So you splurged and bought that latest HDTV! It’s big, sleek, shiny, and has made all your TV watching dreams come true. But, wait! There is a way to make this dream set up even better. How? With the right accessories of course!
There are countless accessories available and it’s daunting to figure out which ones are worth an investment. This quick guide will help you decide the perfect complementary tech for your HDTV. Here are ten accessories that every entertainment aficionado needs.
1. Bias Lighting
Let’s face it, TV surfaces are bright and seem even brighter when the room is dark. Binge watching your favorite show under these conditions becomes a nightmare. You’ll end up with severe eyestrain and headaches! You can simply turn up the lights, but that would end up washing out display color. Not an ideal solution for TV fans. Bias lighting fixes this dilemma.
Bias lighting is a name given to any light source used to illuminate the wall behind your TV. Benefits of bias lighting include:
• Reduced viewing fatigue and eye strain
• Reduction in reflections and screen glare
• Better perception of color contrast and black levels
The light doesn’t need to be that intense, the recommended level is 10 percent or less of the brightest white on your TV display. Any brighter and the picture quality will seem darker than the ambient light and look dull. You can get a plug and play bias light that works connects via a USB port. Prices start from $50 and go up to hundreds of dollars.
The electronics giant, Philips also came up with a line of displays called Ambilight that had ambient lighting built into the TV itself. However, a separate bias lighting set up works much better and will be compatible with any TV.
2. Digital Video Recorder (DVR)
Most cable/satellite TV providers offer additional equipment such as DVR when you sign up for services. Getting your own might be a better option if you record a ton of shows and want more intuitive User Interfaces. Plus HD content eats up storage space faster than Homer Simpson can gobble up donuts. A DVR completes your home theater setup by providing flexibility and convenience. If you’re looking for a higher-end DVR, the TiVo Roamio Pro ($699.99) is your best option. Another less expensive yet excellent option is the Channel Master DVR+ ($249.99).
3. Gaming Console
The right console paired with your new high-performance HDTV will redefine your gaming experience. Most high-end consoles have built-in Blu-ray players this means you can enjoy the crystal-clear 1080p gameplay. Immerse yourself in your favorite imaginary world by combining HDTV and console gaming.
4. HDMI and Component Cables
Look up HDMI cable online and you’ll see exorbitant prices and tall claims. Cables for HDTV and components retail at hundreds of dollars. This is an attempt to mislead consumers, there is no need to spend so much on cables. In fact, a modestly priced cable will work just as well as the ones that sell for $100 and more! You won’t notice any difference in the resulting image quality or audio.
5. Universal Remote
Having multiple devices and home theater components means a ton of remote controls threatening to take over your living room space. Consolidate all these with one simple universal remote. A universal remote simplifies navigation and lets you control all the different HDTV components. Forget about figuring out the quirks of different remotes. Universal remotes can be programmed according to the unique needs of your home entertainment system. Find a great universal remote and enjoy a hassle-free HDTV experience.
6. Satellite TV Subscription
Want to watch more 1080p video content on your TV? Go for a satellite TV subscription. Services such as DirecTV and Dish offer high-res content including movies. (Here you can find more in-depth details.) Currently, there are no networks that broadcast 1080p content all the time, so content availability is limited. The traditional cable TV industry still hasn’t taken this step.
7. HDTV Stand
Most people believe nothing beats the cool-looking appearance of a wall mounted TV. However, sometimes the room décor doesn’t allow for a standard wall mount. In such cases, a great HDTV stand works best. Make sure you check out the weight support specs so the stand can handle the weight of your TV and added components. An ideal TV stand should also have room for external components such as speakers or DVR. If you are looking for an alternative to an HDTV stand, here’s a comprehensive buyers guide of the best full motion wall mounts for TV’s. This is ideal if you are looking to get an optimal viewing experience with your HDTV.
8. Surge Protection Device
Surge protectors won’t help improve audio or video quality but an important for protection against unexpected power spikes. Sudden electricity fluctuations often damage electronic items beyond repair. You can easily avoid these expensive repairs and/or replacements by using a surge protector. For HDTVs surge protectors with coaxial outputs/inputs is recommended.
Now that you know which accessories you need, go ahead and take your in-home HDTV experience to the next level!