Oscars Party Essentials: The Gear (and the Films) You Need

You could count down the days till the Oscars®, or you could immerse yourself in a half-dozen of this year’s nominees prior to showtime. If you’re jonesing to throw the most memorable Oscars watch party on the block, consider this: the party could start right now with a marathon of movies leading up to the awards ceremony on February 26. (Not to mention, listening to the artists behind those films in our latest podcast series.)

The gear

February is a fantastic time to buy a new HDTV and/or sound system. Retailers have historically put monthlong discounts on inventory in the run-up to the Super Bowl, which works out nicely for those of you looking to – shall we say, reinvigorate – your home theater prior to Oscars Sunday.


LG’s G6 OLED TV – available in 65” and 77” sizes – is a standout set, supporting both Dolby Vision™ as well as generic HDR. (If you missed Giles Baker – our head of Consumer Entertainment – breaking down the two formats, have a peek at his analysis here.)


Cost-conscious shoppers should check out VIZIO’s SmartCast M-Series Class. These range from 50” to 80” and start at under $650. As with the G6 OLED, these sets also support both Dolby Vision and generic HDR.

On the audio side, we’ve made it easy to secure a Dolby Atmos® sound system that suits not only your budget, but your room size. If you’re looking to outfit a dedicated cinema room, we’ve assembled installation guides to walk you through everything from AVR selections to in-ceiling speaker positioning.

If you’re after a plug-and-play solution: Samsung’s $999 HW-K850 / $1,499 HW-K950 and Yamaha’s $1,599 YSP-5600 provide outrageously believable enveloping audio without the need for a multitude of surround speakers (nor a master’s degree in cable management).

The films (and the magic)

Six Dolby Atmos-enabled films nominated for a 2017 Academy Award are already available to own in the home – 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, Deepwater Horizon, Suicide Squad, Sully, Star Trek Beyond, and Best Picture-nominee Hacksaw Ridge.

Deepwater Horizon

These titles showcase the magic behind Atmos – sound that not only enfolds you, but brings you deep inside the artist’s story by moving around you in three-dimensional space. The same technology that suspends belief in the cinema can be enjoyed in the home. (In other words, those of you who missed out on seeing these films during their theatrical run can experience the magic right now in the friendly confines of your home.)

Of course, audio is only half of the equation. Star Trek Beyond, Sully, Suicide Squad, and Kubo and the Two Strings (available on VUDU) were also graded for Dolby Vision – our way of making blacks more inky, colors more vibrant, and shadows more eerie.

Now, it’s party time

The Dolby Theatre

Once you’ve upped your Oscars cachet by witnessing a few of this year’s nominees ahead of time, be sure to tune in for the 89th Academy Awards at 8:00pm ET on Sunday, February 26, 2017. The live broadcast, beamed directly to you from The Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, can be experienced in Dolby Audio™ surround sound. If your home theater is equipped with a Dolby surround upmixer, all the better.

In all, 12 movies nominated for an Academy Award used Dolby Vision and/or Dolby Atmos, up from seven last year. Those include Best Picture-nominee La La Land (best picture, cinematography, sound mixing, and sound editing, among 14 total nominations) and Hacksaw Ridge (best picture, sound mixing, and sound editing, among six total nominations). Three of the five nominees for best animated feature – Moana, Zootopia, and Kubo and the Two Strings – were mastered in both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos.

Here’s to an amazing Oscars (and an equally amazing home cinema to experience it!).