch to HDMI output.
If you own a Mac, follow these steps instead:
- Open the Apple menu.
- Click on System Preferences.
- Choose Displays.
- Hold down the Option key.
- Click on Detect Displays in the lower right-hand corner.
If your computer still can’t connect to the TV, you have a problem with either the TV’s HDMI port, the Mac’s HDMI port, or the HDMI cable itself.
Note: Many modern Apple laptops do not include an HDMI port, so you will need to buy an adapter first.
Hopefully, you should now be seeing Netflix on your TV screen. You might notice the edges of the screen are missing. Don’t worry, it’s called “Overscan” and is a common occurrence. Typically, the problem needs to be resolved in your television’s settings rather than on the operating system.
5. Use an Apple TV and Apple AirPlay
Unsurprisingly, Apple is the only company which doesn’t offer Miracast, Chromecast, or HDMI cable support.
Instead, the company wants you to either buy an Apple TV and install that platform’s version of the app, or use its proprietary AirPlay technology and cast the web app version of Netflix.
AirPlay does work well, but given its proprietary status, support for the standard among smart TVs and set-top boxes is sorely lacking.
How Do You Watch Netflix on Your TV?
In this article, we have introduced you to five different ways to watch Netflix on your TV. The right solution for you depends on the equipment you own and the gadgets you use.
Do you know of any other ways to watch Netflix on your TV? What is your preferred method? Or are you happiest when watching Netflix on your computer or mobile device?