How to stream TV and movies on a non-smart TV
You can watch what you want, when you want, and you don't have to sit through any irritating adverts.
Smart TVs usually come with apps built-in. But don't worry if you don't have the latest smart TV. You can still stream programmes and films via a media player, games console, or your computer.
There are lots of different media players available but here are some of the most popular ones:
Amazon Fire TV
The Amazon Fire TV stick plugs into the back of your TV and lets you download apps like Netflix, BBC iPlayer and Amazon Video. It also comes with an 'Alexa Remote' that lets you search using your voice.
Amazon also offers the more powerful Fire TV with 4K Ultra HD, which also comes with Dolby Atmos audio. That means the picture looks incredible and it sounds fantastic too.
The Google Chromecast is a dongle that plugs into the back of your TV, and you control it using your smartphone or tablet. You can get over 200,000 apps for it, including Netflix, BBC iPlayer and Now TV. That gives you a huge volume of entertainment to enjoy. Just pick what you want, using your smartphone, and tap the 'cast' button to play it through the Chromecast.
Apple TV is a small box that connects to your TV and lets you download apps from the App Store to stream films, TV shows, and music. You get a 'Siri enabled' remote with it so you can use your voice to control it. The remote also has a built-in accelerometer, allowing it to sense movement and making it ideal for playing games
Now TV is a subscription-free service from Sky. Instead of paying a monthly fee, you just buy the Now TV box and pay for the films and TV shows you watch. You can also buy 'Passes' for different genres, like Sky Cinema or Sky Sports. The cheapest passes are only a few pounds a month and, with no contract, you can cancel it whenever you want.
There are loads of other apps you can download to your Now TV box too, like BBC iPlayer, YouTube, and Spotify.
Like the Firestick, and Chromecast, the Roku stick plugs into the HDMI slot in the back of your TV and comes with a remote control. It lets you stream content from services like Netflix, Amazon Video, and Now TV, and you can also download apps like Deezer, and VEVO to stream your favourite music.
The Roku Express streams Full HD content. If you want something more powerful, go for the Roku Streaming Stick+, which is faster and allows for 4K Ultra HD streaming.
If you're just looking for a way to stream films and TV shows, investing in a PlayStation or Xbox might not be the best use of your money. If you’ve already got one though, they're a handy way to stream content.
You can download apps like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Now TV, and Spotify. Games consoles also have a lot of processing power versus other streaming devices, helping apps to run smoothly.
PC and Mac
You can access streaming services from most computers and laptops, provided you have an internet connection. Usually, you just need to go to the website for the streaming service you want and log in to your account. Most laptops and computers can be connected to a TV using an HDMI cable, which effectively turns it into a Smart TV.
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