Whether your home entertainment area is a task-dedicated space or a multi-functional living room, it’s hard to know where to start when it comes to setting it up in a way that not only makes the most of the space, but optimises your entertainment experiences. Here are some tips for getting your entertainment area set up, from furniture selection and lighting suggestions, to what you need to remember about streaming, internet connectivity and selecting your electronics.
The first thing you need to do before setting up your entertainment room is consider how the room itself will be used. Is this a living room that also needs to cater to movie nights, welcoming guests and family game nights? Or is this strictly an entertainment room where members of the family go to watch TV, play games and hangout?
Once you know how you want the room to function, you can create a floorplan that makes the best use of the space. If this is a family living room that needs to cater to multiple needs for example, you want the television and entertainment equipment in one place against the wall and some comfortable furniture suitable for relaxing in aimed towards it, with a little zone off to the side with a chair and lamp for reading. However you want your room to function, zone it accordingly.
Similar to the layout, you want your furniture to be multi-functional and stylish. Choose a colour palette for your furniture that’s timeless, such as neutrals or greys, then select furniture in classic shapes so you won’t have to buy again in the near future. It’s preferable to get your furniture treated with a stain guard as the living room is a high traffic area. Choose a sofa that can accommodate the family or add a few extra armchairs either side for extras. A coffee table with hidden storage is the perfect option for an entertainment space as it’ll serve as a table for snacks on family movie nights, a place to pop a game board or drinks, and you can hide away blu-rays and remotes in the hidden storage.
Get the lighting right
While most living or entertainment rooms already have ceiling lights, investing in floor or table lamps will allow task lighting for readers, or low-light options when watching TV. A cost-effective option for lighting is the LIFX globe, an LED globe with a huge lifespan that uses less energy than a regular globe and can be operated from you smart phone via an app to choose warmth, colour and brightness, as well as controlling it remotely.
Pick your electronics
When it comes to choosing a television, you want to buy right and buy once. If you’re in the market for a new television ensure it utilises the latest technology, such as 4K, HDR, HDMI connection, etc. If your TV has the latest tech now, you won’t have to worry about future products or programs being incompatible with it in the future. Furthermore, you want to get the most out of your television. Spend some time researcin a model that suits your family, needs and budget. Keep the same things in mind when shopping for blu-ray players, sound-bars and speaker systems. If you have trouble navigating connectivity setting and tech in general, make sure you get a product with simple connections, menu, navigation and is user friendly.
It’s been predicted that by 2022, the average Aussie home will have 37 connected devices. If you’re a fan of using wireless technology in your home for tablets, phones, gaming consoles and speakers, and plan to do so in your entertainment area, you need to have excellent internet connectivity throughout your home – no dead spots! You’ll need an internet plan with high download speeds (bandwidth) and monthly allowance, especially if you’re planning to use services such as Stan, Netflix, Spotify, Foxtel Now, hayu or Youtube Premium. Keep in mind, the more people using multiple devices on the same internet connection can reduce the amount on bandwidth available to you for streaming.
On that note, if there’s a few people in your family using the same service, make sure your subscription to your streaming service allows multiple log-ins, or risk being locked out of Netflix mid-episode when the kids get home and log on. Services such as Netflix and Spotify offer family subscriptions that allow multiple accounts and streaming on multiple devices at the same time.
Now you’ve invested in the electronics, connected them to the wireless network and plugged in all the cables, it’s integral to ensure your new set up is safe. Pick up surge-protected power boards with a master switch to reduce the risk of surge damage, and some cable ties to manage the cables behind your entertainment unit. Once everything is plugged in and you’ve checked that it’s all in perfect working order, gather cables together and tie them off at the top, middle and bottom until they reach the power board. Not only does this help manoeuvre the cables out of sight, but it’s much safer to have them neatly managed than be developing into a tangled mess that can result in damage to the cables and connection points.
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