How to access movies through your TV
We’ve come a long way since the days terrestrial television!
Most people delight in the huge range of films that are now available at the press of a button.
However, the sheer number of ways to access them can be bewildering. Especially when we all know the best way to watch a film is with friends and family huddled around the TV with some snacks.
Connecting your laptop to your television
You can very easily connect a laptop to your TV screen using a simple, affordable cable. This is called mirroring.
This allows you to search for your favourite film using online services such as Google Play, Blinkbox, Amazon, YouTube or even the on demand service from the Reader's Digest Shop. These sites have an enormous range of films to rent or save to your computer to watch whenever you like.
Many of these online services charge per film rather than a subscription. If a movie is an occasional treat rather than a regular event, this option is for you.
If you’ve bought a TV recently it probably has 'smart features'. Smart TVs can connect to the internet and many come with access to Netflix, Amazon and Google Play built in, giving you instant access to a variety of movies and series.
Subscriptions to these services are inexpensive and you can watch as much as you like, making this an excellent option for bona fide movie buffs.
Set-top boxes and USB devices
In the age of digital TV, you’re probably already familiar with the set-top box. These have come a long way since the days of the analogue switch-off, however, and there is now an option to suit every usage and budget.
The two biggest names in technology both offer their own devices, with Apple TV and Google Chromecast granting instant access to a huge range of movies and TV content. If you like a simple menu and a choice of channels, these may be just the ticket, but there are numerous other brands out there too, so it is worth having a look around.
Numerous online shops now offer the choice between a download and a physical copy (either a DVD or Blu-ray).
Once you download a film to your computer you can either watch the film on your television via a cable, using wireless mirroring technology (see below), or by copying it onto a USB and simply plugging it into your smart TV.
Smart TVs and wireless mirroring
Many smart TVs and set-top boxes facilitate wireless mirroring. This is when your television screen mirrors what is on your laptop screen without the need for any cables.
It is also possible to do this from your phone or tablet. Apple TV offers something called 'airplay' between all apple products, which is built into all recent devices.
Google have introduced a small gadget called Chromecast, which resembles a USB stick, similarly this allows you to stream from remote devices.
Some smart televisions require that you download and install software to your laptop, tablet or phone, in order to stream instantly.
Cable and satellite
Many people still prefer the simplicity and familiarity of cable and satellite TV. These services are now better than ever before, allowing you to search for films, build a library of your favourites and even auto-record films to watch later.
One of the advantages of cable TV is that in the event of your internet going down or working at a slow pace, you’re not left without entertainment. You also access services using a remote control, so you won’t end up with a huge clutter of devices!