As techie people ourselves, we’re unsure what kind of gifts people give that aren’t tech. Cookies? Cookies are good. Cookies should have been on this list.
Cookies aren’t on this list. But edible treats aside, we’ve got some assorted tech gifts for the videophiles in your life. From under $20 to $10,000, we’ve got you covered.
For $30 you can’t beat a good setup disc. Get the most out of your HDTV (new or old) with one of these. We like the Disney World of Wonder, as it combines some excellent test patterns with easy to follow tutorials that everyone can understand. Highly recommended.
If you’re looking for something to play that Blu-ray on, check out the Oppo BDP-103D and BDP-105. On the video side it’s got things like 4K upconversion, and with the BDP-103D, it’s got Darbee processing, which adds apparent resolution to all sources. Check out our review of the standalone Darbee processor. The 105 doesn’t have Darbee, but it does have some series DACs for analog audio quality. Both models feature HDMI inputs so you can use the excellent scaler with your other sources.
If a new Blu-ray player isn’t your thing, how about a media streamer? Netflix, Hulu Plus, HBO Go, and Amazon or iTunes content, it’s a near infinite amount of content in one tiny box. The Roku 3 has a slick and speedy interface. If you’re got Amazon Prime, get this one, as it lets you stream shows and movies as part of your membership. Apple fans might want to get the Apple TV, which lets you stream music easily from your iTunes library.
Speaking of Amazon, their Fire HDX 8.9 . It’s inexpensive, has a great screen, and tons of content. If you’re looking for a laptop replacement, the iPad is still better, but for watching shows and movies, surfing the web, and more, the HDX is great. Check out our full review.
If you want to go for a bigger screen, The Samsung UN55HU8550 4K Ultra HD 120Hz 3D Smart LED TV received an excellent review (4 out of 5 Hearts). It’s currently only $1597 for the 55-inch model from Amazon direct. With screen sizes up to 85-inch.
Also consider the Panasonic’s 4K UHD AX800 series has excellent color and signal processing. The 58-inch is on-sale for $1999.
TiVo has updated their DVRs with a whole new interface and hardware. The $100 TiVo Roamio OTA gets you an over-the-air HD tuner for recording. For cable users the $149 TiVo Roamio HD Video Recorder and Streaming Media Player (TCD846500) gets you 500GB of recording space, plus Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video and more. You can even stream your content to mobile devices. The $320 Roamio Plus lets you record two additional shows at once (for a total of 6) onto 1 terabyte of space. The $480 TiVo Roamio Pro HD adds two more terabytes of space.
Lastly, give the gift of silence. OK, near silence. In my Bose QuietComfort 20 review I said, “Their noise cancelling performance is so much better than what else is out there, their price is largely justified.” They’re really well designed, and a must-have for any traveler or person who suffers with a noise office. At $300 they’re not cheap, but they’re the best out there.
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This above article is an update from a previously published version.
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