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How to watch plex together with friends

How to Watch Plex Together With Friends

Plex has always been at the forefront of media sharing technology for the masses, and its new Watch Together feature makes it easier than ever to watch movies and TV with your friends and family around the world.

Plex is providing this feature for free to everyone using the popular Plex media server, including those with free accounts. Watch Together is currently only available on Android, iPad, and iPhone devices, as well as Android TV and Apple TV. You can invite as many people using Watch Together as your media server can normally handle.

To share either your content or Plex’s own free content with anyone with a free Plex account, start by tapping the three dots next to any episode or movie and selecting “Watch Together.”

On the following screen, choose which of your Plex friends you want to join you. If your friends or family aren’t on this list, make sure they create a free Plex account so you can use their email address to add them as a friend. When you’re ready to proceed, tap “Done” in the top-right corner.

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Plex will give your account some time to buffer the content. You can see everyone you’ve invited on the right. When you’re ready to get the show started, press “Start.”

When play begins, you can control your content as normal, while viewing who else has been invited and has joined on the right. Plex will keep the video in sync for everyone watching. If you want to invite additional people, you’ll need to end the current session and start this process over again.

If you choose to leave a session, you can resume it from your Home screen on the same device or a different one.

Plex already offers a wide selection of free movies and TV shows that you can stream. The addition of Watch Together makes it easier than ever to truly share these experiences with your family and friends.

How to watch plex together with friendsSource: iMore

With the nation still largely in lockdown, and most non-drive-in theaters closed, enjoying movie night with anyone outside your own household has gotten … complicated. In response, media server Plex has rolled out an early version of its new Watch Together feature, which lets you remotely sync up movies and TV shows for simultaneous viewing with other Plex users.

How does Watch Together for Plex work?

Everyone you watch a movie or show with will need a free Plex account, and they’ll need to be running Plex’s media server and player software. You can’t invite non-Plex-using friends to join the fun, although for now, you don’t need a paid Plex Pass subscription to use Watch Together. You’ll also need to have added the folks with whom you want to watch to your Friends list in Plex under Accounts > Users & Sharing.

Once that’s all set, pick a movie or TV show from your own Plex library or Plex’s free streaming service. Click, tap, or select the icon with the three dots ( … ), and from the menu that appears, choose Watch Together. Select the people from your Friends list with whom you want to watch a movie, then select Done .

How to watch plex together with friendsSource: iMore

Plex will take you to a lobby screen and send invitations to your friends to join you. While you watch your friends’ statuses shift from “Invited” to “Buffering…” to “Ready,” you can choose to start playing the movie and let your tardy friends catch up. But it’s probably more polite to wait for everyone to indicate that they’re ready, at which point Plex will start playing the movie automatically.

Once the movie starts, any of the viewers can pause or resume it at any point. For now, at least, there’s no way to chat with your friends within the Plex app, so you’ll either need to use a separate app to keep up your conversations, establish a telepathic mind-meld with your fellow viewers, or just endure a lot of awkward pausing and un-pausing at random. (We recommend the first approach.)

How well does Watch Together for Plex work?

Pretty well! From the East Coast, we tested it out with a pair of brave volunteers — one on the West Coast, and one in the middle of the country. Occasionally, playback would skip backwards a few seconds to ensure that everyone stayed in synch. Otherwise, none of our viewers reported any problems. Movies looked great and played smoothly, whether they were SD or HD, black-and-white or color, staid and slow or fast-paced and frenetic.

All our testers definitely missed having an in-app way to talk to each other, and they bemoaned how quickly Watch Together-related notifications came and went from their screens. One who was using VoiceOver on AppleTV noted that Plex didn’t play well with it — Plex didn’t read the notifications aloud, and with VoiceOver turned on, the tester couldn’t access any of the playback settings to switch audio tracks or turn subtitles on or off.

Keep a few caveats in mind as well:

Even if you’re the one who starts a movie, it’ll keep going even if you leave it, and the other viewers in your watch party will see it in their “On Deck” list, inviting them to jump back in.

