Q. My sister told me that Sling TV has a Watch Party thing that I could watch a show virtually with her. How does that work, and what exactly is it? — Jenny Lee, Marina Del Rey.
Jenny Lee, Sling TV, the live streaming service owned by Dish, has launched a ‘Watch Party’ feature that enables subscribers to connect with friends and family in remote location via video and chat while they both stream the same show.
The feature, which is available on Google Chrome web browsers, allows subscribers to invite up to three guests to share their viewing experience. Sling says it’s comparable to watching a show while being on a video call with other people at the same time.
With many Americans still confined to their homes due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Sling says the Watch Party enables you to feel connected while watching television.
“We know that for so many, it’s not just about what you are watching, it’s who you are watching with. Sling Watch Party is all about bringing people together to share in the moments that matter,” says Jon Lin, vice president of product for Sling TV. We could all use more time together to enjoy our favorite sports and entertainment, which is why we created this amazing new feature.”
Here’s how Watch Party works:
1. You sign in to Sling.com via a Google Chrome web browser (A Watch Party can be created up to 60 minutes prior to air time for live shows.)
2. Select any eligible live or on-demand title from a Sling TV ribbon. (Watch Party is only available for channels included in Sling Orange, Sling Blue or Extras services. Watch Parties are not available for local channels, rentals, Pay-Per-View events, premium or standalone channels or programming recorded on Cloud DVR.)
3. Invite up to three additional guests to join the party via a shareable link or e-mail.
4. Click ‘Start Watching” when the selected title is scheduled to begin.
Sling says there’s a special preview of the Watch Party until September 30. During this time, invited guests can attend a Watch Party by simply creating a Sling TV account. (A paid subscription is not required.)
Once the party starts, video windows of your guests will appear on the right hand side of the screen while the show is on the left. You will be able to chat with them via video and text. You won’t need any additional equipment in order to watch and chat, but don’t forget to permit access to your laptop camera and microphone.
All participants in the Watch Party will have control over their own video camera, and the volume of their individual stream. The subscriber who’s hosting the event will have control over Play, Pause and Rewind.
Last note: Sling TV’s base subscription starts at $30 a month, but the streamer is now offering $10 off for the first month.
Jenny Lee, hope that helps. Happy viewing, and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann