Netflix video streaming service has become a popular and cost effective way for many people to cut the cord on costly cable television subscriptions. However, many are still unsure of how to access the service using different types of devices and operating systems.
Although Netflix established its reputation a few years back on movie rentals via “snail” mail, the Netflix online video streaming service is what has made the company more popular than ever with immediate access to thousands of programs and movies that you can watch at home or on the go. There are multiple methods you can use to watch movies and programs from Netflix. You can use your mobile device, gaming console, Smart TV, or connect your PC directly to your big screen TV. Whatever method you prefer, in this article we will cover the different ways you can access Netflix.
The most current method for accessing Netflix on your TV is by simply clicking on the Netflix app and subscribing to the Netflix service. This method is possible when you have one of the newer Smart TVs that have Internet connectivity built into the unit. However, if you do not yet own a Smart TV, there are other ways that you can access and watch Netflix on your existing television.
Use a Media Box
A media box can be purchased rather inexpensively at your local electronics store or from an online retailer. A media box such as the Roku, Boxee, or other, allows you to stream programs and movies that are available from Netflix. Additionally, you can access videos on YouTube, as well as stream music from services such as Pandora. Once you have chosen the media box you want to use, here are the steps to access and watch programming from Netflix:
Plug in the Media Box: Connect the media box to an electrical outlet and turn the power on.
Connect the Media Box to Your Television: Depending upon the type of TV you have, the process for connecting a media box to your TV will vary. If you have an older TV that is not equipped with high definition capability, you can connect the media box with a standard AV cable. For an HDTV, you can use an HDMI cable to ensure high definition viewing. You can purchase an HDMI cable or standard AV cable rather inexpensively at any electronics retailer in your local area or online.
Connect the Media Box to the Internet: Media boxes that are used for video streaming come with wireless Internet capability built into the device. Once you have powered up the device, typically a software wizard appears that steps you through the wireless Internet configuration. This process usually requires your username and password for your home network. You can also opt to establish a wired connection by connecting an Ethernet cable to the media box and then plugging the other end of the cable into your router.
Complete the Media Box Setup: Once you have established an Internet connection to the media box, you can complete the setup process which typically includes a selection of the latest software to enhance your viewing experience and a prompt that allows you to choose the type of video output you want to use. Additionally, if you are an avid social media user, you can opt to connect the player to your online account. This allows you to share programming suggestions with friends and family, as well as view programs and movies that others are watching.
Convert Your TV to a Big Screen Monitor
You can also choose to watch Netflix by converting your big screen television to a large computer monitor. This is accomplished by connecting your PC or mobile device to your TV and extending your PC screen to the television.
Depending upon the type of TV you have and the type of PC or mobile device you are connecting to the TV, the setup and configuration will vary. However, here is a general method that is used to provide you with an idea of how to convert your TV to a big screen monitor.
Examine your TV to determine what type of input is supported such as HDMI, VGA, or SVGA. If you are unsure, the user manual that came with your TV will provide you with the necessary information.
Familiarize yourself with the video card output ports on your PC and locate the additional monitor connection. Usually a PC will have a DVI (Digital Visual Interface) however, if this is not the case, it may be necessary to purchase an adapter cable.
An adapter cable is inexpensive and can be purchased at any electronics retailer in your local area or online. This will allow you to connect the video card on your PC to the input port on your TV if the two inputs are different. That said here are some basic fundamentals on connecting your PC to a big screen television.
Connect the Cables: Power down your PC and television. Connect the cables (and adapter if necessary) to your PC and the television. Power up both devices.
Extend Your PC to the TV Monitor: Depending upon the operating system that is installed on your PC or tablet, the process for extending your PC to the television will vary. For example, if you are using the Windows operating system, right click on the Desktop and then choose Properties from the menu. Click on Settings, choose the secondary monitor, and tick the box next to Extend Windows Desktop to This Monitor. Click on OK.
Configure Your TV to PC Input: On the Settings menu for your TV, choose the appropriate input to allow your TV to communicate with your PC. Depending upon the type of television your have, the location of the settings will vary. Typically, switching the input is very similar to changing the input to allow a movie to be played from a DVD player. Switch your TV display to the input for your computer. Your PC Desktop should then appear on your TV screen.
Once you have completed the setup, simply log into Netflix with your account credentials, select the program or movie you want to watch and press Play.
Connect a Gaming Console
If you have a recent gaming console such as Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, chances are the device supports video streaming from Netflix. If you have an Xbox, it is necessary to setup a membership to Live Gold and then another account for Netflix.
Once you have setup the Live Gold and Netflix accounts, all you need is a high speed Internet connection and at least 8 MB (megabytes) of space on the hard drive. Then you simply install the Netflix app which is available from the marketplace for your gaming device, log into Netflix, choose a program or movie, and click on Play to begin streaming the video.
