How to Connect a TV to Netflix

by Dan Stone
A young couple setting up their home entertainment system

A young couple setting up their home entertainment system

If you want to watch Netflix on your TV set, there's a chance you already have the hardware necessary to do it. Netflix's streaming app is available for Smart TVs, Smart Blu-ray players, gaming consoles, set-top boxes and computers. Most Netflix devices take advantage of home Wi-Fi networks; however, some can be used with an old-fashioned Ethernet cable.

Smart TV Streaming

If you have a Smart TV, you don't need to connect any other devices to the TV to use Netflix. According to PC Magazine, a Smart-TV is an Internet-enabled TV that supports video streaming from content providers, among other Internet applications. Before using the Netflix app on your Smart TV, configure the device to connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi router or Ethernet cable connection. The Smart TV can launch Netflix through the app icon located in the system menu. Some remotes will have Netflix shortcut buttons. If the app isn't already installed, check the manufacturer's updates or "app store" features through the TV itself for the app.

Set-top Box Streaming

If you don't have a Smart TV, set-top boxes are your most affordable option to watch Neflix on your TV. Popular supported set-top boxes include Apple TV, Roku and the Amazon Fire. Additionally, Smart Blu-ray players have built-in set-top box features and can run the Netflix app as well. If the device doesn't come with the Netflix app installed, you can download it from the device's app store -- just connect the set-top box to your TV and home network to get started.

Video Game Consoles

If you've bought a video game console released any time since late 2005, you have a Netflix-compatible device. The Netflix app is available on gaming consoles including the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii and Wii U. Each console requires installing the Netflix app before you can use it. You can download the Netflix app on PlayStation consoles by selecting the Netflix icon under the "Video" or "TV & Video" menu sub-headings. You can find the Xbox versions of the app in the Live store and both the Wii and WiiU host the app in the Nintendo eShop.

Using Your PC

Instead of using the Netlix app on your device, you can connect your computer to the TV. The easiest way to connect a desktop or a laptop to a TV is to use the computer's HDMI port, if it has one. The HDMI connection will handle both audio and video, requiring only a single cable. To set up the connection, connect the cable to the ports on the TV and the computer and let the computer handle the automatic second screen configuration. The system should mirror the image on both screens by default. If you're running Windows 8, you can download the Netflix app from the Microsoft store; otherwise, you can just load and watch Netflix in any Web browser.

About the Author

Dan Stone started writing professionally in 2006, specializing in education, technology and music. He is a web developer for a communications company and previously worked in television. Stone received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and a Master of Arts in communication studies from Northern Illinois University.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Mike Watson Images/moodboard/Getty Images