Netflix is one of the world's most popular streaming services, but what if you don’t want to watch on a tablet or laptop? Our guide shows you how to stream Netflix on your TV if you’re with Sky, or another UK TV provider.
Streaming Netflix on Sky
Sky has agreed a deal with Netflix, which will make it much easier for Sky customers to watch content from the popular streaming service on their TV. Netflix will become available as part of a Sky TV entertainment subscription, accessible via the Sky Q box. It also opens up a wealth of new Ultra HD content for Sky customers, as this is compatible with Sky Q.
You can also watch Netflix on Sky without Sky Q or the new Sky/Netflix subscription. Netflix is a straight-up online platform, so it doesn’t have a live channel. You interact with a library of content, so you need something which will support that platform but also displays on your TV at the same time.
Watching on a smartphone, tablet or laptop it’s easy, because the Netflix app and website are designed for those devices. However, if you don't want to use the integrated system announced in 2018 but you want the service straight to your TV, you can use a number of other methods.
Also, assuming you are already a Sky TV customer, you might be interested in our guide about how to stream Sky Atlantic online, which tells you more about online access to the exclusive content on Sky's popular premium channel.
Netflix app on smart TVs
If you’ve got a smart TV then you may well be able to get Netflix as an app. Go to the app selection using your remote, and then see if Netflix has come pre-installed. If it hasn’t then you’ll need to search for it.
If your smart TV is compatible with the Netflix app then you’ll just need to download it, and then sign in. After that you should be able to browse films and shows, and choose which one you want to stream to your TV.
An important thing to remember here is that streaming Netflix requires a good, fast broadband connection. If you’re going to be relying on something like 2Mbps download speed then it’ll be buffer city, and there isn’t a lot you can do about it except get a faster a connection, which isn’t always possible anyway.
TV streaming boxes & sticks
A TV streaming box is a great solution for Sky TV customers, although it means finding room for another box.
The TV streaming boxes connect to your broadband router and can (depending on the box) provide you with access to subscription-based services like Amazon Prime Video and Netflix.
They won’t let you skip the subscription fee unfortunately, but you will be able to watch Netflix’s library of shows and films on your TV.
The other option is a streaming stick, and this plugs directly into your TV via an HDMI connector.
Please enjoy our handy table covering popular streaming boxes:
|Amazon Fire TV||£79.99||Yes||Yes|
|Apple TV 4th Gen||around £139||No||Yes|
|Sky Q||£20 set-up fee||Yes||No|
|NOW TV Smart Box||From £40||No||Yes|
Popular streaming sticks include:
|Amazon Fire TV Stick||around £39.95||No||Yes|
|Roku Streaming Stick||£39.99||Yes||Yes|
Connecting your laptop
If you watch on your laptop anyway then there’s an easy way to get Netflix on your TV. Buy yourself an HDMI cable, which you can get hold of for well under £10 from various online shops.
You can connect your laptop and HDTV using this cable, and you’ll just need to change the source using your remote. You should flip through a couple of options and come to one displaying your chosen HDMI port’s feed. It should show exactly what’s on your laptop screen, but you may need to go into the laptop display settings if the TV screen looks weird.
With Windows there is an option to turn your laptop screen into a projector or 2nd screen, which is essentially what you are doing. This shouldn’t be needed on modern laptops but if there is an issue then display settings would be the place to go.
Connecting your tablet or smartphone
Connecting your tablet or smartphone can be done via an HDMI cable adapter. Find out which kind of port you have on your device, such as a USB Micro, and then get hold of the relevant adapter. You can easily find these online, and then you can use an HDMI cable for everything.
Connecting iOS devices
There are a number of options when it comes to devices running iOS. Lightning devices can be connected to your TV using an HDMI connection kit. Streamed titles will use AirPlay streaming suite, while downloaded titles will copy your device's display.
You can also connect using a Google Chromecast, allowing for wireless streaming of Netflix and other services.
