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.

Chris Chamberlin
Chris Chamberlin is a senior journalist with Australian Business Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!
 

17 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

  • Eli

    Eli

    12 Jan, 2018 12:42 am

    Easy fix. Call the hotel front desk and ask for someone to come attach your cable from laptop to tv. The "handyman" or lady as it was yesterday, will arrive at your room, remove the TV from the wall and attach your cable. I've done this in countless properties on every continent.
    No member give thanks

  • Eli

    Eli

    12 Jan, 2018 12:46 am

    I've been doing this for years. I carry a 15ft cable with me so that I can sit in bed or on the couch and have it reach the tv with ease. Netflix or my own content from the laptop. It's not heavy and allows me to control my entertainment as if I am at home, which makes for a happier traveling life.

    People need to stop saying "like a boss". it sounds ridiculous!
    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

  • 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?
    Member who gave thanks

    Masonic Phantom

  • 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. 
    Member who gave thanks

    Masonic Phantom

  • 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

  • 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
    Members who gave thanks

    WBT, Dexter

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • moa999

    moa999

    7 Jan, 2018 10:56 pm

    Should now add that there is now a corporate Chromecast available that hotels can install (the new West Hotel Sydney, Curio by Hilton has this) which allows you to use your own subscription over Hotel WiFi networks.

    Basically you turn on tv, switch to HDMI, browse to getstreaming.tv on your Apple/Android mobile/tablet, type in a 9-digit code and you are synced


    No member give thanks

  • Dale

    hakkinen5

    15 Apr, 2018 12:04 pm

    Samsung phones and samsung tv's already have wireless screen sharing built in. Again though you'll need the remote.
    No member give thanks

Guest

15 Aug, 2018 11:14 am

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