Having trouble finding the perfect present for the television fanatic in your life? The secret is not to assume that the only gifts for TV lovers run $1,500 and require wall mounting. Avid home theater and television fanatics are always looking for accessories to make their viewing experience better. Following are four solid gifting possibilities at a variety of price points.
You can’t get the most out of your HDTV unless it’s properly calibrated, but not everyone has the money to hire a professional to optimize their TVs. What’s more, many TV buffs are do-it-yourselfers, meaning we like to tinker with electronics. That’s where Digital Video Essentials: HD Basics comes in. This disc, created by home theater guru Joe Kane, is not only packed with information about how to get the most out of an HDTV, it comes with test signals that help the average person achieve that goal. The Blu-ray disc is available through online outlets and at some brick-and-mortar stores for the list price of $29.95. Shop around and you can find it considerably cheaper.
Watching television isn’t what it used to be. With many folks hooking their sets up to cable boxes, Blu-ray players and more, it's easy to acquire three or four remote controls, and few things are as annoying as juggling all of them. While bargain-rate universal remotes work for some people, they don’t do the trick for someone with lots of gear. That’s where a more advanced remote like the Harmony 700 comes in. It can control up to six devices and can be directly hooked up to a PC or Mac for programming. Most importantly, the Harmony 700 can be set up to change multiple component settings with the touch of a single button. List price for the Harmony 700 is $150, and you can sometimes find it cheaper.
This is for the television fan who’s always on the go. The FLO TV Personal Television has a 3.5” touch screen, integrated speakers and a built-in stand. That means it’s small enough to stick in a pocket but can also be set on a table so multiple people can watch. A variety of both time-shifted and live programming is available to the FLO TV, including content from CBS Mobile, CNN Mobile TV, Comedy Central, ESPN Mobile TV, MTV, NBC 2Go and Nickelodeon. On the down side, there is a fee to receive that programming, but people who purchase a Personal Television and activate it by March 31, 2010, will receive six months of free programming valued at $14.99 a month. The FLO TV Personal Television retails for $249.99.
Think Sony’s PlayStation 3 is only for hardcore gamers? Think again. The PlayStation 3 is one of the best Blu-ray players on the market and, at $299, it's priced competitively with standalone Blu-rays. Since it's introduction, the PlayStation 3 has been a great component to build a home theater around because it not only plays Blu-ray discs, DVDs and CDs, it can store music, movies and photographs. Now that Sony has reached an agreement with Netflix allowing subscribers to stream movies on the PlayStation 3, it's an even better home theater hub. One little box gives the television lover on your list a Blu-ray/DVD player, movie-streaming device, jukebox and photo archive. Did I mention you can play games on it, too.