7 ways to elevate your home movie experience

Posted: 13 January 2022 5:42 pm
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Turn your low-key movie nights into a main attraction that can keep everyone entertained.

Sponsored by Hisense. Enjoy better and brighter colours with Hisense's latest range of laser-equipped TVs. With motion-smoothing technology and ambient light-rejecting screens up to 120", you won't miss a thing.

I have a theory that movie nights are one of the most underrated forms of entertainment. Hear me out.

Firstly, they're versatile. A movie night could mean much-needed alone time or a romantic date with your partner. It could mean quality family time or fun bonding with friends.

Speaking of which, movie nights can be surprisingly social. Films can spark conversation, questions and even heated debate. (No, Jack wouldn't have fit. Yes, Han shot first.)

They're also convenient and reliable. You don't have to find a parking spot, the weather isn't going to ruin your plans, and the TV isn't closed on national holidays.

Importantly, movie nights are also accessible for people of many abilities, appropriate for people of all ages, and can be shared between various cultures.

The humble movie night is actually a juggernaut, or at least it has the potential to be. Here are a few ways to make sure your next movie night has everyone entertained.

Upgrade your TV

Yes, it's obvious but upgrading your TV is the quickest way to take your movie night to the next level. Plus, if you haven't invested in a new TV recently, you might be surprised at just how far they've come.

Huge developments in colour, picture, sound, speed and size have made modern TVs an entirely different beast to their old counterparts.

We've partnered with Hisense Australia to bring you these tips, so I'll use Hisense's recently announced Laser range to give you an idea of what you can find on the market these days.

Hisense's 120-inch TriChroma Laser Cinema includes advanced laser technology which projects high resolution imagery on an ambient light-rejection screen (ALR).

What does that mean in real terms? Put simply, no more complicated projector set-ups and all the wiring that comes with it. Just place the laser console on your entertainment unit to get a crystal-clear 120" picture with better colour and brighter images. It'll even look great in rooms that aren't dark so no more squinting through pesky reflections to see what's going on.

It's also equipped with microsecond-level processor response times and Motion Estimation/Motion Compensation (MEMC) technology to provide smoother fast-moving images for all those action-lovers out there.

A family watches a movie on a Hisense 120

The Hisense 120' Cinema screen in situ Image: Supplied

Invest in a sound system

Many modern TVs (including the Hisense range) now offer cinema-quality sound thanks to Dolby Atmos technology which is a bit like a fancier, techier version of surround sound.

When calibrated properly, it means sounds can be "placed" where they should be coming from in the movie, including overhead.

If you're able to, investing in a high-quality sound system will bring the best out in this technology and turn your movie nights into a true cinema experience.

An armchair with a stand speaker next to it.

Calibrate properly

To get the best experience from your TV and sound system, it needs to be calibrated properly. Yes, it's exciting to get everything set up as quickly as possible, but do it right the first time and you'll thank yourself later.

Calibration is different to just the general set up. It's not about getting the TV and sound system working, it's about getting them working to their very best ability. TV calibration adjusts the finer details of the picture, such as brightness, motion processing, tint, colour, and contrast. That's before you start calibrating your speakers to be perfectly in sync with the image.

It's absolutely possible calibrate your TV yourself but if the thought of fiddling with settings fills you with dread, or if you can happily admit you're not the most tech-friendly person, you can always hire a professional to calibrate it for you.

Manufacturers are also taking steps to make set-up and calibration easier. For example, Hisense customers can use VIDAA, a smartphone companion app, to set up their new TV with minimum effort. It even turns your phone into a remote.

A young woman sits very close to a TV screen, holding a remote.

Consider lighting

Yes, TV manufacturers are getting better at creating light-reflecting screens but you can do your bit too by choosing the right lighting.

If you have a dedicated movie room, recommendations are usually for recessed lighting, wall sconces, or even kickboard strips. However, for the majority of us, our lighting choices might be a little more restricted.

If possible, consider installing a dimmer switch. You can even find lightbulbs with a built-in dimmer. They can be controlled via an app on your phone, so you can adjust not only the brightness but also the colour.

Over the shoulder view of young Asian woman using smartphone to adjust the lighting equipment of a modern smart home.

Compare streaming services

There's nothing more frustrating than deciding on a film ahead of time, only to realise your streaming service of choice doesn't carry that title.

Do your research, read reviews and compare streaming services to find the ones that are best for you, your family, or even your friendship group.

There are also apps and platforms that let you keep all of your streaming services in one place, so you don't have to check each service one by one. For example, VIDAA lets Hisense customers browse multiple entertainment apps from the home screen. It can also turn your phone into a remote, for more convenient browsing.

Importantly, keep track of which services you aren't using. You can put these on hold or cancel them if you're not getting your money's worth.

Rear view of teenage girl using phone app and remote control while watching smart TV at home

Make it comfortable

If you're planning on hosting multiple movie nights for your friends or family, you want to make sure everyone is going to be comfortable.

If there aren't enough seats, think about buying bean bags or floor cushions that can be stored elsewhere when there are fewer people around.

At a push, you can even just bring doonas or blankets to soften the floor a little.

Three kids sit on a comfy sofa, eating popcorn.

Create events

If you've created a comfortable environment at home with a cinema-quality viewing experience, make the most of it! Get creative and come up with some ideas that turn your simple movie night into a must-see event.

This could be something as simple as committing to a Star Wars marathon one rainy Sunday or you could go bigger. For example, you could create a movie league, where everyone nominates a favourite movie and they battle it out to become the ultimate winner.

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