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Your Hearth Is Now a Media Setup — Here’s How to Do It Right

Let’s face it: we gather around televisions, not fires.

chris carroll

The idea of the hearth — the space around a fireplace — is synonymous with the idea of home and family. But the hearth isn’t necessarily about fire; it’s about gathering around and experiencing human connection. Few American families congregate around (or even have) a fireplace at night, but the dedicated social space lives on. It’s just moved a room or two over.

Our TV shows, movies and video games aren’t just parcels of entertainment. They’re shared experiences, conversation starters, starting points for people to explore larger questions or forget their problems. The television set is often associated with loneliness — but today we identify with each other over our favorite shows, or a song, or a video game. If we approach home entertainment not as a way to isolate oneself but as a way to bring people together, it’s possible to create a home media setup that not only has great picture quality, but encourages us to spend more time together.

Entry Level

To Bring the Clan Together for Simple Pleasures


Samsung 65-Inch 1080p Smart LED HDTV $1,150
Sony STRDH550 5.2 Channel 4K AV Receiver $196
Yamaha YAS 203 Bluetooth Wireless Subwoofer $400
Xbox One w/ Kinect $374+


For Those Who Desire More A/V Firepower


Sony XBR65X810C 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV $1,498+
Onkyo TX-NR646 7.2-Channel Network A/V Receiver $395
Polk Audio TSX110 5.1 Home Theater System $759+
Xbox One w/ Kinect $374+
Savant Remote and Host $499


When the Digital Hearth Is the Entire Room


LG 65EF9500 4K OLED SMART TV $4,497+
Cambridge Audio CXR200 Black AV Receiver w/ Bluetooth $2,999
Klipsch RF-42II 7.1 Home Theater-Denon AVR-X2100W 7.2 Channel $2,209
Sony BDPS3500 Blu-ray Player with Wi-Fi $78
Killer Queen Arcade Cabinets $11,500

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