Hosting a movie night with friends and family is always a fun time, but it can be hard to do something like that when you are away at college or the Coronavirus pandemic prevents you from having people over at your house. Not to worry, you can still host a movie night in a virtual way! This concept may seem tricky at first, but we assure you it is not as hard as it sounds. In fact, there are only a few steps you need to take before you are ready to host your own virtual movie night.
Simultaneous Streaming Services That Make Virtual Movie Night a Breeze
First, you are going to have to decide between numerous streaming services in order to broadcast the movie for your friends and family to watch. There are a couple different options and ways to do this.
The easiest way is through Netflix Party. Netflix Party is a free Google Chrome extension that allows you to invite friends to watch the same movie together online. The application also includes a real-time text chat on the side of the movie screen to allow you and your friends or family to text one another as the movie is playing. The app also includes synchronized fast forward and rewind features, allowing you to control the movie for everyone in the party. Keep in mind, with Netflix Party, you can host a virtual movie night with up to 50 people in attendance.
However, this service only works for Netflix and everyone that you want to invite to your virtual movie night needs to also have a Netflix account. The extension also does not have a video or audio chat feature, which might be a good thing if you do not want to hear people talking over the movie. Also, the only way to use this extension is on Google Chrome, but that is an easy download for any form of laptop or desktop.
Kast is another great way to stream movies for a virtual movie night. Kast can be used through its Google Chrome web app or by downloading the service to your computer. This application allows you to share a lot more than just Netflix movies-- including videos, live stream, webcams, and other forms of media.
Kast is also capable of streaming any kind of video from streaming sites such as Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and Disney+. The service also includes a chat box to the side of the screen and you can host parties up to 100 people. The only problems with Kast are the fact that you have to use Google Chrome, which is not that serious of a problem, and Kast includes ads unless you pay for Kast Premium, which is $4.99 per month and comes with higher video rates.
The last video streaming service we will discuss that is also a viable option is called Kosmi. Kosmi is a little different from the other services since it follows a virtual room system where, if you wanted, you can get put into a random virtual room to watch something, play games, or play poker with other people. However, just like the other streaming options, you can also host your own room and invite only your friends and family to watch the movie you decide to stream.
Kosmi is free and allows you to stream anything from Netflix to YouTube. There is no signup, installation, or downloads required to use the service either. This service also supports webcam and microphones, while also providing the host and easily shareable URL invite for friends. The only downside for using Kosmi is that it is hard to use on a phone web browser.
Figuring Out Your Setup
Now that you have decided what streaming service to use to actually host the virtual movie night, it is time to figure out your setup for watching the movie. The goal is to be as comfortable as possible while also being able to interact with friends when watching the movie.
If you plan on hooking your laptop up to your television, make sure you have a long enough HDMI cord. You want your laptop to be connected, but also have it right next to you on your bed or couch in order to control the movie and chat with your friends. After you have a long enough cable, it’s time to find you the best blanket option to wrap yourself in for the movie.
If you are planning on watching the movie on your laptop from the comfort of your bed, you are going to need something that props it up for the perfect viewing experience. However, laptop props can be expensive and if you want to watch the movie in bed, it may not be the best option. Sometimes, the right pillow or pillows is all you need to mount your laptop either on your lap or just on your bed.
Of course you and your friends are going to need snacks for the virtual movie night. What’s a movie without the proper snackage? There are plenty of different snack packages to choose from that are full of desirable snacks.
- College 101-- This care package is full of fan favorites such as Act II Microwave Popcorn, Herr’s Popped Chips, Strawberry Pop Tarts, PopCorners Sea Salt, Chips Ahoy, Oreos, and much more! With a total of 16 snack options, you and your friends will surely have plenty to choose from.
- Out of the Blue-- This care package option has more candy options for someone with a sweet tooth. Snacks in the package include Act II Microwave Popcorn and Kettlecorn, M&M Milk Chocolate Candy, Twizzlers, Airheads Minis, and more!
- Feeling Salty-- This snack care package is all about that craving for salty items. With snacks including Act II Microwave Popcorn (seeing a trend here?), Goldfish Crackers, Lays Potato Chips, Planters Salted Peanuts, Pringles Salt and Vinegar, and EatSmart Veggie Crisps.
With 16 different snack care package options, take a look at OCM’s care package catalog to find your favorite combination of snacks. If you want to, you can surprise your friends by sending them a snack care package too and help them get ready for the virtual movie night.
Ready to Go!
You have now successfully picked out a streaming service, figured out your laptop setup situation, got yourself comfortable for the movie, and have picked out the most desirable snack care package option for you and your friends. You are ready to host a great virtual movie night. We understand how hard it can be to stay connected with friends and family, both due to being away at college or because of the Coronavirus pandemic, but a virtual movie night is a great way to stay connected.
Hopefully everything works out in your favor and that you do not run into any technical problems that would damper your movie night experience. The last thing you have to do is set a date for your virtual movie night and send out invitations to all of the people that you want to participate in the event. Remember, have fun with it! Make it feel like a special event, whether you are just sending a text or sending out actual letters. Give your movie night that big event feel to it and people will be excited to participate.