Depending on your viewing distance from the TV, you could mount a speaker above the TV(angled down).
Or set your receiver/processor to use a Phantom center channel.
Or if you aren't using the fireplace(mine is just for looks), place a speaker in front of the hearth.
If you have less than 50 devices, Sophos has a free UTM solution. Otherwise, you're going to have to pay-to-play when it comes to content and application filtering. Checkpoint, Juniper, Sonicwall, Cisco Firepower, Meraki, Sophos, Fortigate, Palo Alto, Untangle firewalls all require...
MS contributes so that it can control what features are compatible with it's ecosystems. The endgame is probably to release an MS Linux fork which will be certified/supported with Windows and Office/Exchange.
If you're just configuring switches and the occasional router, then understanding the layers may not seem important. However, in troubleshooting beyond that or designing an architecture, the knowledge is important. That's the difference between an administrator versus engineer.