Digital Needs of the Modern TV Den | Digitized House

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Digital Needs of the Modern TV Den

Digital Needs of the Modern TV Den
Considering setting up your TV den? Big TVs and smart sound form the foundation. Image: Sonos.
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The very concept of a home TV den (or man cave, if you must) seems somewhat old fashioned. It may call to mind worn-in recliners, oversized televisions, sports paraphernalia on the walls, and so on. But the truth is that this image isn’t just old fashioned—it’s also decidedly outdated. When you think about it, there hasn’t really been much discussion about what comprises a perfect TV den since the advent of the large flatscreen TV. So, we wanted to have that discussion, and suggest some of the absolute necessities of a fully modernized room like this.

Sight and Smart Sound

Surround sound is easy to install today, achievable with a soundbar like the Sonos Beam and a pair of Sonos One speakers. Image: Sonos.
Lively surround sound is easy to install today, achievable with a soundbar like the Sonos Beam and a pair of Sonos One speakers. Image: Sonos.

Before anything else, save the TV itself (and we trust you know a great flatscreen when you see one at this point), a room like this needs top-notch audio. This site covered the perks of some modern sound systems just recently with the prevailing idea being that with limited wiring and no assembly, you can now achieve full, rich surround sound. It’s a worthy investment, and as soon as you set up a modern set of connected smart speakers, you’ll likely wonder how you ever tolerated whatever clunky, inferior audio setup you had previously. 

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Sonos One SL Smart Speakers (Black, pair)

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Sonos Beam TV Sound Bar (Black)

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Sonos 5.1 Surround Set

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Smart Lighting

These Aoycocr LED smart bulbs offer a wide color temperature range and broad digital assistant support. Image: Digitized House.
LED smart bulbs can offer a wide color temperature range and scene support. If desired, they could be set to cast a light in sports team colors. Image: Digitized House.

The next step is lighting. Here too, spending just a bit more can land you with ideal options. We’d actually recommend, in fact, installing some smart bulbs and whatever related control tech you need, such that you can change the light of the room according to the mood. We are big fans of the Philips Hue line of smart lighting, but there are many great choices out there.

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Philips Hue White & Color Ambience Lighting Kit (4-pack) with Hue Bridge

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Aoyocor Smart LED Light Bulbs Soft White + Color (4-pack)

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This could mean something as simple as optimal control over the darkness with smart scenes through an app when you’re watching a movie, or something as fun and personal as casting the room in a light to match a favorite team’s color while a game is on. Whatever the case, smart lighting has become quite affordable, and you and any visitors you may have can have plenty of fun with it.

Virtual Reality is Going Mainstream

Thinking further outside the box, you may also want to consider setting up some space for virtual reality activity. VR headsets and related tech may not be ubiquitous just yet, but they are becoming more relevant in entertainment, and particularly in sports. In just another year or two, you may well have access to VR streaming apps that allow you to strap in and look out at a field or court of play as if you’re there in person. 

For this who are so inclined, there could be a sports betting component to this as well. Gambling laws are getting more lax in the U.S., which means odds on the upcoming NBA season, and even on current day-to-day baseball games—and much more—are becoming more visible. This is expected to lead to a surge in betting activity, some of which may well be adapted to VR, so that “spectators” can bet in real time as they virtually attend events.

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Oculus Go Standalone VR Headset

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Smart TVs Rule

Smart 4K TVs and set-top boxes like Apple TV 4K open up a world of streaming. Image: Apple.
Smart 4K TVs and set-top boxes like Apple TV 4K open up a world of streaming possibilities. Image: Apple.

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Samsung 2019 QLED TVs (4K and 8K)

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Toshiba Fire Edition TVs (4K)

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Even if you’re more likely to spend at least some time watching sports (as well as other TV and film events) in VR in the near future, the TV is still the centerpiece of any room like this. So, though we stick by the idea most modern consumers can recognize a decent flatscreen at a glance, a few words onTVs are still necessary. Most importantly, we’ve reached a point at which we would recommend a 4K TV with built-in smart features, unless you prefer a separate set-top box—like Roku or Apple TV 4K—that can access a satisfying range of apps. 

The idea is simple: Streaming services really are taking over. By way of example, Disney’s service is on its way, while Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and others remain extraordinarily popular. Furthermore, additional network-based options are coming soon. With the right smart TV setup, you can easily enjoy access to apps like these to ensure that your room is never short on content or access.

Make it Yours 

There are plenty of smaller things you can do to optimize a room like this. Stick to these tips and you’ll be well on your way to an appealing, modern update on the classic TV den. Enjoy it!

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The Digitized House editorial team, based in Austin, Texas USA.