It’s crunch time now to get your special someone a gift for the holidays—and what better gift can you give than the gift of technology? In this home technology gift guide, we take you through every room of the house and offer ideas for high-tech gear and gadgets that will make your home that much more entertaining, fun, cozy, smart, green, cool, and convenient.
The Media Room
Sony 65-Inch XBR 4K Ultra HD TV (XBR-65X900A) & 4K Ultra HD Media Player, $5,000
We’re going straight to the source for our 4K Ultra HD TV pick with Sony’s XBR-65X900A, one of the first movie studios to actually record blockbusters in 4K Ultra HD and whose 65-inch model is now $5,000 and comes with the company’s 4K Ultra HD Media Player (normally $700).
The media player comes preloaded with ten or so 4K movies, so your giftee doesn’t have to wait to watch 4K Ultra HD content. If you want to give someone an image that is four times the resolution of HDTV, this is a great way to do it and get them up and running with content fast.
If you can’t swing the 5K for 4K, give the gift of good sound. It’s not up for debate that the speakers that come with your flat-panel TV sound horri-blay. A sleek sound bar will get them out of the world of blah sound. We like Sonos’ new Playbar’. It will make your movies sound great, integrates easily into a larger Sonos multiroom audio solution, and can play music from any networked device. Plus, it sounds great!
SunBriteTV 46-Inch Signature Series Outdoor TV (4660HD), $2,795
The backyard as home hearth is a growing trend, especially with the increased popularity of outdoor kitchens. So imagine traipsing out to your hot tub Christmas morn with some buttered rum and firing up the Yule log on your new outdoor TV.
SunBriteTV’s 4660HD can help you do that with its all-weather construction, meaning it can operate in temps as low as -24 and as high as 122 degrees Farenheit (not that anyone would want to be outside in such weather). Through 2013 SunBriteTV is offering a $300 mail-in rebate.
Sonance Sonarray SR1 Outdoor Audio Package $2499
Getting audio outdoors is not as complicated as all that. In fact, there are some very good wireless portable speakers on the market that will do the trick just fine. But for a more permanent and immersive solution, you want to get more than one speaker going, and wired is the way to go for the best performance. We are big fans of Sonance’s high-quality products, and their newer eight-speaker Sonarray SR1 System is no exception with underground subwoofer. That’s right, you bury part of the subwoofer in the ground. The system can be driven by a standard A/V receiver or amp and sound covers areas of around 2,000 square feet. All speakers feature stakes at the bottom for easy install.