Metastream

Website review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
Metastream Website Poster Image
Promising concept, but glitches can cause confusion.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Violence

The extension doesn't have any inappropriate content, but videos watched with friends could have violence in them.

Sex

The extension doesn't have any inappropriate content, but videos watched with friends could have sex or nudity in them.

Language

The extension doesn't have any inappropriate content, but videos watched with friends could have inappropriate language in them.

Consumerism

Metastream solicits donations on its site to help fund operations, which range from $1 to $5 a month.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The extension doesn't have any inappropriate content, but videos watched with friends could have drinking or drugs in them.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Metastream is a Chrome or Firefox browser extension for streaming videos. Users don’t need to register or sign in to use the site or the extension. The site includes a link to a Metastream page on the Discord chat platform where users invite each other to watch things and discuss support issues and other topics. The site is in beta, so users may experience issues trying to view things through some providers. The extension itself doesn't have inappropriate content, but the videos and chat window could expose players to questionble content.

 

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What's it about?

METASTREAM lets users invite an unlimited amount of people to watch and discuss videos. Users need to download a Chrome or Firefox browser extension, and viewing can be private or public. The host sends a link, approves people who join, and adds a video from Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, SoundCloud, Crunchyroll, Reddit, Google, or Twitch. Users’ video streams are synchronized, and they hit return to access a chat window. All participants will need to have and sign into their account with paid providers like Netflix to watch items from those sites.

Is it any good?

The website viewers use to access this video watching application will allow two people (or technically an unlimited amount) – to watch videos from more than a half-dozen sources. Users don't have to register on Metastream to view things together, and a chat option is included that lets them discuss what they’re watching. But some of Metastream’s functions can be spotty, and it doesn’t seem to offer a seamless, uniform experience accessing all eight content providers. Users can’t directly invite people through the site to watch things, for instance. Instead, they have to copy the link for a video and email or text it. The chat window doesn’t stay open, so you have to hit return every time you want to enter a comment, and only the host can stop and restart videos. When other participants try to stop or restart videos, they’re told it requires DJ permissions, but there are no clear instructions on how to grant those.

In a recent viewing test, YouTube videos loaded fairly easily, but one viewer had a slight delay. Also, after hitting pause on a Twitch video, the second user was able to resume watching, but the host’s video wouldn’t play. Netflix videos have to be viewed in a pop-up window, rendering the chat feature somewhat useless, unless you want to jockey back and forth between two windows. A statement on the site warns users to expect some issues because the release is still in beta, so some of the problems may eventually be resolved. Until then, viewers may find some providers’ videos are easier to view on Metastream than others. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about screen time. What limits can your family set to ensure everyone is also enjoying other activities?

  • How can kids tell if something is OK to watch? Discuss movie ratings and elements that might indicate a TV show or movie is meant for adults.

  • When it comes to movies, do you and your family understand the difference between owning and renting?

Website details

  • Genre: Video Sites
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Last updated: April 15, 2020

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