Streaming isn’t just limited to tablets and laptops.
Netflix is fast becoming THE way to watch films and TV shows. As handy as it is to stream your episodes of Breaking Bad straight to your tablet or laptop, what happens when all your friends want to come over and watch the latest episodes of House of Cards? It’s hardly practical to huddle around an eight inch screen.
Thankfully, there are now plenty of ways to get Netflix on your television and stream film and TV to a full screen in your living room. Bearing in mind subscription for Netflix starts at £5.99 a month, the price you pay to enable streaming Netflix on your TV can vary greatly. But generally the more expensive options offer far more capabilities than just Netflix, so it depends what you are looking for.
Media streaming box
Most media streaming boxes come with a Netflix app built in. The advantage here is that it has a user-friendly interface integrated in so that the system is easy to operate through your TV. It’s just like watching any other channel on your TV.
This is one of the more expensive options, as these streaming players will also give you access to TV services, live and on demand (depending on what model you opt for).
Roku 3, £99
Apple TV, £99
WD TV Live, £65
Media streaming stick
A cheaper alternative to the streaming box, the dongle sticks plug into a USB port or power outlet in the back of your TV. They are more focused on streaming straight from the internet, but once hooked up to the Netflix site, or through the app itself, it provides a steady content stream.
Chromecast also has the added function of controlling the TV through your smartphone, tablet or laptop, which means you can run screen mirroring. Similarly, Roku has an accompanying app due out next month to provide easy TV-browsing from your phone.
Roku Streaming Stick, £49.99
If you’re a keen gamer and already own the latest Xbox or PlayStation instalments, then why not stream Netflix through your console?Simply download the Netflix app and you’re good to go.
It’s not a practical purchase if you are just looking to make use of Netflix, but game consoles are no longer just for playing games: they are media centres in their own right with access to film, music and social media.
Xbox One, £399
If you don’t need to use your laptop at the same time as watching the TV, then a cheap and easy solution is to buy an HDMI cable to connect the two.
By plugging the cable from the HDMI port in your laptop (you’ll need an adaptor if you’re a Mac user) to the HDMI input on the back of your television.
You can then either use a screen mirror function so whatever is displayed on your laptop also appears on the TV monitor, or extend your desktop onto the monitor as a second display, which essentially allows you to use your laptop as a remote control.
Prices start from £5
If you already own a smart TV, check out what capabilities it has before you rush out and buy any of these solutions. Many of the latest models have built-in support apps like Netflix: all you have to do is connect it to the internet.
Some TVs have wireless adapters built in, if not, they are available to buy from around £20. Alternatively you, you could use an Ethernet cable to connect to your router.
Sony in particular is working in partnership with Netflix in 2014 with its 4K series of TVs. They stream at 60 frames per second and a specifically optimised to support Netflix content.
Prices for models from Samsung, LG and Sony start from £249.99