How to stream Netflix without a smart TV

Haven't invested in a smart TV? Don’t count yourself out of the Netflix scene.

Updated

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Over the past few years, streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime have slowly taken their place in Canada’s living rooms. However, it’s never as simple as just getting Netflix – you’ve got to choose a plan, make sure your internet is fast enough to handle streaming video and buy a smart TV compatible with popular streaming apps. Or do you?

Using a smart TV is just one of the many ways you can stream services just like Netflix. There’s actually a huge range of options available if you want access to thousands of movies and TV shows on-demand from the comfort of your sofa.

These are the many ways you can watch Netflix in Canada without a smart TV.

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Through a video game console (Xbox, PlayStation and Wii U)

If you own either an Xbox (360 or One), PlayStation (3 or 4) or Wii U, you can already access Netflix. Each of these consoles has an online store where you can download games and applications, including Netflix Canada.

Simply download the application from the appropriate store (it’s always free to download), log in with your Netflix account details and you’ll be watching Netflix in no time. Though, if you’re unsure, you might want to have someone close by to show you how to operate Netflix with the video game controller.

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Through Google Chromecast

Google’s Chromecast is a cheap and easy way to stream content from a smartphone or tablet to a TV. To stream Netflix through Chromecast, simply plug it into the HDMI port in the back of your television and change your TV’s output to HDMI (taking note of the HDMI port you plugged the device into).

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Try using Apple TV

Like Google Chromecast, Apple TV is a relatively cheap (usually around $199 for 4th generation) way to watch a variety of media from any old television with an HDMI port (most from the last 10 years).

The convenient thing about Apple TV is that you don’t have to jump too many hurdles to get set up. So long as your Apple TV’s firmware is up to date, the Netflix app should be ready to launch straight from your home screen.

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Connect a tablet or computer directly to your television

Though it may seem complicated, connecting your tablet or computer to your television can really be quite simple with an HDMI adapter. A range of adapters are sold to convert micro USB (Android tablets), lightning (Apple iPad) and many other connections to HDMI (and if you’ve got a relatively new PC, there should already be an HDMI output somewhere on your computer).

All you need to do is connect your computer or tablet to your TV with an adapter, change your television to HDMI output and you should see the screen from your tablet or computer mirrored on the television. Now, all you have to do is access Netflix via your web browser or mobile app and you’ll be watching Netflix on the big screen in no time.

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If all else fails, choose another streaming service

It may seem blunt, but Canada’s various streaming services have compatible devices that are unique to each service. Here is a list of alternative services to Netflix Canada.

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Price p/month or equivalent Free trial? Service Simultaneous streams 4K/UHD?
Disney+
Disney+ [CA]
CA$8.99
7 Days
On-demand streaming
4
Yes
Prime Video
Prime Video [CA]
CA$5.99
1 month
On-demand streaming
3
Yes
Residents of Quebec aren't eligible for a free trial of Amazon Prime
hayu
hayu [CA]
CA$5.99
30 days
On-demand streaming
1
No
Fubo TV Canadian Basic
Fubo TV [CA]
CA$15.99
7 days
On-demand streaming
2
Yes
fuboTV offers sports streaming for Canadians as well as Cloud DVR recording for live events and options for additional packages.
Curiositystream
CuriosityStream [CA]
US$2.99
No
On-demand streaming
Yes
Yes
YouTube Premium
YouTube Premium [CA]
CA$11.99
1 month
On-demand streaming
1
Select titles
Crave + Movies + HBO package
Crave + HBO [CA]
CA$19.98
1-month
On-demand streaming
2
No
Includes hit movies and current HBO seasons, as well as six live streaming channels (Crave 1, Crave 2, Crave 3, Crave 4, HBO Canada, HBO Canada 2)
Crave
Crave [CA]
CA$9.99
1-month
On-demand streaming
2
No
Gives you access to Crave originals, past seasons of HBO shows, Showtime series, and a limited number of Family and Kids titles.
Acorn TV
Acorn TV [CA]
US$4.99
7 days
On-demand streaming
1
No
Acorn TV offers British TV shows on-demand.
CBS All Access
CBS All Access [CA]
US$5.99
1-month
On-demand streaming
2
No
Shudder
Shudder [CA]
US$4.99
7 days
On-demand streaming
1
No
Shudder is a screaming service dedicated totally to contemporary and classic horror flicks.
Netflix Basic
Netflix Basic [CA]
CA$9.99
No
On-demand streaming
1
No
Netflix Standard
Netflix Standard [CA]
CA$13.99
No
On-demand streaming
2
No
Netflix Premium
Netflix Premium [CA]
CA$16.99
No
On-demand streaming
4
Yes
SundanceNow
Sundance Now [CA]
US$6.99
7 days
On-demand streaming
1
No
Club Illico
Club Illico [CA]
CA$9.99
No
On-demand streaming
1
No
Club Illico offers French TV shows and movies for a French-Canadian audience.
YouTube Premium Family Plan
YouTube Premium Family Plan [CA]
CA$17.99
1 month
On-demand streaming
6
Select titles
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