It’s always great to get together with friends or family and hunker down on the couch to watch a movie or binge the latest must-see-TV.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to get everyone in the same room together. Luckily, there are a number of services that allow you to enjoy your favorite online content like Netflix and YouTube in sync, no matter where you are. So whether you’re in a long-distance relationship, moved away from home or want to stay connected with friends around the globe, you’ll definitely want to check out this list.
First in our list, and without doubt one of the best. You’ll find plenty of shared streaming rooms in this guide, but &chill has a few unique features that really make it stand out. The fact that you can queue up multiple videos makes it a real winner, as you and you friends can create an entire playlist to watch the evening away.
Another nice touch is the cinema-style presentation, where you can actually pick a seat as you would in the cinema and watch the video from an angle based on where you’re seated!
The one downside is that it’s restricted to YouTube for now, but if you have everything you need there then this is one of the best ways to watch it.
The Chrome extension Scener is not only a great way to host watch parties across all the biggest platforms – it’s a whole social community. You can watch videos and movies from Netflix, HBO Max, YouTube, Funimation, Vimeo and Alamo, setting up a chat room and lobby through a neat interface.
It not only has text chat, but video too, so you can see all your friends’ faces in the right-hand pane.
Then there’s the community aspect, where you can join scheduled public watch parties of various movies selected by the community. Here you’ll be able to enjoy the film with strangers (kind of like at the cinema) while still being able to chat via text – very cheeky!
3. YouTube Sync
If you’re sticking with YouTube for your watch party, then you might not even have to download an app at all. YouTube Sync is a brilliant idea, embedding any YouTube video of your choice into a dedicated lobby that you can invite friends into.
The videos remain embedded in YouTube, so it’s all legally above-board. Once you pasted the link into the box on the site and created a lobby, just share the URL to the lobby with your friends, and you’ll all be watching the same video at the same time. Brilliant!
Parsec’s main function isn’t to watch movies – it’s to stream entire games to your friends so that you can play couch co-op games online. It’s a really good service, and because it’s focused around gaming, it’s tailored towards minimal latency.
That means Parsec doubles as a great way to watch movies with your friends online. Because Parsec streams your entire desktop, you can just open whatever streaming service you like (or load up movies from your media server) and jump right in.
What’s really neat here is that you can have a combined movies-and-gaming night within a single app. A great all-in-one package that runs on Windows, Mac and Android.
Everyone’s talking about this video-conferencing app at the moment. It offers a quick and easy way to set up meetings full of people, which you can access through the app or through a URL on your browser.
Zoom comes with a whole bunch of excellent features, but one of the best is screen sharing, which lets you share whatever’s happening on your screen, including whatever movie or TV show you may be watching.