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Home Video Screens are Smart and Chic with These Expert 2021 Tips

expert tips on the best ways to enhance your indoor video screen time in luxury at home in 2021

Sure, summer is here and lots of people are heading for the Great Outdoors. But some days it rains, right? And some days its just Too Darn Hot to venture out. For those moments when your inner couch potato or your skittishness about the end of social distancing demands that you stay inside, we’ve got some ideas about how to make the most of all those screens you have around your home. Our ace correspondent and tech expert Tomas White has done the research, which means that those of us who are Luddites or just not tech-savvy can still level up our games. Here’s his curated list of expert tips on the best ways to enhance time on your indoor video screens in luxury at home in 2021, including smart TVs, “hidden” TVs that look like art on the wall, new tablets, streaming devices and more. It’s actually pretty easy to amp-up your screen time and be better entertained, more productive, and more connected than ever. Cool.

how to optimize your use of luxury home video screens in 2021

If you are like most of us, your screen time has increased drastically over the past year or so.  Of course, these have not been normal times.

Expert tips on how to get the most out of time on luxury home video screens in 2021

Expert tips on how to get the most out of time on luxury home video screens in 2021, including smart TVs, tablets and streaming devices.

It is completely understandable to seek entertainment, comfort, and company any way you can these days, including extra doses of time in front of a video screen at home.

But if you’re going to do that, do it in style! And in as smart a way as humanly possible. ‘Cause why not?

Expert tips on how to get the most out of time on luxury home video screens in 2021

Expert tips on how to get the most out of time on luxury home video screens in 2021, including smart TVs, tablets and streaming devices.

Did you know however that there are many easy ways you can enhance your screen time to make it even better?

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Whether it is making your TV smarter, freeing you up to roam around your home, or making the very act of watching a movie in your home a social event, we explore the many ways you can change-up your screen time in order to make a long weekend stuck indoors more bearable.

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expert tips for luxury home video screens in 2021

1. Make your Existing Screen Smarter

There is an easy way to upgrade your existing TV to make it a much smarter TV. Simply by plugging in a Wi-Fi enabled streaming device into your TV you can get immediate access to streaming services such as Disney+, Netflix, HBO Max, ESPN, Hulu, Amazon Prime, as well as many other apps. In fact, you might discover that you don’t even need a cable subscription anymore.

Expert tips on how to get the most out of time on luxury home video screens in 2021

Expert tips on how to get the most out of time on luxury home video screens in 2021, including smart TVs, tablets and streaming devices. Prime Video. Courtesy Photo.

The Apple TV 4K is by far the best streaming device you can buy. Not only does it give you access to the standard 3rd party streaming apps, but it provides a bunch of other features that will make it seem like you have a state-of-the-art TV. In fact, a lot of people who have the latest smart TVs, still buy Apple TVs for all the other benefits it provides. Below are just some of the features it has:

  • Supports Apple Arcade to immediately give you access to Apple’s large library of video games
  • Allows you to connect up to two sets of Bluetooth AirPods, if the room needs to be quiet
  • Supports the latest Apple service Fitness+ and syncs with your apple watch to let you do instructor led yoga or Pilates exercises in front of your TV
  • Provides cinematic surround sound quality via the Dolby Atmos Sound protocol
  • Allows you to play Apple Music out of your TVs speakers.
  • Allows you to set up a smart-home to centrally control your lights, air conditioning, locks, cameras, popcorn machine, etc
  • Supports picture in picture mode to watch two videos at the same time
  • Allows you to wirelessly mirror any screens from other apple devices

Expert tips on how to get the most out of time on luxury home video screens in 2021, including smart TVs, tablets and streaming devices. Apple TV/Remote. Courtesy Photo.

BUY NOW – $169

2. Set yourself free to roam around your home

One of the easiest things you could probably do to enhance your screen time is to break free from the physical location of where your computer or TV currently is.

Quarantine has resulted in us spreading out and utilizing every nook and cranny of our homes. Whether it is reading in the bathtub, napping in the guest bedroom, or working on the kitchen counter, a lot of us feel a need for new scenery, even if it is within the confines of our homes.

For most of us, however, our screens have impeded this restlessness and locked us to one place. Of course, not everywhere in your home is suitable to hang a TV or add a computer, but we have suggestions on working around this.

Expert tips on how to get the most out of time on luxury home video screens in 2021

Expert tips on how to get the most out of time on luxury home video screens in 2021, including smart TVs, tablets and streaming devices. Hulu. Courtesy Photo.

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The Hidden TV that looks like art on the wall

The Dining Room might appear to be an inappropriate place for a TV. It can appear slightly tacky when having guests over and disrupt the aesthetics of the room. However… it is a Pandemic folks! The dining room is a valuable piece of real estate and frankly a great place to have TV meals, watch sports with drinks and snacks, or even have video calls with family. Furthermore, there is a very elegant solution to this dilemma, and that is to get a TV that looks like just another piece of artwork hanging on the wall.

How to enhance your screen time

How to enhance and make the most of your screen time: Samsung. Courtesy Photo.

Samsung offers a unique product called The Frame, which essentially is a TV that is made to look like a sleek picture frame, with customizable bezels made of real wood that sit flush against a wall. Further magic happens when the TV is off. Instead of just being a black screen, it displays an artwork or photo of your choice.

The 4K display is so vivid, the ambient light sensor so sensitive, the frame so thin, and the screen so anti-reflective that visitors would be hard pressed to realize that the artwork is not on canvas. You can of course choose to display your own images, but you also have access to some of the world’s greatest photos and art from a myriad of stock libraries, including The Museo del Prado.

