Scener & HBO

Frequently Asked Questions, Tips and Support

Thank you for your interest in Scener’s integration with HBO NOW and HBO GO. If you’re having trouble, please read the following introductory guide, or browse the frequently asked questions below.

Getting Started with Scener & HBO NOW / HBO GO

Scener now works with HBO GO and HBO NOW, allowing you to synchronize your viewing while chatting with friends and family across the United States.

What It Is

Scener is a Chrome Extension for remote co-watching on desktop and laptop computers. This means that in order to benefit from Scener’s integration with HBO, you need to be watching on a Mac, Windows or Chromebook computer running the latest Google Chrome browser.

How It Works

Scener respects copyright and acts as a social layer to your pre-existing subscription. This means that everyone in a Scener ‘theater’ must have access to HBO GO or HBO NOW on their device in order to enjoy content together. Scener then makes sure everyone is synced up to the same point in a show or movie, and handles video, audio, and text chat for all viewers. Scener does not share the host’s screen, unlike video chat products like Zoom.

Watch Remotely with Friends

The first person in a theater on Scener gets given the remote control, meaning they get to choose what is being watched. They should navigate HBO GO or HBO NOW as usual, and press play on an episode or movie. Other members will then be taken to that episode or movie, and will need to press play once to initiate Scener’s automatic sync.

At the end of a show episode, Scener will automatically take you to the season summary page, where the viewer with the remote can choose the next episode to watch (this isn’t necessary when watching movies or single-episode shows). Viewers who don’t have the remote will need to press PLAY on the next episode when it loads for them in order to resume Scener’s automated sync technology.

The person with the remote can pass it to anyone else in the room by pressing on the remote icon and picking a new host. This automatically enables the new person with the remote to pause, rewind, fast-forward or change what is being viewed in the virtual theater.

Invite Your Friends

You can invite people to your theater by clicking the invite button, and then copying the theater invite link or sharing your theater code. Sending the link to friends will give them instructions on how to join the theater in a few quick steps. They will have to be on a laptop or desktop computer, use Google Chrome, and have authorized access to HBO GO or HBO NOW on their own device.

If friends already have Scener installed on Chrome, they can also join your theater by pressing the Scener purple couch icon in Google’s toolbar (to the right of the search/ address area), and then entering your theater code and pressing ‘join’.

Once you’ve been in a theater with friends, it will show on the home area of Scener under ‘recent’. You can rejoin from there with one click.

At any time while in a theater, you can toggle your video and microphone on and off to chat with other people in the room. You do this by pressing the video camera and microphone icons next to your screen name, or that hover over your webcam feed. You can also chat with everyone in the room via the text chat area in the bottom half of the Scener sidebar.

For the Best Viewing Experience

It is strongly recommended that every participant in a Scener theater use headphones (or mute their microphone) when using video or audio chat features. If you don’t do this, you’ll hear a loud echo of the show or movie you’re watching from other viewers, which makes for a bad experience.

Scener has special viewing modes for full screen. Instructions for each can be pulled up by pressing the fullscreen button at the top of the Scener sidebar. The functionality of each operating system means this full-screen mode behaves a little differently. We’re looking into ways to make this more consistent.

When you’re done with your theater, hit the red hangup button in the status bar of your sidebar. It’s that simple. Have fun, and long live movie night!

Why is My Player Blank?

Some episodes or movies on HBO have “pre-roll” previews or catch-up videos that usually last for up to a couple of minutes. If you join a theater while the host is watching those pre-rolls, you may have to wait until the end of that segment to be synchronized. Your video player may appear blank during this.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you’ve made it this far, the chances are you’re having some trouble. We’re sorry about that. Here are some tips to solve some of the most frequent issues we’re aware of. If you’re still stuck, please email us at support@scener.com and we’ll try our best to get things resolved for you!

Before doing anything else, please make sure you and any friends you’re trying to use Scener with have updated to the latest extension. Scener will only work if you’re all updated. To do this go to Chrome Preferences -> Extensions (or type chrome://extensions into the address bar), and press ‘Update’ at the top of the page. It’s also worth doing a hard refresh of the sidebar by pressing Command+Shift+R on Mac or Control+F5 on Windows/Chromebook.

Also please close any tabs in Chrome or apps that you don’t need to have open. We often hear about people having trouble because their computers are juggling 100+ tabs and a handful of other heavy apps. Scener is a fairly resource-intensive program that requires broadband and a significant amount of processing power to juggle multiple live video feeds!

If you’re still having trouble with things being slow, please consider restarting Chrome, or your entire computer.


Can I use Scener + HBO with people outside the US?
Scener only works with HBO GO and HBO NOW in the United States.


