How to Connect Netflix to TV - Best System to Stream Netflix on TV with

As hopefully you know by know, Netflix has the ability to be watched on your television set at home, not simply on your computer or cell phone.

A lot of people ask what the best device to  stream movies and TV shows on sets at home. Our recommendation is that people use the Nintendo Wii to do so. Our reasoning for this is that, along with being the cheapest of the Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation 3, and Nintendo Wii trio, there are also some other aspects that we specifically like.


Xbox 360's internet service "Xbox Live" is a great community for multi-player games, but outside of the games, the only really attractive aspect of the service is that Netflix subscribers can simultaneously stream TV shows and movies together in a "party." This is a cool thing to do if you have friends who also subscribe to Xbox Live, but there aren't an incredible amount out there (outside of younger demographics).

Also, Xbox Live requires a rather hefty fee to use (although you can probably work to find it as low as $50 a year). Nonetheless, we find this to be an unattractive attribute considering we're simply talking about using the Netflix Watch Instant streaming service.

We specifically like the Nintendo Wii because every generation of the Nintendo Wii has a wireless WiFi capability. I have an older version of the Xbox 360 at my place, and it can be kind of difficult having to always deal with an Ethernet cord somewhere in the room, curving and curling around corners to reach our router.

Also, Nintendo Wii (like the others) does not require a disc to stream anymore. This makes it even easier to use. And, when selecting, you can sit and use the Nintendo controller just as if you would any remote. We really do like the fact that the controller is really intuitive as a "Netflix remote."

Overall, throughout our experience, we enjoyed using the Nintendo Wii for Netflix, and recommend it as the best console or best system for connecting Netflix to your television set. We believe you're not truly getting the most out of your Netflix subscription unless you're watching something on your home TV!

Edit: Check out the comments section of this blog post for a lot of useful information from our readers!

12 comments:

Scoobie said...

As someone who owns a Wii and the PS3, I only use the streaming service on the PS3. I also have a HDTV, so this is a given for the quality, especially since the Wii doesn't broadcast in HD. It's nice to have the Wii Netflix as a backup, but the HD quality of the PS3 means that it doesn't get much use.

Taylor said...

Thanks for the reply, Scoobie! We've been spoiled without our Wii, because we purchased a Wii HD output awhile back. We hadn't even thought that some people still are only seeing SD!

Dani in NC said...

Even though we have a Wii and the kids use it for accessing the Netflix queue in the den, I still think that the Roku box is a great option for older people who have no desire to own a game console. We bought an SD version for $100 before the Wii had Netflix capability, but now you can get an HD one for $80. With Hulu Plus coming to the box in 2011, I'm seriously thinking about giving up my cable TV subscription.

Josh said...

@Taylor, Wii can't output to HD, only DVD quality 480p.

@Dani I bought the first version of Roku awhile back and it did both SD and HD. Check the back for HDMI.

Anonymous said...

PS3 is definitely the best as its the only one at this point that does 1080p. Wii works pretty well though.

brenden77 said...

Strangely absent is any comment on how it performs on PS3. My guess is the writer doesn't own one. If this is the case then this blog is a complete farce since the writer doesn't even bother to have the best Netflix experience possible.

Taylor said...

Ya caught me, I don't have a PS3! Nor do I have a Roku. I didn't say anything bad about either of these two methods though!

Anonymous said...

About your Ethernet cable: could you string it somehow from the ceiling? No tripping hazard that way.

Phoenixfury said...

I use Netflix on both my Apple TV and my Wii. While the picture does look better on the Apple TV, the Wii looks slightly blurred which in actuality is perfect for older television shows from the 80's like The A-Team. Show's like that look terrible on high definition sets with players that can show all the flaws you were never meant to see. Old tube televisions hid those flaws well and the Wii is best suited for keeping those flaws hidden on an HD set. I know this bit of advice may sound like a knock against the Wii. I'm telling you guys, if you watch older shows from the 80's or 90's, the Wii is the better bet for this application.

Taylor said...

Thanks for the comment Phoenixfury, what TV shows do you recommend?

Anonymous said...

Definitely can't recommend the Wii unless you're only using it on an old 4:3 tube TV. Price wise the Wii is still a $200+ option, for another $100 or so you can get a PS3 which will output in true HD, also give you a BluRay player and there is no annual fee required for PSN access.

Another option is the new AppleTV which is 720p and has native Netflix support built in, it is also one of the lower priced options at $99 for the hardware, however it is HDTV only since it only outputs HDMI.

Anyway, I've looked at Netflix on a Wii console and I was not overly impressed with the picture quality, indeed Netflix likely sends lower bitrate video to that console since it doesn't have much power to begin with.

Best bang for buck is AppleTV, otherwise a PS3 would be best if you seek a BluRay player anyway, and as an added bonus you can play games on it :)

DOuG pRATt said...

I think the Wii works great with Netflix, and with a component video adapter it supports 480 16:9. I seriously doubt that Netflix tailors data rates based on the model of player.

Apple TV makes sense those who are already into iTunes. I have no interest in iTunes, and for me Roku is the best all-around platform.

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