Netflix with other providers:
Netflix on Virgin Media
Virgin Media customers looking to get Netflix on their TV are in luck, because the TiVo and TiVo-powered V6 boxes are built with compatibility. Much like a smart TV, you get a Netflix app which allows you to log in and watch everything you usually could with the service.
Once you’re signed up to Netflix, you can go to channel 204 to access the app.
Netflix is obviously an additional cost to any Virgin Media package, but if you’re new to Netflix then you can get a free trial.
Netflix on BT TV
You can get Netflix on BT TV using an app, as with Virgin Media. It is accessed via the YouView/YouView+ box, and, again, you must have a Netflix subscription or free trial.
You can watch in 4K if you have a Premium Netflix subscription and a YouView+ Ultra HD box (as well as a UHD-ready TV). The advanced YouView box comes with BT’s Total Entertainment Package.
Netflix on Freeview
If you choose Freeview Play then you’ll have the option to add Netflix as an app. Freeview Play is a Freeview product that offers live TV and on demand in a single hub, with an on-screen guide letting you browse everything available.
You’ll have content from catch-up platforms like BBC iPlayer, the ITV Hub and All 4, as well as apps for the likes of YouTube and Amazon Instant Video.
You will need a Netflix subscription, and if you’re already subscribed then you can simply log in via the app, and watch Netflix on your TV.
Netflix on Freesat
All Humax Freesat boxes now include Netflix as a feature, and you’ll be able to watch the range of films and TV series on your TV as long as you have a subscription.
As with Freeview, you can access catch-up platforms from the free-to-air channels, such as BBC iPlayer and the ITV Hub.
NOW TV vs. Netflix
NOW TV offers a huge range of content, including films, TV and sport available on demand. It's essentially a direct rival to Netflix, and much of the content is in line with what's exclusively on Sky, but you don’t need to be a Sky subscriber. It’s a great way to get temporary access to something you’d like to see on Sky, without committing to a long-term contract.
NOW TV Entertainment lets you access whole series from Sky Box Sets, as well as pay-TV channels not on Freeview, like Sky Atlantic.
NOW TV Sky Cinema Pass lets you choose from over 1000 films on demand, and NOW TV Sky Sports Pass gives you access to the full range of sport across 7 dedicated Sky Sports channels.
There’s also NOW TV Kids’ Pass, offering loads of kids’ entertainment channels.
A benefit of NOW TV is that you can buy a NOW TV box and easily watch on your TV. Alternatively, you can watch online using a laptop, tablet, smartphone or console (as long as your device is compatible, of course). Selected smart TVs will also offer NOW TV via an app.
So with this is mind, accessibility for watching on TV is a little more broad with NOW TV, and the choice of films is massive.
If you are more interested in TV series, then Netflix probably has the edge, but it’s a tough choice because they both offer exceptional value for money.
They also offer great flexibility, with no long-term commitment. If being able to watch your on demand platform on TV is key, then you should find that both services offer plenty of ways to enjoy content this way.
Amazon Prime vs. Netflix
As with NOW TV, Amazon Prime is a direct Netflix competitor, and once again there’s plenty of great shows and films only available on that platform.
Amazon Prime is actually a wider service that includes benefits for Amazon shoppers, but it also includes Amazon Instant Video. You can actually get Amazon Instant Video as a separate service, with the usual free trial.
In terms of watching Amazon Instant Video on your TV, the service is compatible with a number of HD TVs, Blu-ray players, set-top boxes and consoles. You can also watch it on TV with the Amazon Fire TV stick, which stream content via Wi-Fi.
The library of films and TV series is huge, and includes Amazon Originals, so, like NOW TV, it’s hard to call an outright winner between the platform and Netflix. It’s easy enough to get them all on your TV, and they all offer monthly subscriptions.
Your best bet is to try out the free trials of Netflix and Amazon Instant Video, but be tactical. If you’ve heard of a few series you’d like from both, then just get those in during your free trial.
There are also some offers on NOW TV Passes, although these vary, so give each of these platforms a try separately, and see which one offers the best entertainment for you personally.
You can always cancel and switch allegiances, or come back to the service later when your favourite series is back for a new season.