How do I invite my friends?
Every time you kick off a private theater, you’re given a unique Theater Code. Send a link with your code in it, or the code directly to friends to invite them. They’ll be able to punch in your code as soon as they open Scener and join you immediately. You can reuse codes, or create new ones. It’s a bit like joining a Zoom call. You must be on the newest version of Scener for this to work.


I get an 'Error' page on HBO GO or NOW - how do I fix it?
Sorry to hear this. Try pressing refresh on that page using Command+R on Mac or Control+F5 on Windows/Chromebook. This usually resolves things.

If you’re still having trouble, please try hanging up the Scener Theater, closing Chrome, and reloading it. This usually solves things.


Does Scener work if my friend has HBO GO and I have HBO NOW?
Yes! Scener lets users of both services watch HBO shows or movies together in the same theater. Just select the service you use when joining a theater for the first time. If you’d like to change the setting, click the menu button in the top right of the Scener sidebar and choose ‘HBO Settings’.


Scener won't sync my HBO theater for the recaps or pre-rolls at the beginning of episodes. Why not?
We’re sorry about this. It’s not currently possible to synchronize the pre-roll content before a main episode or movie. Please just wait for a minute or two, or ask the host to fast-forward.


I'm in a theater and my friend is playing something, but it's not playing on my screen. Why not?
In order to start syncing HBO shows or movies, people who aren’t the host (i.e. don’t have the remote) need to press PLAY on their HBO GO or HBO NOW. Once the video starts playing, Scener will automatically synchronize your videos so everyone is at the same moment.


My friend is playing a movie or show on HBO, but all I can see is the login screen. Why isn't it working?
You need to be logged in to either HBO GO or HBO NOW in order to watch with friends using Scener. Everyone needs their own login. HBO NOW has a great trial that you can sign up for if you’re not a customer yet.


How do I use full screen?
On Mac:
1. Click full screen in your HBO GO or HBO NOW window
2. Press the [Control] + [Up] keys
3. You’ll see your HBO window at the top of your screen. Click and drag your Scener sidebar into the HBO window.

On Windows / Chromebook:
1. Click full screen in your HBO window
2. Press [Alt] + [Tab] and select Scener


My audio or video isn't working

Did you accidentally deny Scener access to audio or video? Is your audio or video not working or showing up? It happens. Try these steps below to allow for audio and video permissions.

  1. For Macs, click Chrome from the navigation bar at the top of your screen, and select Preferences. For Windows, type this into your search bar: chrome://settings1a
  2. Scroll to the bottom and click Advanced.1b
  3. Under Privacy and Security, click on Site Settings.1c
  4. Under Permissions, click on Camera (if issues with video) or click on Microphone (if issues with audio).1d1e
  5. Make sure the audio/video source you want is selected.1f1g
  6. If you denied permissions for Google Chrome to access Scener, press the trash can icon under the Block tab and delete it from your blocked sites.
  7. Access Scener again via the purple couch icon in the Chrome toolbar, to the right of the address/search bar, and accept permissions this time.


What equipment do I need?
To watch with friends on Scener, you’ll need a laptop and headphones. We recommend you use headphones if others are around and you’re trying to be a good roommate. Or if you don’t want an echo. echo. echo.


How many people can I have in a Theater?
Theaters can have up to 20 users concurrently watching. When you jump from a couple of viewers to have more friends join, the sidebar may reload and enable your camera again. This is normal – we’re automatically upgrading your experience to ensure it works reliably.


Something seems out-of-sync, what do I do?
Occasionally you may get a little out of sync with the host using Scener and HBO. The best way to fix this is to click further along the timeline of the show or movie you’re watching. Scener will automatically pull it back to the spot that the host is at, and this usually solves things if you’re a little out of sync.


I subscribe to HBO using a digital service like AT&T TV or Hulu. Can I use Scener?
To watch HBO on Scener, you need to have an HBO or HBO NOW subscription. To see all the ways you can get HBO, go to HBO.com/ways-to-get.

To see if you have access to HBO NOW or HBO GO through your Provider or current subscription, please see:
· How do I get HBO NOW?
· How do I sign up for HBO GO?


Will Scener work with HBO Max?
At this time, no further information is available. To learn more about HBO Max, visit HBOMax.com.

Can I stream HBO NOW or HBO GO outside of the United States?
At this time, HBO NOW and HBO GO are available for use only in the United States and certain U.S. territories.
If you reside in the U.S. and can’t stream HBO NOW or HBO GO, please see:
HBO GO: ‘Not in Service Area’ message
HBO NOW: I’m getting a ‘Not in Service Area’ message