Typically, the Netflix app keeps you logged in for easy access, but you can change the configuration settings if you prefer to login with your credentials each time. In this article, we will cover the topic of watching Netflix on the Xbox 360 later. Meanwhile here is an overview of how to watch Netflix using various types of devices.
You can also opt to watch Netflix on your iPad which allows you to access thousands of programs and movies from anywhere and at any time. The process for watching Netflix on your iPad is quite simple.
- Select the App Store icon on your iPad Home Screen to launch the app.
- Choose the Search function and enter the word Netflix into the search box.
- When the Netflix app appears, select the icon that says Free and then choose Install App. Enter your login credentials at the prompt.
Once you have successfully installed the Netflix app, return to the Home Screen and select the Netflix icon to open the Netflix app. Enter your login credentials at the prompt and then choose Sign In. Then all you have to do is select a program or movie and click on Play.
Netflix can be accessed using a Wii console simply by powering up your Wii device and installing the Wii Shop Channel. When you click on the Wii Shop Channel icon, select Start to launch the Wii Shop Channel menu.
Once the menu is displayed, select Wii Channels and then choose Start Shopping. Search for Netflix and click on it. Choose Download and select the location where you want to save it. This is usually an area on your Wii device or an SD memory card. If you are going to be using Netflix a lot, it is best to download it directly to your Wii device for easier access and fewer hassles with errors and other issues.
Once you choose the download, a screen will appear that provides a download confirmation. It will also tell you how much space the channel will occupy and that you must use your Wii remote control to navigate the Netflix channel. At this point, you can click on OK to proceed with the download and then choose Yes to start the download.
When the download is complete, click on OK and go back to the home screen on your Wii device. Select the Netflix icon and click on Start and activate Netflix online with the code that is provided. To use an existing Netflix account with a Wii device, log into your account online and select Your Account at the top portion of the screen.
Choose Watch Instantly on Your TV or Computer and then select Activate a Netflix Ready Device. Enter the code that was previously provided to you to sync the console with your account. Once this process is complete, you can watch programs and movies you have stored in the Instant Queue using the Wii remote control.
Using the Wii Remote with Netflix
To make the remote easier to use, Wii offers hot key functions to make navigation of the Netflix channel easier. When you access Netflix, the Instant Queue will automatically appear with programs and movies you have previously added. Or, you can choose to use the search function to search for a specific video and browse the Categories feature to locate programming by genre.
When you find a program or movie you want to watch, simply click on Play or choose the button on the Wii remote control that is labeled with the number 1. Wait for the video to load and then use the following buttons on the Wii remote control to operate the program or movie: The button labeled A allows you to Pause the program, the B button will allow you to return to the previous screen, the button labeled with a dash (-) and the one labeled with a plus (+) allows you to easily navigate through specific chapters of a movie.
To simplify the navigation process, it is much easier to log into your Netflix account and control the Instant Queue from there. The Wii remote control can be complex and this will allow you to save time changing the order of the programming, as opposed to trying to figure out all of the hot keys on the remote control.
The following video will provide you with a visual representation for watching Netflix using a Wii device.
An Xbox 360 console allows you to watch Netflix, in addition to playing a broad range of games that allow you to compete with other players online. You can access an existing Netflix account on an Xbox 360 console or download Netflix using your Xbox Live Gold account. The process of setting up Netflix on your Xbox 360 is relatively simple:
Power Up the Xbox 360: Turn on the power for the Xbox 360 and navigate to the dashboard. Press the button labeled Y on the remote control to open the dashboard in the event a game happens to launch instead.
Log into Xbox Live: Log into your Xbox Live Gold account by selecting the Guide button on the remote control and choosing your profile.
Video Marketplace: Choose Video Marketplace from the menu and then click on Netflix. When the download screen appears, press the button on the remote control that is labeled A to confirm the download. Once the download is complete, click on Play Now to launch the Netflix app.
Enter the Code: To activate Netflix, click on Yes, I want to activate instant streaming. Enter the activation code when prompted. Then log into your Netflix account using your PC, locate the Xbox 360 instant streaming page for Netflix, and enter the activation code.
Once you have completed the activation process, select a movie to and click on Play to begin watching the program.
The following video will provide you with additional information on streaming movies from Netflix using an Xbox 360 console.
If you have a PlayStation gaming device, you can watch Netflix using your PlayStation Network account. You can set up the account at no cost and the process can be done directly from your PlayStation device.
If you do not have a PlayStation 3 account, power up the PlayStation device and locate the PlayStation Network feature on the menu. Under the PlayStation Network category, choose the Sign Up for PlayStation Network option to set up your account. The wizard will step you through the process of creating the account.
Download Netflix: Once you have your account setup, scroll over to the PlayStation Network and choose What’s New. Locate Netflix and highlight it with the selector and then press the button that is labeled with an X on your remote control. The wizard program will then walk you through the steps of installing Netflix on your PlayStation device.
