How to watch Netflix and other streaming services on your TV

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At a time when people are being encouraged to stay home, many of us are turning to our favourite entertainment streaming platform – or multiple – for company. While streaming services are generally enjoyed from a range of smaller devices, you may find that all this social distancing is the perfect opportunity for some good old-fashioned telly time. It can be a struggle, however, to stream services like Netflix and Stan straight to your television, especially if your TV is not ‘smart’. If you’re struggling to get your favourite shows on the big screen, find out how to stream on your TV in this Canstar Blue guide.

How to stream on your TV

There are a number of ways to access your streaming services through your TV, including:

  • Smart TV
  • Apple TV
  • Apple AirPlay
  • Google Chromecast
  • Amazon Fire TV Stick
  • Telstra TV
  • Foxtel Now Box
  • Fetch TV
  • Gaming consoles
  • HDMI cord

Smart TV

Streaming Smart TV

If you’re looking to stream content from major platforms and you already own a Smart TV, then you’re pretty much good to go. Depending on the type and model of your smart television, you should be able to download a range of streaming apps, such as Netflix, Stan, Spotify, or any other that tickles your fancy. You can then stream your content straight to your television by following the prompts (or the instruction manual if you get stuck).

Streaming Devices

If you don’t own a Smart TV, but prefer your entertainment on the big screen over your phone, you’re in luck. The following devices are compatible with a range of your favourite streaming services, broadcasting them straight to your TV.

Apple TV

apple-tv-streaming-service

Apple TV is a device which allows you to access and purchase content from the iTunes Store, streaming from your compatible iOS devices to the TV. Thankfully you don’t need to be a fully Apple household, with the actual Apple TV device compatible with a number of TV brands, such as LG and Samsung. Apple TV also comes with a Siri Remote so you don’t need to use your mobile phone or other devices to control it, meaning you can just kick back and scroll through your options on the big screen.

Apple AirPlay

Another option from Apple, Apple AirPlay allows you to throw audio and video from one device to another through Bluetooth technology, allowing you to swap your phone screen for the TV screen. Only compatible with newer Apple products, as well as select TVs from brands LG, Samsung and Sony, Apple AirPlay can be controlled from your mobile device, meaning you can rewind that part of the movie you missed without using a remote.

Google Chromecast

Chromecast

Google Chromecast is a device that plugs into your TV’s HDMI port, and is operated using a mobile phone or device, meaning that it is not technically a standalone streaming device like some of the other options out there. Unlike other devices which have their own libraries and interface, Google Chromecast uses the streaming services that you have on your phone and simply ‘casts’ them onto your TV screen, allowing you to watch videos on YouTube, as well as classic streaming services such as Netflix.

Amazon Fire TV Stick

Amazon Fire Stick

Another dongle device which plugs straight into the HDMI port of your television, the Amazon Fire Stick – which has recently become available for use in Australia – gives you direct access to a range of streaming applications. The device is controlled by an accompanying remote or your own voice, thanks to Amazon’s Alexa or any other Amazon Echo devices that you might have around your home.

Telstra TV

telstra-tv-3

If you’re looking for a homegrown option, Australian telco giant Telstra’s streaming device offering might be for you. Aside from being somewhat familiar, especially if you already use Telstra for your phone and internet services, a huge plus factor for Telstra TV is that it’s made and designed by the same masterminds who are behind streaming stalwart Roku. While not available to use in Australia, Roku devices are known for being easy to use while still having a range of smart features. An example of Roku’s influence is the Telstra TV remote, which can be pointed any direction or be used from anywhere in the house as it relies on Wi-Fi rather than infra-red like traditional television remotes.

Foxtel Now Box

Foxtel Now Box

Once the king of paid television in Australia, Foxtel has been dipping its toes in the streaming service pool in recent years in a bid to stay in the race. A Foxtel Now Box allows you to live stream Foxtel Now content – or watch on demand – as well as Stan, YouTube and free-to-air services like ABC iView directly from your TV. A Foxtel Now box also lets you stream live digital TV which means you don’t have to switch back and forth between different inputs and devices, giving you all your television entertainment in the one spot!

Fetch TV

Fetch TV Box

Like a Foxtel Now Box, a Fetch TV device aims to make your television viewing simpler by putting all your free-to-air and on-demand entertainment in one space. You can access content from a wide range of your favourite streaming platforms, watch your free-to-air entertainment on-demand and still flick to the news on live digital television in the evenings, all from the same device. Fetch also gives you access to a TV Store and a Movie Store so you can purchase single episodes, entire seasons or movies that are fresh out of the cinema at the press of a button.

Gaming Consoles

Another way to stream content from the major services is via compatible gaming consoles, such as the newer Sony PlayStation or Xbox models. These are a perfectly good option if you already own a console, although may not be the cheapest if you’re starting from scratch, as most consoles will start at around $300. However, being able to swap from watching a movie to playing online can certainly be appealing.

HDMI Cord

HDMI Input TV

The most ‘old school’ option, connecting your laptop to your television via a HDMI cord allows you to throw up your movies on the big screen as the HDMI cord allows the TV to ‘mirror’ your laptop screen. Of course, you’ll have to check that you have the right outputs – or adaptors if you need them – in order to connect your laptop and TV, but there are plenty of retailers out there who sell them, making it an easily accessible (and cheap!) option.

Is it worth streaming on your TV?

While being able to watch your favourite show on your phone on the train ride to work is great, being able to watch it on the big screen while laying down on the couch is in another realm of comfort. And with plenty of avenues for you to explore when it comes to loading up some Netflix on your TV, your next movie night in should be a hit. The only downside is a return to arguments over who gets to watch what on the TV. The good old days!

Sign up to Disney+

Don’t have a Disney+ account yet? There are two plan options to choose from – a monthly subscription at $8.99 per month, or prepay for a year at $89.99 and save on the monthly cost. Both plans include the same features, with unlimited downloads and the ability to stream on up to four screens at the same time. This table includes links to a referral partner.

Brand Subscription Type No. of Screens/same time viewing Advertised Cost^^/month or year
Disney+ Logo

Disney+ Monthly Subscription

  • Stream the Disney+ library, including Disney+ Originals, Star Wars, Pixar, Marvel & National Geographic
  • Watch on 4 screens at the same time
  • Add up to 7 profiles
  • Unlimited downloads of shows and movies on up to 10 devices

min. cost $8.99 over one month

4No. of Screens /same time viewing $8.99
Advertised Cost/month
Get DealCanstar Blue receives a commission for sign-ups through Disney+ *
Disney+ Logo

Disney+ Yearly Subscription

  • Stream the Disney+ library, including Disney+ Originals, Star Wars, Pixar, Marvel & National Geographic
  • Watch on 4 screens at the same time
  • Add up to 7 profiles
  • Unlimited downloads of shows and movies on up to 10 devices
  • Prepay for a yearly subscription and save on the monthly cost

min. cost $89.99 over one year

4No. of Screens /same time viewing $89.99
Advertised Cost/year
Get DealCanstar Blue receives a commission for sign-ups through Disney+ *

Photo credit: Said Marroun/shutterstock.com, bbernard/shutterstock.com, Manuel Esteban/shutterstock.com, CHAILUK CHALATHAI/shutterstock.com

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