How to watch Netflix like a boss on (almost) any hotel TV

How to watch Netflix like a boss on (almost) any hotel TV

Already have Netflix at home? Then keep up with your favourite shows on the road by using this handy yet simple hack, which allows you to watch Netflix on almost any hotel TV.

It works like this: with the right HDMI cable, you can attach your laptop or tablet to the hotel television, and can then use the TV just like an extra computer monitor – so when you fire up Netflix on your own device, you’ll see it on the hotel TV, too.

You might already have a suitable cable in your carry-on kit, such as you’d use when giving a presentation: but if not, a standard HDMI-to-HDMI cord will do the trick if your device has a standard HDMI outlet, or a DisplayPort-, Mini DisplayPort- or Lightning-to-HDMI cable could be your solution.

Some hotels make the next step easy. For instance, Shangri-La Sydney provides an easy-to-locate HDMI port on a panel next to the in-room TV...

… and armed with a Microsoft Surface tablet (which requires a Mini DisplayPort-to-HDMI cable), we simply plugged in, and took advantage of an adjacent USB power outlet to keep the battery recharged…

… and voila, Netflix on the hotel TV.

It’s not always this easy: sometimes you’ll need to peer behind or next to the TV for a spare HDMI outlet, and then use the TV controls to bring this up (look for a key labelled ‘input’, ‘HDMI’ or ‘AV’): provided your hotel hasn’t blocked this, which will keep you watching on your smaller screen only.

Naturally, Netflix also requires access to the Internet. Shangri-La WiFi’s was fast enough for us to run Netflix HD without incident, but you could always download the next episodes of your favourite show or a few good movies for ‘offline playback’ before leaving home just to be sure.

The only hard part? Having to get up and wander over to the TV every time you want to select a show, pause your viewing, fast forward or rewind… but if you also travel with a wireless mouse, this can serve as an easy remote control.

Once you’ve found something of interest, just switch the mouse off so that Netflix’s on-screen controls will disappear, and kick back with your movie of choice!

Chris Chamberlin stayed as a guest of the Shangri-La Sydney hotel.

 

26 Comments

  • elchriss0

    elchriss0

    4 Aug, 2017 08:27 am

    Some hotels have the TVs so close to the wall that you can't access the hdmi or vga ports.
    No member give thanks

  • moa999

    moa999

    4 Aug, 2017 09:39 am

    Even easier travel with a Chromecast and small wifi router 

    Just don't forget it
    No member give thanks

  • HonestJohn

    HonestJohn
    Banned

    4 Aug, 2017 10:29 am

    I'm sure most business travellers have better things to be doing than wasting time watching Netflix.
    No member give thanks

  • Dean

    deanr

    4 Aug, 2017 11:20 am

    Speak for yourself! When I'm done with work and meetings for the day, I'm not going to continue working in the evening unless absolutely necessary (that's my time), so if I want to put my feet up and chill with a movie (especially in English if I'm overseas), I will.
    No member give thanks

  • Bert Bartleson

    Bert the Banker
    Banned

    4 Aug, 2017 04:07 pm

    [Deleted by admin]

    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    4 Aug, 2017 05:24 pm

    Bert: Please familiarise yourself with AusBT's comment policy, which ask users to discuss the topic of the article and avoid making comments about other people engaged in that discussion.
    No member give thanks

  • Bert Bartleson

    Bert the Banker
    Banned

    4 Aug, 2017 05:27 pm

    Thanks for the heads up Chris.  I have read through the policy and apologize for not having done so before now. 

    Have a great weekend. 
    No member give thanks

  • CQ

    MEL Traveller

    4 Aug, 2017 11:06 am

    Thanks Chris. I do this with my iPad often, and I agree - some hotels make it much easier than others!
    No member give thanks

  • fiscal

    fiscal

    4 Aug, 2017 03:11 pm

    As a matter of interest how do you use the ipad? What cables etc do you use to connect to the TV?
    No member give thanks

  • WBT

    WBT

    4 Aug, 2017 03:56 pm

    there is a lighting to hdmi digitial AV adaptor you can get for about $60...best purchase we have ever made for travelling!
    No member give thanks

  • CQ

    MEL Traveller

    4 Aug, 2017 07:53 pm

    I use an Apple Lightning Digital AV Adaptor ($75 from Apple) and an HDMI cable. Works really well. 
    No member give thanks

