Monday, December 6, 2021

9 best ways to watch movies together on Netflix, Disney, Hulu and more

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This article originally appeared on www.polygon.com

As 2021’s year-end holiday season kicks off with Halloween, you may be craving the experience of gathering around a glowing screen with friends or family to watch a scary movie or festive TV show. But if you can’t see them in person, or they’re simply too far away, don’t worry. We live in an internet age full of options for almost every streaming platform available.

Once upon a time, the go-to movie-night-with-remote-friends option was Rabb.it, a video streaming website which let users either broadcast their own screens for others, or use the built-in virtual browser to log into one account. The service has since gone to the great internet beyond (press F to pay respects), but thankfully, successors to Rabb.it’s legacy exist — though with varying strengths and weaknesses, since none of them have that service’s exact screenshare technique. As more officially sanctioned watch-party options roll out, there really isn’t one that can do it all, but here are your options:


Teleparty: The app formerly known as Netflix Party

What does it support? Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, and HBO

Does everyone need to have their own accounts? Yes

How do I use it? Formerly known as Netflix Party, the Chrome extension recently expanded to include Disney Plus, Hulu, and HBO. Now, Teleparty lets you stream Muppet Haunted Mansion, or whatever else your Halloween party requires. After installing the Chrome extension, navigate to the streaming service of your choice and click on the extension in the corner. This will start a room, and from there, you send the link out. Teleparty supports a group-chat feature, though it doesn’t come with video. You can even pick your own little avatars. The capacity depends on the current status of the servers (so expect some limits during holiday season), but in ideal cases, you can fit up to a thousand people in this bad boy, if you even know that many people. Teleparty is available in every country Netflix is available in. However, before watching with international friends, be sure to check whether the title you’re watching is available in their countries.

Screen Shot 2020 03 18 at 11.09.23 AM

Image: Netflix Party

What does it support? Hulu — but only the Hulu (No Ads) and Hulu (No Ads) + Live TV tiers

Does everyone need to have their own Hulu accounts? Yes, and not only that, they all need to have the Hulu (No Ads) or Hulu (No Ads) + Live TV tiers

the hulu UX, showing the option for watch party

Image: Hulu

How do I use it? Hulu Watch Party is integrated right into Hulu, and can be activated by a little icon located on the details page of a title, towards the bottom of the screen. From there, click “Start Watching” and share the link using the chain icon. Not all titles have this option, but according to Hulu “thousands of on-demand movies and shows” are available. Titles not supported by Hulu Watch Party include live television and premium add-ons, like stuff from Starz. Up to eight people can watch Hulu together using Watch Party.

GroupWatch: The Official Disney Plus Choice

What does it support? Disney Plus

Does everyone need to have their own Disney Plus accounts? Yes

the disney plus groupwatch feature

Image: Disney Plus

How do I use it? GroupWatch is part of the Disney Plus experience. Navigate to a title on Disney Plus and click the little GroupWatch icon, right next to the Star Watching button towards the lower portion of the screen. TThe next screen will prompt you to send out the invite link to up to six other people. Unlike the other options, GroupWatch does not have a chat feature. Instead, you use little emojis to react to key moments. Another downfall to GroupWatch is that it’s designed for users within the same country, and can’t be used internationally.

What does it support? Prime Video

Does everyone need to have their own streaming accounts? Yes

the prime video UI, featuring the group watch icon

Image: Amazon

How do I use it? Much like the other official options, this one is built right into the title itself. Navigate to a title on Prime Video and click the Watch Party icon, towards the bottom of the screen to the right of the Watch Now button. Enter your name and send out the invite link. The chatroom is on the side. You’ll also be able to watch on your Fire TV and chat on mobile by scanning a QR code, if you prefer that.

Kast: Experience the Vast Realm of Tubi

What does it support? Tubi and YouTube, though a premium account will allow you to screen share and give you access to Kast’s own library.

