Guide to the Perfect Movie Night
What does it take to host the perfect movie night for friends and family? We spoke to three film buffs for their expert advice.
Phil Edwards from liveforfilms.com, Ian Garstang from daddy-geek.com and Martin Hoscik from seenit.co.uk, share their tips for making your movie night a runaway hit.
Choose the Best TV
A HDTV is the bare minimum for a movie night. But if you're looking to upgrade, why not try the latest 4K TV? With four times the detail of full HD, your movies will be brought to life.
Phil: "HDTVs have changed the way we watch films. While 4K TV's are still new, they will eventually offer a great viewing experience. More films, TV shows and web series are being filmed in 4K so the amount of content is increasing all the time."
Create the Perfect Sound
Immersive sound is just as important as high quality picture, so don't skimp when it comes to buying a sound system.
Phil: "I made sure I got a decent sound bar with a meaty subwoofer to get the most out of the sound."
Phil also recommends that you set up any projector you use with audio. "Make sure you have a Blu-ray or media player that has some kind of audio output as not every projector pumps out sound."
How to Play the Movie
There are so many options when it comes to watching films at home. Below are some of the most popular viewing choices for your movie night.
If you haven't already gone digital, why not start now? 10 million internet users* in the UK have accessed films online. There are many different ways to stream films. You can get free trials from companies like Netflix and Amazon Instant Video. It's a great chance to see what the service has to offer.
Phil: "Streaming services offer such a range of films, meaning you can get a movie night sorted out on the fly as there is bound to be a film you all want to watch that is available at the click of a button."
DVDs and Blu-ray
DVDs and Blu-rays still have a fan following and their special features appeal to film fanatics.
Martin: "I still prefer to buy a disc, knowing that I'll always be able to enjoy the best picture quality without buffering or other interruptions. The various commentaries and special features aren't available on streamed services but really appeal to my inner geek."
Get the most from your DVD or Blu-ray
- Upscale your DVDs by investing in a Blu-ray player. You'll experience better sound and picture quality than on a DVD player.
- For gamers, PS4s and Xbox Ones also double up as Blu-ray players, plus they can access streaming services like Netflix and iPlayer.
Using a projector
Projectors can enhance the movie experience as they offer a much larger picture. They can be easily set up and a plain white wall will give you an instant cinema screen.
Phil: "The best way to watch films would be on a Blu-ray connected to a top-of-the range projector. You can now get tablets, video cameras and phones with built-in projectors so you can have a movie night wherever you are."
Movie Night Snacks
Movie night wouldn't be movie night without the snacks. Our film experts recommend these easy nibbles.
Ian: "Personal favourites in our house are nachos, cheese dip and chillies for me, dry roasted peanuts for my wife and bizarrely, a bowl of sweetcorn (not popcorn), green olives and carrot sticks for the girls."
Martin: "Ordering in a pizza or takeaway is a good, no hassle way of feeding the crowd without spending all your time being unsociable in the kitchen. If you're having popcorn DO put the effort into making your own - it's quick and easy to do, tastes better than the shop bought stuff and you can rope your pals into helping out!"
Movie Night Films
If you're looking for film ideas, check out these crowd pleasers.
- The Empire Strikes Back
- Back to The Future
- Raiders of the Lost Ark
- Return to Neverland
With thanks to our contributors:
*Survey published by the Intellectual Property Office on 22 July 2015.