Hulu and Plex Rolling Out New Features for Streaming Video With Friends

Hulu is testing a new “Watch Party” feature that’s designed to allow up to eight people to watch TV shows and movies together through the Hulu website and chat with one another while the content is playing.


Some Hulu users who sign in on the web will see a popup describing the new Watch Party option, which is available for a select number of TV shows and movies. Watch Party is limited to customers who have the Hulu plan with no ads, and it is only on the web at this time

We’re testing something new on hulu.com so you can watch together, even when you’re apart. Start a Watch Party by clicking the watch party icon on the details page of your favorite shows and movies. Try it and tell us what you think.

Starting a Watch Party with friends can be done by choosing a TV show or movie that supports the feature and clicking on the Watch Party icon. Hulu then provides a link that can be shared with up to seven people, and when everyone has joined, the host can start the show.

Participants need to be logged into Hulu and watchers need to have the no ads Hulu subscription, priced at $12 per month. As the TV show or movie plays, participants can chat with one another through an included chat box, and each person using the service can control their own playback without impacting the rest of the group.

Watch Party is a Hulu-built feature that works in any browser that supports Hulu streaming, with no plug-ins or extensions required.


Along with Hulu, Plex has also announced a new “Watch Together” beta feature today, which is designed to allow multiple people to watch movies and TV shows through Plex for free. The feature works with all free on-demand content on Plex, as well as content from personal media libraries.

Plex’s feature has no communication option, however, and Plex recommends viewers use a separate chat app such as Zoom. Watch Together works on iOS, tvOS, Android devices, and Android TVs. Plex’s Watch Together feature is an early release and more functionality will be coming in the future. Unlike Hulu’s Watch Party, Watch Together is free to use.

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MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Plex Cord-Cutting Bundle With Lifetime Pass, Antenna and TV Tuner

For this week’s giveaway, we’ve once again teamed up with Plex to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win a cord-cutting bundle that includes a lifetime Plex Pass, an antenna, and a TV tuner for creating a live TV setup that provides all kinds of content that can be watched without the need for a cable subscription.


Plex is an all-in-one media hub that organizes your existing library of content from TV shows and movies to music and photos, plus it offers a whole slew of additional free content even if you don’t have an existing media library.

Plex provides live news, Podcasts, live TV content, and ad-supported movies and TV shows made available through partnerships with Warner Bros, Lionsgate, Legendary, and more. Just today, Plex debuted support for TV shows and movies from Crackle, adding tons of new content that can be watched for free.


With the addition of Crackle, Plex users in the United States have access to more individual movies than can be streamed on Netflix, with no monthly fees, plus it includes original Crackle content.


One of the most useful parts about Plex is that it learns about your viewing preferences based on what you watch, so it can recommend new TV shows, movies, podcasts, and web shows that you might not otherwise have known about.

To use Plex, you can set up a Plex Media Server on a Mac, which makes all of your media content accessible on your devices through the Plex iOS and Apple TV apps, along with the Plex apps for consoles, Android devices, and other set-top boxes.


Plex’s Live TV service, which can replace cable for basic television watching, doesn’t require any kind of cable subscription. It can be set up with just a digital tuner and digital antenna, which lets you access HD content from channels available over-the-air like ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS, and the CW, plus local programming that includes sports and news.


Plex’s website has a full rundown on which DVR tuners and antennas are compatible with Plex’s over-the-air service, which is worth checking out if you’re thinking of cutting out cable. For our ‌giveaway‌, Plex is offering a Mac-compatible SiliconDust HDHomeRun Tuner with multi-room multi-user support, and a Clearstream Eclipse TV Antenna.


Plex’s Live TV functionality requires a Plex Pass subscription, priced at $5 per month, $40 per year, or $120 for a lifetime subscription, all of which are more affordable options than a standard cable subscription. Plex is including a lifetime Plex Pass in the ‌giveaway‌, providing our winners with lifetime access to Plex’s premium service.

Plex’s free content, which includes all of its ad-supported TV shows and movies, can be watched with a free Plex account.

We have two Plex cord-cutting bundles to give away, which include a tuner, antenna, and Plex Pass. To enter to win our ‌giveaway‌, use the Gleam.io widget below and enter an email address. Email addresses will be used solely for contact purposes to reach the winners and send the prizes. You can earn additional entries by subscribing to our weekly newsletter, subscribing to our YouTube channel, following us on Twitter, following us on Instagram, or visiting the MacRumors Facebook page.

Due to the complexities of international laws regarding giveaways, only U.S. residents who are 18 years or older and Canadian residents (excluding Quebec) who have reached the age of majority in their province or territory are eligible to enter. To offer feedback or get more information on the ‌giveaway‌ restrictions, please refer to our Site Feedback section, as that is where discussion of the rules will be redirected.

Plex
The contest will run from today (May 1) at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time on May 8. The winners will be chosen randomly on May 8 and will be contacted by email. The winners will have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address before new winners are chosen.


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Plex’s Ad-Supported Free Video on Demand Feature Gains Content From Crackle

Plex today announced that it is adding to its lineup of ad-supported free video content, introducing TV shows and movies from video entertainment service Crackle.


Crackle brings thousands of free movies and TV shows to Plex, which also includes content from additional partners such as Legendary, MGM, Lionsgate, Warner Bros., and more. Plex users will be able to watch TV shows like Hell’s Kitchen, Snatch, and Roseanne, along with movies that include Captain Phillips, Patriot Games, The Illusionist, and Failure to Launch.

For those who are unfamiliar with Plex, it’s an all-in-one media hub that organizes your entire library of content, from TV shows and movies to music, photos, and more. Plex also offers free access to news, web shows, podcasts, movies, and TV, plus it can even be used to stream live TV with a TV antenna.


Plex’s free media can be played on almost all platforms, including Apple TV, iPhone, and iPad, along with Roku, smart TVs, Android devices, and consoles. All that’s needed is the Plex app. More information on Plex can be found on the Plex website.

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