My girlfriend and I are trying to find a way to watch movies together. The problem? She's currently in Canada and I'm in California. I'm looking for a way to stream movies - either from my hard drive or a Dropbox account or any other way - so that she and I can watch simultaneously. I'm not terribly tech-savvy, so the more user-friendly option the option, the better. Any help would be appreciated.
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Thread: Watching movies simultaneously
I should say... I know connection speeds is going to be an issue. A PERFECT solution would be to find a way to host the movies online so that we can point our browsers to the same page and watch that way. But streaming off of my computer is a good secondary option.
I don't think you will find an easy or simple way to do this. Before you could stream a video from your computer, you would need to process it a fair amount to get the streaming bitrate low enough to go across the net. And the quality will suffer. A lot depends on the internet throughput at your two locations.
Unless you have specific videos in mind, I would consider one of the sites out there that do streaming commercially. Hulu, Netflix and several others come to mind. It wouldn't be that hard to roughly synchronize the start time of a video at two locations.
But don't let my opinions dissuade you from looking into this a bit further. But you may have a bit of a steep learning curve to do as you described.
And welcome to our forums.
Just send her the complete video file. You could do it with a private torrent or DropBox, or whatever cloudy method.
Then you call her and say "3-2-1 press PLAY".
You can both have high quality with no buffering or dropouts or other issues from trying to stream.
Or, after downloading it and an accomanying script, you run the script. The script is written to start the movie player at a particular time (or open the movie in the player and then start the movie at a particular time).
I just did a google search on "start movie player at a certain time" and got a number of hits, so it looks quite doable.
Even so, depending on your clock settings and the relative speed/power of your respective PCs, you still might not get things to work EXACTLY at the same time, nor maintain the sync. To do that, you would have to use a commercial streaming service.
Anyway, even doing it manually you should be within 1 second, good enough to chat over the phone while you're watching.
Then you can synchronise toilet breaks as well.
However you do it, use headphones so you don't hear the other film over the phone.
i haven't tried over a long distance but a program like Ultravnc may be a good solution.(..or may not)
You basically allow a computer to view your desktop so if you play a video the client pc will see it aswell but i don't know if it's smooth playback
No. Unless every link in the chain's round trip from source PC to destination PC is VERY HIGH BANDWIDTH (we're talking >~10Mbps sustained, just for the payload) and can tweak the networks to give QoS priority to the video, it will definitely have both LAG and SKIPPING/STUTTERING on the destination end. Even with those hurdles fixed, you'd still have the LAG, so it wouldn't be "synced" with the source in terms of a movie scene occurring simultaneously at both sites. Plus many VNC/RDP connections don't even use full color palette, which would SUCK for video.
(If you are wondering how Netflix, etc do it, they put out multiple multicast servers on the high-speed backbone, or even at local/lastmile distribution sites - which fulfills most of the first requirement, and use a specific IP protocol - which fulfills the 2nd, leaving the remainder up to the consumer's link).