9 Ways to Enhance Your TV-Viewing Experience at Home

The latest technology can make your living or media room more impressive than some theaters (and the popcorn is much cheaper). Try these easy upgrades to maximize comfort and functionality in your TV room.

Photo By: TiVo

Photo By: Roku

Photo By: Logitech

Photo By: Nest

Photo By: LG Electronics

Photo By: Sonos

A Super-Smart DVR

DVRs (or digital video recorders) are pretty standard in most homes with a cable or satellite service, but upgrading your DVR to one like the TiVo Roamio could mean getting a larger hard drive, customized recommendations or “wish lists” that will record anything including, say, your favorite actor, and access to cable and local TV as well as streaming boxes and apps like YouTube or Vimeo. 

Streaming Movie Services

DVDs don’t have to take up valuable real estate in your living room. You can view movies on a service like Netflix across all your devices, and now with its much-loved exclusive series (Orange is the New Black! House of Cards!), the service may actually offer more than your old DVD collection could.

Streaming Media Boxes

With access to thousands of movies, TV episodes and digital video content, streaming boxes like Roku have mastered the art of delivering content to your TV. Boxes (or their smaller “stick” counterparts) install in minutes, and a large amount of the content is free.

Universal Remote

Instead of shuffling through a pile of ungainly remotes every time you want to command a different box, you can give the control to a universal remote such as Logitech’s Harmony — which can replace up to eight remotes. The Home Control edition can even take on smart devices such as your lights and shades.

Smart Thermostat

Too cold … too warm … who wants to keep pausing House Hunters to adjust the thermostat? Nest controls your climate by learning your house’s heating and cooling patterns, plus with its iPhone-inspired style, it looks sleek on a wall. You can also control it via smart devices.

Motorized Shades

What light from yonder window breaks, creating glare in the middle of the screen? Motorized window treatments like Lutron can be controlled by remote or app, and programmed to preempt the sun’s interruption to your programs.

Hidden TV

Channel your inner art collector by masking your flat-screen behind artwork when it's not in use. In HGTV Smart Home 2013’s version, original designs are printed on app-controlled canvases that roll and lower on demand.

Voice-Control TV

Televisions like the LG Smart TV respond to your voice, so you can skip reaching for the remote, and don’t need to click through an endless menu of commands. Say “Find me a romantic movie,” for instance, and love will be in the air(waves).

TV Speakers

Boost your TV’s sound quality with an attractive, wall-mounted wireless speaker like the Sonos Playbar. Turn down the volume, and the Playbar will boost detail on dialogue so you don’t miss a word, and when the TV is off, you can use it to stream audio from your smartphone.