How to Use Netflix Without Smart TV

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Matthew M. White
@matthewmwhite
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Netflix continues to grow in popularity with around 37% of internet users subscribing to its service. With the wide variety of genres of movies and TV series available for streaming, Netflix continues to receive more positive reviews from its subscribers.

Netflix can be streamed through smart TVs, smartphones, tablets, laptops, personal computers, game consoles, and streaming media players. Most people prefer to stream movies on their TV, even if you don't have a smart TV, you can still stream Netflix with other internet-connected devices.



There are several ways to do this. You can simply connect your laptop to the TV and stream Netflix through a web browser, or connect your phone to the TV. For a more complicated setup, you can stream Netflix to your TV if you have an internet-enabled Blu-ray player or other video component, such as Roku.

This article will explain some of the easiest solutions to watch Netflix without Smart TV.

Connect laptop to TV via HDMI

You can download the Netflix app on your laptop or use the web browser, then use an HDMI cable to connect it to your TV. Make sure you have an available power outlet nearby, as your laptop will consume power and need to stay on longer than usual.

Make sure your TV has an HDMI input and your laptop has an HDMI output. All new TVs and laptops should have it. However, some MacBooks don't, but you can get a Mini Display Port or Thunderbolt to HDMI adapter.


With that out of the way, follow these steps:

  1. Connect your TV and laptop via an HDMI cable.
  2. Change your TV's video input to HDMI. You can usually do this via your remote by pressing the "Source" or "Input" button until you find HDMI. If it has more than one HDMI input, be sure to set it to the correct one ā€“ usually HDMI 1, HDMI 2, etc.
  3. Once connected successfully, you should see your laptop appear on your TV screen.
  4. Launch Netflix on your laptop's browser and start streaming.

If the sound is coming from your laptop instead of the TV, or if you can't hear anything at all, you'll need to change your laptop's sound source.


For a PC, you can:

  1. Type 'Manage audio devices' in the search bar at the bottom left of the screen.
  2. Open the Manage audio devices menu.
  3. Click on the Reading tab and double-click your TV icon.

This should change your TV's default audio output through the HDMI cable.

Netflix streaming through media players

Various big name media players such as Roku, Apple TV and Google Chromecast are compatible with Netflix. You can also use them to stream Netflix from your phone to your TV.

Stream Netflix via Chromecast

To stream Netflix with Chromecast, you must:

  1. Connect your Chromecast to the TV and Wi-Fi network.
  2. Use your phone to connect to Netflix.
  3. Press the Jeter icon at the top right of the screen.
  4. Select your Chromecast from the list.
  5. Play whatever you want and Netflix should stream to your TV.

Streaming Netflix via Apple TV

Depending on your Apple TV version, there are two ways to watch Netflix through Apple TV. The Apple TV 2 and 3 have a built-in Netflix app. So just select it from the menu and connect.


If you have Apple TV 4 or Apple TV4k, follow these steps:


  1. Download the Netflix app from the App Store.
  2. Once installed, launch the Netflix app and sign in to your Netflix account.
  3. The device is now connected to your Netflix account and you can start streaming.
https://www.apple.com/apple-tv-4k/specs/

Stream Netflix to your TV via Roku

Using Netflix on a Roku device is an easy task, you should see the app on the home screen.

If you don't see the app on your homepage, follow it to find out how to add it.

  1. Scroll down on the Roku homepage and select Streaming Channels.
  2. Then select Movies and TV in the list on the left side of the screen.
  3. Choose the Netflix icon from the list and select Add channel.
  4. Now select Go to channel from the list of available options.

That's it. You should be able to watch your Netflix shows now. You can even add the channel by visiting the Roku website and logging into your account. Just press the What to watch menu, then press Chain store and type 'Netflix'. Click on Installer and the Netflix app will automatically download to your Roku device.

Watch Netflix on your TV via game consoles

Next-gen game consoles such as PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One are all compatible with Netflix. So, if you own one of these consoles, you can get the Netflix app and stream whatever content is available.



On a PlayStation, just go to the home screen and select TV and video. Then choose the Netflix app and it will be downloaded to the console.

With Xbox, go to the Microsoft Store and select Apps. Find Netflix and click Installer. Then launch the app when done.

Watch Netflix on Android or iPhone

You can enjoy streaming your favorite Netflix movies and series on your smartphone.

  1. Download the Netflix app from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.
  2. Once installed, you can log in using your Netflix account and password.
  3. You can then enjoy hundreds of movies directly on your smartphone or tablet.

What to do if you don't have an HDMI cable

If you'd rather watch Netflix on a bigger screen, you can still stream it to your TV via media adapters like Chromecast. The digital age brings us more and more wireless technologies and casting is one of those services. Free to use and available with most devices (game consoles, Chromecast, etc.), you can easily mirror your laptop or smartphone screen directly to a device already connected to your TV.

All you have to do is connect all the affected devices to the same wifi network and choose the Netflix content you want to watch on a bigger screen. Tap the Cast icon in the upper right corner and a list will appear. Select one of the devices and the content will automatically appear on the screen.

Don't see the Cast icon? It is likely that you are not connected to wifi. Turn wifi on and off, then you should be good to go.

What to do if you don't have the Internet

Even in 2022, not everyone has internet. Luckily, you can still stream Netflix to your TV without internet. But here's what you need:

  • You will need the HDMI cable connection from your smartphone or laptop to your TV
  • You will need wifi access at some point (a restaurant, a guest house, etc.)
  • A Netflix account

Netflix now allows its users to download content in advance and watch it later. Just bring up the show or movie you want to download and click on the option to download it. This can take a while depending on what you're downloading, so if you're in a cafe, make yourself comfortable.

Once you've downloaded your content and are ready to go, open the Netflix app on your device and tap on the "Downloads" option. From there, you can start streaming even if you're offline.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I have a Smart TV?

Knowing if your TV supports Netflix can greatly expand your entertainment horizons. But what if you're not sure whether or not you have a Smart TV?

A smart TV is generally defined as a TV with internet capabilities. Most of the time it just means it has internet apps like Netflix. If you're unsure if your TV is a smart TV, look at your remote first. Assuming you have the original remote, you should see an apps button (maybe even a Netflix button). If you don't see the app button, go to the TV menu and search for apps there.

Of course, if you know the model number, google it. Not only will you get information about your TV, but you'll likely get instructions on how to access the Netflix app if it supports it.

Can I watch Netflix on my TV if it's not a smart TV?

As we explained above, if you have a TV that doesn't have native Netflix features, you're completely out of luck. All you need is a device you can use with your TV, such as Chromecast, Roku, Firestick, or an HDMI cable.

The majority of these devices are fairly inexpensive and can be picked up at a store or ordered online. Of course, if you have a gaming console such as an Xbox or PlayStation, you can use Netflix on those as well.

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