One of the top items on our holiday list this year was a new TV for our living room as our current model is about 6 years old and the advancements in home entertainment in that time have been beyond anything I could have imagined. Not wanting to make the wrong decision, we worked with Best Buy to set up an appointment with one of their Blue Shirt associates and home entertainment experts, Ryan, and he helped us throughout the process.
I wanted to share some of his tips with you because it was all new to me so I figured there were more of us, less technology savvy, people out there… Honestly, had I not asked for Ryan’s help, we would have walked out of Best Buy with a mishmash of things that don’t belong together. That said, here are some of his top tips for outfitting your home entertainment system!
Good Sound Is Key!
As great as TV technology is these days, if you want a true home theatre experience, you need to up the ante when it comes to sound. I always used to walk right by the sound aisle because I knew I’d be spotted for the fraud I was while pretending to look impressed by it all. Ryan taught me all about the differences and importance of the various components of sound, pointing out that the sound bar was where the magic happens, while the sub woofer played in important role in the projection of bass. I admitted to him that I had received a surround sound set a few years earlier and had no idea what the sub woofer did, so I just left it unplugged next to the TV… Shame.
Obviously, the sound set from Bose was incredible but it was the Sonos system that caught my eye. I liked the ability to purchase pieces as I had money for them as opposed to having to shell out all the money at once. I also liked that you could connect your mobile devices to any of the pieces through wifi so you could play your music from anywhere in the house.
To Make It Great, You Must Calibrate!
That’s right, I said calibration. Let’s just be honest here, I had no idea what this meant as Ryan talked about it until he showed me the difference. You see, when most people see a TV with bright, vibrant colours, they are immediately drawn to it. In most cases, however, you are not watching with the colours or clarity you were intended to see. Best Buy offers a service where the Geek Squad will come to your house, with all their fancy equipment, and calibrate your new TV for you in the room that you are going to place it in.
What this does is sets the colours and clarity around the specific natural lighting that your room contains. Oh, and don’t worry about losing the calibration due to power outages or other errors because the Geek Squad saves your settings and can easily re-calibrate for you!
Miscellaneous Odds & Ends
Here are a few other tidbits of information I got out of my visit to Best Buy!
1. Make sure you measure your living space before purchasing your TV and TV stand. You don’t want to have to worry about these details while you’re in the store and then pick the wrong sized things.
2. Grab a couple extra HDMI cables and a power bar. Do you know how annoying it is to excitedly set everything up only to realize that you need one more cable??? I do…
3. Don’t be afraid of buying open box items. Not only is this one of my secret strategies, but the store clerks also emphasized that open box does not mean faulty. It is almost always because someone returned it without even trying it and you could save major dollars by taking it off their hands!
That’s all for today’s lesson! I hope it proves helpful for you when you are ready to redesign your home entertainment space. Oh, I almost forgot, here is the TV we ended up with!
It’s the Toshiba 49” 4K UHD Smart TV and we can’t wait to get it fired up! I’ve been told that 4K is the wave of the future so I’m excited to see what it brings. I also love the fact that the TV has Google Cast built in to give us easy instant access to apps like Netflix, YouTube, and Spotify!
I highly encourage those of you in the market for a new home entertainment setup to stop into your local Best Buy and ask for one of their experts to walk you through all the options. Thanks to Erin and the Best Buy team for making this such a great experience for us!
Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in this program but my wife is loving watching The Bachelor on this giant new TV so I am definitely 100% satisfied with my experience!