How to Watch Netflix With Someone Across the Country
If you’ve ever sought out long-distance Netflixing, there’s now a way to achieve it.
A Google Chrome extension, called Netflix Party, allows users to remotely watch the same Netflix (NFLX) content, regardless of where they are. The app, which is an extension that needs to be installed in Google’s Chrome browser on both participants’ computers, will automatically sync the video playback. There is even a group chat function so participants can share thoughts as while watching a movie or television show.
Chrome Extensions have become a cottage industry of sorts, allowing developers to create the Internet-based applications to increase the Google browser’s functionality. The extensions are similar to the apps users might run on an iPhone or Android-based device, and they support virtually everything from note-taking tools to shopping apps.
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Netflix Party, which is available in the Google (GOOGL) Chrome Web Store, is a free download. The idea is an interesting one. Watching movies and television shows with friends and family can often be a fun time, cracking jokes, commenting on the acting or storyline, and more. But it’s really only been available in the comfort of one’s own home.
Netflix Party tries to bring that same in-home experience to people, regardless of where they are. Because the two accounts are linked together, users can watch programming at the same time and talk to each other in real time, as if they were sitting in the same room.
That said, it’s unclear how well Netflix Party works. For one, Internet speeds can vary. Anyone who has used Netflix knows buffering issues and quirks can happen from time to time, which might throw off the syncing. It’s unknown how Netflix Party hedges for that to keep the streams in step.
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In addition, the app is a Chrome Extension, which means users will need to be on computers running Chrome to actually watch the show or movie simultaneously. At this point, Netflix Party is a browser-based service, which could be limiting to those who had hoped to use it while sitting on the couch and connecting to it from a set-top box.
Still, it’s proven somewhat popular. The extension currently has nearly 13,000 users, according to Google’s download tracker. While it’s been available for a few months, Netflix Party has found itself in the spotlight only recently when it launched an update that was ultimately picked up by tech news outlet TechCrunch.
Fortune has not tried out the Chrome Extension, so it remains to be seen first-hand whether it works well or is a pain to use. However, the function has so far garnered a four-star rating (out of five) from 31 reviewers.
Those interested in trying out Netflix Party can download it now for free on Chrome now. Prospective users can head to the Chrome Web Store and, upon clicking here, determine whether their device is compatible.