The first installment of our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide is brought to you by Best Buy.
As the purveyors of movie news and opinions, you could say that we watch a lot of movies in my home. In fact, it’s the nature of movie bloggers to work without an office, from home, so it’s no stretch for us to say that we watch the vast majority of our movies at home. It’s where we work, play, watch, nap and sometimes play the occasional video game to clear our minds. It’s the corner of the house known as our home theater. So when the folks at Best Buy approached us to sponsor the first installment in our annual gift guide, asking if we could put together a list of home theater essentials for the holiday season, we was more than up for the challenge. And we think we’ve put together a pretty solid list for you just in time for Black Friday, the kick-off of the big holiday shopping season. From essential components to accessories to Blu-rays that will make your home theater hum, we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re buying for your favorite movie lover or buying something for yourself, you’ll get no judgment from us. Just a number of solid suggestions.
All of the items listed below can be found by clicking the image at the top of this article.
Nostalgia Electrics Retro Kettle Popcorn Maker – For those seeking a more authentic experience, here’s a classy popcorn maker that shows off your deep commitment to having a movie theater in your home. You might be the kind of person who has classic movie posters in your hallway leading to your theater. You may have invested in comfy home theater recliners and sound-proofing on your walls. What do you mean you don’t have a popcorn maker? Time to rectify that.
Google Chromecast – It looks like a USB thumb drive, but plays content like a device 10x its size. From YouTube to Hulu Plus and Google Play, you can stream a number of movies with this cross-platform, remote free device that stays hidden, but delivers the media.
Xbox One Console – Gone are the days when your gaming system was just for games. With their latest incarnation of the Xbox, Microsoft is looking to make a device that exists at the center of your home entertainment system. You can stream Netflix, Amazon, HBO Go, Vudu, Hulu Plus, Redbox Instant, numerous sports apps and Xbox’s own video service. You can also use it to kill zombies and win wars alongside your friends, all while making a Skype call (which we think will come in handy for our weekly staff conference calls). You can also talk to it and it will respond. Like Skynet. Hopefully not as evil, though.
Samsung 60” 3D LED TV – There is a TV at Reject HQ that was purchase, probably about 4 and 1/2 years ago, for around $1,700. At the time, that wasn’t so bad for a 37″ LCD screen with a very high refresh rate. My, how technology has advanced. If you catch a sale right, you can get something in the range of this 60″ 3D LED Smart TV for around that same price. And we’ll be jealous, because we don’t have room for something this intense at the HQ. Soon, definitely soon.
Samsung 2.1 Soundbar – What is great video without great sound? We didn’t get through the silent era only to use the speakers that are built into our TVs, so at the very least we’d recommend a little amplification. If you’re tight on space and/or don’t feel like running wires all over your living room, a soundbar is where it’s at. It sports a wireless subwoofer that you can tuck in a corner somewhere and plenty of power to fill a room with the sounds of screeching tires. Speaking of which…
Fast & Furious 6 on Blu-ray – Because you can’t build a great home theater experience and then forget to have something to pop in when you’re done setting up. Also, because you know that of all the ridiculously over-the-top action movies of summer 2013, this is the one with the highest rewatchability. When that plane goes down in the climactic scene and everything is exploding, you’ll be glad you put that wireless subwoofer right next to your seat.
Jurassic Park: Ultimate Trilogy Blu-ray Set – An oldie, but a goodie. We could recommend this Blu-ray set every year until it gets remastered as a hologram in the distant future and it would always be a good call.
The Dark Knight Trilogy Ultimate Collector’s Edition – The third film in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy may have had it’s problems, but there’s no getting around the impressive technological feats present in these three films. They look great, they sound great and if you’re going to put your new home theater to the test, who better than Batman?