Oh, and as a TV, it is not shabby either. The 4K HDR display gets high marks, and it comes with Samsung’s OS that allows you to download all the standard streaming apps.

How to enhance and make the most of your screen time: Samsung. Courtesy Photo.

BUY NOW – $550-$2600 (32”-75”)

The Mobile Monitor that unchains you from your desktop

If you already have two monitors in your main office setup and have come to rely on them to multitask then you might think there is no way to take your zoom calls from anywhere but your desk. However, there is actually no reason why you can’t have two monitors wherever and whenever you want, and that is simply by buying a portable monitor.

For many, this category is still a secret, but veteran sales rep road-warriors swear by them. Essentially, these are like laptops, without the computer bit. They are screens with internal batteries, cases that double as stands, and sleek designs that let you slip them under your arm or into your backpack.

How to enhance and make the most of your screen time: Asus. Courtesy Photo.

Want to work on the dinner table? No problem: you can set up your laptop and extra monitor in seconds. If it is dinner time and you need to clear the table, there is no need to move an awkward and heavy monitor. Simply shut your laptop, flip the monitor case shut, and viola, you have your dinner table back.

The ASUS-XG17AHP is a particularly good option as it has a good battery, a large 17.3 inch screen, and supports full HD. This model is particularly popular among gamers who appreciate its incredibly high refresh rate and low input lag.

How to enhance and make the most of your screen time: Asus. Courtesy Photo.

BUY NOW – $599 with Tripod and Carrying Bag, $488 with Screen and Case only.

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3. Upgrade Your Tablet as another of your luxury home video screens

If you are one of those people that religiously upgrades their iPhones every year but has forgotten about your old iPad sitting in some old drawer, it is probably time for you to take a fresh look at this device.

The new iPads have amazing OLED screens, good stereo audio, support keyboards and even trackpads, are compatible with the latest Apple pencil (for the creative types), have high quality backward and forward-facing cameras, and of course the latest operating system that supports everything from work calls, number crunching, gaming, and videos.  The newer iPads can even act as second monitors to any Macbook or Macbook Pro introduced in 2016 or later.

How to enhance and make the most of your screen time: 4th Gen Ipad. Courtesy Photo.

 

The 4th Gen iPad Air, is the latest iPad to be released, and is your best option. You have a choice of various colors as well as a cellular option if you wish to work or play outside of Wi-Fi range.

How to enhance and make the most of your screen time: 4th Gen Ipad. Courtesy Photo.

BUY NOW – $599 – $879

4. Set up a Watch Party on all your luxury home video screens this year

Miss watching movies with your friends? Well, until you feel safe venturing back into the multiplex, there is no reason why you have to watch a movie or show alone. There are now several solutions that let you coordinate with your friends to watch shows simultaneously and chat throughout.

Most of these solutions require that you watch using a computer. And they all have drawbacks. But hey, it’s still better than nothing.

Use Zoom for something other than work

You might associate Zoom with work calls, but there is actually no reason why you can’t use it to set up a watch party by simply sharing your screen while streaming an online movie or show. Chances are you and your fellow watch party friends are already proficient in Zoom and it is an incredibly simple solution to watch, talk, chat, and see each other while bonding over a movie. Furthermore, with this solution, only one person needs to have a subscription to the streaming service.

How to enhance and make the most of your screen time: Disney Plus. Courtesy Photo.

A couple quick tips for sharing videos via Zoom. When sharing your screen look out for all the checkboxes in the sharing options tab and make sure you check the box called “Share Computer Sound” and “Optimize screen sharing for video clip.” To get the sound balance between the party members and the video just right, adjust the movie volume directly in the video player interface.

The main drawback to this solution is subpar video and sound quality for the attendees of the Zoom Call. it!I think most of you will find that the social aspect will more than make up for these drawbacks though.

host streaming service watch parties on your luxury home video screens

If all your watch party participants demand 4K video and cinema sound, the good news is that more and more streaming services offer built-in support for Watch Parties.

For instance, Disney+ has a feature called GroupWatch that lets you sync your video streams with up to seven people. Amazon Prime has a feature called Prime Video Watch Party that allows up to 100 participants.

Hulu also has a built in Watch Party feature that allow 8 simultaneous users. Being that everyone has the ability to pause the video for everyone or fast forward it, it is probably best not to make the party too large, though!

The main drawback to using these apps is that none of them offer a live voice or video conference call feature. Meaning that if you wish to talk with your friends while watching your perfectly synced movies, you will need to set up a separate group call on your phone or laptop.

Furthermore, other than the Disney+ service, all of these only work on computers – and not on smart TVs. Although, if you have an Apple 4K TV device you can always mirror your screen to the TV.

Lastly, they all require that every participant log in to the service. (Note: most streaming services allow at least 4 concurrent sign-ons with a single account, so it is fairly easy to share an account if need be.)

Make the most of your luxury home video screens

Bottom line? You shouldn’t feel guilty about watching more TV or being online more. We all need to do what it takes right now. If you feel bad about anything, it should be about being artificially constrained by your screens. And it’s not that hard to set yourself free – so don’t be intimidated – or resigned to a sub-par experience.

We hope these tips on the best ways to enhance time on your luxury home video screens in 2021 with smart TVs, hidden TVs and streaming devices will spur you to action.

The COVID-19 pandemic has permanently changed work life and entertainment in many ways. We say use this opportunity both to maximize the usage of the screens you have. And end the days when they dictate how and where you watch.

Ready for the new era of freedom in your home video viewing, dear reader? Power up.

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This article contains affiliate links to products independently selected by our editors. As an Amazon Associate, Dandelion Chandelier receives a commission for qualifying purchases made through these links. 

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