There’s no way right now to boot misbehaving viewers from a movie, short of bailing out, starting a new viewing, and inviting only the well-behaved friends to join you.

Every friend in the party needs to have access to the same servers. If you’re streaming stuff from your own library, you’re fine. When we tried to stream movies from a server that some of the testers didn’t have access to, they couldn’t watch.

If you’ve chosen one of Plex’s streaming titles, be ready to sit through lengthy, randomly placed ad breaks.

But on the whole, we had fun testing out the new feature, and several testers began cooking up ideas for future remote watch parties.

Where can I use Watch Together?

As of October 2020, Plex had rolled out Watch Together for its Web app, iOS, AppleTV, Android, Amazon FireTV, NVIDIA SHIELD, and Roku. The company says that versions for Mac and PC desktop apps are on their way, too.

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How to Watch Plex Together With Friends

Plex has always been at the forefront of media sharing technology for the masses, and its new Watch Together feature makes it easier than ever to watch movies and TV with your friends and family around the world.

Plex is providing this feature for free to everyone using the popular Plex media server, including those with free accounts. Watch Together is currently only available on Android, iPad, and iPhone devices, as well as Android TV and Apple TV. You can invite as many people using Watch Together as your media server can normally handle.

To share either your content or Plex’s own free content with anyone with a free Plex account, start by tapping the three dots next to any episode or movie and selecting “Watch Together.”

On the following screen, choose which of your Plex friends you want to join you. If your friends or family aren’t on this list, make sure they create a free Plex account so you can use their email address to add them as a friend. When you’re ready to proceed, tap “Done” in the top-right corner.

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Plex will give your account some time to buffer the content. You can see everyone you’ve invited on the right. When you’re ready to get the show started, press “Start.”

When play begins, you can control your content as normal, while viewing who else has been invited and has joined on the right. Plex will keep the video in sync for everyone watching. If you want to invite additional people, you’ll need to end the current session and start this process over again.

If you choose to leave a session, you can resume it from your Home screen on the same device or a different one.

Plex already offers a wide selection of free movies and TV shows that you can stream. The addition of Watch Together makes it easier than ever to truly share these experiences with your family and friends.

How to watch plex together with friends

Recently, Plex announced its brand new Plex VR app. Watching movies in VR is nothing new, but Plex also announced a newer, more interesting feature: Watch Together. You and up to three friends, each with your own VR headsets, can sit in a virtual living room and watch movies or TV together—no matter where you are in the world. While we were impressed with the experience, it leaves us with one question: why does this have to be VR in the first place?

Plex VR Is a Genuine Delight to Use

Before I start pining for features that don’t exist, let’s talk about the ones that do. Plex VR is a standalone app built for Google Daydream that gives you a virtual theater and menu where you can watch anything in your Plex library. The default space is a luxury penthouse apartment with a coffee table, covered in cups, popcorn bowls, and plates. You can pick up each of these and throw them around the room. There’s no point to this, but it’s fun, especially if you feel like throwing popcorn at a bad movie.

Whether or not you like the idea of watching a movie in a virtual theater, the Plex VR experience is a polished one.

As you browse through your Plex library, you can grab individual cards floating in front of you and set them down. Say you want to look through your library to find something to watch, you can physically pick out a couple candidates, set them down on the couch, read through the descriptions of each one and, when you’re ready, hit play on one to bring up a floating screen to watch the movie. Once you play a movie, the blinds in your “apartment” even automatically close, dimming the virtual room for a better view. You can even resize the virtual in-room movie screen to be as big or as small within the virtual space as you want.

Virtual reality theaters aren’t necessarily the best way to watch a movie—you’re basically putting a magnifying glass up to your phone’s screen, which results in a very pixelated video—but Plex VR at least manages to make it fun. If you don’t have a fancy home theater, or if you want to watch a movie on an airplane, you could do worse than Plex VR.

Inviting Friends to the Party Is Where the Real Magic Starts

How to watch plex together with friends

Sitting with a VR headset on your couch watching a movie is still a little too silly to get off the ground if you have another option (like even a modest TV or a laptop with a big screen). That’s presumably why Plex offered something compelling that you can’t do with your normal home theater: watch with friends across the globe.

