How I Watch Movies

This is my 80th post since I started the blog back in December 2020 so I thought it might be interesting to share how I watch my movies. There’s so many different TVs and streaming sticks and whatnot so I wanted to give my two cents. When watching my movies, I prefer to watch on the biggest screen available to me at the time. Obviously I haven’t been to the theater a whole hell of a lot the past several months, but hopefully that will change soon as we start to get more and more blockbusters released.

Ok so let’s start with theaters. My city has two theaters, an AMC and another local Midwest branch. The AMC has an IMAX, which is nice even though it’s not really IMAX (check out LieMax). Both of them have decent screens and seats, although the last time I saw a movie at the AMC (Black Widow), I got put into one of those tiny auditoriums that they never seem to use. It wasn’t the ideal experience but whatever. Usually the available auditoriums have a decent sized screen and some good sound systems so I mostly have a consistent experience. My favorite theater I’ve been to so far was a Marcus theater over in the city I lived in during college. It had the couple seats so everything was split into banks of two seats that didn’t have a middle arm rest. They were also heated and had electric recliners with plenty of recline. It was so awesome and I miss it but I’m not about to drive an hour away for a movie. 

When I’m watching at home, the same rule applies – I always want to watch on the largest screen available. You will never catch me watching a movie on my iPhone 12 Mini (don’t judge, it’s super cheap on the upgrade program) and you will rarely catch me watching a movie on my iPad or my laptop. If that’s all you have to watch on it’s not a bad thing and I certainly don’t blame you. Been there, done that for years. Anyway, my tv definitely isn’t anything special, but I wanted to get something bigger than my ancient 1080p Vizio with a bezel the size of a freeway that I’d had for almost 8 years. My main (and only) tv is a 55″ Hisense 4K Roku TV I got on sale from Best Buy. I know Hisense isn’t exactly enthusiast caliber, but we can’t all be like the guys on r/hometheater, although I want to get something like those set ups one day. Anyway, the built in channels are nice and all my streaming platforms are available without having to rely on an external device like a Chromecast or an Apple TV. I’ve had all those things in the past and onboard is definitely my favorite way to go because it saves me an outlet on my power strip. Roku has the cast ability anyway so I’m not missing any of that functionality anyways. I promise I’m not a Roku shill, this blog is way to small to get their sponsor money but I do like how their peripherals seem to link together. I’ve got my eyes on a pair of their surround sound tweeters or their sound bar to purchase eventually to bring my experience to next level. 

In the meantime, the Roku app has a cool feature that lets you cast the audio to your phone and then through a headset so if you have a decent pair of headphones, you can watch on the big tv with headphones on so you don’t disturb anybody else that’s around. Highly recommend using this feature, especially if you’re watching late at night. The only issue I’ve encountered with it is that occasionally it doesn’t work with all the apps like YouTube (like that smash button) but it’s few and far between. 

As far as projectors go, you really got to shell out a decent chunk of change to make it worth while. It’s a balancing act between clarity and brightness I’ve found. My parents house has a pretty large finished basement and for my dad’s birthday we got him a decent projector with an external speaker that does the job pretty well. My recommendation is to focus on clarity on a smaller scale with the most amount of brightness available because otherwise you can only use it in complete darkness. Most of them don’t have onboard speakers and if they do, the fans will often drown out some of the sound. The reason for better clarity on a smaller size is that you most likely don’t have as much space as you think you do and won’t be able to get a clear path from the projector to the wall to make that gigantic picture that everybody has in their head. 

Now I think I should cover physical media vs streaming. I love to collect stuff and DVDs are one of my favorites. I usually just buy Blu-ray because I’m a slow adopter for new technology (remember 3D TVs?) and that’s because I wait for the price to come down. I am a sucker for a good Steelbook though, and I have quite the collection of those. I always prefer to watch physical media because I don’t have to deal with buffering or crappy Midwest internet connections. I also don’t have to deal with having to rent a movie or hoping that it’s available on one of the many streaming platforms that are out there. It’s also way easier to share with friends and family and you don’t have to worry about them staying logged into an account for the next 18 months until you change your password. My Steelbook collection 

So that’s my set up and my preferred movie watching experience. How do you watch your movies? What is your favorite theater like? Let me know! 

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