How to Create the Ultimate Viewing Setup!

by Liam McGill

Introduction

Whether you need it for the big game, or you’re a gamer who needs one for their big gaming session, a great TV setup is fundamental for making sure that any viewing experience is enjoyed to the fullest! So if you’re working in a cramped corner or a spacious family room, this guide should have you ready for when game time rolls around! 


TV Placement (and Associated Items)

TV Setup - Mainland Furniture NZ


Unless you’re still rocking the radio broadcast, you’re most definitely going to have a TV screen for your entertainment set up. As such, the ideal placement of your screen is integral for an amazing viewing experience! In modern society, the TV is the current replacement for what the hearth was in traditional times, a place of warmth and light the whole family could gather around, so keep this in mind when you place your gargantuan 80” OLED screen into your living room! Ideally, your screen should be viewable by all from their respective angles and it should be able to be viewed without any awkward distension of the neck, remember you’re going to have to view this TV for as long as what you want to watch is on, so make sure you’re comfortable when you put on the 11-hour Lord of the Rings Trilogy Extended cut.


If you’re in the market for a TV, here are some key points in what to look for: 

  1. Plasma and LCD are out, the picture quality provided by an LED or even better, an OLED TV far surpass both of these styles of TV while providing the benefits both are able to offer.
  2. Bigger might not be better! As TV’s get larger and resolutions climb further into the thousands, purchasing the biggest and highest resolution could end up being a waste of money depending on what you’re watching. 4K is still great, especially if you’re watching live sport or streaming Netflix, then when it comes to size make sure that at 4k you’re approximately 1 - 1.5x away from the width of the screen (so if your screen is 2 meters wide, then place it 2-3 meters away.)
  3. Smart TV’s don’t stay Smart! The wind has changed as streaming services reign supreme and broadcast TV shifts to the wayside. As such, plenty of TV’s nowadays come with plenty of these services pre-installed, however, this leaves you at the mercy of the TV manufacturers for deciding how long these features will work on your TV. To prevent an early death to your TV we’d recommend purchasing a unit such as a Chromecast or Roku to make sure your TV works as it should for as long as possible

While you might have the screen set up, what’s the point of great picture quality if you can’t hear what you’re seeing? As such, a great speaker setup is imperative as sound is 50% of the viewing experience. With TVs getting as thin as they are, the speakers in these units are often after-thoughts and sometimes omitted, with many recommending exterior solutions such as a soundbar to boost that sound quality significantly! These plug directly into the TV and provide just the extra sound and bass that your TV speakers can’t achieve!


With all this new technology, however, comes an additional cost: where do you put it? TV Units are great for hosting your TV and all of its associated accessories in one tidy hub. Even if your TV is wall-mounted, a TV unit provides a necessary home for all your speakers, entertainment boxes, and a landing area for any remotes while keeping your home looking professional. As such, a good TV unit should ideally be able to house not only your TV, but your devices as well. We’d also recommend giving your devices as much air as possible when placing them inside their selected cubby, especially games consoles, as dust is easily collected within the devices and in time makes them overheat. Good TV units should also feature cable management holes at the back so you can easily arrange the wires into one, clean mega-cable leading to the TV. You can check out our full range of TV units if you’re in the market for one, or need an example of what to look for.


Seating arrangement

Couch setup - Mainland Furniture NZ


Now you’ve got your screen set up, it’s time to do the seating arrangement! As mentioned earlier, the TV has replaced the hearth in the family home. Thus, when arranging your living room, your couches should ideally encircle the TV as that is most likely to be the center of attention in the room! However, this doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice the accessibility of the room to get that perfect viewing angle, just so long as you aren’t trying to view the TV from a 45-degree angle you should be alright. Also, consider which chairs/ couches you have available and arrange around them. So if you’ve got a massive 3-person sofa and two matching chairs, give the sofa the best viewing angle and the chairs can flank the sides of the sofa. This is obviously because the sofa seats the most, so more people are easily able to have a great viewing experience!


However, keep in mind when arranging the living room that you won’t be watching the screen at all times. Sometimes, you might just be having a quiet chat with a friend or hosting a board games night. So make sure that your layout also doesn’t prevent conversation, this means having chairs face each other in a way where you can easily make eye contact with other patrons in the room. If need be, make sure you have access to chairs that one can easily pull up and join in with the rest of the group also. Whether these are chairs from the dining table in the same room, or beanbags stuffed into a corner of the room, always make sure your living room is ready for any additional +1s.


