I Review TVs for a Living, and These Are My Favorite Must-Have TV Accessories

·9 min read

Bringing home one of the best TVs always gives me the A/V butterflies. Not only is this an investment I’ve proudly saved my pennies for, but I’ll finally get to take advantage of the latest and greatest picture tech that all my pals and peers have been talking about.

But embellish me in HDR and call me OLED Mike (please don’t call me that) because I know that no matter how much I’ve scrimped and saved for a new display, my TV is nothing without new accessories, and I love me some A/V accessories.

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From thrifty spends to boutique buys, this roundup is all about the best accessories for your TV and why you should consider each and every one of these items in the first place.

Read More: 23 Best TV Wall Mounts

  

How We Chose the Best TV Accessories

There’s seemingly no end to how many TV accessories you can buy, from the practical and ergonomic to the luxurious and splurgy. But in putting this roundup together, I did my best to focus on a few critical criteria for rationalizing each entry.

Organization and Cleanliness

A fully outfitted media room is a beauty to behold, from the monolithic wall-mounted TV to the bevy of Dolby Atmos-ready speakers hanging all around the room and fitted to the ceiling. But when it comes to A/V peripherals, there’s one thing you can always expect, always need and can’t live without — and that’s wires, wires, wires!

From HDMI cables to speaker leads, your entertainment system will require some kind of wired connection (probably several), but that doesn’t mean they need to create a giant mess. This is why I’ve chosen several TV accessories to reduce clutter and keep things organized.

And while wires are the first mess-makers to come to mind, organization also applies to things like your never-ending collection of remote controls. Yes, a single universal remote is a bit of an investment upfront, but you’ll thank me when you can control your TV and seven A/V components with just your smartphone.

Optimized Entertainment

You’ve dropped $3,000 on a flagship LG OLED and can’t wait to see what this bad boy can do, which isn’t very much if you’re only watching HD cable channels and streaming Crash Bash Twitch sessions on YouTube (that all-too-specific example applies to yours truly).

When you buy a TV, you want to spend the extra money to optimize the picture your new display is capable of giving you. Things like 4K Blu-ray players, 4K streaming devices and next-gen gaming systems are killer hardware for pushing image quality and motion clarity to the max, and please don’t forget to invest in the overall sound.

Trust me, I didn’t want to drop the extra $500 for my wireless surround system, but after weeks of dealing with my LG’s less-than-ideal speakers, I was much happier in the long run.

Protection and Preservation

Mother Nature can be a vile destroyer of all things electronic and relished. This is why it’s essential to hook your treasured TV and A/V components up to life-saving equipment like power surge protectors.

And when it comes to protecting the ever-energetic toddlers in your home, a set of anti-tip straps to prevent accidental TV falls is peace of mind at a relatively low cost.

Also, I’ll say this once and once only: Budget for and get the extended warranties for your TV and sound system. The additional two to five years of protection will come in handy when lightning sabotages your pretty new set, and you get a replacement TV at no additional cost.

Read More: The Best 4K TVs for Gaming & Streaming in 2022

  

The Best TV Accessories

Without further ado, here’s my list of the best TV accessories you can buy today. Remember that most of these peripherals can be purchased online, but others you may want to demo before fronting the cash — especially items like soundbars.

That said, you should have no issue tracking down a display unit or two at your local electronics depot that you can measure, assess, and play around with.

  

1. Logitech Harmony Smart Control

BEST UNIVERSAL REMOTE

One of my biggest pet peeves of a monstrous entertainment system is contending with dozens of controllers. This makes universal remotes like the Logitech Harmony Smart Control super worthwhile.

Just download the Harmony app on your go-to phone or tablet, input your TV and components, and be amazed by how you’ll be able to power your TV, switch to the correct HDMI input for your Blu-ray player, and control the volume of your soundbar with just one tap (or button-push with the included remote).

Compatible with upwards of 270,000 brands and capable of controlling eight devices, the Logitech Harmony Smart Control is a no-brainer for A/V enthusiasts with fully-loaded media cabinets.

The Logitech Harmony Smart Control, Best TV Accessories
The Logitech Harmony Smart Control, Best TV Accessories

Logitech Harmony Smart Control

Price: $175.00 (orig. $187.98) 7% OFF
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2. Velcro Brand One-Wrap Cable Ties

BEST CABLE TIES

The many HDMI cables, power cords, and speaker wires of your almighty A/V system will inevitably create a little (or a lot) of clutter. That’s where these awesome single-wrap cable ties from Velcro come into play. Sold as a pack of 100, these cable ties are durable, made for indoor and outdoor usage, and include a slot on the main head to firmly fasten your connections.

And here’s an alternative: If you’re a bigger fan of traditional zip ties, this pack of 400 standard black zips is an absolute steal.

The Velcro Brand One Wrap, Best TV Accessories
The Velcro Brand One Wrap, Best TV Accessories

Velcro Brand One-Wrap Cable Ties

Price: $12.00
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3. Legrand Wiremold Cable Management Kit

BEST CABLE MANAGEMENT

After going through the labor of getting your TV wall-mounted, the last thing you’ll want to look at is a waterfall of HDMI cables and power cords streaming down the living room wall. If you’re not up for cutting into your drywall to run wires down a stud bay, this adaptable Legrand cable management kit is the solution for you.

