Families spend a lot of time together at home these days, typically digesting hours and hours of digital media and entertainment. Mom is in the living room checking her Facebook page and favorite blogs. Dad is on his tablet checking the latest scores on ESPN. One of the kids is downloading HD movies from iTunes and another is catching up on her favorite TV show on Hulu, while yet another may be streaming and playing the latest MMORPG from Steam.
It’s a challenge for the whole family to spend more time together. Maybe, just maybe, if there was a state-of-the-art media and entertainment center in the home, they all could enjoy it and share their favorite movies, television programs, games, photos and sports with each other.
Here are some ideas for those of you who would like to build the ultimate “Fam Cave.”
One of the most cost effective devices to add to the checklist is Apple TV. This handy little device will connect your television and provide you access to your iTunes library. Additionally, you can also use AirPlay to stream content from your laptop, mobile device or tablet directly to the Apple TV. Did you catch some funny HD video during the last family outing? Now you can easily share and screen them to relive the moments that make you remember what life is about.
Another aspect of creating a “Fam Cave” is the allure of 3D television, which some say is the biggest innovation since the DVR and high-def. Check out the Smart TV line from Samsung. These slim TV’s feature the 3D viewing experience. Additionally, you can get more content through web applications via the Samsung’s Smart Hub menu system. Want to have a family phone call to Grandma? No problem. Fire up Skype, which is pre-enabled on the television. Lastly, the Smart TV series feature AllShare Play, which allows you to share movies, photos and music to any other Wi-Fi connected devices in your home.
Of course, any great entertainment center needs to have great sound. To optimize the audio experience, you should invest in a quality home entertainment system that will make your family feel as if they are sitting in a movie theater. Take a look at the Panasonic SC-BTT195 Home Theater System. It’s another super slim device that provides the surround sound experience, so it won’t take up a lot of space and it supports Blu-Ray and 1080p HD video.
Once all your devices are in place, go the extra mile and get some state-of-the-art, theater-esque furniture. Berkline, a furniture manufacturer, has a series of high-tech recliners. Their laptop recliner features a storage compartment in the arm of the chair for laptops and other devices. It also has a small swivel-platform that can be used as a small work area.
Other recliners offer features like their eCoupled technology, which provides a wireless charging station for your gadgets–perfect for the “multi-gadget” family. There are even features available for surround sound speakers and a subwoofer–talk about achieving a full movie experience! Get a few of these, set them up like they were in a movie theater and your entire family can settle in for an amazing movie night.
In terms of content, your devices should connect to Netflix or Hulu so you can get the latest streaming HD movies and television shows delivered directly to your “Fam Cave.” Of course, to deliver all this great content without interruption and in high definition, you’re going to need a router to handle all that content.
I’d recommend the Western Digital (WD) My Net HD series of routers (N600, N750, N900 & N900 Central). These routers feature FasTrack technology and will enable you to handle multiple content demands and stream high quality, HD entertainment any time.
What suggestions do you have to beef up your “Fam Cave” and maximize your family’s entertainment experience?