The traffic outside's reaching apocalyptic-event levels. Strong rains are turning our already snarled roads into fast-flowing rivers. You can't make time for a proper holiday out of town, or worse, you've already spent all of your vacation leaves. You're not in the mood to be with other people right now. Whatever your excuse is...it's okay, fellas. It's perfectly fine to spend your days (and nights) at home and hunker down with all the TV shows and movies that you've been missing.
But here's the most important question: is your home entertainment gear up for the job? No? In that case, we have 10 suggestions that'll make your sala, bedroom, or man-cave (you lucky bastard) the best place to be for those anti-social times. Plus, with these bad boys, you can now invite the whole gang over for a good ol' tambayan sesh. Because eventually, we know you'll want company, just do you can show off.
Tell me about your telly
So your current television's still working. But if you want to upgrade, go with the LG OLED E6 (OLED65E6P) TV. Turn off those overhead lights, sit back, and see for yourself: your future home entertainment system centerpiece is as sexy as everyone says it is, and performs real well in the darkness-to-brightness scale. Support for Dolby Vision, that coveted Ultra HD Premium specification, superb color accuracy, and an integrated Sound Bar for improved sound quality will make you cut down on your social life all too willingly.
Visit your nearest LG outlet or any authorized dealer for more information on this beautiful thing.
If you're going for a full home theater feel, you might as well splurge on sound quality, too! We're going with the advice offered by The Wirecutter: the ELAC Debut passive sound system—specifically, one C5 center speaker, two F5 floorstanding loudspeakers, two B5 bookshelf speakers, and one S10EQ subwoofer—is the 5.1-channel setup to get. Not only do they deliver from build to aural output, they may give you the only pass you'll ever need to be obnoxiously loud with your shows, movies, music, and games.
We don't have the lowdown on prices and availability, so it's best to get in touch with ELAC's local distributor, Sound Concepts, for that.
Raise the bar
Want to boost your TV's sound quality, but not ready yet for a full speaker system? Consider Bose's Solo 5 soundbar. Connect via Bluetooth, activate its Dialogue mode to make your characters' mumbled lines become crystal clear, be all about that bass with Bass Control, stream your beloved playlists, and enjoy that superb audio quality Bose is known for—all in one seriously sexy-looking device. The best part (aside from the sound)? Hello, universal remote!
The Solo 5 is available locally through Eleksis Marketing, and for PhP15,500.
We were planning to say that you'll need a separate media player and game console, but (assuming you have original Blu-ray discs at home, ahem) why do that when you can get both in one device? Gents, we present to you the Xbox One S, the latest iteration of the bestselling Microsoft console, now with 4K Blu-ray and video streaming capability, plus HDR support and 2TB onboard storage. It's also much smaller than its predecessor by 40%, it controls your other entertainment devices via Infrared, and it comes with wireless game controllers that have upped its operating range.
Turn it well
Yep, we're referring to that Up Dharma Down song off their third album. But we also have the Audio Technica AT-LP60-BT wireless turntable in mind; those wanting to up their soundtripping experience would do well with it. You can keep it old-school with the vinyls and RCA wires, or go wireless and connect your compatible audio devices to it through Bluetooth. You can also play those prized singles or LP records in either 33-1/3 or 45 RPM. For the technicals, the LP60-BT is equipped with a die-cast aluminum platter with anti-resonance, a Dual Moving Magnet phono cartridge with replaceable stylus, and a switchable built-in phono pre-amp. Lastly, you have three color options to choose from, to better coordinate your media room's look: black, white, and navy.
It's available through the Audio Technica website for US$179 (around PhP8,600), but we also suggest inquiring through local authorized distributor Philippe Gadgets for availability and prices.
Speaking of streaming... those who still need a way to get their preferred content from mobile devices or laptops to their TV sets should take a look at the new Google Chromecast Ultra, announced earlier this month. The latest update to Google's vaunted device can handle 4K Ultra HD and HDR streaming (your TV should already has those capabilities, BTW — go back to our first suggestion if it can't), and take care of your audio streaming needs as well. Upgrade your Netflix plan and check out your queue now! You'll have to wait until next month to maximize it, though; that's when the Chromecast Ultra will be available for purchase at US$69 (around PhP3,300) minus shipping.
Can't do 4K or HDR viewing yet? Go for the original Google Chromecast instead. You'll spend just US$35 (around PhP1,700) for it minus shipping.
Looking for that retro, drive-in theater feel? In keeping with our 4K and HDR trend, the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5040UB 3LCD projector is so ready for that level of visual goodness, and 3D too. For the spec-heads, the 5040UB can do 2500 lumens of color brightness and white brightness, and a 1,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio. Epson has also thrown (get it?) in a new non-interting optical engine, along with proprietary image enhancement tech.
The catch: It has an SRP of US$2,999 — equivalent to a whopping PhP145,000 using today's rates. G pa rin?
Virtual reality's all the rage now, so why not add a VR device to your bangin' home entertainment setup? The Samsung Gear VR (2016 model) is ready to pop your cherry. It has a 101? field of view, weighs less than a pound, is compatible with up to six Samsung smartphone models, is powered by Oculus tech, and is built for both content consumption and immersive gaming.
Samsung didn't post the Gear VR's retail price on the Philippine website, but does list MemoXpress in Binondo as a retailer for the headset. We also suggest paying any local Samsung Experience Store a visit.
We've been talking about going loud and proud with your home entertainment gear. However, there will be times when you'll need to settle down and be quiet AF. If and when that happens, slap on the Bose QuietComfort 35 wireless headphones. These noise-canceling over-ear cans will get you through a quiet night in, and longer — it has a projected 20-hour life per charge on wireless mode, and a 40-hour life when you go wired. Plus, you get that amazing audio performance all to yourself.
As with the aforementioned Bose Solo 5 soundbar, you can buy the QuietComfort 35 headphones from Eleksis Marketing for PhP22,500.
Don't laugh. We're serious about this. What's a home entertainment experience like without... popcorn?!?!? Forget those microwaveable bags; use the Waring Pro WPM40 professional popcorn maker to feed you and your entire barkada. 12 whole cups of corn in 2 ½ minutes, guys. Think about it.
OK, that's it. No popcorn for you.