  • rob01

    rob01

    4 Aug, 2017 02:05 pm

    Crown Plaza Changi (love this hotel) has a great system where you can easily plug in to the TV or use airplay in the room. Love it.
    No member give thanks

  • Mark Billam

    billamm

    4 Aug, 2017 03:23 pm

    Erm, why is that a hack? I'd have thought it was obvious.
    No member give thanks

  • Rod Yates

    Rod Yates

    4 Aug, 2017 03:31 pm

    It's simple most of the time, and most hotels I stay in are good to go. Another way to watch Aust TV is to get onto one of the VPNs that trick OZ TV companies into thinking you are still in the Country, I use Witopia, low cost and allows great access to OZ TV
    Member who gave thanks

    WBT

  • Charles Furrows

    OOLflyer

    4 Aug, 2017 03:43 pm

    In many hotels I find the remotes or TV's have been hacked to prevent access to HDMI inputs.
    Member who gave thanks

    jrezek

  • Peter Loh

    PeterLoh

    4 Aug, 2017 03:50 pm

    In my experience most HDMI wall outlets (in the hotel rooms that have them) aren't actually connected to the TV, so it can be a task to plug a cable into the back of wall mounted TVs.
    No member give thanks

  • Bert Bartleson

    Bert the Banker
    Banned

    4 Aug, 2017 03:57 pm

    I must say I agree with Honest John's earlier comment.  It seems to me to be a pretty sad state of affairs to find oneself cooped up in a hotel room whilst away on business.  Next time you are fishing around in your suitcase for an HDMI cable, may you should ask yourself - how has my life come to this? 
    No member give thanks

  • Doubleplatinum

    Doubleplatinum

    6 Aug, 2017 11:33 am

    Spot on Well said
    No member give thanks

  • WBT

    WBT

    4 Aug, 2017 04:00 pm

    Well for some of us its the opportunity to kick back and watch something that is not on the Disney or Nickelodeon channel and rated higher than PG :-) 
    No member give thanks

  • moecat

    moecat

    4 Aug, 2017 04:31 pm

    If you stay at Hilton like I do they lock out the ability to change the channel to an input like HDMI. However if you have a remote control specific to the tv e.g. LG or SONY you can change it with that remote
    I asked to hotel once for a remote and they refused and said its a safety concern...... WT*
    Anyway i just carry a small universal remote and this works on any brand
    No member give thanks

  • HonestJohn

    HonestJohn
    Banned

    4 Aug, 2017 05:14 pm

    Carrying a remote around? Really!? As far as I see it, there are only two reasons you would need to be travelling:
    1. Lifestyle; and
    2. Work.

    I fail to see how using a television in a hotel is conducive to achieving either of those objectives. Clearly you didn't realise it at the time, but the hotel that denied you a remote was doing you a big favour.
    No member give thanks

  • moecat

    moecat

    6 Aug, 2017 09:27 pm

    [Deleted by admin]

    Member who gave thanks

    HonestJohn

  • HonestJohn

    HonestJohn
    Banned

    7 Aug, 2017 08:19 am

    [Deleted by admin]

    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    7 Aug, 2017 09:10 am

    John: Please leave moderation duties to the moderation team.

    All users (including yourself, John) are reminded of AusBT's comment policy, specifically:

    • Focus on the subject of the article and add value to the conversation.
    • Don't attack others for their opinion: if you disagree, then make your case. But stay objective and stick to the topic.

    Note that just because somebody else's opinion differs to yours, does not make that person's own opinion invalid.

    No member give thanks

  • peterh_oz

    peterh_oz

    4 Aug, 2017 11:31 pm

    A phone app such as PC Remote Pro (free, with optional paid upgrade) can give you wireless mouse & keyboard access without the "pillow problem" as shown in your image.  It even has dedicated Netflix controls! It even has a Windows phone version.
    No member give thanks

  • Robbie Anderson

    wozzlegummich

    5 Aug, 2017 09:46 am

    I use an ASUS HDMI dongle and stream Netflix or movies wirelessly to the hotels TV from my phone. Many hotel TV's are smart TV's and already have a wireless receiver built in.
    No member give thanks

Guest

18 Aug, 2017 09:06 am

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