Once upon a time, lovers of such antiquated shows as “Sex and the City,” “Friends,” and even “Lost” had to wait an entire week between episodes. Oh, the horror.
On Feb. 27, the show that vaulted “binge-watching” onto the Oxford Dictionaries’ radarreturns: Season 3 of “House of Cards” drops, all 13 episodes at once, on Netflix. Where will you be watching? On your laptop, on your postcollege-era couch with your cat? What if you could create the ultimate binge-watching room, one where you’d be perfectly happy to spend 13 hours (or more!) mainlining what may be the most addictive form of legally available entertainment?
It may be too late to pull this together in time for the “House of Cards” premiere, but “Orange Is the New Black” returns in June. So for some tips, we turned to Danny Walker, owner of Woodland Home Theater in Campbell, CA.
Of course, the TV itself is key. Netflix is streaming “House of Cards” in the ultra-HD 4K format, and to take advantage of that, you need a 4K TV (about $2,000 to $3,000, depending on size). You’ll probably want to mount it and run the wires through the wall—and there will be a lot of wires (budget $500 for labor).
“The whole hype in the media is that everything is wireless, but everything needs power,” Walker says. “You don’t want to watch a battery-operated TV.”
If you really want to soup things up, you could also get a stereo and speaker setup for enhanced sound, like the Sonos playbar and sub ($2,000 to $3,000). Because you might want a dance break every so often, and you’ll be able to tap into your tunes on Pandora/Spotify/iTunes.
Oh, and don’t forget to upgrade your lighting (about $500 to $1,000). So the lights will come on automatically when you pause the show. Duh.
In fact, why stop with the lights? Netflix, TV, stereo, thermostat, lighting—one device can rule them all.
“You gotta geek out,” Walker says. “You’ve gotta have a good remote control.” (Cost: approximately $1,000. Control4 is one maker.)
For refreshment, get a minifridge—but not just any minifridge. At Snyder Diamond, a high-end appliance retailer in Los Angeles, a salesman (who preferred to remain anonymous) suggested an under-counter fridge with drawers, like one by Sub-Zero (approximately $3,800, plus about $200 for installation).
As for snacks, nothing beats popcorn. But we’re not talking the microwave stuff: You can get an old-fashioned, theater-style popcorn-popper for $50 to $200 on Amazon.com.
Finally, the seating. “For a dedicated home theater, I would recommend having theater seating,” Walker says, “but for a real TV marathon, you want to be able to stretch out—you want a big, comfy couch. With blankets.”
“Look for a sofa or sectional that isn’t too big for the room, has soft seating but enough cushion fill to maintain its shape over time, and has plush but durable fabric,” says interior designer Jennifer Farrell. For a traditional look, she likes this slipcovered sectional in a variety of configurations ($1,275 to $4,709). Or you can go contemporary with this sectional that’s also a pop-up sleeper ($3,798 to $3,998). “And Z Gallerie has the best throws,” says Farrell ($69.95 to $899.95).
“You could watch TV for years in this room,” Walker says.
OK, now that you’re all set up, only one question remains: What time should we come over? (We’ll bring the pizza.)