With current situations forcing people around the globe to practice social distancing and stay at home more, we're all beginning to yearn for a visit from our close friends and relatives. As birthday parties, happy hours, game nights and movie nights transition to digital, long-distance events, you've probably found yourself wondering how to have a Netflix party without trying to manually sync up playback across some convoluted video call. Look no further, here's how it's done!
Teleparty (formerly called Netflix Party) is a Chrome extension that allows you to still enjoy movie nights with your friends and family using Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, or Hulu even while you're miles apart, and it's free to use. The Chrome extension synchronizes video playback of the movie or show you've selected so that you and your friends can all watch in real-time and discuss what's going on in the chatroom on the right side of the screen. Everyone joins a Teleparty session through the link you share. At this time, the extension is only available for the Google Chrome browser on desktop and laptop computers, so you won't be able to watch on your big screen the way you can with Disney+ GroupWatch.
Starting and running a Teleparty is quick and easy, but you should probably do it once by yourself just to get the process down before you try to do it during a socially distant gathering. Here's how to throw a Netflix party, or a Hulu party, or a Disney+ party.
How to host a Teleparty
- Install the Teleparty Chrome Extension in Google Chrome on your laptop or desktop.
- Open a video player in one of Teleparty's supported services: Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, or HBO Max.
- If you don't see TP, tap the puzzle piece to open the Extensions menu.
- Tap the Only I have control checkbox if you want to be the only one that can pause or rewind the video.
- Tap Start the party.
- Tap Copy URL.
- Share the Teleparty URL with your friends to let them join the party and get in on the fun.
- Whenever your Teleparty is over, tap the TP Teleparty logo.
- Tap Disconnect.
How to join and customize your chat avatar with Teleparty
- Open the Teleparty URL the host shared with you in Google Chrome.
- You'll be automatically redirected to the video service being used for the video to log in if you're not logged into Netflix/Disney+/Hulu/HBO.
- Wait about five seconds. This will give the extension time to pull up and load the proper video and the Teleparty session.
- Tap the avatar icon in the top right corner.
- Type in your Nickname so that everyone knows who you are.
- Tap the profile picture.
- Tap the Character you prefer.
- Tap Save Changes.
You can type comments into the chat bar on the right side of the page, with the video set on the left. To hide the chat and watch fullscreen, tap the TP logo and toggle chat off. To leave the Teleparty, tap the TP logo and then Disconnect.
This Google Chrome extension syncs up video playback on Netflix and a handful of other video services for you and your friends so you can all watch together while you're stuck inside and staying socially distant.
Services that work with Teleparty
Netflix (opens in new tab) (From $9 a month at Netflix)
While the streaming space is more crowded and competitive than ever, Netflix is still king of the mountain. It was the only service Teleparty supported when it originally launched as Netflix Party.
Disney+ (opens in new tab) (From $7 a month at Disney+)
From DCOMs to National Geographic, from Marvel to Star Wars to Pixar and beyond, Disney+ delivers a streaming service for all ages, complete with Hamilton and coming hits like Raya and the Last Dragon.
Hulu (From $6 a month at Hulu)
Only ad-supported and ad-free Hulu content is compatible with Teleparty — after all, live TV content doesn't need to be synced because it's already live.
HBO Max (opens in new tab) (From $12 a month at HBO)
HBO Max offers up some of the hottest films like Wonder Woman 1984 as well as a great and ever-growing catalog of HBO, Warner Brothers, and DC Comics films and shows.
Ara Wagoner was a staff writer at Android Central. She themes phones and pokes YouTube Music with a stick. When she's not writing about cases, Chromebooks, or customization, she's wandering around Walt Disney World. If you see her without headphones, RUN. You can follow her on Twitter at @arawagco.
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