How to Stream Netflix Through a Computer to a TV

By J.M. Chanel

Netflix offers thousands of movies and TV shows on the Watch Instantly section of their website. However, you may want to watch the video stream on your TV for a more comfortable viewing experience. You can connect your computer to your TV using several different methods, all of which allow you to watch the online Netflix video player on your TV. These methods are great for anyone who does not own a Netflix-ready device for watching streaming content on a TV.

Things You'll Need

  • RCA component video cable (yellow)
  • S-Video cable
  • S-Video-to-component video converter (optional)
  • RCA audio cables (red and white)
  • RCA audio to 3.5mm mini-stereo converter
  • DVI/VGA monitor cable
  • HDMI cable

Component Video/S-Video Output (Lowest Quality; PC users only)

Step 1

Plug an RCA component video cable into the "Video Out" port on your video card. Some video cards may have an S-Video output, which can be used for higher quality. There are also S-Video converters to connect your computer to televisions that only have component video input.

Step 2

Connect the color-coded RCA audio cables to the RCA audio to 3.5mm mini-stereo converter.

Step 3

Plug the mini-stereo adapter into the "Audio Out" or "Speakers" port on your computer's sound card. You can also plug this into the headphone jack of your computer speakers.

Step 4

Attach the opposite ends of the component video (or S-Video) cable and RCA audio cables to an available video input channel on your TV.

Step 5

Turn on your television. Tune it to the input channel where you have connected the cables.

Step 6

Open the "Display" settings from the Control Panel. Go to the "Devices" tab and activate the video output by selecting the monitor labeled with the number "2."

Step 7

Click the "Apply" button. You will now see your computer screen displayed on the TV.

Step 8

Open your Internet browser and visit netflix.com.

Step 9

Log in to your account and click on the "Watch Instantly" tab.

Step 10

Find a movie or TV show you want to watch and open it.

Step 11

Drag the browser window on to the second desktop and click the "Play" button. Your Netflix video will begin playing on the TV once it has loaded.

DVI/VGA output (Better Quality)

Step 1

Plug one end of a DVI or VGA monitor cable into the "Monitor Out" port on your computer's video card. Some video cards have two monitor outputs, but if you only have one, you will have to unplug your computer monitor.

Step 2

Connect the red and white color-coded RCA audio cables to the RCA audio to 3.5mm mini-stereo converter.

Step 3

Plug the mini-stereo adapter into the "Audio Out" or "Speakers" port on your computer's sound card. You can also plug this into the headphone jack of your computer speakers.

Step 4

Connect the opposite end of the DVI or VGA cable to the proper input port on your TV.

Step 5

Plug the RCA audio cables into the same input channel as the DVI or VGA cable.

Step 6

Turn on your TV and tune it to the input channel. You will now see your computer screen on the TV.

Step 7

Open your Internet browser and visit netflix.com.

Step 8

Log in to your account and click the "Watch Instantly" tab.

Step 9

Find the movie or TV show you want to watch and click the blue "Play" button under its poster. It will begin playing on your television.

HDMI (Best Quality)

Step 1

Connect an HDMI cable into the "HDMI Out" port on your computer's video card. This type of connection will only work with high-definition televisions (HDTVs).

Step 2

Plug the opposite end of the HDMI cable to your TV.

Step 3

Turn on your TV.

Step 4

Tune the TV to the proper HDMI input channel; your computer should be displayed on the television. This format does not require a separate audio cable. If you are not receiving video or audio on your television, you may need to activate the HDMI output on your sound card or video card.