Netflix l June 17, 2021

How to watch Netflix on a non-Smart TV

A Smart TV is typically defined as a TV with Internet capabilities and support for third-party apps. For example, most-modern days smart TV, be it your Samsung, Sony or LG have support for third-party apps such as Netflix. So, all you have to do is open the App store on your TV, search for Netflix and install it. 

But what if you have a non-smart TV?

Well, even if you have a TV that doesn’t have native Netflix capabilities you aren’t completely out of luck. All you need is a device that you can connect with your TV such as Chromecast, Roku, Firestick, or an HDMI cable, etc. In fact, even if your TV doesn’t have a HDMI slot, there are workarounds for that, too.

That said, there is no way to turn a regular TV into a smart TV without buying or using extra equipment. But that’s the best you can do. Let’s get started.

1. Use a laptop or PC

The easiest way to watch Netflix on a non-smart TV is to use your PC or Mac. All laptops have the feature which allow you to mirror the laptop screen to external monitor or TV.

First, you should get your hands on a good HDMI cable. Connect one end of your HDMI to your PC or Mac and the other end to the back of your TV. If you have a new Mac with Type C ports only, then you can use one of those HDMI-to-Type C adapters. You don’t have to buy an Apple official adapter, we use one from Anchor and it works fine. Now, most TVs have HDMI slots at the back, but in case your TV is old, and doesn’t have a HDMI slot, you can use a HDMI-to-VGA converter. To find out how to use it, watch our Fire TV stick on old monitor video.

Next, open the TV and select the HDMI channel that is related to your PC or your laptop.

Once you’ve selected the channel, go to the Netflix website or open the Netflix app, log in, and start watching your favorite show or movie.

If the sound is coming from your laptop instead of the TV, or if you don’t hear anything at all, you’ll have to change the sound source on your laptop. On PC, type ‘Manage Audio Devices’ in the search bar at the bottom left of the screen. Click on the Playback tab and double click on your TV icon. Similarly, on Mac, open the Sound settings and under Output, select TV.

Now, here’s a good part, even if you don’t have access to internet at the moment, you can still watch Netflix on your TV. How? Well, Netflix now allows its users to download content ahead of time on its mobile as well as Windows app. Simply pull up the show or movie you’d like to download and click the option to download it. There is no official app for Mac yet, but there’s a workaround for Mac as well which we’ve covered in one of our previous videos.

2. Use a streaming device

The problem with the laptop approach is that it’s basically screen mirroring, so the Netflix will play on your laptop as well as your TV, not the most efficient way.

A better way to use a streaming device such as Firestick, Roku, Apple TV, and Google Chromecast that are compatible with Netflix. You can also use them to stream Netflix from your phone to your TV.

We’ll quickly show you the steps for each one of them or you can use the time stamps in the description to jump to relevant streaming device.

Google Chromecast

If you have a Chromecast, connect it to the TV and to the Wi-Fi network.

Next, sign into your Netflix account on your phone. Tap on the Cast icon on the top right side of the screen. Select your Chromecast from the list. Play anything that you want and Netflix should stream on your TV. Since you are casting Netflix, you can even switch off your phone or take it outside the house, the cast will still work.

Apple TV

If you have the new apple TV 4K, first you need to download the Netflix app from the App Store. Yes, it doesn’t come preinstalled these days, since Apple launched their own competition Apple TV+. Once installed, launch the Netflix app and sign in to your Netflix account.

The device is now connected to your Netflix account and you can start streaming.


If you have the Roku device, you will see the Netflix icon on the home screen. Simply click on that and start watching. If you don’t see the app on your homepage, scroll down on the Roku Homepage and select Streaming Channels, Next, select Movies & TV from the list on the left-side of the screen and you will find Netflix app there.

Gaming consoles

If you have a gaming consoles such as PS4, Xbox, or PS5 etc., most of them are compatible with Netflix. So, if you have one of these consoles, you can get the Netflix app and stream any available content.

On a PlayStation, just go to the home screen and select TV & Video. Then, choose the Netflix app and it will download to the console.

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

3. Use a Smartphone

Now, this is more of a myth buster. So, there are a lot of videos on the internet on how you can mirror your Android to your TV without Wi-Fi. Well, they suggest mirroring the screen of your smartphone to your TV, but you’ll first need a micro USB (or whatever port your smartphone has) to HDMI cable.

These are called MHL cables on Amazon store. We bought one for iPhone and another one for Android devices, and they do work quite well for the price. You need to connect the HDMI end of your cable into the TV along with the USB for power, and the micro-USB end into your phone.

But here’s the thing, these cables won’t let you pay Netflix on your TV. Yes, it’s not compatible with Apps which have "HDCP" video copyrights protection like Netflix, iTunes movies, Amazon video, HBO, HULU etc. Although, they do work for apps such YouTube.

Similarly, if you have a Samsung phone, you don’t even need a MHL cable, premium Samsung phones support DEX which lets you mirror your smartphone screen to a TV using a regular Type C-to-HDMI converter. But even that won’t cast Netflix on your TV due to DRM protections. As you can see, we log into Netflix on Samsung DEX via browser, but the movement we play something, it asks us to use the app on our phone. `

So, technically, the only way to watch Netflix on a bigger screen, is to cast it to your TV via media adapters like Chromecast.

So, there you have it, there are a couple of ways to watch as we’ve explained above, if you have a TV that doesn’t have native Netflix capabilities you aren’t completely out of luck. All you need is a device that you can use with your TV such as Chromecast, Roku, Firestick, or an HDMI cable. The majority of these devices are fairly cheap and can be easily bought online.

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