Arguments about what to watch on TV are part and parcel of Christmas. But streaming devices and Smart TVs deliver the best of the web – Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime – straight to your TV.
There are even options to watch channels like Sky Movies and Sky Atlantic without a contract, making it much easier to keep the peace on the sofa. Read on for your options…
1. Smart TV
In a nutshell: Get the best of Netflix and catch-up telly on your TV without a separate device.
Most of our latest TVs are 'smart', which means they can connect to your home Wi-Fi. You can stream Amazon Prime and Netflix to your telly without buying a separate set-top box.
You can also watch catch-up TV channels like BBC iPlayer, All 4 and the ITV Hub on your TV without any addition tech.
When it comes to buying a new TV, 4K models are becoming the norm – giving you up to 4 times the detail of Full HD. And Netflix and Amazon stream in 4K. All you need is the correct subscription package and a new 4K TV to get started.
How to stream through your Smart TV
- Connect the TV to your Wi-Fi network (using the instructions in the device’s manual)
- Use the TV’s interface to download the apps you want to use, like Netflix or BBC iPlayer
- Log in to your account with your streaming service of choice
2. Streaming box
In a nutshell: Traditional set-top box option for breathing new life into your TV – whether adding Sky channels or Netflix streaming
Don’t have a Smart TV? You can still stream to your regular telly using a set-top box – provided you have broadband. Smart TV boxes include Now TV, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire TV. Even if your TV is already smart, there’s more you can bring to it with a streaming box like Now TV.
NOW TV – for Sky channels and catch-up TV
NOW TV comes in different options, but each one gives you more channels and TV services without having to sign any contract. You can watch Sky without singing up, all you need is a NOW TV box and the relevant Sky Pass, which you can buy bundled with the box.
Watch the most-talked about dramas on Sky Atlantic – from Game of Thrones to Tin Star - and classic repeats of Only Fools and Horses on Gold with the NOW TV box and Entertainment bundle. Fill those long days between Christmas and New Year with a marathon of latest and classic Sky Movies with the NOW TV box and Movies bundle. You can watch on your smartphone or iPad too with a NOW TV pass.
With all NOW TV boxes you can enjoy over 60 Freeview channels, and catch-up TV like BBC iPlayer and All4 – there’s no Netflix or Amazon Prime though.
For Netflix and Amazon Prime – Amazon Fire TV
Whether it’s Stranger Things or Riverdale, if you want to watch the most talked-about shows on Netflix and Amazon Prime an Amazon Fire box is perfect. Catch-up TV from iPlayer, All4 and ITV Hub is also available.
If you have recently bought a TV it may well be a 4K UHD model. The Amazon Fire TV box supports 4K streaming as well as regular content – perfect when you’re watching Netflix and Amazon Prime.
3. Streaming stick
In a nutshell: Easiest, and most affordable, way to make your regular TV Netflix ready
Streaming doesn’t get simpler. Plug one of these small sticks into the back of your TV and you’ll be watching Netflix in no time.
The Google Chromecast is a popular option. Your phone or tablet acts as a remote. Simply find what you want to watch, and hit the 'cast' button to send it to your telly. Apps include Netflix, Google Play, iPlayer and NOW TV.
Another popular option is Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Remote, which comes with a separate remote control as well as working with a smartphone app.
Buffering is annoying when streaming - but clever tech gives you instant streaming. channels include Amazon Prime, Netflix, iPlayer and other catch-up TV services.
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