me theatre smart home for sports

February is the perfect month to upgrade your home theatre with smart home tech. The NHL and NBA round the halfway mark leading into their All-Star games and the NFL playoffs begin. MLB, MLS and Formula One are a month away, and of course, big UFC and WWE events are coming up too. With that in mind, it’s time to take a look at how you can turn your regular living room or home theatre into a smart one.

Your home theatre begins with your TV

home theatre smart home

4K TVs are more affordable than ever. They have stunning colour and 4K resolution is perfect for watching sports. You can find TVs from Samsung, Toshiba, and LG  that do a really good job of incorporating smart elements and have their own spin on different apps to make watching TV a more seamless experience.

Samsung smart TVs

Samsung smart TVs have numerous video apps as well as a way to connect online and check social media feeds without reaching for your PC or phone. At the same time, they give you 4K Ultra HD with 3840 x 2160 native resolution (4x the resolution of 1080p HD) and give you the ability to connect to other nearby smart devices. If the TV comes with Bixby or has the Google operating system, you’ll also have the ability to command the TV with your voice.

Sony smart TVs

Sony 4K TVs have the Google TV operating system. Not only will you have access to streaming apps like Netflix, Prime Video, Crave, and a whole suite of other video apps, but you also get Google Assitant integration. You can use the voice button on the remote to search for content to watch, and your favourite sports will be displayed on a screen with over 8 million pixels.

Check out the full range of 4K Smart TVs available right now, and when shopping keep in mind that one research point you may want to consider is whether the TV has built-in support for sports’ major streaming services or the ever-growing DAZN.

Distribution for things like NFL Sunday Ticket and the WWE Network is different in Canada than in the US (where you have to get subscriptions through an existing service provider) but it’s worth seeing if your TV can support it directly without streaming from another device. You’ll also want to make sure you contact your cable provider as well to ensure that you get all of the sports channels you need in 4K too.

Your home theatre smart home continues with sound

home theatre smart home

A TV’s native speakers are one thing, but you can’t really immerse yourself in the game if you can’t hear and feel every roar, cheer, and tackle. I’ve always been a big fan of sound bars, and smart homes are too! In fact, there are even smart soundbars you can choose from nowadays.

Bose surround sound

Bose has really gotten serious about smart speakers, with some of their recent systems including Alexa onboard. Some Bose sound bars sit in front of your TV and give you a fully customizable listening experience. With full voice capability, multiple microphones to pick you up from wherever in the room you’re speaking to it, and decades of Bose sound engineering experience behind it, Bose sound bars put you in the stadium next to the rest of the fans.

It doesn’t just end with the soundbar either. Bose is known for their flexible sound system that you could continue to add to, and it’s great for multi-room audio. Compatible Bose surround sound speakers can be added to your sound system as time goes on and placed in different rooms so that you (or your guests) don’t miss a moment of action if they step into the kitchen.

Sonos smart speakers

Not to be outdone, Sonos also has smart speakers. In fact, Sonos has a full home theatre system available including a Sonos subwoofer, Sonos sound bar, and Sonos wireless speakers. Sonos also has great multi-room audio capabilities, and with the right Sonos setup, you can connect up to 32 speakers around your house to provide a solid wall of audio for all of your guests, even if they step outside for some fresh air.
Philips Hue Play Bar DIsplay

Lighting for your Home Theatre Smart Home

While your audio and video are the star of your Smart Home show, don’t forget about lighting and what the right lighting can offer you. There are a couple of different options to think about when exploring smart lighting.

Smart light bulbs

The first type of smart lighting you can add to your home theatre is smart light bulbs. You can set up these bulbs around your home and control them through your smartphone or another supported device. You’ll be able to set the perfect pre-set dims when it’s game time.

Smart entertainment lighting

You can use light panels, light strips, smart bulbs, and smart light fixtures to create a full smart entertainment system in your living room. All you need is the Philips Hue HDMI Sync Box to connect your lights to your TV. As you watch your lights will react and sync to what you’re watching on-screen, including sports. The latest Samsung smart TVs will also support Hue light syncing via an app you can download right to your TV.

Do you have a sports-ready smart living room already?

Sportsnet Alexa SkillDon’t forget that if you already have a voice assistant in TSN Alexa Skillyour living room, you’ve already got a pretty good start on things. Numerous sports radio stations around Canada have integrated different voice assistants. My go-to station (TSN 1040 in Vancouver) reminds you several times each hour that the station has Alexa capabilities. In fact, all of the major sports networks are connected to voice assistants in some way, allowing you to listen live or even capture fast briefings of scores of all of the games in action.

That’s just a few ways how you can connect up your living room and turn it into a fully-fledged home theatre smart home. What have you done this month to help set up for all of the exciting sporting events coming up?

Matt Paligaru
Emerging Technology
A technology nut at heart, I'm always interested in what makes our lives easier and helps us tick day to day. Whether Home Automation, toys, games (board and video) or everything in between, I'm always looking around the corner to see what drives us in today's day and age.


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