"Is it possible to get Netflix on a HDTV? I'd like to be able to stream shows..."
I am an experienced A/V systems installer, and IT professional business owner for over 10 years. For streaming options most of my clients are absolutely thrilled with the Apple TV option for this purpose. Obviously brand loyalty very often is the main deciding factor as many options and functionalities are comparable with so many electronic products in this day and age, but while working with the Apple TV device i will say that I have experienced very few issues. Ease of use seems to be simple enough even for my most technology challenged clients so I am rarely taking calls or needing to return to my clients' home for additional instruction and/or troubleshooting.
I have also sold and installed blu-ray players for my clients in the past and effectively replaced an old product with a newer one while upgrading them to streaming capabilities simultaneously. A fantastic player that I have repeatedly installed and can give a good personal recommendation to is the Samsung BD-F5700 - Blu-ray Disc Player. This player has built in Wi-Fi as well as pre-installed NetFlix, Vudu, and YouTube apps.
You could use a streaming blu-ray player, a media player or a gaming console. All of those should have Netflix on it. You could also use a VGA cable to hook up your laptop to your tv. If the laptop is newer and has an HDMI port, you could use an HDMI cable and make the TV basically into a monitor to watch Netflix.
Our first streaming "device" was a cheap Dell laptop with a broken screen, an extremely long VGA cable, and a set of $20 USD speakers that plugged into the headphone jack on the laptop. The setup worked great for Hulu and Netflix. I even got a little cheap wireless mouse that served as our "remote ."
We now use the DVD player setup as described above to stream programming on our TV.
Yup! I think the key is just deciding what "else" you are going to try and watch on the TV really that is online, etc. A number of options are available in order to get Netflix...just have to pick the one that is less "remote clicks" to access based on your other preferences.
I think a Wii is your best option for Hulu, Netflix, and video streaming. It supports Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Video, Google Video, Youtube, and the internet (with flash!) and it PLAYS GAMES. You can pick one up for about $100 so for a minor increase over a Roku player you get soooo sooo much more