Nostalgic Viral Trick Shows How to Stream Netflix on Your Old TVs

Gone are the days of box-shaped TVs that take up too much space, but for some, it's only just beginning again.

In 2021, shows and series can be watched almost everywhere, from flat screens to phones to even watches. In the 90s and early 2000s however, people only had one choice: a heavy, box-shaped, CRT TV model.

For those who lived their childhood during those years however, the awkward shaped TV can provide a sense of needed nostalgia. Previously plagued with the issue of only being able to watch VHS tapes on those TVs, one user has posted a viral video that shows how you can use your old TVs to stream your favorite modern shows.

The nifty trick allows you to stream services like Netflix on the old TVs using a few easy source tools, as demonstrated by @laurenlukacek on TikTok. The video has amassed over 300,000 views since it was uploaded in just two days, and has impressed nostalgia-seeking viewers.

Admittedly, the quality is far from the HD we're used to these day, but that's equally just as essential for feeling like you're back in 1998.

According to Lukacek, the easiest way is to use a streaming device like a Google Chromecast or Fire Stick. The first issue the old TVs provide is their lack of HDMI ports, into which one plugs devices.

To solve this, all that's needed is an HDMI-to-RCA converter, as most older TVs have RCA plugs. Therefore, plug the streaming device into the converter on the HDMI side, and then plug the TV's RCA cables into it too, making sure to connect them to the correct colors at the back of the TV.

Finally, plug the TV and device into a power outlet and turn them on. Use your cell phone, or similar device, to stream Netflix via the device.

As noted by Lukacek, the TV not only takes you back decades but also prevents the device from being wasted and potentially ending up in a landfill.


Make your old tv play Netflix and save it from the landfill! 📺 #lesswaste #upcycling #oldtv #1993 #vhs #netflixandchill

♬ Money for Nothing - Dire Straits

"I'm so mad, I wish I did this. My family has a TV that's been around as long as I have that still works like a dream, but we ended up getting a new TV," commented one TikTok user.

"We have an OLD wooden encased TV in the garage with the sole purpose of playing Duck Hunt," wrote another.

While others speculated which shows would be best paired with the streaming trick. "The perfect way to watch Stranger Things," noted one user. Another wrote that "this is how Friends is meant to be watched."

Throwback TVs aren't new to TikTok, with the pink Disney Princess TV of many 90s childhoods reviving as a focus point on the social media platform recently. Various videos have simply reminisced on the TV, while one TikTok user even documented purchasing the TV secondhand and viewing all her VHS tapes on it.

In fact, a popular filter was even made on Instagram, allowing users to use the TV as a frame for their videos.

For those left with their old TVs still sitting there in real life however, this handy trick could provide hours of throwback fun.

Newsweek contacted Lauren Lukacek for comment.

Little boy watches TV in 90s
A little boy is photographed holding his "TV Allowance" February 28, 1993 in New York City. A viral video has offered tips on how to stream Netflix on old TVs. Yvonne Hemsey/Getty Images

Editor's Picks

Newsweek cover
  • Newsweek magazine delivered to your door
  • Unlimited access to
  • Ad free experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts
Newsweek cover
  • Unlimited access to
  • Ad free experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts