By Natalie Roe, staff writer
With the shelter-in-place in effect, we are barely able to see our friends. It has temporarily closed down movie theaters, dine-in restaurants and amusement parks, which are common places that teenagers would hang out. While this has caused many of us to resort to video games, crafts and movies to kill boredom, Netflix Party has a way for friends to watch movies and TV shows together, even when they are separated due to quarantine.
Netflix Party is a Google Chrome extension that can be downloaded for free via the extension shop on Google Chrome. While other platforms such as Zoom allow you to also stream Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime Video, it is buggy and out of sync for everyone watching. With Netflix Party, the media is played live and synced for everyone so nobody is left behind. Netflix Party also offers a message screen and call function to chat with your friends while you are watching.
Maria Carrillo High School senior Danielle Philip explained her experience as “pretty good with the extension, although the chat window froze so my friends and I were unable to talk. We ended up FaceTiming which worked fine, but the movie itself was fun.” When asked about the live media playback, Philip responded, “The movie itself played surprisingly well! It was laggy in the beginning when we all got set up, but went smoothly from there.” She explained that everyone being able to pause and watch in sync on all screens was nice so that everyone could react together at the right moment. Despite a few issues, Philip believes that Netflix Party is “a fun app to use especially when we’re all stuck in quarantine.”
In order for you and your friends to watch together, everyone needs to have a Netflix account, but if you do not have one, Netflix offers a 30 day free trial if you have not signed up before on the email you use to register. Netflix trial accounts are compatible with Netflix Party.
To get started, first download the Netflix Party extension through either the Chrome extension shop or the Netflix Party website. Then, have the host open Netflix on Chrome and select what they are going to watch. In the upper right hand corner of Chrome, click on the NP icon and it will prompt you with a link. The host will need to send this link to whomever they invite to watch with. If you are joining the host’s Netflix Party, enter the link into your Chrome search bar and hit enter. Your Netflix party is set up, and now you and your friends can watch Netflix to your heart’s content.