The way we watch TV is rapidly changing. Streaming services such as Netflix and Stan are becoming our go-to way to relax, with great content, low monthly subscription fees, and the convenience of watching what we like, when we like.
But you might be asking, what if I don’t have a smart TV but want to watch Netflix on the big screen? Fortunately, there are several other smart options out there for you!
Streaming TV services all require you to connect your TV to the internet. If your TV can’t get online with built-in features, you’ll need to connect another internet-enabled device. Here’s a look at the different options, how they work and how much they can cost:
A laptop and a HDMI cable
If you already own a laptop, then plugging it into your TV is probably the easiest option. All you need is a HDMI cable, which will set you back about $20. All you need to do is sign in to the streaming service (Netflix, Stan, etc) using the web browser, plug your laptop into your TV using the cord and then select the show or movie you want to watch!
Chromecast is a media streaming that plugs into an HDMI port on your TV and uses WIFI to connect to a device, like a smartphone, tablet or laptop.
On an iPhone, iPad, or Android device connected to the same WiFi as your Chromecast, you'll see the Chromecast icon show up on apps like YouTube, Netflix, Stan, and more. Once you've picked a show, movie, or video to watch, your phone or tablet will then work as your remote.
If you to connect to your Chromecast from a laptop, you will need to download the Chromecast extension for the Chrome web browser. Once you have, open Netflix or Stan and then click on the Chromecast extension icon. This can be a little less reliable than streaming from a tablet though.
The Chromecast ranges in price depending on the model, and you can get it for about $60.
Apple TV is sort of like an iPhone plugged into your TV, and lets you bring apps and games to the big screen; including Netflix and Stan. You simply plug it into the HDMI port on your TV and download the Apps you need through the App Store; using Apple’s Siri voice-enabled remote. Once you’ve downloaded Netflix or Stan just use the Siri remote to choose something to watch and you’re away!
The price of Apple TV ranges from $239 to $299 depending on storage option you choose. You'll need to grab a HDMI cord, as a Apple doesn't include one in the box.
Similar to Apple TV, the Telstra TV box connects to your TV using a HDMI cable, and acts like a tiny computer. It needs to be connected to the internet via WIFI or Ethernet cable, and like Apple TV it lets you access apps and movies and comes with a remote to navigate your way through. Services like Netflix are pre-installed but you can also access Telstra’s exclusive sports content and watch movies through Telstra’s Bigpond Movies service.
Telstra TV is $109 for new and existing Telstra customers. If you're signing up to a new Telstra plan you're able to get a Telstra TV on select plans. These are as follows:
Fetch TV comes in the form of a set-top box and lets you watch and record TV shows and movies. Consider its size and features, Fetch TV is more like Foxtel than Apple TV, but it also allows easy access to apps like Netflix and Stan. All you need to do is go to the “apps” section and select what you want to use from the menu. From there just login to your account and start streaming!
The Fetch TV box on its own ranges from $149 for the smaller version to $399 for the premium model. Providers such as Optus, iiNet and Dodo have plans that bundle a Fetch TV in with your contract:
The latest Blu-Ray players from Sony, LG and Samsung almost act like smart TVs, and give you the functionality you would get with a newer TV, like letting you access Netflix and Stan once you connect the player to the internet. Some of them let you select the app directly from the device menu while others you will need to cast the app with your smartphone to your TV. Not all Blu-Ray players have smart functionality, you its best to double check in-store.
New Blu-Ray players start at around $100, but we’d recommend that you be prepared to spend a little more.
PlayStation, Xbox or a Wii U
If you own a Sony PlayStation, Microsoft Xbox or a Nintendo Wii U, you won’t need anything else to get streaming. Netflix is available on all three, but Stan is only available on PlayStation and Xbox.
Consoles range in price and can be quite expensive; so this option is best for those that already own one or are thinking of getting one for gaming.
Whether you have a smart TV or not, there’s no reason to miss out on the latest episode of Stranger Things or Twin Peaks ever again!