Plex Introduces “Watch Together” Feature for Sharing and Consuming Content

Written by Bill Toulas
Last updated September 24, 2021

A couple of months ago, Plex, the multi-platform media server and player system that has also launched a free TV streaming service, is now launching a “party” feature. Called “Watch Together,” it is meant to help Plex users share the media library with their remote friends and family and to organize virtual movie dates. Although still in a beta phase, Plex is inviting users to test out the feature and report any issues they may face. With many citizens still stuck in self-isolation due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Plex is giving viewers something awesome to test out from home.

The system works pretty simply, really. The Plex user finds a movie or an episode that he/she wishes to watch together with others, invites these people to join Plex, and then they all buffer until everyone’s ready to start watching. The playback is synced at all times, and if anyone requires a bathroom break, they may pause the movie. This will affect everyone in the group, and they will be able to resume once they're all ready. The same applies to when free users are watching ads, as the playback will resume automatically for everyone in “Watch Together” once the ads are over for the whole group.

The supported platforms include iOS, tvOS, Roku, Nvidia Shield, FireTV, and general Android TV boxes, smart TVs, or smartphones. Just make sure that your Plex app is updated to the latest available version, and you should get the new option. As for what content is eligible for the new feature, the on-demand movies and TV shows are included, while media from the user's personal library is also supported. It means that the rejuvenating experience of watching old family videos with your parents would now be possible through Plex. Similarly, you can binge-watch a TV series with your friends from the other side of the town.

On a final note, Plex is highlighting the fact that “Watch Together” is an experimental feature still in its beta phase of development, so various problems and errors are bound to appear here and there. Sure, it may be annoying to have unexpected things happen during your first viewing parties, but making the feature better relies on a constant flow of feedback and error reports from the users. For the future, Plex is planning to add the ability to kick or ban users from groups, add video and text chat in the “viewing rooms,” customization options for the parties, ability to invite people on the fly, and more.

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