Looking for a way to hang out with friends and family, when everyone is stuck in their own homes? Movies are a great shared experience that you can indulge in even when you have to abide by social distancing. The problem is that even if you hit play at the same time, the video is usually off, with someone laughing or gasping seconds before you, ruining the experience. That’s where a new Chrome browser extension called Netflix Party can come to the rescue.
With Netflix Party, you can synchronize two or more Netflix accounts so everyone has exactly the same movie or TV show experience. To get started, you and your fellow watchers have to download and install the Netflix Party Chrome extension (you need to download and install Chrome first if you’re not already using it.) You’ll notice that there is now a gray “NP” next to the URL bar. Now you’re ready to start your shared movie experience.
1. Once you have the extension installed, go to Netflix.com.
2. Select a movie or TV show and start playing it.
3. Immediately hit pause.
4. You’ll notice that the “NP” next to the URL bar is now red. Now you can click on the red “NP” to launch netflix party.
5. Choose whether anyone can control playback (starting, pausing, etc.) or click the box “Only I have control.”
6. Then click the box “Start the party.”
7. A box will pop up with the URL for your watch party. There you can also choose whether you want to have a chat window.
8. Copy the URL that pops up in the box and email it to anyone who wants to watch. Each person watching will need their own Netflix account to log into if they are not already.
9. To end the party, click on the red “NP” at any point and select “Disconnect.”
Netflix Party is meant to be used on a computer, not a streaming media player, so you can't just cast it to your Chromecast or you'll lose the party experience. To view a movie on your TV, you can use a cable to hook up your laptop to your TV. Most laptops have a video out port, which you'd use if you were hooking up your laptop to give a presentation. Follow your laptop manufacturer's instructions regarding the type of cable. And when you're hooked up, go into your computer's Display Settings to either replicate or send the video to your TV.
[Image credit: Techlicious screenshot of Netflix Party]