Does everyone need to have their own streaming accounts? No, but you’ll need to make a free account for Kast.

a screenshot of Kast, featuring Mr. and Mrs. Smith

Image: Kast

How do I use it? For whatever reason, various Rabb.it Chrome extensions are still up, but the links redirect to Kast. It’s not exactly the same, but Kast is pretty robust, even if the selection is limited to YouTube and Tubi on the basic plan. Simply make an account, launch a party, and browse the selection. You can then send invite links out. Kast also allows for video chatting and text-based messaging.

Scener: be the host you wish to see in the world

What does it support? Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus, HBO Max, YouTube, Vimeo, Shudder, Alamo, Showtime, Hotstar, Hulu (ad-free), Funimation (ad-free)

Does everyone need to have their own streaming platform accounts? Yes

a screenshot of scener

Image: Scener

How do I use it? The bonus of Scener is that in addition to cozy private parties of up to 10 people, you can also use it for larger public viewings of up to a million — perfect if you want to try hosting Rocky Horror or Cats or any other movie that really benefits from a large participatory audience of loyal followers. Be the Elvira you’ve always dreamed of being!

To start a Scener room, you need to make your own account and download the Chrome extension. From there, navigate to the home page, where you’ll be prompted to create a public or private room. You can also schedule an event in advance.

What does it support? YouTube, Vimeo, and Twitch

Does everyone need to have their own streaming platform accounts? No, but mostly because it doesn’t really support streaming platforms.

Screen Shot 2020 03 18 at 11.32.19 AM

Image: Petrana Radulovic/Watch2Gether

How do I use it? If you want to listen to the next episode of your favorite podcast with friends, jam out to the same music, or just browse the same wikipedia holes together, Watch2Gether is for you. This one doesn’t require any fancy Chrome extensions (probably because it is the most limited in scope), but it works well for simple sharing. Just start up a room, load up a link, and share the room using the people icon on the bottom of the screen. The chat option is on the bottom right. You can also enable your camera for some live reactions.

TwoSeven: Filling out the Teleparty gaps

What does it support? YouTube, Netflix, Amazon, HBO Max, Vimeo, Apple TV, Crunchyroll, uploaded video (Hulu and Disney Plus with Patreon options)

Does everyone need to have their own streaming platform accounts? Yes

Screen Shot 2020 03 18 at 10.30.50 AM

Image: TwoSeven

How do I use it? Teleparty doesn’t cover every single streaming service out there, but TwoSeven picks up some of the big gaps like Crunchyroll.

To view anything where you need to log into an account (, you have to install an extension. You’ll also have to manually go into the Chrome extension’s settings to get it to work with Netflix specifically. Once that’s installed, you’ll be able to play your desired content right in the TwoSeven browser. Another perk of TwoSeven is that you can also upload files of movies that you’d like to watch; time to relive your high school iMovie files, like that music videos you made for a microeconomics class, about the Four Principles. (Not that I have one of those floating around or anything.) The best bonus of TwoSeven is that in addition to regular chat, it supports video and audio, so if you want to see a friendly face, it’s perfect.

Metastream: for a shared queue experience

What does it support? Youtube, Netflix, Hulu, Crunchyroll, SoundCloud, Twitch, Reddit, and Google (?)

Does everyone need to have their own streaming platform accounts? Yes

How do I use it? This one’s especially good for the timeless party activity of loading up YouTube and watching old music videos and Vine compilations. Once the Chrome Extension (or Firefox) is installed, navigate to the Metastream window and add the media you want by clicking on the sidebar. It’s a little wonky for Netflix, which will pop up in a separate window, but everything else can be added by copying and pasting a link. If you’re having issues with Hulu or Crunchyroll, you’ll have to adjust some Chrome extension settings. (Details are in the Metastream FAQ.) A cool feature of Metastream is that you can queue up media, which really brings the whole “watching old internet videos together” experience to life.

Once you start up a session, click the invite icon to get a sharing link. From there, add media with the “add media” button at the center (or to the side if something is already playing). There is a chat, but no support for audio or video.