Plex’s Watch Together feature lets you invite up to three other friends—all with their own Daydream headsets and Plex accounts, naturally—to join you in your virtual theater. Their floating avatars will appear on the seats next to you. You’ll even be able to see their remotes as they move through the air.

When you play a movie in this mode, it starts playing for everyone. If you pause it, it pauses for everyone. Each person in your theater hears the same audio, and they’re all at the same point in the movie. If you’ve ever tried to watch a movie with a long distance friend or family member, you realize immediately how amazing this is. No more counting down and hitting play at the same time. No more weighing whether it’s worth pausing and re-syncing just to use the bathroom. You can all watch as though you were in the same room. Give or take a couple of floating robot heads.

Synchronized and simultaenous play, not the virtual popcorn buckets, is the real killer feature of the Plex VR experience.

I tried this out with two headsets on the same Wi-Fi network and it worked incredibly well. The movie was almost perfectly in sync in both headsets the entire time. If it ever slipped out of sync (usually because I messed with something, rather than the system itself failing), hitting the pause button and playing again re-synced everything. Playback was virtually flawless. As a bonus, each user can play, pause, or rewind the movie so no one has to fight over the remote.

Voice chat also comes built-in. Simply hold down the middle button on the Daydream remote (the one with a — symbol on it) and start speaking. Your voice will be broadcast to all participants. Plex uses the microphone in your phone which, you might remember, is inside a soft fabric-covered headset strapped to your face. This doesn’t lend itself to decent audio (in fact you only sound slightly better than the intercom at your city’s oldest Taco Bell), but it’s not too big of a deal since you shouldn’t be talking during the movie anyway.

While the experience of watching a movie was virtually flawless, getting started was less so. On multiple occasions, we had issues with the friend system. My girlfriend’s (or my own alt) account wouldn’t show up in the online friends list until I force closed and re-opened the application. Plex wasn’t exactly built to be a social network first, so inviting people to each other’s virtual homes may still be finicky for a while, but once you’re in, things work a lot more smoothly.

Why Isn’t This Possible With Normal Video Apps?

How to watch plex together with friends

Fiddling around with a VR app every once in a while is fun, but as I sat with a headset on, watching a movie with my long-suffering girlfriend in the other room, I couldn’t help but wonder why I needed a VR headset to do this. Yes, obviously I need VR (or a much higher salary) to get an immaculately-decorated penthouse apartment with a million-inch screen. But voice chatting with a friend hundreds of miles away while we watch a movie in sync together? That should be easy.

Third-party applications like Rabbit or Netflix Party have tried to fill this void, but this may be one of the few first-party solutions I’ve seen. And it’s…in VR. Don’t get me wrong, the VR app is fun! But wouldn’t it be fantastic if you and your friend who lives across town, or your sister who moved away, could watch movies that are automatically synced up and pause for everyone without having to strap a $100 VR headset to your face?

Plex is arguably the single most polished stand alone media center software package around and a seamless non-VR way to watch content in sync with your friends would be the icing on the cake.

When I first started using Plex VR, I enjoyed it. As soon as this question occurred to me, though, I realized it was all I wanted. Netflix, Hulu, Plex, even Amazon would all be just that much better if they had a “Watch With Friends!” button I could push to invite someone to watch with me. You don’t need Ready Player One-style avatars or a penthouse apartment or interactive fake buckets of popcorn. You just need a shared pause button, and maybe some voice chat.

For Plex, Netflix, and the whole bunch though, I’ll make you a deal. If you bring the video syncing, I’ll just call my long distance friends to fill in the voice-chat function and we’ll call it even—but in the mean time, I guess we’ll all be wearing headsets.

Plex has always been at the forefront of media sharing technology for the masses, and its new Watch Together feature makes it easier than ever to watch movies and TV with your friends and family around the world.

