Cheapest option for viewing Netflix on a TV

By IAMTHESTIG
Aug 22, 2013
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  1. I have done a little research on this over time but never really found anything that I thought was a good cheap option. All I want is simple, to have a device play good quality video from Netflix over WiFi on a 720p HDTV. I'm fine with having a HDMI cable going from the device to the TV. I just don't want to spend a lot of money.... I've considered setup boxes like Roku or maybe a tablet. Unfortunately I'm not a huge mobile device fan so I haven't been keeping up on the tech. I'm hoping some of you guys who live in that realm can help me. If I can spend less than $200 I will be happy, but the less cash the better.
  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,275   +280

    I have the WD Tv Live alternative to Roku and love it.

    But if you don't mind pc==>hdmi==>tv then go for that - - sole new investment would be the hdmi cable itself.

    BTW: don't get cheated with labeling differences, ANY hdmi cable will be as good as any other :)
  3. IAMTHESTIG

    IAMTHESTIG TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 384   +34

    The WD TV Live seems like a giood option, thanks for the suggestion.

    I don't have a spare PC to stick out in my living room and I don't want a PC out there anyway.
  4. Blkfx1

    Blkfx1 TechSpot Addict Posts: 879   +170

    The Roku boxes are pretty good as well. I have the Roku 3 in my living room and it's great. Roku has a lot of channels and sub services available to make it a decent cable alternative. I'm not sure how much the WD TV box is going for. However, I do know you can get a Roku box for as little as $50.00.
  5. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,275   +280

    WD TV Live is more expensive, but not only has multiple services beyond Netflix, but can also access
    your PC Shares (Mac, Win & Linux style) to get your Music, Pics & Videos.
    Blkfx1 likes this.
  6. Blkfx1

    Blkfx1 TechSpot Addict Posts: 879   +170

    That's definitely a bonus. I've set up a Plex Server + Roku to do that for my living room.
  7. IAMTHESTIG

    IAMTHESTIG TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 384   +34

    I do have a file server with video and pictures, so it would be nice to have that... I'm leaning toward the WD product right now. Anyone have the new WD "TV Play" that replaced the TV Live?
  8. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,275   +280

    BE ADVISED: WD has multiple media streaming devices (Live, Play, Hub) and while the Play & Hub support DLNA/UPnP™ devices on your home network,
    only WD TV LIVE supports windows shares and access to your PC Music, Pictues, Videos.
  9. IAMTHESTIG

    IAMTHESTIG TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 384   +34

    Good to know.... thanks for the feedback guys.
  10. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 1,131   +171

  11. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 4,576   +76

    Android Tablet from COBY can be connected to HDTV 1080p port
    Laptops from ACER/GATEWAY Dual Core 4/8GB with HDTV 1080p port
    Network Media Players with SMB/PnP (SONY SMP N100/N200)
    Network B-Ray Players
    Wii with Netflix Plugin
    Equiso Smart TV
    Zeki TAB803B Android Streaming Media Box
    All can be played.. Prices on laptops varies even $199-248 laptop do a lot.

    Chromecast is limited unless you change out the ROM in it.
     
  12. IAMTHESTIG

    IAMTHESTIG TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 384   +34

    If I can spend under $100 to accomplish this goal that is what I want to do. All I need it for is so my girlfriend can watch netflix in the living room while I game it up. Right now we are using my gaming PC to watch netflix. I don't want another computer out in my living room.

    The set top box seems the cleanest and cheapest way to go.
  13. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 4,576   +76


    SONY SMP-N200 was $49 to $58 to those were the best to get.
    For you get SONY B-Ray Player with Internet Features they have Netflix cost is under $100
  14. fimbles

    fimbles TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 1,229   +119

    Its also possible you could do this with your mobile phone depending on the make and model.
  15. haze_blaze

    haze_blaze Newcomer, in training

    You may have already selected an option by now... But the cheapest option is the $35 Google Chromecast device. As long as you already have WiFi in your home, you wouldn't need to move your PC or any device into the living room to connect directly to your TV. Simply plug the Chromecast directly into the TV and you can stream Netflix, Hulu, and anything from your Chrome browser tabs directly to your TV.

    Also, if you have a smartphone, and have the Netflix app there, you can control Chromecast from your smartphone. It's really simple. Just go to play.Google.com.
  16. IAMTHESTIG

    IAMTHESTIG TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 384   +34

    Thanks guys... I checked a few other mentions here but still came back to the WD one being the best option for me, mainly because it appears that it will work best connecting to my Windows file server for video, and still play Netflix. it's unfortunate none of these devices are "perfect", they all have some sort of bugs or annoying issues.

    I don't have a smart phone so that is not an option.

    The Chromecast is interesting but I thought it required a host device to obtain the video from. Is it truly a stand-alone device? I do have WiFi so that won't be a problem.


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