This article originally appeared on www.polygon.com

As 2021’s year-end holiday season kicks off with Halloween, you may be craving the experience of gathering around a glowing screen with friends or family to watch a scary movie or festive TV show. But if you can’t see them in person, or they’re simply too far away, don’t worry. We live in an internet age full of options for almost every streaming platform available.

Once upon a time, the go-to movie-night-with-remote-friends option was Rabb.it, a video streaming website which let users either broadcast their own screens for others, or use the built-in virtual browser to log into one account. The service has since gone to the great internet beyond (press F to pay respects), but thankfully, successors to Rabb.it’s legacy exist — though with varying strengths and weaknesses, since none of them have that service’s exact screenshare technique. As more officially sanctioned watch-party options roll out, there really isn’t one that can do it all, but here are your options:


Teleparty: The app formerly known as Netflix Party

What does it support? Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, and HBO

Does everyone need to have their own accounts? Yes

How do I use it? Formerly known as Netflix Party, the Chrome extension recently expanded to include Disney Plus, Hulu, and HBO. Now, Teleparty lets you stream Muppet Haunted Mansion, or whatever else your Halloween party requires. After installing the Chrome extension, navigate to the streaming service of your choice and click on the extension in the corner. This will start a room, and from there, you send the link out. Teleparty supports a group-chat feature, though it doesn’t come with video. You can even pick your own little avatars. The capacity depends on the current status of the servers (so expect some limits during holiday season), but in ideal cases, you can fit up to a thousand people in this bad boy, if you even know that many people. Teleparty is available in every country Netflix is available in. However, before watching with international friends, be sure to check whether the title you’re watching is available in their countries.

Screen Shot 2020 03 18 at 11.09.23 AM

Image: Netflix Party

What does it support? Hulu — but only the Hulu (No Ads) and Hulu (No Ads) + Live TV tiers

Does everyone need to have their own Hulu accounts? Yes, and not only that, they all need to have the Hulu (No Ads) or Hulu (No Ads) + Live TV tiers

the hulu UX, showing the option for watch party

Image: Hulu

How do I use it? Hulu Watch Party is integrated right into Hulu, and can be activated by a little icon located on the details page of a title, towards the bottom of the screen. From there, click “Start Watching” and share the link using the chain icon. Not all titles have this option, but according to Hulu “thousands of on-demand movies and shows” are available. Titles not supported by Hulu Watch Party include live television and premium add-ons, like stuff from Starz. Up to eight people can watch Hulu together using Watch Party.

GroupWatch: The Official Disney Plus Choice

What does it support? Disney Plus

Does everyone need to have their own Disney Plus accounts? Yes

the disney plus groupwatch feature

Image: Disney Plus

How do I use it? GroupWatch is part of the Disney Plus experience. Navigate to a title on Disney Plus and click the little GroupWatch icon, right next to the Star Watching button towards the lower portion of the screen. TThe next screen will prompt you to send out the invite link to up to six other people. Unlike the other options, GroupWatch does not have a chat feature. Instead, you use little emojis to react to key moments. Another downfall to GroupWatch is that it’s designed for users within the same country, and can’t be used internationally.

What does it support? Prime Video

Does everyone need to have their own streaming accounts? Yes

the prime video UI, featuring the group watch icon

Image: Amazon

How do I use it? Much like the other official options, this one is built right into the title itself. Navigate to a title on Prime Video and click the Watch Party icon, towards the bottom of the screen to the right of the Watch Now button. Enter your name and send out the invite link. The chatroom is on the side. You’ll also be able to watch on your Fire TV and chat on mobile by scanning a QR code, if you prefer that.

Kast: Experience the Vast Realm of Tubi

What does it support? Tubi and YouTube, though a premium account will allow you to screen share and give you access to Kast’s own library.

Does everyone need to have their own streaming accounts? No, but you’ll need to make a free account for Kast.

a screenshot of Kast, featuring Mr. and Mrs. Smith

Image: Kast

How do I use it? For whatever reason, various Rabb.it Chrome extensions are still up, but the links redirect to Kast. It’s not exactly the same, but Kast is pretty robust, even if the selection is limited to YouTube and Tubi on the basic plan. Simply make an account, launch a party, and browse the selection. You can then send invite links out. Kast also allows for video chatting and text-based messaging.

