HDTV Accessory Gift Idea Guide
Every TV needs something to go with it: A Blu-ray player, some better cables, maybe a media streamer.
If you have a TV, or just purchased a TV, there’s some great gift idea that makes the TV look better, sound better, or maybe even perform better. Here are some HDTV Accessory gift ideas for any budget.
If you want a digital high-definition connection between your cable/satellite box, HDMI is your only choice. If you’re still using a single yellow cable, you’re not even getting HD! HDMI cables are cheap, and well worth the upgrade from analog. Amazon Basics has some solid 2-meter cables for $5.50.
High-Speed HDMI Cable (2m/6.5ft): $5.50
Disney World of Wonder Setup Blu-ray
We’ve talked about this one before, but it’s worth putting on everyone’s shopping/gift list. With easy-to-understand tutorials and excellent test patterns, WoW offers something for beginners, experts, and everywhere in between. If you’ve never adjusted the settings on your TV, you won’t believe how much better it looks after you use this disc.
Disney World of Wonder: $17.50
CyberPower Uninterruptable Power Supply
The sudden loss of power caused by a blackout isn’t great for electronics. It’s even worse for devices with hard drives, like DVRs. CyberPower’s UPS is less than half the size of a desktop computer, yet has enough outlets to connect your whole system. If the power goes out, you’ll have plenty of time to shut everything down. Amazon’s customer review average is 4.4/5 from over 800 reviews, with most (68%) rating it 5/5 or 4/5 (18%). There are less expensive version too for smaller systems.
Amazon’s Holiday Sale Continues
Save On The Best Selling HDTVs
Belkin Pivot-Plug Surge Protector
Maybe you don’t need the backup potential of a UPS. Maybe you just need a bunch of outlets, with the peace of mind of surge protection. Belkin’s Pivot-Plug has 12 outlets, and from over 600 customer reviews, its Amazon rating is 4.5/5 (74% 5/5, 13% 4/5).
Panasonic DMP-BDT220 Blu-ray Player
It’s hard to beat the $99 DMP-BDT220 from Panasonic. It’s got WiFi, 3D output, and Amazon Instant Video access (plus Netflix, of course, along with other streaming services). Oh, and it plays Blu-rays and DVDs. It does pretty much everything a good digital media streamer, but for the about the same price, also plays discs. Nice.
If you’re still using the speakers built into your TV, you’re really missing out. No TV speakers sound good, and if you’ve ever had a problem understanding dialog, it’s likely because the TV speakers are so poor. Vizio’s VHT215, though only $249, has HDMI switching and sounds surprisingly good. An excellent addition to any television.
Vizio VHT215: $249 and SquareTrade 3-Year Home AV Warranty $52.99
Onkyo TX-NR414 receiver and Energy Take Classic sub/sat speaker system
Just as a soundbar is an upgrade to TV speakers, a separate receiver and speakers is an upgrade from a soundbar. With six HDMI inputs and enough power to drive any speakers, the Onkyo is one of the best values going in the audio world.
Energy’s Take Classic 5.1 speaker system is small (each speaker you could hold in your hand), but sounds excellent. It’s one of the best reviewed speaker systems on the market, and has a 4.7 customer review average on Amazon from nearly 300 reviews (81% 5/5, 13% 4/5). Together, the Energy and Onkyo system would be an amazing audio system for just about every home, easily besting soundbars of the same price and more.
Onkyo TX-NR414: $270
Energy Take Classic 5.1 speaker system: $399
Geoff Morrison @TechWriterGeoff
Geoff’s book is now in paperback (and, ahem, also makes a great gift!)
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