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Movie nights at home are getting better

In the last 10 years, a night in front of the TV has become an increasingly legitimate alternative to a (pricier) trip to the cinema.

And for that, we have subscription services such as Netflix to thank. Smart televisions too, of course. And that’s before we mention voice-controlled TV navigation, bigger screens, better picture quality, and immersive sound.

To really embrace movies and TV at home though, you’ll want to make your home theatre setup as appealing as possible. For help with that, here are some of our top tips.


These days, chances are that the TV you already have does some pretty clever things. 

However, if you’re due for an upgrade, pay special attention to the picture quality and size of TVs.

4K TVs, which typically have a resolution of 3840 x 2160, can screen your favourite movies and TV shows in crisp and vivid detail. They are widely available today, reasonably priced, and four times sharper than Full HD TVs.

Also pay attention to your TV’s refresh rate. If you’re eyeing a TV with a 60Hz refresh rate, that means your TV screen can refresh its frame 60 times every second. At 120Hz, it will double that every second. Higher refresh rates deliver more fluid motion. A TV with a refresh rate between 60Hz-120Hz is a good option.

You’ll also want a TV with a high quality contrast ratio – to bring your content’s brightest whites and darkest blacks to life – strong brightness, and deep colour range.

OLED TVs, which are gradually becoming more affordable, are a great option if you want a really thin TV with infinite contrast ratio, wide viewing angles, deep blacks, and vibrant pictures.

One of the other common considerations that it’s important to get right is TV size. Today’s TVs can be huge. Though, bigger definitely isn’t always better. A general principle it’s helpful to remember: Your TV’s diagonal screen size should be 1.5 to 2.5 times your viewing distance.

Although the best TVs command a hefty price tag today, the good news is that you can find a very serviceable TV with Internet connectivity and app support (including streaming video favourites such as Netflix and Stan) for a reasonable price.


With right speakers in your viewing space, it’s easier to hear dialogue, ambient sounds, and sound effects you might otherwise miss.

Given how fundamental sound is to the meaningfulness of film and television, you really want a home theatre speaker setup that sounds good.

There are many possibilities to consider, but first keep in mind that a typical home theatre space will often have five speakers – a centre speaker, speakers to the left and right of the TV, and left and right speakers behind the viewers. 

The number of speakers you have, and where you locate them, will depend on your room size, layout, and furniture too. 

Also consider whether you want your system to include a subwoofer. A subwoofer is a type of speaker that delivers the rich bass sounds that a traditional pair of speakers doesn’t. These sounds can really bring a movie or show to life if, for example, there’s an intensely dark soundtrack threaded through an explosive action scene.

Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers transform what you hear too. They feature intelligent spatial audio technology designed for immersive sound experiences that envelop you in the sonic world of the movie you’re watching. TVs, soundbars, and speakers can all be Dolby Atmos-enabled.

Sound bar

A popular alternative to a multi speaker setup today is a sound bar. A sound bar is a compact speaker system (about the size of a baseball bat) that nests below your TV screen, delivering an immersive audio experience through its speakers.

Many sound bars will feature at least two or three speakers (a centre, left, and right) and a subwoofer, but the range is vast.

For a simple but effective set up, look for a sound bar that features HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel) support. With ARC connectivity, it’s possible to connect your sound bar to your TV with a simple HDMI cable.

If you’re averse to the idea of threading speakers together, this is a really convenient and simple alternative that more than holds its own.

Sound proofing 

Some rooms sound better than others when you play movies in them. 

If the sound in your viewing room tends to reverberate, echo, or bounce around in a muddy racket (maybe you have a large room with wooden floors or high ceilings), there are simple steps you can take to improve your room acoustics.

Acoustic panels, which are generally made of wool or foam, can be mounted to walls. They absorb sound waves by dampening excessive echoes and sounds rebounding around your space.

Because acoustic panels are intended to absorb mid-range and high-frequency sounds, you can complement them with bass traps. A bass trap, which is usually a few inches-thick cotton denim fabric, helps minimise reverberation, so you can easily hear noises other than the bass. 

A top of the range home theatre system doesn’t come cheap, but even making some modest and affordable improvements to your home theatre setup can significantly improve your home movie viewing experience.