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How to Upgrade Your Home Theater Setup

Whether you have an actual home theater room, or it's really just a corner of your one-room apartment, there are a few key accessories that will make your home movie viewing process as cinematic as possible.

Vector realistic mockup of living room with big plasma tv on flat gray wall, black stand with modern home theater system, white sofa for watching movies. Minimalistic interior of residential apartment

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The new year is right around the corner, which means it’s a great time to consider upgrading your home theater for your 2022 movie viewing needs. Whether you have an actual home theater room (congratulations!) or it’s really just a corner of your one-room apartment, you can purchase a few key accessories that will make your home movie viewing process as cinematic as possible. Maybe not quite theatrical enough for Christopher Nolan, but we’re all doing our best here, okay?

When it comes to your home theater, you’ll need to decide which setup is best for you. Do you want to make sure you have the highest of HD capabilities on your television? Then you might want to invest in a 4K ultra-HD TV. Do you have an extra room or area where you can get a little fancier? Then a projector/screen combo might be for you. Read on for more options to upgrade your home theater.

TV’s

You might’ve taken the opportunity to upgrade your TV during Black Friday sales, but if not there are still plenty of deals to be found. The below options come in a variety of sizes and price points to fit whatever situation you’re working with.

Insignia NS-43DF710NA21 43″ Smart 4K UHD – Fire TV Edition

This Insignia TV comes in 43″, 50″, 55″, 65″, and 70″ sizes. Each option features 4K UHD with a 60 Hz refresh rate, three HDMI ports, built-in Amazon Fire TV, voice remote with Alexa (and optional hands-free control when paired with an Echo device), and DTS Studio sound.

SAMSUNG 50″ Class Crystal UHD TU-8000 Series – 4K UHD HDR Smart TV with Alexa

Similarly, this Samsung comes in a variety of sizes (43″, 50″, 55″, 65″, 75″, and 85″). It’s got 4K UDH and an ultra-fast processor with automatic 4K AI upscaling (so your resolution is upgraded no matter what you’re watching), built-in Alexa, smart TV apps powered by Tizen, and a crisp, clear, crystal display with HDR.

Sony X900H 55 Inch TV: 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV

Step it up a level with this Sony model, which is powered by the company’s X1 4k HDR processor and includes a triluminos display, full array LED with local dimming, game mode, HDMI 2.1, and built-in Google Assistant as well as Alexa compatibility. It comes in 55″, 65″, 75″, and 85″ models.

Sony A8H 55 Inch TV: BRAVIA OLED 4K Ultra HD Smart TV with HDR and Alexa Compatibility

Wanna splurge? Sony’s best processor (the X1 Ultimate, which also sounds like an energy drink) will help bring out OLED’s intense contrast (as well as upscale everything you’re watching to 4K). It’s also got game mode, a smart TV interface with Google Assistant, plus compatibility with Alexa and Apple Airplay 2. You’ll get 2.1 channel sound from the entire screen for “an immersive multidimensional audio experience,” plus Dolby Vision and IMAX enhanced modes all in a super-slim, attractive design.

Projectors

A true 4K projector is definitely going to set you back, but if you consider the amount of films you and your family will be able to watch in their full glory from inside your home, it could potentially be worth it. If you want more variety, here are a few different options in a range of prices.

CiBest Mini Projector

Amazon’s choice for best mini projector supports up to 1080p, and is compatible with PCs, tablets, Blu-ray or DVD players, streaming sticks, gaming systems, and more; the LED projector also has SD and USB slots. It projects up to 200″ and has built-in speakers, and it’s compatible with home speaker systems. It comes with an HDMI cord, AV cable, power cable, remote control, and an adjustable foot.

Anker Nebula Capsule II Smart Mini Projector

This Android DLP device has its own autofocus technology to create 720p, 200 Ansi lumen images up to 100” in size, making it perfect for low-light environments. It has built-in speakers and battery, plus Android TV. It comes with a remote, PD charger, and a Type-C cable, and is about the size of a soda can so it is also portable.

ViewSonic True 4K Projector with 3500 Lumens HDR Support and Dual HDMI

The high brightness of this projector makes it ideal for a space that you can’t completely black out. You’ll get an immersive 4K UHD experience in 3500 lumens, which you can experience on a screen up to 300 inches. The high brightness is counteracted by a SuperEco mode that will shine for up to 15,000 hours, plus a three-year limited warranty (and one-year lamp warranty) means you will have a responsive customer service team at your disposal. It supports most media players, smartphones, tablets, and more with its HDMI and USB inputs. It comes with the projector, power cable, VGA cable, and remote control.

Projector Screens

If you’re investing in a projector, you’ll probably want something a little better than “bedsheet tacked to the wall” for your screen. Here are a couple of solid, high-quality options for you.

Delux Screens 110″ 4K/8K Ultra HDR UHD Projector Screen

This fixed projector screen measures 110″ diagonally (54” x 96″) with a 160-degree viewing angle and a 1.1 gain, plus a 2.7″ black velvet border that absorbs projection overshoot for better viewing. The PVC WhiteOut surface is Active 3D ready and 4K friendly, and it’s easy to install with included sliding wall brackets, drywall anchors, and screws. You’ll get a three-year warranty with your purchase, too.

