There’s a reason Canadians start nesting in the fall. Temperatures drop, darkness comes on a lot sooner, and it becomes just a little less fun sometimes to be outdoors.
Why think about home theatre in the fall?
That’s why fall is a great time to start thinking about your indoor environment and in particular, your home theatre. It’s a warm, fun place you can look forward to hanging out in when the weather outside is frightful.
How to improve my home theatre?
For years, Best Buy has unofficially made September “home theatre month,” in part because of the timely seasonal aspect. But it turns out there are plenty of reasons home theatre month is becoming a bigger “thing.”
4K and 8K TVs are coming to market now
For one, while new TVs tend to get announced in January, the actual sets themselves often don’t get delivered to stores until the fall, so September is a good month for us to tell readers about the new releases, share information on what’s new or improved, and generally celebrate all things Home Theatre.
Over the last few years, 4K has been the newest and most important technology in home theatre. (Read more about what 4K TV is on our blog) 4K gives you four times as much resolution than a traditional HDTV. But this year, 8K TVs have started to come to market. Where 4K was 4 times better, 8K is 16 times better than HDTV, and four times better than even those ultra sharp and detailed 4K sets. (Get the primer on 8K TV here on the blog.)
Fall TV: All the best new shows and sports!
One of the harbingers of fall, and another reason to celebrate, is the new season of television shows. Fall is typically when many of the major, traditional TV networks and producers start releasing new episodes of our favourite TV series. If you’re looking to get caught up on the back stories of some of these epic shows, check out TV Shows on DVD!
Maybe you’re more of a sports fan. Fall is the perfect time for you as well: baseball is into the playoffs, CFL football is just getting good, and the NFL season and NHL hockey are not far off either. It’s an embarrassment of riches when it comes to sports. All the more reason why now is the time to think about tricking out your home theatre so you can enjoy your favourite programming with the best possible technology, all winter long. Getting a new 4K or 8K TV means seeing every blade of grass, or every stitch on that slider, hearing the subtle crack when Edwin Encarnacion’s bat splits, or eavesdropping on whispered hints of a sneaky play on the field.
Now is a great time to upgrade your home theatre
If your last TV weighs more than your car, it’s definitely time to check out what’s new. TVs are thinner and lighter than ever before, (not to mention Smart TVs are really taking off) and the picture quality is some of the best humans have ever seen, particularly when it comes to that 4K TV technology.
As far as home audio, no longer do you need to devote a third of your living area or TV room to huge clunky speakers with wires carefully snaked under the carpet. Mini speakers, wireless options, and sound bars all give you a much clearer crisper audio experience, without the bulk and fuss of systems even a few years ago. And with Dolby Atmos technology taking sound into another dimension—literally, it’s now overhead—there’s plenty of great reasons to upgrade the sound system too.
Get into streaming, or go deeper
Then there are the streaming TV options; Roku, Apple, Google Chromecast, just to name a few. External streaming devices can all bring you TV on demand, on a variety of screens in your home whenever and wherever you want. Of course if you’re getting a new TV, chances are it has smart streaming built in, but if it’s, say a Chromecast TV and you’re deep into the Apple TV universe, having an additional external streaming device might make sense for you.
If you didn’t know before, there are also set top boxes you can get now, like the Slingbox, that will allow you to record all the shows from your cable or satellite provider, but access them anywhere. This means your kids can watch that morning’s cartoons in the backseat of your car, you can check out the newest episode of the Handmaid’s Tale, or go back through the Game of Thrones catalogue while sitting in a hotel room with your iPad at a far away conference, or you can even catch up on last night’s 6 o’clock news, at your desk over your lunch break.
New TVs and components that work for you
Back to that room where the family can all gather together. With just a few items, and not a lot of money that needs to be spent, you can upgrade elements of your home theatre and make them pay dividends to you all winter long.
For example, you can in some cases double the size of the existing TV in your home theatre for nowhere close to double the price of what you paid for the last one. Throw in improved picture quality several times over, and you’re basically getting a movie theatre-style experience without the lineups, or the spilled popcorn underfoot.
Should I get a sound bar for my new TV?
Plenty of people think if they’re going to invest in a new smart or flatscreen TV, they don’t need any audio components. But as I’ve written here before, the speakers on most manufacturers’ televisions are just good, they’re not great. That’s where adding a small simple sound bar can really help maximize your entertainment value. Sound bars do not take up a lot of room, but the nuances and subtleties of many TV shows and movies which they allow you to hear are more than worth it. I will freely admit that I had to be converted to this belief. I used to think the TV speakers worked just fine, thank you. Until my husband insisted on getting our first sound bar with a brand-new TV. I was blown away by what I had been missing for so long.
Watch this Space for home theatre tips
Over the month of September we’ll focus in on a lot of these topics. and we’ll be sharing some interesting and educational content with you.
We’ll get deep into TVs and what’s new in television technology, including looking at smart televisions, 4K and 8K TVs and whether they’re worth it. We’ll also dig in on some great audio choices that will really help you kick your home theatre up a notch. And then there’s the other technologies: streaming devices, peripherals, toys and other productivity gadgets that will help you make the most out of your home theater. Keep your eyes on this space for the next month as we celebrate home theatre month, and be prepared to learn a lot.
And of course, if you have any ideas we should be looking into, technology you’re curious about, or burning questions you want answered, drop me a line with your suggestions. I asked on Twitter last month for your topic ideas and musings (Follow me @ErinLYYC) and many of your ideas will indeed become blog topics in September. Keep the feedback coming!