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Everything you need for the perfect summer movie night

Upgrade your next movie night with these tech essentials.
Written by Lena Borrelli, Contributing Writer
Reviewed by Allison Murray
Freevee | A free streaming service
A free streaming service
View now View at Freevee
Samsung QN90B | A 4K TV
Samsung QN90B QLED TV
Samsung QN90B
View now View at Amazon
JBL Bar 9.1 | A booming soundbar
JBL Bar 9.1
JBL Bar 9.1
A booming soundbar
View now View at Amazon
Philips Hue White & Color Ambiance | A smart light bulb
Philips Hue White & Color Ambiance
Philips Hue White & Color Ambiance
A smart light bulb
View now View at Amazon

There is nothing like a night at the movies, and this summer is shaping up to be the summer of blockbusters. Both Oppenheimer and Barbie have dominated the box office, and have made people flock to the theaters again. 

Also: The best free movie apps

But you don't have to go to the theater to enjoy a movie night. If you're a movie fanatic, you can deck your home with the latest tech to truly make any at-home movie night experience even better than the theater. 

ZDNET has rounded up everything you need for an epic movie night at home--both indoors and outdoors--so you can experience your favorite movies with the best sound, video, and lighting there is. 

A streaming service

The best streaming services are typically compatible with a variety of different devices to simplify accessibility. This includes popular devices like your smartphone, laptop, or smart TV. From services with original video content to ones that host classic movie titles, these are the streaming services you need ahead of your movie night. 

Freevee is the best video streaming service with thousands of favorite movies and TV shows like Back to the Future, Date Night, How to Train Your Dragon 2, In & Out, The Help, and The Hunger Games, all streaming this month. It also features Freevee Originals from Amazon Studios released each month for your viewing pleasure, along with live 24/7 entertainment channels, so there is always something to watch. 

View at AmazonView at PeacockView at Disney+

Something to watch it on

Of course, you'll need a screen or device to watch it on. If you're cozying up inside, an upgraded smart TV is a great option, but you can also take your movie night outdoors with an outdoor projector

Samsung QN90B QLED TV
Rebecca Isaacs/ZDNET

If you are in the market for a new TV, this one from Samsung is top-rated in ZDNET's best TVs of 2024. The quantum mini-LED display boasts a crisp 4K resolution and 120-Hertz refresh rate in High Dynamic Range, making for an immaculate picture rich with vibrant, lifelike colors. 

View at Best BuyView at Amazon


One of the best ways to experience a movie is through immersive sound, and only the best sound systems will provide that for you. Consider the following to add to your home movie setup for booming bass that will make action movies that much better.

The JBL Bar 9.1 is not just the best sound system but also the best soundbar for your next movie night. In addition to the main soundbar, the set includes dual battery-powered surround speakers that are easily detachable, giving you that full-rounded, surround sound feel that is so reminiscent of movie theaters.

View at AmazonView at AmazonView at Amazon

Mood lighting

Lighting sets the mood up for a movie night, and with the best smart lights, you can even sync up your lights to a movie's sound. Here are some of the best lighting options to add for ambiance. 

Consider these Philips lights which use voice control to set the mood with your choice. You can enjoy up to 16 million different colors (including 50,000 shades of natural white light) as well as dimming capabilities to instantly change the mood in the room with just a tap of your phone. 

View at AmazonView at Amazon

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