Are You Ready For Some Football

I hope you have been enjoying our recent newsletters about pretty stuff like kitchens and decorating. I think it is now time to talk about something really important---getting ready for football season! I gave Elisabeth the week off from writing the newsletter, so here goes my first attempt, hope you enjoy it!


One of the first considerations is if you are able to have a dedicated man cave or will you be using your existing family room. This determines the seating. If you are going to do a dedicated room it would probably work best with theater chairs. These come in a wide range of styles from love seats to individual recliners. If you are going with your existing family room then you will want seating that is multipurpose, like couches and loveseats with a couple of chairs. Choose super comfortable pieces, and be sure your have plenty of places to set drinks (cup holders are awesome!) and snacks. Consider adding remote control dimmable lighting for convenience. Your furniture arrangement influences the type and size of the television you need. Measure the distance between the seating and the TV before you go shopping.

   Do you want LCD, LED, or plasma? What are the differences? Very simply, LCD stands for liquid crystal diodes, a technology that is commonly used in everyday items like digital clocks, car dashboards, calculators, and stereos. LED is a type of LCD television. LED (light emitting diode) TVs use a different type of backlighting, which makes the picture brighter and more luminous than a traditional LCD. Plasma TVs are a technology that utilizes small cells containing electricallychargedionizedgases. LCDs tend to be the least expensive and plasmas the most costly, with LEDs in between.

Plasmas use more electricity than LCDs and LEDs, up to 50% more energy,What size? You need the biggest, best TV you can afford. Many of the best buys seem to be 42". If you are going above 50", experts tend to recommend the plasma, though in a bright room the LCD will have less glare. A 46- or 50-inch set is often preferable in rooms where you'll be sitting 8 to 10 feet or so from the screen. Just don't buy a jumbo set and sit right on top of it; you will notice the picture elements (pixels) which can be distracting. Front projectors are a great choice for home theaters-the best choice for a truly big-screen experience-but they're less practical for everyday use.
Many new LCD and plasma TVs are Internet-enabled (Wi-Fi) sets that can stream online video and access popular websites. Your screen resolution choices are 720p and1080p, the higher the number the finer the detail. Consensus is that unless you are a serious gamer or Blu-ray DVD watcher, you will not see the difference between 1080p and 720p, plus most satellite and cable TV is still being sent in 720p. If you want3D (for movies and games) look for Full HD 3D or stereoscopic 3D, which is the best form of 3D TV currently available, though you will still need the special 3D glasses.

Many man caves are in the basement, but any unused room in the house will work. Some guys convert their garage into their man cave. In addition to the TV, important "toys" to have include a dart board, pool or foosball table, and video games. Consider a game table for poker and playing cards. A bar can be very easy to add---you can check Craigslist for something that might work as a bar, like a cool old piece of furniture. A mini-fridge is great, too.

Man caves are usually dark. Bright and airy just does not say "cave"---think darker paints (deep blue, brown, green) and darker woods. Use wooden blinds instead of white for a rugged look. Hang long, thick curtains on the windows, with "blackout" backing, to block out all light, for complete darkness in the room during daytime TV watching.
Be sure to have access to additional seating for all your buds, like folding chairs or large bean bags. A large, sturdy coffee table in front of the couch is great for a place to put your feet up.
Oh, I almost forgot. What is the best floor covering for your TV watching room? The consensus is carpet, for sound deadening and reflection reasons. If your man cave has hard surface floors, then adding a thick rug near the TV is a must.
Hope this helps you get ready for football season!