Plex is providing this feature for free to everyone using the popular Plex media server, including those with free accounts. Watch Together is currently only available on Android, iPad, and iPhone devices, as well as Android TV and Apple TV. You can invite as many people using Watch Together as your media server can normally handle.

To share either your content or Plex’s own free content with anyone with a free Plex account, start by tapping the three dots next to any episode or movie and selecting “Watch Together.”

On the following screen, choose which of your Plex friends you want to join you. If your friends or family aren’t on this list, make sure they create a free Plex account so you can use their email address to add them as a friend. When you’re ready to proceed, tap “Done” in the top-right corner.

How to watch plex together with friends

Plex will give your account some time to buffer the content. You can see everyone you’ve invited on the right. When you’re ready to get the show started, press “Start.”

How to watch plex together with friends

When play begins, you can control your content as normal, while viewing who else has been invited and has joined on the right. Plex will keep the video in sync for everyone watching. If you want to invite additional people, you’ll need to end the current session and start this process over again.

How to watch plex together with friends

If you choose to leave a session, you can resume it from your Home screen on the same device or a different one.

Plex already offers a wide selection of free movies and TV shows that you can stream. The addition of Watch Together makes it easier than ever to truly share these experiences with your family and friends.

Table of Contents

How to use watch together function in Plex? Digital streaming services are getting even more popular each passing day because of the COVID-19 pandemic. People don’t go to the movies anymore. If you want to experience watching a movie with your friends or family online, keep reading this article.

Fortunately, it is possible to watch Plex with your friends. The functionality is available directly within the application called Watch Together. Also, there’s another tool that we are going to talk about called SyncLounge.

What is Plex Watch Together function?

First, let’s take a look at Plex’s tool for watching videos with friends. It is called Watch Together, and it’s still in an experimental stage. However, the feature seems to work flawlessly and the interface is easy to use.

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  • Best ways to use Plex: Tricks for a better streaming experience

Is Plex watch together free?

Although Plex’s Watch Together feature is still in beta, it is free for all Plex users. However, this may change when it is officially released. Plex’s documentation seems to suggest that Watch Together will remain free if you only want to stream content from Plex’s ad-supported, internal, free streaming service. However, if you want to stream content from your library, you will likely need to sign up for Plex Pass.

Right now, you will need to have an Android, Android TV, Apple TV, iOS, or Roku device in order to use Watch Together. Watch Together cannot be used from the web application.

How many people can tune in to Watch Together?

Officially, Plex has not indicated a limit on the number of users. However, in practice, the limit will depend on your Plex Media Server hardware, network connection, disk speed, and video quality.

Be careful, trying to add too many users might cause playback problems.

How to use Watch Together function?

Assuming you’re using one of the supported devices, you’ll need to press the More button (three horizontal dots) on a video’s pre-play screen, then select Watch Together from the list of options.

Next, you need to add people to your Watch Together session. You can only invite Plex users that you added as a friend. When you’re ready, click on the names of the friends that you want to add and click Done. To add a new friend, go to Settings> Users & Sharing> Library Sharing and enter the username or email address of the person you want to connect with.

Important note: If you just added a new friends and you don’t see them listed, you’ll need to restart the app to refresh your friend list.

If you’ve been invited to someone else’s Plex Watch Together session, you’ll see a Watch Together line appear at the top of the app’s home screen, along with the video uploaded by the host.

When users accept invitations, they will all appear together in one lobby. Once everyone is arrived, the host can start playing. Only the host can control the play/pause function once the video starts. Hosts also have exclusive control over different audio streams and subtitles.

SyncLounge

Formerly called Plex Together, SyncLounge is another great way to watch Plex together with friends. Like Plex’s official Watch Together tool, SyncLounge will sync your individual Plex apps so everyone will be watching the same movie at the same time.

SyncLounge has some functions that are not available in the official application yet. For example, you can hide your Plex username when you log into a room, you can re-enter recent rooms, and you can automatically play subsequent episodes when you watch TV with friends.

We also really like the app’s user status indicators. Each user has a colored ring around their profile photo to indicate the sync distance, and you can even see the type of Plex client they are using.

