There are certain things no TV lover should be without. From a few dollars to a few hundred dollars, here are the absolute must-haves this holiday season for the TV lover in you, and if you’re really generous, for the TV lover in someone else too.

Apple TV
Apple TV ($99)
Beyond the hype the Apple TV is a simple, easy to use and just plain fantastic device. Yes it’s 720p only and you’re tied to Apple for your paid content. But it’s so easy, small and cheap, these small faults are forgiven. It’s also one of the best Netflix streaming devices.

Or you could get: Roku XDS 1080p($99).

PlayStation 3

Playstation 3The commercials aren’t hyperbole. It really does do everything. Blu-ray, games, 3D, Netflix, VUDU, there is almost nothing this box can’t do. Like the Apple TV, this is one of the better Netflix streaming devices. It will even do 1080p and 5.1 Dolby Digital Plus on some Netflix titles, something no other box can do.

Or you could get: Xbox 360 w/Kinect

Any Blu-ray Player

You can get a Blu-ray player for under $100, and one that has 3D and other bells and whistles for just a little bit more. The picture quality is so much better than DVD, there’s really no reason not to get one at this point. Even the price on BD discs has dropped.

Or you could get: A VCR

Programmable Remote Control

The average home has several hundred remote controls stuck in the seat cushions of the sofa. Leave them there with a decent remote control from the likes of Harmony or URC. The programmable ones are the way to go. Most are fairly easy to program, either just with the remote or using the computer. So easy you won’t even need your kids to explain how to use it.

Or you could get: trained monkey

Setup Blu-ray

Spears and Munsil BenchmarkEven the best HDTVs aren’t perfect as set from the factory. With just a few tweaks using a setup Blu-ray you can get a significant increase in performance. No matter what you spent on your TV, one of these discs will make it look better. In some cases, a LOT better. Discs like Digital Video Essentials: HD Basics and Spears & Munsil High-Definition Benchmark include tests and patterns for the advanced user as well as basic setup patterns. Discs like Disney WOW: World of Wonder has Goofy. So there’s that.

Or you could get: ISF Calibration. On second thought, get that too.

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