What do you buy the Home Theater Enthusiast for Christmas?
We have compiled Christmas gift ideas for the Home Theater Enthusiast since time is ticking down until the jolly old fat elf squeezes his way down your chimney! With less than two weeks until Christmas we gathered some unique gifts sprinkled in with some gifts that are sure to be on a lot of people's wish lists. Also, we assume your enthusiast already has the basic components setup in a home theater such as the right video display and surround sound.
1. Upgrade for a TiVo DVR - $19.99-$1999
Every real home theater enthusiast always needs "bigger and better"! DVRupgrade allows you to upgrade your TiVo DVR (standalone and DirecTiVo products) to allow for larger storage space (bigger) and networking (better). There are DIY software kits starting as low as $19.99 with entire hacked HD TiVo DVRs for sale up to $1999.00 (HD DirecTiVo with 222 hours of record time!). The present of an upgraded TiVo may not make the top of most lists but will definitely be a most pleasant surprise!
2. TiVo Series 3 HD Digital Media Recorder - $689.99
TiVo made the largest splash this year in the DVR market by releasing their Series 3 box. The $800 HD-ready (1080i output), cable-ready, cablecard supported, 300 hour (or 32 hours in HD) unit is the world's first DVR with THX®-certification to make sure your home theater experience is as it was intended. The TiVo Series 3 can also manipulate digital photos and play Internet radio and podcasts. One cool feature that is readily visible is the OLED display that stretches across the front of the unit. This will be at the top of most wish lists!
3. Sling Media Slingbox Pro - $219.99
Sling Media created an innovative product in their original Slingbox, but at the end of September Sling Media came out with a family of Slingboxes. Having the Pro for only a month or so, I am at a loss as to how I lived before the product came along (just like when I first got TiVo!). I like the Pro because it has the ability to connect to HD components as well as having multiple inputs for multiple devices.
If you are unsure which Slingbox you need, SlingCommunity has the perfect article about which Sling is right for you. In case you don't know what a Slingbox does, you simply hook the Slingbox to your home network and to your A/V system. Then you are able to watch video content from your TV and DVR from anywhere outside your home (or in your home for that matter) that has Internet access on your Mac, PC or Windows Mobile phone.
4. Helios H4000 1080p Upscaling DVD Player - $169.00
Perhaps you believe, like us, that the HD format wars are going to end badly for both Blu-ray and HD-DVD so you don't want to waste your money on either technology. Helios has a stopgap measure providing upscaling to 1080p HD resolution using your existing DVDs. We believe if you have a DVD library and an HDTV, you need one of these.
5. Logitech Harmony 1000 Advanced Universal Remote - $499.99
The Home Theater Enthusiast would love a gift that could tie together all the components of the home theater, was simple to setup and even easier to use. Even with 'universal' remotes, I still had to use some of my 'native' remotes for one function or another, and ended up using three different remotes to control five different devices. This is a common problem in entertainment rooms as well as the difficulty of using and programming universal remotes. Harmony has conquered both problems and created a wife and mother-in-law friendly remote!
If you believe the Logitech Harmony 1000 Advanced Universal Remote is too much product for your loved one, check out the Logitech Harmony 880.
6. Sony Playstation Portable - $199.00
Most gift lists will probably include the Archos 604 Portable Media Player. Trust me, I'd profess my love to you if you got me the Archos 604, but to get more bang for you buck you could give the gift of PSP. Now, using our easy to follow guides you can bring your home theater on the road with you using a Sony PSP which also will allow you to play games and browse the web via Wifi for less than half the cost of an Archos... plus you can use TiVoToGo to watch your favorite shows on the PSP!
7. Alienware DHS 2 Media Center - $999.00
If you want to have a Windows Media Center PC in your family room, you want it to blend into the surroundings. Alienware has crafted this PC to look like another video or audio component instead of a big grey box. Not only is the box pretty, but new technologies allow you enjoy all of your entertainment from the comfy chair accessible via the remote in your hand.
New technologies such as the Discover Console Gaming technology - an exclusive to Alienware, Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 and Microsoft Media Center Extender. The combination of these allow you to record multiple TV shows, watch live TV from a Microsoft Xbox, play PC games on your big screen TV, stream your favorite music tracks into any enabled room in your home, produce slide shows from all of your digital photos, and jump into the digital world by downloading your favorite movie - rather than standing in line at the video store (as predicted in our Future Trends article!).
8. Mvix MX-760HD Wireless HD Media Center - $329.99
Mvix released the MX-760HD Wireless HD Media Center just in time for Christmas! This hard drive based multimedia player support wireless high-definition featuring incredible images (1080i) supported by leading-edge video decoding technologies, high resolution audio specifications and the capability for wireless connectivity to home and office networks.
If you think we missed anything in our Christmas Gift Guide for the Home Theater Enthusiast, let us know!