How to Use Netflix Without a Smart TV

Users can stream Netflix through smart TVs, smartphones, tablets, laptops, PCs, game consoles and streaming media players. Most people prefer to stream movies to their TV; even if you don’t have a smart TV, you can still stream Netflix with other internet-enabled devices.

There are many ways to do it. You simply connect your laptop to the TV and stream Netflix via a web browser or connect your phone to the TV. For a more complicated setup, you can stream Netflix on your TV if you have an internet-ready Blu-ray player or other video component like Roku.

This article explains some of the easiest solutions to watch Netflix without a Smart TV.

Connecting a laptop to a TV via HDMI

You can download the Netflix app to your laptop or use the web browser and then use an HDMI cable to connect it to your TV. Make sure you have a power outlet nearby, as your laptop uses power and needs to be on longer than usual.

use netflix without smart tv

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

If that’s 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. Usually you do this via your remote by pressing the ‘Source’ or ‘Input’ button until you find HDMI. If it has more than one HDMI input, make sure you set it to the correct one – usually HDMI 1, HDMI 2, etc.
  3. Once the connection is established, you should see your laptop screen on your TV screen.
  4. Launch Netflix in your laptop’s browser and start streaming.

Does the sound come from your laptop instead of the TV, or if you don’t hear anything at all, then you need to change the sound source on your laptop.

For a PC you can:

  1. Type ‘Manage audio devices‘ in the search bar at the bottom left of the screen.
  2. Then open the Manage audio devices menu.
    manage audio devices
  3. Click on the Play tab and double click on your TV icon.
    AMD HDMI output

This should change the default sound output to your TV through the HDMI cable.

Stream Netflix through media players

Several major 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.

use netflix without smart tv

Stream Netflix on Amazon Fire Stick

If you have a Firestick, you can install the Netflix app and stream content on your TV. Here’s how:

  1. Turn on your TV and make sure your Firestick is plugged in.
  2. Click on the To search icon in the top left corner.
  3. Type Netflix.
  4. Click Free or To download depending on the options given.
  5. Wait for Netflix to install. Then launch the app and log in.

After you install Netflix, you can stream shows and movies on your TV.

Stream Netflix via Chromecast

To stream Netflix with Chromecast, you need to:

  1. Connect your Chromecast to the TV and the same WiFi network.
  2. Use your phone to sign in to Netflix.
  3. Tap the Form icon in the top right corner of the screen.
  4. Select your Chromecast from the list.
  5. Play anything you want, and Netflix should be streaming on your TV.

Stream Netflix via Apple TV

Depending on the version of your Apple TV, there are two ways to watch Netflix via Apple TV. Apple TV 2 and 3 have a built-in Netflix app. So you just need to select it from the menu and log in.

If you have Apple TV 4 or Apple TV4k, do the following:

  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.

Stream Netflix on your TV via Roku

Using Netflix on a Roku device is an easy task; you should see the app on the home screen when you launch it. Roku Home

If you don’t see the app on your home page, here’s how to add it to your home screen.

  1. Scroll down the Roku homepage and select Streaming Channels. Roku Menu
  2. Then select Movies and TV from the list on the left side of the screen. Roku Streaming Channels page
  3. Choose the Netflix icon from the list and select Add channel. Roku Movies & TV Page
  4. Select now Go to channel from the list of available options. Roku Netflix App

That is it. You should now be able to watch your Netflix shows. You can even add the channel by visiting the Roku website and logging into your account.

  1. Just tap the what to watch menu, then tap Channel Store and type ‘Netflix.’
  2. Click Install and the Netflix app will automatically download to your Roku device.

Watch Netflix on your TV via game consoles

netflix without smart tv

Next-generation game consoles such as PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One are all compatible with Netflix. So if you have one of these consoles, you can download the Netflix app and stream all the available content.

  1. On a PlayStation, go to the home screen and select TV & Video. Then choose the Netflix app and it will be downloaded to the console.
  2. Take Xbox to the Microsoft Store and select apps. Find Netflix and click to install. Then launch the app when it’s done.

Watch Netflix on Android or iPhone

You can easily stream your favorite Netflix movies and series on your smartphone device.

  1. Download the Netflix app from the Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store.
  2. After installation you can log in with your Netflix account and password.
  3. You can then watch hundreds of movies directly on your smartphone or tablet.

What to do if you don’t have an HDMI cable?

If you prefer to watch Netflix on a bigger screen, you can always cast it to your TV via media adapters like Chromecast. The digital age is bringing us more wireless technology 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.

  1. All you have to do is connect all affected devices to the same Wi-Fi network and choose the Netflix content you want to watch on a bigger screen.
  2. Press Cast icon in the top right corner and a list will appear.
  3. Select one of the devices and the content will automatically appear on the screen.

Don’t see the cast icon? You are probably not connected to Wi-Fi. Turn WiFi on and off again, then you should be good to go.

What to do if you don’t have internet?

Not everyone will have internet in 2022 either. Fortunately, you can still stream Netflix to your TV without internet. But this is what you need:

  • You need the HDMI cable connection from your smartphone or laptop to your TV
  • At some point you will need access to Wi-Fi (a restaurant, friends’ house, etc.)
  • A Netflix account

Netflix now allows users to download content in advance and watch it later. Just pull up the show or movie you want to download and click on the option to download it. This may take a while depending on what you’re downloading, so make yourself comfortable if you’re in a coffee shop.

Once you’ve downloaded your content and are ready to go, open the Netflix app on your device and tap the Downloads choice. From here you can start streaming even if you are offline.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here you will find more answers to your questions about streaming Netflix without Smart TV.

How do I know if I have a Smart TV?

Knowing whether your TV supports Netflix can broaden your entertainment horizons significantly. But what do you do if you are not sure whether you actually have a Smart TV or not?

A Smart TV is generally defined as a TV with internet capabilities. Often this just means it has internet applications like Netflix. If you’re not sure if your TV is a Smart TV, check 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 here.

If you know the model number, of course Google it. Not only will you get information about your TV, but you’ll probably also get instructions on how to access the Netflix app if it does support it.

Can I watch Netflix on my TV if it is not a Smart TV?

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

Most of these devices are relatively inexpensive and can be picked up at a store or ordered online. If you have a game console like an Xbox or PlayStation, you can of course use Netflix on that too.

Stream Netflix

Even if you don’t have a TV with internet, you can still use another device to stream Netflix to your TV. Whether it’s a Chromecast, Firestick or laptop, the ability to watch Netflix from your television screen is just a few cables, clicks or taps away.

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