Load Netflix: Once Netflix has been installed, choose Video and then select the Netflix icon by pressing the X button on your remote control. Log into your PlayStation Network account to load Netflix on your PlayStation device.
Choose Programs and Movies: Once Netflix is loaded on your PlayStation device, you can scroll through the screen to find programs and movies to watch.
If you find a large number of programs and movies of interest, you can add them to the Queue. This makes it easy to remember what programming you selected to watch.
For more information on steaming videos from Netflix using a PlayStation device, here is a quick start guide to help you to be easily up and running.
Ubuntu is a Linux operating system that is based on Debian. The operating system utilizes open source software which is made available under a GNU public license. Many people prefer the Ubuntu operating system due to its flexibility, security, and capability to be customized using programming commands.
There are two different options you can use to watch Netflix using the Ubuntu operating system. You can opt to install the necessary tools for Netflix on your Ubuntu device or you can use the Desktop App package.
How to Install the Necessary Tools to Watch Netflix in Linux
Installing tools for watching Netflix on Linux is a method devised by programmers that are part of the Linux community. The method we will explain here is for Ubuntu 14.04 and will work on other variations of the Ubuntu operating system.
Before installing the tools, you must update the system. To do this, it is necessary to open a terminal which can be accomplished by pressing the following combination on your keyboard: Ctrl+Alt+T. Then enter the command: sudo apt–get update.
Add the Repository: A repository makes it easier to install software on Ubuntu via an Internet connection. It also improves security since each program in the repository is tested and customized for each different version of Ubuntu. To add a repository, select the third party software tab and then choose Other Software. Add the following repository: sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ehoover/compholio.
Install Netflix: Enter Ctrl+Alt+T on your keyboard and run the following command: sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install netflix-desktop. Click on Agree and allow Netflix to install. Once the installation is complete, the Netflix icon should appear under Sound and Video on the Start
Install Mono: When you run Netflix for the first time, you will be prompted to install Mono. This is an open source form of the .NET development platform by Microsoft. Mono uses the same development libraries on Linux that are used with the Windows operating system. To do this, you must open a terminal window and run the following command: sudo apt-get install mono mono-gmcs mono-gac mono-utils monodevelop monodoc-browser monodevelop-nunit monodevelop-versioncontrol.
Install Gecko: Installing Gecko allows you to run the Firefox web browser. Mozilla Firefox uses the Gecko layout engine to display web pages when you browse the Internet with Ubuntu. To install Gecko, press Ctrl+Alt+T on your keyboard to open the terminal window and enter the following commands:
|sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mozillateam/firefox-next|
|sudo apt-get update|
|sudo apt-get install firefox|
Once you have Firefox installed, you can open Netflix, login with your credentials, and begin to search for TV shows and movies to watch.
Here is more information on installing the tools necessary to watch Netflix on Ubuntu.
How to Install the Netflix Desktop App
If you prefer an easier method for watching Netflix on Ubuntu, you can opt to use the Netflix Desktop App which is designed specifically for viewing videos from Netflix on Linux. The app is a package that contains Wine which is an application that allows you to run a wide variety of Windows programs on the Linux operating system.
Wine is a patched version of the Windows design for Microsoft Silverlight and Mozilla Firefox. This version of Wine contains a few adjustments that make everything work together, despite the fact that Netflix does not actually support this configuration.
Developers in the Linux community have removed all the guesswork out of making the software components work together. Additionally, the developers included a Personal Package Archive (PPA) to make the package easy to install and use.
All you have to do is press Ctrl+Alt+T to open a terminal window and enter the following commands: sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ehoover/compholio, sudo apt-get update, and sudo apt-get install netflix-desktop. The app will then appear on your Desktop and launch in full screen mode.
While in full screen mode you can press Alt + Tab to switch between windows or close the Netflix window by pressing Alt + F4 on your keyboard. Once Netflix is installed, all you have to do is log into your Netflix account using your username and password and start choosing programs and movies to watch. Once you click on Play a Silverlight Digital rights Management prompt will appear. Simply click on Agree to start playing the video.
The following video provides you with more information on using the Desktop App with Ubuntu.
Depending upon the device you are using to run Ubuntu, you may experience hardware related problems when running the Desktop App. However, Linux developers have been continually updating the app in an effort to increase performance. Many users expect the app to gradually improve over time as a result.
Netflix does not plan to support Linux in the near future. This means the options we have explained here are most likely your best bet for watching Netflix on Ubuntu. Netflix also runs on the Chrome operating system, Android, and most versions of Linux. However, if you are using the standard version of the Linux desktop, Netflix will not run in this type of environment.
These are a few of the ways you can stream video from Netflix using various types of devices and operating systems. As video streaming technology continues to evolve, there will likely be additional methods and more efficient ways to stream video from Netflix via the Internet.