After struggling with the coronavirus for far too long, the world understands all too well Belgium’s word of the year, “knaldrang!” — the urge to party, the need to let loose. Yet as New Year celebrations approach, the omicron variant is casting more gloom.
Amid Omicron, several states in India have already banned gatherings and parties already, and obviously all thanks to the surge in coronavirus cases in the country.
Yeah, we know, we very well know. This year is again unlike any other; unprecedented; and what not. By now, we’ve more than resigned ourselves to the fact that New Year’s Eve won’t be rung in with a night in Times Square and a giant ball drop.
While it does seem like a buzzkill at the moment, especially when New Year is just around the corner, but it doesnt have to be. Since this year was a great year in terms of entertainment, you can use that to your advantage and host virtual watch parties with movie marathons and binge-watch series online on OTT platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ Hotstar, Apple TV and so on
Like everything else, we’re moving our New Year’s Eve celebrations online. If that sounds impossible to you, we’ve got all the tips on how to pull it off below.
Teleparty: For Netflix, Disney+ Hotstar
Earlier known as Netflix Party, Teleparty lets up to 1,000 viewers participate in a watch party simultaneously. The Teleparty Google Chrome extension works for both Netflix, Disney+ Hotstar.
Notably, each participant is required to have a subscription to the streaming service to be a part of the virtual watch party. Additionally, all participants need to install the Teleparty Google Chrome extension. While watching the movie/show, viewers also have an option to chat with everyone on the same page.
Here are a few quick steps to host a watch party via Teleparty-
- Go to the Chrome Web Store in Google Chrome and search for Teleparty
- Tap on the ‘Teleparty’ option and select “Add Extension”
- You will then see a “TP” icon in the Chrome toolbar
- Now open a video/ show on the supported streaming service on Chrome and then tap on the “TP” icon
- Select “Start the Party”
- You will then see a new page showing the video alongside a shareable link. You can copy and send this link to your friends
In case you want to join a Teleparty, all you need to do is open the party link in Chrome and tap on the “TP” icon.
Prime Video Watch Party: Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime Video has an in-built group watch feature called Prime Video Watch Party. It allows up to 100 subscribers to join simultaneously. This feature will be accessible on “Fire TV devices, the Prime Video app for Android mobile phones, Android tablets or Fire tablets, iPhones and iPads, and on desktop browsers, except Internet Explorer and Apple’s Safari”.
Here are a few quick steps to start a watch party on Amazon Prime Video-
- Open your Prime Video app on your Android smartphone or tablet
- Choose the movie/show of your choice
- Tap on the “More” option and select “Watch Party”
- Enter your name
- You will then see a shareable link that you can just copy and share with friends
SharePlay: Apple TV, Disney+ Hotstar
Apple’s SharePlay feature allows users to connect with up to 33 users at a time. With the new iOS 15 update, SharePlay feature is now available across iPhone, iPad and Macs. According to Apple, this feature works with Apple TV and Disney+ Hotstar. All participants need to have iOS 15.1 installed on their devices and a subscription to the concerned streaming service.
You need to follow these steps to kick start a virtual watch party via SharePlay-
- Start a FaceTime call with your friends and tap on the drop down menu on the top-right corner
- Select “Share My Screen”
- Open the supported streaming service (Apple TV, Disney+ Hotstar) and start watching the desired show or movie