Where to place tables

Coffee Table - Mainland Furniture NZ


Now you’ve got the seating arrangement set up, it’s time to find a home for your tables. Ideally, you want your table close by so you can easily reach for any drinks and snacks while also preventing any spills onto the carpet. As such, a good coffee table is ideal to have somewhere central to all chairs, while also providing a good amount of surface area for all your snacks, drinks, and any feet resting from the couch. It also pays to note the height and storage of the coffee table, as you ideally want the coffee table about the same height as where your legs are on your couch, and storage is important if you want to host an impromptu board game night after you’re finished watching what was on the TV. If you’re in the market for a coffee table, then view our full range to see if we’ve got something to your liking.


Now, if you’re a true couch potato and want that full Maxell experience, then you might consider some couchside cabinetry. Depending on the purpose of the cabinet and how much storage you may need, something like a bedside cabinet, despite its name, can make for an excellent couch side companion to host your drinks and snacks while keeping them in close proximity. They are also excellent for any TV-related items, such as batteries, odd and end cables and adapters, and that remote for the old DVD player you don’t own anymore but don’t have the courage to throw out (hey, you might need it someday.) Cabinets like these are also great for hosting odd and end electronics that you may use on the occasion, such as a lamp for reading or a BlueTooth speaker for some background music. 


Conclusion

So now you’ve done it, you’ve set up your TV to perfection. Now you should be sitting in your chair at the perfect viewing angle, favorite snacks and drink close at hand and ready to sit for however long and enjoy your perfect viewing experience. Whether you’re clocking in for the big game, or you’re experiencing the latest game release day one, you are ready to reach a level of entertainment quality that is unmatched anywhere else and personalized just for you. Now sit in your king's throne and revel in the glory that is your ultimate viewing setup!


FAQ

Where do I store my collection of physical media?

If your entertainment setup is for movies or video games, then you most likely have a collection of physical media that you want close by for when their moment arises. As such, an immediate solution would be a DVD rack that you can easily place next to or near the TV so you can easily have a full view of your collection close at hand. However, sometimes your collection can easily exceed shelves like these after a year or so of collecting. As such, we would also recommend a large bookcase with additional shelving underneath for assorted accessories. Again, however, if you’re someone who actively collects your chosen media, we would also recommend shelves that you can easily have access to more of to create a more synonymous shelving experience for your collection.


I have more devices than what my TV/TV Unit can hold

This issue is more common with gamers who will have different devices for different games, but it can still happen for the general screen watcher. If you’re in a position where you have too many devices for different jobs then there are plenty of solutions. If you simply just have too many devices than what your TV has in ports, a great solution is to get an HDMI splitter that will allow you to connect however many devices to one central point before going to the TV as one cable. However, for the gamers, this may have issues in input latency arise, so make sure to either read the product description or selectively choose which devices to have to go through this solution. However, if you’re in a situation of having too many devices to fit into your TV unit then this is where the answer gets a little hairy. Depending on the device/ format it plays, you may be able to consolidate your devices down into using a singular device. This means that if you have a Blu-ray, DVD, and CD player, then keep the Blu-ray player as it can play both DVDs and CDs. Many games consoles now also play these types of media, so consider purchasing a media remote for these devices so that those maybe not as literate with game controllers can still watch movies with ease.


How do I remove glare from my TV screen?

Sometimes, the best room for watching your media may come with a catch, which most often is glare from either natural or unnatural sources. In this instance, there are several solutions to removing glare from your screen for different situations. If the glare is coming from outside light from a window, then installing some black-out curtains will quickly control the lighting in your room. Otherwise, you can try installing the TV in areas where it is obscured from the light yet still visible, this may mean strategically placing a bookcase beside the TV, or placing ornaments on the window sill to block as much light as possible. If the light source is unnatural, however, this is where options get a little complicated and costly.


A quick solution is to place some neutral lighting behind the TV to create a backlight, known as bias lighting. Whether it’s installing an LED strip behind the TV or just placing a lamp as close to the back of the TV as you can. Otherwise, you can try either positioning the TV or the offending light away from each other. However, oftentimes this isn’t possible so again, our best and easiest solution is to just turn the lights off and revel in the darkness.


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