The watch party trend just got even more exciting: you can now watch HBO online with your friends and family. The Seattle-based startup company Scener has launched a browser extension that allows viewers to co-watch HBO Now and HBO Go with up to 20 friends at once, as reported by Variety. That means you can queue up Game of Thrones, Westworld, Euphoria, or any of your other favorite HBO shows and have the group marathon of your dreams, even if you're stuck at home alone.
If you're feeling a little tech-weary after mastering changing your Zoom background and building your dream Animal Crossing island, don't worry, because setting up an HBO watch party with your friends is super simple. The first thing you need is an HBO subscription. If you're not subscribed to the premium channel through a cable or satellite provider, you can try it free for seven days via HBO Now.
Once you have a subscription sorted out, add the free Scener — Virtual Movie Theater extension to your Google Chrome browser, and you're ready to go. Your friends will also have to download the extension, and then you can invite them to a screening party that will allow everyone in your group to watch HBO movies and shows in sync no matter how far away from each other you are. Just make sure everyone in the party knows they must use the Google Chrome browser, otherwise they won't be able to access the extension.
Scener also supports Netflix co-viewing, so the extension can be used to set up a variety of watch parties. And the best part is that it offers multiple ways for viewers to interact with each other as they watch. The sidebar includes options for video chatting, audio, or a more traditional chat experience similar to the popular Netflix Party extension.
At a time when everyone is finding new ways to safely connect during the global coronavirus pandemic, extensions like Scener help TV and movie fans form the connections they crave from a safe distance. By allowing up to 20 viewers to join in at one time, it's easy to create an at-home movie theater experience — only since you'll be in your own home, no one can stop you from chatting through the movie with your pals. Or you can go the more intimate route and plan a date night with your significant other.
Whatever kind of watch party you plan, having more show and movie options to keep the co-viewing experience fresh is just one more way to make sure everyone in your circle stays connected during these challenging times and beyond.