Scener: be the host you wish to see in the world

What does it support? Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus, HBO Max, YouTube, Vimeo, Shudder, Alamo, Showtime, Hotstar, Hulu (ad-free), Funimation (ad-free)

Does everyone need to have their own streaming platform accounts? Yes

a screenshot of scener

Image: Scener

How do I use it? The bonus of Scener is that in addition to cozy private parties of up to 10 people, you can also use it for larger public viewings of up to a million — perfect if you want to try hosting Rocky Horror or Cats or any other movie that really benefits from a large participatory audience of loyal followers. Be the Elvira you’ve always dreamed of being!

To start a Scener room, you need to make your own account and download the Chrome extension. From there, navigate to the home page, where you’ll be prompted to create a public or private room. You can also schedule an event in advance.

What does it support? YouTube, Vimeo, and Twitch

Does everyone need to have their own streaming platform accounts? No, but mostly because it doesn’t really support streaming platforms.

Screen Shot 2020 03 18 at 11.32.19 AM

Image: Petrana Radulovic/Watch2Gether

How do I use it? If you want to listen to the next episode of your favorite podcast with friends, jam out to the same music, or just browse the same wikipedia holes together, Watch2Gether is for you. This one doesn’t require any fancy Chrome extensions (probably because it is the most limited in scope), but it works well for simple sharing. Just start up a room, load up a link, and share the room using the people icon on the bottom of the screen. The chat option is on the bottom right. You can also enable your camera for some live reactions.

TwoSeven: Filling out the Teleparty gaps

What does it support? YouTube, Netflix, Amazon, HBO Max, Vimeo, Apple TV, Crunchyroll, uploaded video (Hulu and Disney Plus with Patreon options)

Does everyone need to have their own streaming platform accounts? Yes

Screen Shot 2020 03 18 at 10.30.50 AM

Image: TwoSeven

How do I use it? Teleparty doesn’t cover every single streaming service out there, but TwoSeven picks up some of the big gaps like Crunchyroll.

To view anything where you need to log into an account (, you have to install an extension. You’ll also have to manually go into the Chrome extension’s settings to get it to work with Netflix specifically. Once that’s installed, you’ll be able to play your desired content right in the TwoSeven browser. Another perk of TwoSeven is that you can also upload files of movies that you’d like to watch; time to relive your high school iMovie files, like that music videos you made for a microeconomics class, about the Four Principles. (Not that I have one of those floating around or anything.) The best bonus of TwoSeven is that in addition to regular chat, it supports video and audio, so if you want to see a friendly face, it’s perfect.

Metastream: for a shared queue experience

What does it support? Youtube, Netflix, Hulu, Crunchyroll, SoundCloud, Twitch, Reddit, and Google (?)

Does everyone need to have their own streaming platform accounts? Yes

How do I use it? This one’s especially good for the timeless party activity of loading up YouTube and watching old music videos and Vine compilations. Once the Chrome Extension (or Firefox) is installed, navigate to the Metastream window and add the media you want by clicking on the sidebar. It’s a little wonky for Netflix, which will pop up in a separate window, but everything else can be added by copying and pasting a link. If you’re having issues with Hulu or Crunchyroll, you’ll have to adjust some Chrome extension settings. (Details are in the Metastream FAQ.) A cool feature of Metastream is that you can queue up media, which really brings the whole “watching old internet videos together” experience to life.

Once you start up a session, click the invite icon to get a sharing link. From there, add media with the “add media” button at the center (or to the side if something is already playing). There is a chat, but no support for audio or video.

Source link Author Petrana Radulovic on date 2021-10-28 18:28:24 Polygon is a gaming website in partnership with Vox Media. Their culture focused site covers games, their creators, the fans, trending stories and entertainment news. Follow them for more

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