Watching Netflix with friends is always a good time. But what if your best bud, or boyfriend, or girlfriend, or sibling, or grandma, or whoever, is all the way across the country, or even the world? How are you supposed to binge watch “Orange is the New Black” together, while sharing ice cream and banter about how lame Piper is? Well, such a conundrum has been solved with Showgoers, a chrome extension that allows you to watch Netflix with your buds remotely.
Creator Alan Jones came up with the idea while he and his girlfriend were living on separate coasts and they wanted to watch TV together. Now you just install the free Showgoers extension, and Boom –you can watch your favorite shows together, long-distance. And while Showgoers can’t help with the whole “sharing ice cream” thing, it’s about as close to a real life Netflix hang as you can get.
How to Setup the Synced Netflix Session
1. First off, visit the chrome webstore and install the extension on your computer.
2. Now, when you open the show you want to watch on Netflix, you’ll see a small icon shaped like 3D glasses (remember those?). Click that, and then click “start a sync session.”
3. A box with a URL will appear. Email that URL to whoever you want to watch Netflix with.
4. When they open it, it will automatically sync your Netflix screens. So now, when you press play, all shared screens will play!
Likewise, if you press pause or rewind a bit, everyone’s screen will as well. (ps: I find it entertaining that we continue to use VHS jargon like “rewind” –how very 1995 of us all). This way your whole group can stay in sync while you’re watching, as well as control the playback, just as you would normally.
And if you suddenly realize, say, that “New Girl” is way overrated, you can always stop it and start a new show (may I suggest “The B in Apt. 23?”) together, without having to send a new URL or anything –it’s about as close as you can get to watching TV together in the same room as you can get.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Starting
Oh, and here are a few tidbits you’ll want to follow to ensure Showgoers works seamlessly for you:
- Everyone should be signed into their Netflix accounts before opening the URL.
- Similarly, make sure everyone has the Showgoers extension installed on their Chrome browser.
- Oh yeah, only open the URL in Chrome.
Unfortunately, the Showgoers extension only works for Chrome right now, but the developers have promised a Firefox and Safari version soon.
Other Great Features
Showgoers also hosts a chat feature, so you can annoy your friends who are trying to watch their show in peace, just as you would in real life. …I’m kidding, everyone loves your running commentary during “Game of Thrones.” But in all seriousness, it’s a great feature that allows you to really feel connected to your long distance buds as you watch a show together.
Plus, since the extension is still in beta, you have the option to send feedback to the Showgoers team as well. Let them know what works and what doesn’t, report crashes and whatnot, so they can make the extension even better.
Let us know how Showgoers worked for you, and your cross-country boo, in the comments below!