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

By Chris Chamberlin, April 15 2018
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 the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2015

Total posts 593

Some hotels have the TVs so close to the wall that you can't access the hdmi or vga ports.

Eli
Eli

30 Jul 2015

Total posts 91

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.

Eli
Eli

30 Jul 2015

Total posts 91

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!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1388

Even easier travel with a Chromecast and small wifi router 


Just don't forget it

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Dec 2014

Total posts 55

Thanks Chris. I do this with my iPad often, and I agree - some hotels make it much easier than others!

29 Jan 2016

Total posts 22

As a matter of interest how do you use the ipad? What cables etc do you use to connect to the TV?

WBT
WBT

04 Aug 2017

Total posts 1

there is a lighting to hdmi digitial AV adaptor you can get for about $60...best purchase we have ever made for travelling!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Dec 2014

Total posts 55

I use an Apple Lightning Digital AV Adaptor ($75 from Apple) and an HDMI cable. Works really well. 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Nov 2011

Total posts 130

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.

27 Feb 2017

Total posts 4

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

13 Feb 2017

Total posts 21

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

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 May 2012

Total posts 582

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.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Feb 2015

Total posts 106

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

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

05 Sep 2016

Total posts 13

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.

Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Aug 2015

Total posts 2

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.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1388

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


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Aug 2014

Total posts 108

Samsung phones and samsung tv's already have wireless screen sharing built in. Again though you'll need the remote.


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