Lockdown Brings Resurgence in Home Theaters

  • By Baik Su-jin

    April 25, 2020 08:40

    Home entertainment systems, long declared moribund in an age of mobile devices, are making a comeback as customers worldwide are locked down amid the coronavirus epidemic.

    Customers desperate for immersive distraction are snapping up vast screens and beam projectors to watch movies at home and upgrading their sound systems.

    According to commerce platform WeMakePrice, sales of beam projectors surged a whopping 392 percent on-year from March 1 to April 11. Home theater sales surged 59 percent, while sales of Bluetooth speakers increased 52 percent.

    Gmarket said sales of mirroring and set-top boxes jumped 268 percent in March. A Gmarket staffer said, "Sales of gadgets that allow people to watch Netflix on their TV have increased sharply."

    Every Korean watches 4.37 movies a year, among the highest in the world. And moviegoers who are unable to go to theaters are trying to recreate the experience at home.

    Im Yae-jin (39), a mother of three children, has set up a tent in her living room and covered it with blankets to create a home theater. She set up a laptop computer and speakers inside and prints out movie posters and tickets to recreate the experience for her family.

    "I wanted to do something fun and create memories instead of getting bored at home," she said.

    Another perk of watching movies at home is cooking food to go with them. Kim Jee-joong (37), who works for a construction company, kicks back at home and munches on home-made snacks while enjoying old blockbusters like "Gladiator."

    He says his comfy recliner and add-on table laden with snacks make him feel like he's in a premium movie theater. "I don't like to bother others by talking or eating pungent food in theaters, but I don't have to worry about that at home," he said.

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