For anybody sheltering in place through the pandemic, Scener has constructed a digital movie show the place you possibly can work together with pals remotely over video chat whereas watching your favourite applications. Today, the corporate is asserting it has partnered with HBO to allow co-watching options for HBO Now and HBO Go viewers.
Using Google Chrome, you possibly can activate the Scener Virtual Movie Theater app and watch your favourite reveals whereas your folks seem in video chat home windows.
Scener cofounder Joe Braidwood mentioned in an interview with VentureBeat that this lets individuals take pleasure in their favourite pastime of watching TV collectively from a protected distance.
“I don’t know of an example [in] the history of the entertainment industry where a company like HBO partnered with a startup like ours to enable a new way of viewing,” Braidwood mentioned. “I think it’s a big moment in history, and we are very excited.”
HBO Now and HBO Go subscribers can create their very own personal theaters on Windows, Mac, or Chromebook gadgets in seconds by downloading Scener’s free extension from the Chrome Web Store.
“Your host friend can select a show, press play, and then all the friends can be in the same part of the movie together,” Braidwood mentioned. “It was great in the past year, when we supported Scener on Netflix, for people in long-distance relationships. But since the pandemic, this has become more mainstream.”
On the Netflix facet, viewership for Scener is up 15 instances because the pandemic started.
Viewers can host watch events with pals, enabling as much as 20 individuals to take pleasure in synchronized leisure over video chat. In the approaching days, Scener will start rolling out assist for larger co-watching events, which is able to permit viewers to observe synchronously with a stay host, or a stay group, over video chat. A webcam is required for video chat, and headphones are really helpful. You may also interact in video, audio, and textual content chat.
Above: Scener cofounder Joe Braidwood.
All viewers want legitimate HBO Go or HBO Now accounts. HBO Go lets viewers watch HBO on the run on cell gadgets if they’ve a subscription through Amazon Prime or cable TV. HBO Now is an à la carte streaming possibility.
“We do this with full respect for the rights of IP holders,” Braidwood mentioned.
Based in Seattle, Scener launched in 2018 and was incubated by media streaming pioneer RealNetworks. The firm spun out final 12 months and has 5 workers. RealNetworks’ founder Rob Glaser is on Scener’s board.
Rivals embrace Netflix Party and Hearo.Live. Another firm, Rabbit, had the identical sort of know-how, but it surely shut down and offered off its remnants. Twitch has additionally began experimenting with exhibiting livestreams of Amazon Prime Video content material. And lots of people simply organize Zoom calls with pals and have one individual share their display whereas watching a film. But that may be a blurry expertise, and it additionally quantities to piracy.
Scener places an emphasis on high-quality, authorized video, and the streaming is dealt with excessive through the content material supply networks of HBO or Netflix, so the standard stage is native to the platform.
“We’re very happy about this partnership, as our mission is to bring people together,” Braidwood mentioned.