How can two people watch the same video together at the same time.
June 4, 2012 9:22 PM   Subscribe

Friend and I want to watch movies or video together at the same time. We are separated by several states, but connected by the Internet. How can we make this work?

We don't have the same game consoles. Friend has windows vista, I have windows 7. We're looking for a free or as low cost way as possible. I have netflix streaming. I have a wifi connection over a shared cable Internet account, so I'm not sure how well hosting or streaming a "show desktop" via Skype would work out. SeeToo doesn't seem to work. I have a livestream and ustream account but they just detect the laptop's built in camera. Can the hivemind offer us some help? Bonus points for solutions that allow me to share video files I already have on my computer somehow.
posted by ShawnStruck to Technology (7 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Put the video in a dropbox account. Then get on IM and have one of you do a countdown. That's how I listened to new albums with remote friends back in the day (then an FTP or IM file send.)
posted by michaelh at 9:34 PM on June 4, 2012

I'd share the files in advance, and then call up to synchronise hitting play. You don't really want to try to send full video from one of your houses to the other. That way lies madness.
posted by pompomtom at 9:35 PM on June 4, 2012

Low tech solution: Dropbox, don't worry about sync, and use headphones with Skype. Because what really matters is sharing the moment, not the exact timing.

My friend in Germany and I (in the US) used this to watch TV shows together. Shared the video via Dropbox. Then started Skype. Popped the headphones on. On the count of 3, we started the video. The headphones saved us from hearing the other's slightly out-of-sync audio. And it let us laugh at stuff together and make comments to each other, which is what we really wanted anyways.
posted by Mercaptan at 9:53 PM on June 4, 2012 [3 favorites]

I've been doing Mercaptan's solution with my LDR successfully for ages now. We've done it with both independent video files and streamed services. Works a treat apart from when one side gets some buffering.
posted by Magnakai at 3:15 AM on June 5, 2012

This sounds like something a vlc plugin could do: one start, both sides start. Then both sides report where they are, if one gets out of sync by too much, the other side pauses.
posted by devnull at 4:05 AM on June 5, 2012

I've used Synchtube with good success.
posted by yellowcandy at 9:54 AM on June 5, 2012

I don't know how it would work with your network connection or if you want to take the time to learn how to use it, but Open Wonderland is a collaborative 3D environment that is technically capable of what you're talking about. It can play videos on your computer in the virtual world. Assuming you were both running it and in the same "world", you could play the video in a window that you could both see. It's java, so cross-platform.
posted by nTeleKy at 2:20 PM on June 15, 2012

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