Have you ever wanted to watch a television program or feature film with a friend, but had no means of meeting up - maybe it's late, maybe you don't have access to your car, or maybe you live in different states. We have. Two of our team have bumped against this issue in the past. Last year, we wanted to watch a movie together on Netflix, but neither of us had access to any means of transportation. We could have streamed one person's screen using a service like Skype, but that would have resulted in an extremely diminished viewing experience for at least one person. So, we tried to manually synch our Netflix streams ourselves. But, as anyone who has tried this before knows, once a mediocre synch has been made at the beginning (normally by a delayed "press start on 3" command), upkeep of the current time synchronization can be tedious and oftentimes not worth the work. And with more people, this would be near impossible. With Couch, anyone who wants to watch shows or movies with their friends from different locations, and who has a Directv SetTop box properly configured, can enter a "room" with other Directv users. Once in the room, users can pause, play, restart from the beginning, and jump to another point in the shared program they are watching. What's more, we've implemented a messaging system which displays chat messages and application information with a sleek animation. These notifications inform the user about things ranging from who paused the content to whether or not there was a jump point (a new location in the content requested by the user) put up for a vote of all users, both features we made to ensure that no user abused their control.

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