How to use SyncLounge?

To get started, click the Get Started link on the SyncLounge website and log in with your Plex account. If you don’t want to hand over your information, you can download the app from GitHub and run it directly on your server.

Hosts will need to create a virtual room and invite other people to join them. Guests only need to accept the invitation.

Like Watch Together, only hosts can play and pause videos, change subtitles etc.

Plex vs SyncLounge

SyncLounge has some advantages over the official Watch Together tool from Plex.

First, you don’t need to be “Plex friends” to watch together. Second, all the people connected to the room will be able to use each other’s content (Plex Media Server content).

In the long term, we assume that Plex’s official tool will get better, but for now SyncLoung is a good option too. The decision is yours. In this article you learned how to use Watch Together function in Plex.

How to watch plex together with friends

Plex has always been at the forefront of media sharing technology for the masses, and its new Watch Together feature makes it easier than ever to watch movies and TV with your friends and family around the world.

Plex is providing this feature for free to everyone using the popular Plex media server, including those with free accounts. Watch Together is currently only available on Android, iPad, and iPhone devices, as well as Android TV and Apple TV. You can invite as many people using Watch Together as your media server can normally handle.

To share either your content or Plex’s own free content with anyone with a free Plex account, start by tapping the three dots next to any episode or movie and selecting “Watch Together.”

On the following screen, choose which of your Plex friends you want to join you. If your friends or family aren’t on this list, make sure they create a free Plex account so you can use their email address to add them as a friend. When you’re ready to proceed, tap “Done” in the top-right corner.

How to watch plex together with friends

Plex will give your account some time to buffer the content. You can see everyone you’ve invited on the right. When you’re ready to get the show started, press “Start.”

How to watch plex together with friends

When play begins, you can control your content as normal, while viewing who else has been invited and has joined on the right. Plex will keep the video in sync for everyone watching. If you want to invite additional people, you’ll need to end the current session and start this process over again.

How to watch plex together with friends

If you choose to leave a session, you can resume it from your Home screen on the same device or a different one.

Plex already offers a wide selection of free movies and TV shows that you can stream. The addition of Watch Together makes it easier than ever to truly share these experiences with your family and friends.

Coming in Hot: Watch Together & Chill

Together, but… not

Hey. So, yeah, times are a little weird right now. We continue to hear from folks how Plex is making their lives a little better under the circumstances, and we couldn’t be more honored to be a part of that. Our friend Joe tweeted us with a great suggestion the other day:

@plex If you currently don’t have your code-ninjas working hard on a built-in ability to host watch parties using your system, I can’t understand why.
What an amazing gift to your current subscribers and opportunity to spread/promote the Plex love to a lot more eyeballs.

Plot twist: Joe is a friggin’ mind reader

It was timely. And a bit prescient. Joe, it turns out our code ninjas have been working hard on building exactly that. It’s less about getting eyeballs and more about letting people reconnect with each other remotely through the media they love, but credit where it’s due, Joe, for scooping us on the feature. Frankly, community—whether in-person or virtual—is something that we’ve all grown a new appreciation for over the past months. So yep, we’re right there with you.

Make virtual movie dates a reality

Today we’re announcing beta support for an experimental new feature we call Watch Together. Find a movie or episode you want to watch together, invite your friends on Plex (or even invite them to join Plex), and let us handle keeping playback in sync for everyone. It’s pretty great. No more “okay pressing play in 3, 2, 1…” or suffering through the third act in desperate need of a bathroom break. Anyone watching with you can play, pause, or seek around during the session. Before you ask, yes, “that guy” can ruin it for everyone. Pro tip: maybe don’t invite “that guy” to Watch Together with you.

How to watch plex together with friends

All together now

As of today, Watch Together is supported on Apple platforms (iOS and tvOS), Android platforms (mobile and TV), FireTV, NVIDIA SHIELD and Roku – make sure to update to the latest release. Support for web and other platforms to follow soon. Watch Together works with both our free on-demand movies and TV shows and content from your personal media library. So now your whole extended family can re-watch old videos of your kids playing sportsball even though your parents are thousands of miles away. Or binge on one of our free streaming TV shows (Mary Berry anyone?) with your friends across town. It’s never been easier. For this first iteration, choose your favorite non-Plex app to chat—video, audio, or text—to hang out while you watch. Pausing the movie on one device will pause it for everyone so that we all stay in sync and no one misses a beat.

