Did you score yourself a new TV this holiday season? Maybe an HD TV or even a 4K TV? Whether a new TV is on your radar or something you recently got, we have just what you need. To get the most out of your new TV, consider adding any of these accessories.
For Starters: The Setup
If you put your TV in a basement room with no windows and dimmable lights, you can create a classic theater look. House your set in a custom cabinet to conceal wires and speakers and add cinema-style seats and a snack bar. You can find entertainment centers with cabinet arrangements for under $200, though high-end models will, naturally, run much higher.
Another option: Create your own indoor sports center by setting up your TV in the same area as a bar and pool table. In this case, use a wall mount for your TV. You can find wall mounts for under $30. Other possible setups include:
- Making your TV part of a family room arrangement
- Setting your room up for a front projector screen
- Installing a custom cabinet entertainment center
When choosing an entertainment center cabinet, consider accessories such as flat-screen TV brackets, equipment and display shelves, speaker cloth door inserts and media storage niches.
For the best home theater experience, a high-resolution TV should be supported by surround sound. The classic setup is a 5.1 arrangement, where a central speaker channel and left- and right-front speaker channels receive enhancement from left and right surround-speaker channels, with a dedicated subwoofer handling bass. The central channel goes above or below the set, aimed at the central listening position, while the left and right front speakers go at ear level at 45-angles to the listener, and the surround speakers go two feet above the listener’s sides at 90 to 110 degrees. The subwoofer usually sits to the left or right of the central speaker, but can be moved to suit room acoustics.
Since 5.1 was introduced, several variations have emerged. A 6.1 system adds a second central speaker behind the listener. A 7.1 arrangement typically adds a pair of left and right rear speakers. Other arrangements add variables such as vertically positioned front speakers or additional subwoofers.
You can find many 5.1 speaker systems for $200 to $300 or lower, with some running as low as $55. The 6.1 systems usually start in the $350 to $400 range, and 7.1 systems tend to run upward of $700 (but you can occasionally find some under $300). Higher-quality systems are available for premium prices.
Connect With Content
To enjoy your high-quality TV and sound system, you’ll need some content to watch and listen to. The central component for coordinating your system’s content flow is your receiver, which connects to other components of your entertainment system such as your TV, speakers, cable/satellite box, DVD or Blu-ray player, Internet router, mobile device, video game consoles and smart home interfaces. Some TV service providers offer installation services to help make the setup-process easier.
A receiver includes three basic elements: a preamplifier to let you select which source you’d like to tune into, a tuner to capture over-the-air content, and an amplifier. Through your receiver, you can connect with satellite providers such as DISH, online music services such as Pandora, 4K Blu-ray players and other content sources. Home theater receivers tend to run from $250 and up, though you can sometimes find them under $200.
Sit Down Already!
Finally, after hooking everything up, it’s time to sit down and enjoy your TV. Home entertainment recliners start between $150 and $200, with deluxe models running much higher. You can get a row of reclining cinema-style seats for under $700 from some suppliers, though again, luxury brands can cost several times this amount.