Ask LH: How Can I Watch My Google Play Movies On My TV?

Ask LH: How Can I Watch My Google Play Movies On My TV?

Dear Lifehacker, I like Google Play, I get all my music, apps, docs, mails, news, books, all sorts of things through there, and after reading your article on Game of Thrones, I am considering looking into the movie/video side of things. My biggest issue is that my Google Play interactions are largely from my smartphone. What methods are there to watch my newly acquired HD movies on a TV screen? Thanks, Google Player

Dear GP,

It’s good to hear that you’re looking into legal ways of consuming media content, and one of the best things about using services like Google Play Movies is that there are so many easy ways to watch it on your TV. There are a number of different devices that will connect directly to Google Play, but first let’s start with the option that’s going to work with the most devices: Chromecast.

Google’s Chromecast, in case you haven’t heard of it, is a tiny dongle that allows you to stream content via WiFi through compatible apps on your smartphone. They retail for around $40 in Australia and setup is ridiculously simple — just plug it in, connect it to the WiFi network that your phone is using and away you go! To watch your Google Play content through Chromecast, open the “Play Movies” app on your phone, navigate through to the content you want to watch and then press the Chromecast icon (it looks like a screen with WiFi bars in the bottom corner).

If you have an Xbox One, PS3 or a PS4, you can also potentially watch your Google Play movies through your console. While I haven’t been able to test it myself, apparently you can access your Google Play library through the YouTube app on either of these consoles.

LG Smart TVs also support a standalone Google Movies app — obviously not worth replacing your whole TV for, but useful to know if you happen to own one.

The last option is pretty low-tech, but it’ll work in a pinch. Just load up your movie or TV show in Google Chrome on a laptop and connect it to your TV via HDMI cable. Easy!

Cheers Lifehacker

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  • A big +1 for Chromecast. Couldn’t be simpler to use, even for a non techie (like me).

  • A big +1 for Chromecast. Couldn’t be simpler to use, even for a non techie (like me).

  • HD content will not be played through YouTube app on PS4, nor via the PC.

    See for the finer print.

    “If you’re watching on a non-Chrome browser, the ability to play in HD will depend on studio licensing agreements and will vary across videos.” – In my case, zero videos were available in HD on anything other than Chromecast.

  • Thank you for this article. It was really helpful! I can confirm that on a PS3 you can watch your Google Play content with the YouTube app (I would never have guessed this on my own). It is even integrated with the YouTube app on Android, so that if you are logged in on your phone and connected to the same wifi as the PS3, then you are automatically logged in on the PS3 as well (if you allow it), and the phone then works as a remote control. It was surprisingly smooth. I am super happy! 😀

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