You may have heard of Netflix Party during quarantine. Netflix Party helped ease the severe lack of socializing most of us had to deal with during the reality of the coronavirus and the risk of meeting in person. Watching TV and chatting was one of the ways to hang out with friends virtually and safely during the pandemic. Even though many people are going back to in-person gatherings and movie theater screenings, it's still a good way to hang out with friends if you must quarantine or you miss your friends who are hundreds of miles away.
Teleparty (formerly Netflix Party) is still around, but with some updates. Now you can watch Hulu, HBO, Disney Plus, Netlfix and other streaming services with your friends -- perfect for a marathon of movies that aren't on Netflix. Teleparty is a free extension for the Google Chrome browser that lets you start, stop and pause a movie or show so you can watch it at the same time as a group of friends and family.
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There's also a side chat bar where you and your friends can discuss what's going on in the movie, much as you would if you were sitting together on the couch. And you can choose fun user icons that will display in the chat. Read on for how to download, install and use the Teleparty extension to sync your movie-watching with family and friends. And here's more free entertainment to try, as well as tips on how to stay healthy, educated and sane during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Make sure everyone in your group has an account
In order for this to work, everyone you send an invite to will need to have access to the streaming service that you're all going to use to watch the movie or show. If they don't have accounts, some platforms, like Netflix, offer a free 30-day trial for new subscribers. If they're not new subscribers, they can reactivate their account for $9 a month and cancel at any time. You can also share your Netflix account with two to four other family members, depending on which subscription you have. On the other hand, Hulu will allow two people to use the account at one time, but you'll need to upgrade to the Unlimited Screens Add-On if you want to add more than two subscribers.
Download the free Teleparty extension
In addition to having a streaming service account, everyone you're watching with will need to download the Teleparty extension. Here's how.
1. Visit teleparty.com in your Google Chrome browser.
2. Click Get Teleparty for free.
3. You'll be redirected to the Google Chrome web store page to download the extension. Click Add to Chrome.
4. A pop-up box will open. Select Add Extension. You'll now see the Teleparty icon in your browser toolbar.
Start watching movies with friends
Now that you've got the extension downloaded, you can begin watching shows and movies with your friends and family. Here's how to get started.
1. Open a new tab in your Google Chrome browser and log in to Netflix or another streaming service.
2. Find a show or movie you'd like to watch and click on it.
3. You'll now see that the Teleparty icon has changed from gray to red. Click the icon and select Start the party. You'll become the host, meaning you'll be the only person pausing and playing the show, or you can choose to let anyone take control.
4. Copy the URL from the pop-up box and send it to everyone you want to invite to the group.
5. The chat room will appear on the right side of the screen. From there, you'll be able to see when someone joins the party.
6. Now you can laugh, cry and howl with your family and friends, and feel a little less on your own.
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