Safety not guaranteed

Some notes: First, this is very much an experimental feature. There’s a metric tonne of improvements and integrations that we would love to add, and there are some sharp edges, but right now we’re mostly looking for feedback. How’s it working for you? Do you long for an integrated voice, text, or video chat? (Obviously, you can just fire up a Zoom or WhatsApp or Houseparty for the time being.) More power to invite additional audience members on the fly? The ability to kick/ban? (You invited “that guy” didn’t you?) Maybe even a larger watch party where one or two folks “on the stage” do the speaking (like turning on the director’s commentary on your old faded BluRays)? How would you like to customize your personal viewing party? Let us know in the forums or comments below.

Straight outta Plex Labs

Watch Together comes to you hot outta Plex Labs and will be free to everyone while it remains in official beta. No Plex Pass needed for the time being. So jump in, take it for a spin, and reconnect with some long lost friends over some old favorites or new discoveries.

You’ll find usage instructions as well as answers to frequently asked questions on our support site. Something broken or irksome? You could always mention us in an angry tweet, but for best results we suggest you direct your feedback to our support forum.

So sync up, tune in, and chill out

Give it a shot. Let us know what you think. More importantly, stay safe out there. Stay home. And Watch Together.

Plex has launched Watch Together, a new feature which lets you watch movies and TV shows together with friends far away. So, whether you want to watch on-demand content or something from your own library, you can now do so with the people you care about. An Alternative to Yet Another Quiz Night The COVID-19 pandemic, and subsequent lockdowns around the world to stop it spreading, have changed everything. Shops, bars, restaurants, and movie theaters have all closed their doors, leaving many of us at a loss for what to do for fun and relaxation. Some people have turned to…

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By Dave Parrack
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How to watch plex together with friends

Plex has launched Watch Together, a new feature which lets you watch movies and TV shows together with friends far away. So, whether you want to watch on-demand content or something from your own library, you can now do so with the people you care about.

An Alternative to Yet Another Quiz Night

The COVID-19 pandemic, and subsequent lockdowns around the world to stop it spreading, have changed everything. Shops, bars, restaurants, and movie theaters have all closed their doors, leaving many of us at a loss for what to do for fun and relaxation.

Some people have turned to hosting quiz nights on Zoom or Houseparty. However, if that sounds too much like hard work for you, perhaps you would prefer to watch your favorite movie with friends. Which is where Plex’s new Watch Together feature comes in.

How to Watch Together With Friends on Plex

As announced in a post on the Plex Blog, Plex has launched Watch Together. As the name suggests, this lets you watch content on Plex with your family and friends. However, crucially in these troubled times, they don’t have to be in the same room as you.

Watch Together lets you watch content together with family and friends online. Whether it’s a free, on-demand movie or TV show, or content from your personal media library. And Plex will keep the content in sync for everyone, allowing you to sit back and relax.

To use Watch Together on Plex, just find the movie or TV show you want to watch, click the three-dot More menu, and select Watch Together. Then, just invite your friends and click Start. The content will play on everyone’s devices at the same time.

Everyone watching together can control playback, which means you need to be careful who you invite. Watch Together is supported on Android, iOS, tvOS, Fire TV, NVIDIA SHIELD, and Roku. Just update to the latest release to ensure compatibility.

Other Ways to Watch Together With Friends

Plex is keen to point out that this is currently only an experimental feature. So beware that there could be bugs and frustrations involved. Still, the company is actively seeking feedback, so why not give Watch Together a go and let Plex know what needs changing?

Plex isn’t the only platform to offer its users a way to watch content together with friends online. So, for those who are bored while stuck at home, here’s how to watch Netflix with friends far away and how to watch YouTube videos with people online.