We take for granted simple things like watching a movie with friends and family. But, when you're stuck inside, life can get a little lonely. Fortunately, party streaming can give you back a sense of normality that can be incredibly morale-boosting.
In the past, trying to watch a movie or TV show on a streaming service with someone in another location was a bit frustrating. You'd have to try and countdown and start the stream at the same time, and if anyone had to pause, everyone ended up out of sync.
With party streaming, you can stream with friends without all the issues discussed above. It's not entirely a replacement for watching your favorite shows and movies face-to-face, but it does help you stay close to friends and family during hard times.
What is Party Streaming?
Party streaming takes the frustration out of watching movies and TV shows via streaming services with people over the internet. Instead of having to try to stay in sync with countdowns awkwardly, party streaming plugins start and stop the stream for everyone connected.
In addition to syncing video streams, most party streaming applications also provide audio and video chat. Only having to focus on one service streamlines the whole process and simplifies setup considerably.
However, not all party streaming apps are created equally. New services are popping up everyday that provides video, audio, and text chat and sync streams with friends. So, instead of recommending a particular app, we'll give you some tips on how to find the one that fits your needs and how to set it up.
How to Find the Right Party Streaming App
There are a lot of services popping up that help facilitate party streaming. Some are entirely free, while others charge a monthly fee for access. It can be confusing to find the right service for you, but here are a few tips to point you in the right direction.
Make Sure the App Covers the Services You Use
There are a ton of streaming platforms, and not every party streaming app covers every service. The first thing you'll want to find out is whether an app is compatible with the streaming services you plan to use.
Some party streaming apps only cover one service, while others are more versatile. However, you have to balance utility with usability. Usually, the more things you can do with a party streaming app, the more complex it is to use. Just make sure that everyone you plan on streaming with is comfortable enough with the interface to navigate it properly.
Make Sure the App is Legit
Unfortunately, whenever a type of app gets popular, there are those who use that to take advantage of others. Hackers and scammers use copycat apps, ones that appear similar to popular services or claim to offer similar capabilities, to gain access to people's files and personal details.
Before you install any party streaming software, make sure you properly vet it. If it's a legitimate app, you should be able to find plenty of user reviews and buzz about it. Don't just stop at the download page to find user opinions, though. Check out what people have to say about it on social media, and be wary of fake user reviews.
Making sure an app isn't malicious can be even more difficult with party streaming. Unfortunately, to read the stream and allow for audio and video chat, most apps have to ask for fairly extensive permissions. Just make sure you're comfortable with the app's reputation and requirements before you commit to downloading it.
Additionally, many party streaming services require you to create user accounts. If the one you choose has this requirement, make sure that the service uses encryption and use a unique username and password to sign up.
Make Sure the Party Streaming App is Accessible for Everyone
Some party streaming apps are made for a particular web browser, while others are smartphone only. Make sure you thoroughly inspect the app's system requirements before you commit to it.
Make Sure the App Follows the Streaming Service's Terms of Service
Some party streaming apps don't necessarily follow streaming service terms of service. You want to make sure that you choose one that requires each participant to login. Otherwise, you may end up inadvertently breaking the terms of service, which can result in your account being suspended or banned in the worst-case scenario.
How to Start a Party Stream
Each party streaming service has a different interface, but the process to get setup and start streaming is very similar.
Have Everyone Download the Party Streaming App
Many party streaming apps are browser extensions. So, you'll need to make sure everyone is on the same page before you get started. Some extensions work interchangeably with multiple browsers, while others only work correctly on one specific type.
Choose a Host
Before you start getting setup, you'll need to choose someone to host the stream. Party streaming apps work similarly to chat rooms, and each room requires a host who controls things like:
- What stream will be viewed.
- Who can join the streaming room.
- Whether anyone can start/stop the stream or if only the host has control.
- Whether voice and audio chat is available.
You'll want to choose someone mature to be host, obviously. However, you'll also want to make sure the host has a reliable internet connection as some party streaming services are entirely dependant on the host computer to keep the room open.
Start the Stream
Depending on how you set up the party streaming room, either the host will have to start the stream, or everyone will have permission to do so. It's best even if you leave permissions open to agree that someone has to give a heads up before they pause the stream to ensure a pleasant viewing experience.
Enjoy Your Party Stream
While there is some work required to set up a party stream for the first time, it's a smooth process after that. Party streaming can bring friends and family together even if they're hundreds of miles apart. Now, you don't have to wait till the next time you see your loved ones in-person to enjoy the hottest TV and movies with them.
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