Netflix Alternatives for Watching TV Shows and Movies

Kimmy Jo By Kimmy Jo - February 15th, 2023
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Netflix has long been the king of streaming services but frequent price increases and their recent password-sharing policy has left some people wondering if it’s time to explore other alternatives. If the new changes have priced you out or if you’re simply looking for another option, we have some great alternatives in mind. There are plenty of other ways to stream TV shows and movies including options that don't require an on-going monthly subscription. You just need the right tech! Let's dive into our top solutions!

Switch to Other Streaming Platforms

Your first option is to simply switch to a new streaming service. There are some fantastic free options available in New Zealand such as TVNZ+ and ThreeNow that let you stream hundreds of movies and TV shows on demand. If you want to further extend your catalogue, Prime Video is another popular option, which at the time this article was written, is just $8 a month. Plus, you can get a free 7-day trial to see if you like what’s on offer first. And of course, there are other streaming services including Neon, Disney+, AppleTV, and more, which at this time, still allow password sharing.

If you’re concerned about missing the convenience of easily streaming these directly to your TV, we’ve got a simple solution for that. Media boxes and streaming sticks are an easy way to turn your regular TV into a Smart TV or make your smart TV even smarter.

Amazon Fire TV Stick

Amazon’s Fire TV Stick has a vast catalogue of local streaming services that don’t come with most TVs (including most Smart TVs). Beyond the usual platforms like Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+ and YouTube, the Fire TV stick also provides quick and convenient access to free streaming services like TVNZ+ and ThreeNow which let you stream hundreds of TV shows and movies for free! It also streams content from other local platforms such as Neon, Sky Sport Now, Spark Sport and more (subscription fees may apply for these ones).

Amazon Fire TV Stick Wi-Fi6
Fire TV Stick 4K Max compatible with next-gen Wi-Fi 6.
Amazon Fire TV Stick HDMI
Plugs directly into an HDMI port.

This means that you don’t have to connect to your laptop with an HDMI cable or painstakingly login via a built-in browser in order to enjoy these alternative streaming services on your TV. Instead, you can enjoy a truly convenient experience with just a few clicks of a remote or a voice command. Despite all of its options, the Amazon Fire TV Stick is one of the most affordable streaming devices available which means it’s only a small initial investment to get set up.

Set Up a Personal Plex Media Server

If you have a whole lot of movies, videos, and audio files on your computer, you might benefit from setting up your own Plex Media Server. This option requires an initial time and monetary investment for some hardware (Plex itself is free), but in the long run, you’ll be set with a streaming server that is all yours with no on-going monthly subscription. You’ll even be able to share your Plex library with your friends and family who can stream your media from wherever they are! In addition to streaming all of your own media files, Plex also allows you to access any major streaming services you’re subscribed to from one place, acting as an awesome central streaming hub for all of your media. For extra features and benefits, you may wish to add a Plex Pass subscription.

Picture of a NAS streaming to a TV
Create your own streaming server that you can share with friends and family.
Picture of a NAS being used for PLEX
Plex can enhance your collection with covers and descriptions sourced from around the web for a Netflix-like experience.

It’s far better than just having a hard drive loaded with files too (though this is a good budget-friendly option for those who don't care a whole lot about the user experience and don't have a lot of files). Once your Plex Media Server is installed and set-up, it will automatically arrange and organise your movies, videos, and media files. It can also enhance your collection of movies, TV shows, and music with related content sourced from the web, such as movie covers, album art, episode descriptions, original air dates, and more. In just a few minutes, your collection can go from being a series of files and folders to a Netflix-like experience that you control. In addition to all of this, Plex also offers free access to a catalogue of movies and TV shows through their own video streaming service which is accessible from your server. 

The Host Device

Plex is super easy-to-use and pretty easy to install, but first, you’ll either need a solid PC or a NAS (our preferred choice) to host your Plex Server, and a fast and reliable internet connection. The perk of running your Plex server on a NAS is that they’re generally engineered to have low power consumption and can run 24/7. Plus, if you want to create a huge media library, you can opt for a 4-bay NAS device like this one that can be populated with up to 54TB of files! 

Keep in mind, in order to run a Plex server off a NAS, it needs to be a brand and model with an x86 CPU and have a CPU fast enough to transcode the type of media you want to watch, on the types of clients you want to watch it on. Below are two of our top recommendations. DiskStation can transcode H.265/H.264 4K videos to 1080p and stream them to high-definition TVs, digital media players, mobile handsets, and computers in the required format, making it easy to watch your multimedia library without having to install a 3rd party player.

The Synology DiskStation DS220+ 2-Bay NAS Server is a really popular option and offers a balance of affordability and high-performance, along with 32TB of drive capacity. If you're looking to create the ultimate Plex Media Server with a large library of 4K movies/shows, the Synology DiskStation DS923+ 4-Bay NAS Server is our top choice with 4 bays that can store over 50TB of media files and data.

Once you’ve got your hardware ready, download and install Plex Media Server from here. You’ll need another device to help you set this up, such as a laptop or PC. If you need some support setting up your server, Plex has a great library of support resources available here and there are some really helpful guides available around the web too. 

Streaming Your Media

To stream your Plex Media Library to your TV, you’ll need a Plex client device to launch it from. This could be your Smart TV (most include a Plex app), a compatible streaming media player (such as Apple TV or Amazon Fire TV), a Chromecast, a console (such as Xbox One X/Series S or Playstation 4/5), or even your PC or laptop.

When you launch the Plex client, you’ll be asked for the same Plex account you created when you installed the server. As long as your Plex server and playback device are on the same home network, it shouldn’t take long for your catalogue shown in the web app to appear on your device. The web app interface is pretty intuitive and finding your way around your media should come fairly easily. Of course, the Plex support library can offer some extra assistance should you need any. This option is best suited to those who are tech-savvy or knows someone who can help if needed, but once it's set up, it's easy-going from there!

Are you using one of these alternatives right now? Let us know what you think of them! We have a great range of other home entertainment solutions for you to consider too - head over to our TV & AV department to check these out.

Written By

Kimmy Jo

Waiting for the day I can download food.

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Just down load kodi from google play and go to kodi web site how to load addons

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