Now that Netflix is a legit Australian service, how can you get it into your lounge room?
Australians have been sneaking into Netflix for years but now the US streaming giant has finally opened its doors locally. As of March 24 you can head across to netflix.com and sign up for a free trial rather than be told “Sorry, Netflix is not available in your country yet”.
All-you-can-eat access to a library of movies and TV shows is certainly handy on your computer, smartphone or tablet, but at the end of a long day most people prefer to sit back on the couch and watch on the big screen in the lounge room. Thankfully Netflix offers plenty of options for streaming video to your television, although you might have to wait for some of them to be enabled in Australia.
The cheapest way to get Netflix onto your television is with a $49 Google Chromecast streaming adaptor. There’s no remote control in the box, it’s basically just an HDMI dongle which plugs into your TV and connects to your wi-fi network.
Fire up the Netflix app on your Apple or Android gadget and you can tap the Chromecast icon to send the video to your television and then use your handheld gadget as a remote control.
If you’re an Apple fan then you might already own an Apple TV set-top box. You can’t stream video from your iGadgets to the Apple TV, but that doesn’t matter because the Apple TV has a slick built-in Netflix app. It has a similar look and feel to the Apple TV’s other built-in apps and you might even be able to sign up for Netflix via the Apple TV so you can link your Netflix account to your iTunes account.
Chances are you already have other Netflix-compatible devices in your lounge room, it’s just a question of whether they receive an update now that Netflix is officially available here. The Netflix app is definitely coming to the Fetch TV video recorder, which already offers internet-based pay TV packages. Netflix may come to some other personal video recorders, particularly those which are based on Google’s Android platform.
You definitely won’t see Netflix on Telstra’s T-Box video recorder because it’s getting the Presto subscription service instead. Meanwhile TiVo has a deal with Quickflix.
The Netflix app should come to Australian games consoles quickly, including Sony’s PlayStation 3/4, Microsoft’s Xbox 360/One and Nintendo’s Wii U. There’s no mention of the original Nintendo Wii, although it might still appear as the Wii supports Netflix in the US.
If you’re lucky then Netflix might come directly to your Smart TV or internet-enabled Blu-ray player. If they’re less than five years old then they almost certainly support Netflix in the US, but we’re waiting to see which vendors come to the party in Australia. Samsung, LG, Sony, Panasonic, Philips and Hisense have all committed to adding the Netflix app to their Australian gear, although it remains to be seen which models are supported and how many older devices get a Netflix update.
One way or another it shouldn’t be too hard to get Netflix onto the big screen now that we finally have a taste of the world’s most famous all-you-can-eat streaming video service.