There is no package deal. There is no bundle. There is no brand. You can’t go to any store online or offline and ask for the ultimate home entertainment and gaming setup for 2017. That SKU does not exist. Furthermore, if you ask 10 experts to put that setup together for you, it will result in 10 completely different setups.
That is a problem that can’t be fixed by this article, or any other. But I can tell you what components you are going to need if you are up to the task of putting together such a system for yourself. Some of the pieces are quite familiar to every living generation. While others are new to all but tech enthusiasts. You do not have to get the very best. But you do need a good representation from each of the following categories:
Regardless of the category, content is still king. The heart of your entertainment setup has to be plentiful, hi-def, streaming content that can be consumed from multiple devices in multiple places. Oh, and it also has to be affordable.
These days, it is easy to compare service and pricing. You can go online and search all relevant competitors side-by-side in a browser. Beware of the services that try to hide or obscure their channel lineup. There is a reason they don’t want to show you what’s on offer.
If football is a deciding factor, Sunday Ticket is also included for free in some packages for a limited time. For more about that offer, you will have to call DIRECTV.
When you are putting together an entertainment setup, you will want to be sure your content package has the most HD content. Right now, 4K is still not a ubiquitous reality. it is still not worth paying extra for what little bit of content is available in that format. But if you have your eye on formats of the future, HDR will likely be worth the investment.
Speaking of formats that have yet to prove themselves, virtual reality (VR) gaming is getting a lot of attention, and may be on the ascendency. Large companies with deep pockets such as Facebook and Google have heavily invested in the tech. Facebook’s Oculus Rift can be purchased today. The HTC Vive reviews even better.
The few people who own these products and happen to be journalists tend to rave about them. Though some few of that number have already become bored with the novelty.
There are a few downsides in these early days. You need two perfectly functioning eyes, a higher bar than you might think. Some percentage of people who try it report feeling nauseous. Plus, you need to be tethered to a powerful Windows PC or game console. And the only two worth considering are very expensive.
That said, every self-respecting gamer either already has one, or is saving up to get one. You might need to make a little space in your gaming den to accommodate physical movement. These are early days. But no 2017 ultimate gaming setup can be without it.
Your system will have many of the following:
- PlayStation or Xbox
- Apple TV/Chromecast/Fire/Roku
- Content provider box
How are you planning to control all that? Your coffee table is not going to have any room for coffee with all those remote controls. You need a universal remote that controls all of your devices without losing any functionality. It also has to be easy to program and update as you get new devices.
It is impossible to say which is the best universal remote of 2016. It is more about which is the best for you. They are all a little different. And they all have something to offer. You will find your entertainment setup incomplete without one.
When putting together the ultimate entertainment and gaming setup, don’t get distracted by all the tech. Content is still king. VR is early, but very interesting. And you will need one remote to rule them all.