Silver Ticket 120″ 4K Ultra HD Projector Screen

This, too, has a 160-degree viewing angle and a 1.1 gain, plus a 2 3/8″ beveled aluminum frame wrapped in black velvet material to make your image really pop. It’s easily assembled with a tension rod system, plus secure mounting brackets that allow for horizontal adjustment.

Soundbars and Speakers

No matter which screen system you choose, you’ll want to make sure you have high-quality audio to match. This can be achieved with a soundbar attached to your nice, new, 4K TV, or with a set of speakers connected to your projector.

Klipsch Cinema 400 Soundbar + 8″ Wireless Subwoofer 

This combo will give you a 40″ 2.1 sounder with 8″ wireless subwoofer, 400W peak power, and a single-cable, single remote control system for both. It has 5.1 decoding for virtualized surround sound.

Polk Audio S35 Signature Home Theater Speaker

Polk Audio S35 was built to bring that big surround sound theater and music experience to your living room. The ultra-slim 4” center speaker delivers high-resolution audio performance with a minimum support of 40kHz. The S35 features dual power port bass-enhancing technology with six 3” drivers, newly designed 1” Terylene dome tweeters, precision cross-overs, and a detachable anti-diffraction grille.

Vizio V-Series 2.1 Home Theater Soundbar

A powerful speaker and subwoofer makes for a great combination, and the Vizio V-Series 2.1 surround sound system will amp up the sound quality at an affordable price. The 36″ device features DTS Virtual X and TruVolume to help you achieve the booming sound you’ve been looking for, and it’s remote-controlled with Bluetooth. It comes with a 5″ subwoofer and works with Google Assistant, Siri, and Alexa.

Sony SSCS3 3-Way Floor Standing Speaker

These floor standing speakers are perfect for a home theater setup. The Sony SSCS3 3-Way speakers deliver an exceptional, real audio experience, with an expansive soundstage to amplify your movies, video games, or music. The speakers include dual 5.12″ subwoofers, 145 W maximum input power, and a frequency response of 45 Hz–50 kHz.

 

Klipsch RP-250S Reference Premiere Surround Speakers (Pair)

This set of set Dolby Atmos-ready Klipsch surround speakers replicates the surround aural experience of a theater.

Streaming Devices/Blu-ray Upgrades

Now that you have the rest of your tech set up, you’ll need a way to watch everything. If you’re not using a smart TV that comes with built-in apps, you’ll want a streaming device to do so. And you’ll also want to make sure you have a Blu-ray player that can handle 4K.

Fire TV Stick 4K

Save $20 on Amazon’s newest addition to the Fire TV family, which gives you everything the Fire TV interface does — easy access to apps, Alexa voice remote, and easily play 4K UHD, Dolby Vision, HDR, and HDR10+ content.

Roku Streaming Stick

Roku has access to Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Prime Video, and more streaming platforms. Plus, you get access to 150 live channels through the Roku Channel. You can stream in beautiful 4K and accessing live TV won’t be a problem. Everything can be seamlessly managed with a voice-controlled remote, so this one is a no-brainer.

 

Sony UBP-X700 Streaming 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player

This 4K Blu-ray player also has streaming capability, dual HDMI outputs, an intuitive menu and interface, hi-res audio, wifi, and Bluetooth capabilities. It comes with a remote control and 4K HDMI cable so you don’t need to make any additional purchases to set it up.

Panasonic DP-UB820 4K Blu-ray Player

Panasonic’s “most advanced” Ultra HD Blu-ray player delivers stunning color and detail, with natural textures and exceptional depth. The Panasonic DP-UB820 supports 4K/HDR formats including HDR10 and HDR10+, in addition to UDH, Dolby Vision, and Hybrid Log Gamma. It’s also compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant and provides advanced, high-resolution audio. The Blu-ray player includes a 7.1ch analogue audio output and twin HDMI terminals.

Comfortable Seating

We’ve covered the tech upgrades, but what about the seating arrangements? Comfortable seating is a key component to creating the perfect home theater. Check out a few seating options below.

Chill Sak Bean Bag Chair

This comfy, oversized bean bag from Chill Sak makes a great addition to a family room, dorm, bedroom, or basement. Chill Sak bean bag chairs are double stitched at the seams for maximum strength and durability, and stuffed with a shredded, soft, memory foam blend. The bean bag chair includes a machine-washable microfiber cover.

Seatcraft Sienna Theater Seating

If you have more room in your home theater, try out Seatcraft Sienna Theater Seating. Aside from looking the part, the recliners feature USB ports, adjustable armrests, and ambient blue LED lit cup holders with base lighting. The set also includes a swivel tray table for food and drinks.

Tomoo Lounge Chair with Ottoman

You may have seen one of these stylish leather lounge chairs floating around the net. Made from genuine leather and high-density wood, the 19.6″ x 34.6″ x 33″ chair features a 15-degree tilt and 360-degree swivel with a unique design specially constructed for comfort — whether it’s in your home theater or movie room, living room, bedroom, or office.

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