More People are Watching Movies at Home than Ever—Here are 7 Upgrades You Need

Kaitlyn Pacheco
Written by Kaitlyn Pacheco
Updated March 25, 2022
A young family watching a movie at home
Photo: Pixel-Shot / Adobe Stock


  • Upgrade your at-home viewing experience by adding surround sound and dimmable lighting features.

  • Hire a handyperson or other professional to tackle distracting repairs.

  • Consider creating a home theater for the ultimate watch-party experience.

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Would you rather watch an Oscar-contender movie at home with takeout, your pets, and the ability to pause, or go out on the town and watch it in a movie theater? If you’d prefer to stay curled on your couch, you’re not alone.

According to a series of polls conducted by CivicScience, the majority of Americans would prefer to watch new movie releases from the comfort of their homes instead of in a theater, even when both options are available. The proof is in the data: 1.9 million households streamed the Oscar-nominated Dune during its first weekend on HBO Max, and fellow best picture nominee Don’t Look Up broke streaming records on Netflix. 

Whether this shift was brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, rising movie ticket prices, or a mix of other factors, the fact is that most people prefer home premieres. If you’re ready to take your home movie-watching experience to the next level, check out these upgrades that will make you excited to stay in for the night.

1. Make the Lighting Match the Mood

There’s nothing quite like sitting in the movie theater when the lights go down, the crowd hushes, and the movie begins. Luckily, you can recreate that same experience in your own home by installing dimmer switches to set the tone for your movie-watching experience. 

This lighting project will allow you to control the ambiance of your room at all times, even after the credits roll. Unless you boast extensive electrical experience, we recommend hiring a local electrician to tackle the job.

2. Add Sound Blocking or Proofing

Although you might love to crank the volume during an action-packed movie, the other people living in your home or building may not share your enthusiasm. If you want to enjoy movies at movie-theater volume without worrying about disturbing others, consider adding features like sound-block panels to contain the noise. 

However, if you’re creating a dedicated space in your basement or attic for movie-watching, you could take the extra step to soundproof the room. Contact a local soundproofing company to discuss options and pricing for transforming your home theater into the hottest ticket in town.

3. Upgrade to Surround Sound

Do you want to feel like your favorite movie scenes are happening in your living room? A great way to start is by upgrading to a surround system that makes every TV, movie, and gaming experience feel immersive.

It’s important to determine what type and number of surround sound speakers you’ll need for your media or living room. Most homeowners use two to nine speakers, depending on the A/V system. Choose the best surround sound system for your home by consulting a local audio professional who can also help you install your new home upgrade.

4. Invest in a High-Definition TV

Two professionals installing a large TV and audio system
Photo: rh2010 / Adobe Stock

Unless you have room for a 30-foot-tall screen in your home, you’ll likely be watching new releases on a smaller screen than a movie theater. On the plus side, there are plenty of customizable TV options to create a viewing experience tailored to your preferences.

To choose the right TV for your space, consider your size options, screen type, resolution rates, and whether you want a smart TV. Once you’ve picked out the screen of your dreams, determine the right placement for it based on how far away you plan to sit from the TV. To avoid damaging your new TV during the set-up process, hire a TV mounting service to ensure it’s hung safely.

5. Repair Distracting Issues

There’s nothing worse than settling in to stream a Star Wars marathon and being distracted by a noisy air conditioning unit or a patchy paint job behind the TV. When creating the ultimate at-home watch experience, don’t forget to repair any issues that may make it difficult to focus on the screen.

To resolve any outstanding problems, call in a local handyperson to take care of it. If you have a larger issue, hire a specialized professional to finish the job before your next watch party.

6. Let Smart Home Technology Do the Work

Tired of manually closing the blinds before pressing play on your movie? What about digging around for the remote whenever you need to pause for a snack break? That’s where smart home technology comes in handy.

With the help of a few smart home tools, you’ll be able to dim the lights, draw the blinds, and control your smart TV with a quick voice command. Consider adding technology like smart home assistants, smart light bulbs, and automated window treatments to your movie-watching room for a hands-free experience.  

7. Go Big by Creating a Home Theater

When you hear “home theater,” you might think of an extravagant setup that mimics a movie theater with stadium seating and popcorn machines. However, you don’t need to undergo a major renovation to create a home theater room.

Start by moving your viewing set-up to a finished basement or attic with less natural light and more sound resistance. You’ll need to consider your options for wiring, soundproofing, a video projector and screen, and an A/V rack to ensure the behind-the-scenes elements of movie-watching goes smoothly. To make this project easier, consider working with a local theater installation professional who can handle the details of creating an at-home theater.  

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