Out of the box, you’ll get eight long channel runs, along with a series of elbow pieces and connectors. Just peel off the adhesive, stick it on the wall, pull the channel open to nest the wires inside, and clamp it shut.

As a once-home theater installer, I wired many a complete surround sound system using Legrand products, and they got the job done every time. Best of all? You can paint the covers to match your walls.

The Legrand Wiremold Kit, Best TV Accessories
The Legrand Wiremold Kit, Best TV Accessories

Legrand Wiremold Cable Management Kit

Price: $31.84
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4. Polk True Surround III 5.1 Channel Wireless

BEST SURROUND SYSTEM

An important bit of clarifying: When I say “cable-free,” I mean no speaker wires around the living room. Most A/V components (including this Polk system) require AC power for one or several parts of the kit — which is the soundbar and subwoofer in this case.

The Polk True Surround III is an awesome investment if you’re looking for a fantastic surround sound experience without investing in an A/V receiver and spools of wire.

You can connect it to your TV using HDMI ARC, digital optical, or analog audio, and it even features built-in Bluetooth for streaming your favorite music and podcasts from your phone or tablet. I’m also into the fact that this system can decode various Dolby formats (sadly, no Atmos support).

The Polk Surround III, Best TV Accessories
The Polk Surround III, Best TV Accessories

Polk True Surround III

Price: $599.00
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5. Panamax M5300-PM 11-Outlet Surge Protector

BEST POWER CENTER

We all have one or two basic power strips hanging around the house. Most of them are probably good for giving us additional outlets to plug our stuff into, and that’s about it. So is it worth spending over $600 on a surge protector? If it’s from Panamax. You see, Panamax does one thing — design surge protectors and power management systems — and they do it really well. Take the M5300-PM: This titan of a surge command center offers 11 AC outlets and inputs and outputs for ethernet and coaxial connections.

Why would you plug your Internet and set-top box cabling into a surge protector? Because a power surge can travel across pretty much any A-to-B connection. I once dealt with a client who had their entire A/V receiver blown out during a thunderstorm, and all through an HDMI cable (the wire tip had melted).

And not only does the M5300 safeguard every line-in and line-out, but the unit also delivers linear noise filtration and five isolated power banks, which means that whatever power and A/V connection you feed into the M5300 is treated to a detailed signal-path cleansing.

I get it, though: Not everyone will want to drop the bones for a heavy-duty surge protector — even Panamax knows that, which is why they make less-expensive alternatives to some of their flagship power management gear.

The Panamax M5300 power surge protector, Best TV Accessories
The Panamax M5300 power surge protector, Best TV Accessories

Panamax M5300 11-Outlet Power Surge Protector

Price: $664.95
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6. Sony UBP-X700

BEST BLU-RAY PLAYER

Not all Blu-ray players are created equal, and the Sony UBP-X700 is one of my favorite models on the market. At around $270, you may wonder why you should buy it when most other Blu-ray players fall under $100. For starters, the UBP-X700 is a 4K player that supports HDR, specifically HDR10 and Dolby Vision. If you’re not familiar with HDR, when you watch an HDR-capable movie on an HDR-capable TV, you’ll get unfathomable levels of brightness, color volume and overall contrast. The UBP-X700 is a standout player for decoding today’s richest audio formats, including ALAC, WAV, AAC, FLAC and DSD files.

The Sony UBP-X700 Blu-ray player, Best TV Accessories
The Sony UBP-X700 Blu-ray player, Best TV Accessories

Sony UBP-X700 4K Blu-ray Player

Price: $183.00 (orig. $203.00) 10% OFF
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7. Chromecast with Google TV

BEST FOR STREAMING

Essentially a bonafide upgrade to the Android TV OS that came before it (and is still being used for newer TVs and streaming devices), Google TV offers a one-of-a-kind streaming experience where Google actively monitors what you like watching and recommends content based on your likes and dislikes.

And not only does the Chromecast with Google TV deliver personally-curated movies and shows, but it also supports 4K HDR streaming. For those of us that may not want to invest in Google streaming, Roku, Amazon and Apple all produce some pretty impressive devices to satisfy your Netflix and Hulu needs.

The Chromecast with Google TV, Best TV Accessories
The Chromecast with Google TV, Best TV Accessories

Chromecast with Google TV

Price: $49.98
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8. Mohu Leaf Plus Amplified Indoor TV Antenna

BEST FOR CORD-CUTTERS

Sometimes there aren’t enough streaming platforms in the world to cover all of the content we would miss by not paying for cable. The Mohu Leaf Plus is a great indoor antenna that gets you over-the-air TV in style for the live news, local affiliate programming, and sporting events you have to watch live. Designed for up to 60 miles of coverage, the Leaf Plus receives UHF and VHF signals, comes with a detachable 16-foot coaxial lead, and includes an amplifier to get the absolute best picture possible for whatever broadcasts you’re able to pick up.

The Mohu Leaf Plus indoor antenna, Best TV Accessories
The Mohu Leaf Plus indoor antenna, Best TV Accessories

Mohu Leaf Plus Amplified Indoor Antenna

Price: $54.04 (orig. $59.99) 10% OFF
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