Christmas is just around the corner, meaning it’s finally acceptable to lounge around the house with a mug of hot chocolate and your favourite festive films on the TV.
While it might be a little difficult to get everyone crowded around the screen this year, there are still ways to watch movies with friends and family without leaving the safety of your own couch.
Chrome extensions like Teleparty (formerly known as Netflix Party) have risen in popularity throughout the pandemic, giving users the ability to host movie marathons, sync up their screens in HD and chat with friends around the country in the sidebar. The Chrome extension has already expanded beyond its Netflix origins to include Disney Plus, as well as Hulu and HBO in the US.
Disney also launched its own watch party feature called GroupWatch in October. Like Teleparty, GroupWatch allows users to sync content, though in this case there’s no need to install an extension. Disney’s version lacks a built-in chat feature, however, so users will have to make do with the six emojis Disney has to offer.
Keep reading to find out how to join or host your own Christmas movie night this December.
Related: Netflix vs Disney Plus
How to watch Christmas movies with friends
First you’ll need to choose whether to use Teleparty or Disney Plus GroupWatch. Netflix users should opt for Teleparty, while Disney Plus subscribers have a choice of the two.
Teleparty is a Chrome extension capable of hosting up to 50 people in one room, while GroupWatch is a built-in Disney Plus feature that can only fit seven (including yourself), leaving it better suited to small gatherings. Teleparty also has a built-in chat room, whereas GroupWatch only offers emojis.
Related: Trusted Reviews’ Christmas Gift Guide
How to watch Christmas movies with friends using Teleparty
First, you’ll need to download Teleparty from the Google Chrome webstore. Once you have it installed, click on the jigsaw icon at the top of your browser to pin it to your address bar.
To host a Teleparty:
- Open up Netflix or Disney Plus and choose your favourite Christmas movie
- Click on the “TP” icon in your address bar
- Click “Start Party”
- Copy the URL and share it with your friends
To join a Teleparty:
- Open the Teleparty link in your browser
- Click on the red “TP” icon in your address bar to join the party
How to watch Christmas movies with friends using Disney Plus GroupWatch
The GroupWatch feature comes ready with Disney Plus, so you won’t need to worry about installing an extension.
To host a GroupWatch:
- Open the DisneyPlus mobile app or go to the site in your browser
- Go to the “Details” page of any series of film
- Click on the GroupWatch icon
- Share the link with up to six friends
To join a GroupWatch:
- Open the link in the DisneyPlus mobile app, your browser, on a streaming player or on a smart TV to join the party