The Super Bowl is less than a week away, and that means it’s time to throw out everything you own and start living like a real American—with a brand new home entertainment system plopped right in the middle of your living room. Sure, you could probably get by streaming the game on a laptop, but it’s 2016. Why not treat yourself to that massive 70-inch TV or that robotic butler you’ve always dreamed of? Here’s a look at the best Super Bowl party gear:
You need a centerpiece for your new set up. A display that you and your Super Bowl-viewing guests can really revel in. You could go with a projector: Sony has a couple in the $20,000 range that are great so long as you have a giant wall to project on. But the images cast by projectors can look like garbage when the lights are on or the sun is out. More importantly, you have less than a week until the game, and you probably don’t have time to install a theater-quality projection system.
The safe, and still wonderful choice, is a television. Samsung makes a solid $3,000 LED option that uses nanocrystals to brighten the image and bring out stronger contrasts. That’s quantum physics, man. You can’t argue with that.
If you want to do one better, you should get an OLED TV. The latest from LG have a few billion pixels that can be individually controlled, so you get the blackest blacks and the whitest whites (which will be especially handy when the vanilla white Oscars are on next month). LG’s 65EF9500, a 65-inch 4K OLED television, is the one to beat. You might be throwing down $6,000 ($5,000 on sale!) just so your eyeballs can be exposed to bright lights every day, but it’s probably cheaper than a ticket to the Super Bowl. So spend your money wisely: On this beautiful 65-inch 4K OLED television.
Once you have your TV, you’ll want to pipe in some high-quality audio. Your mother warbling in the house three counties over sounds better than what comes out of those tiny-ass speakers on the back of your TV. So grab some good speakers, but not a 7.1 surround sound system with an amp, receiver, and cords slithering everywhere.
Go with Sonos instead. You’ll need the Playbar to put under your TV, and you’ll have to put down cash for multiple PLAY1 or PLAY5 speakers, but you won’t have to deal with a bulky receiver taking up space in your media console. And everything is wireless! And there’s really cool software that optimizes the audio for the room you’re in. And for a couple hundred bucks per speaker, you’re probably not going to find a better deal.
Clearly the best bang for your buck is a small child, but child labor laws being what they are, the second best kind of butler would be Pepper, the robot butler. While it (I refuse to gender robots even if Pepper’s sexist overlords do) isn’t designed for butler duties, it can perceive human emotion. So it should be able to perceive your need for the nachos baking in the oven. Get it here.
A butler, a TV, and a good audio system are fine, but you still need something to control it all. Savant—known for the home automation systems for the rich and famous—makes a gorgeous remote, but Logitech makes a remote that ships via Amazon Prime. Both control everything in your house that’s connected to the central hub. That means your TV, your lights, even your thermostat...if you are so inclined.
If you think you’ll be able to stream the Super Bowl in glorious 4K resolution—you’re wrong. The NFL broadcasts all games in 720p, a noticeably low resolution compared to other streaming services like Netflix. But that shouldn’t stop you from getting a set-top box that streams 4K video. The Nvidia Shield will do just that. And when you’re not streaming TV shows, it will let you stream games from your PC to the living room. So even though the Shield might not come in handy during game time, it will be great when you re-watch all the Super Bowl commercials on YouTube in 4K.
You need to be fully immersed in the game and that 65-inch OLED 4K TV will definitely help. But to really bring out the glowing allure of your TV, stick these Dream Screen LED backlights on the back. They change color depending on what the display is showing, and help the image pop a little more. We’re not exactly sure of the scientific validity behind this, but we can say that it does look pretty damn sweet.
You have the lights behind the TV covered, now you need to blanket the kitchen in a soft glow. Philips Hue is a system of very expensive lights that change color depending on how you program them. They also come pre-loaded with 17 “scenes” that let you change the room’s ambiance with the press of a button. Great for providing light without disrupting the game.
Because you threw your furniture out to make way for you new entertainment lifestyle, you now need new seating. Don’t get a cozy pair of home theater seats or a couch upholstered in Italian leather. Get something easily deflated so you can kick it out of the room when you’re all standing and shouting at the TV.
Pepper the robot is on nacho duty, but what about beverage duty? Do you really want to be running to the kitchen for soda and/or beer constantly? When your significant other, who hates carbonated beverages, needs a long pour of Cold Duck or Franzia, you need to be ready. So why not grab a $5200 fridge that dispenses wine like soda.
When the party is over someone has to clean up. Or something. A robot vacuum will clean without complaining and babysit your child while you’re vomiting away your hangover. You’ll have to duct tape the child to the vacuum, but that’s a price I’m personally willing to pay.