If you’ve got a tech lover in your life then you surely know how hard it can be to shop for them. If you are not also staying current with new tech trends it’s easy to not know what to get. When talking about home theatre, that can be an extra daunting task as there is a litany of technologies and uses to cloud your resolve. This blog will offer 5 suggestions to think about when shopping for home theatre gifts for your tech lover.
Logitech Harmony Elite Remote
As the home theatre’s command units, remote controls can be the bane of any setup. With 4, 5, or 6 different remote controls strewn across coffee tables, under seat cushions, or having otherwise seemingly walked off on their own, remotes can make even the most spectacular home theatre setup difficult to operate. The best way to circumvent this is with the universal remote. If you’re thinking, “I still have that universal remote I bought 15 years ago that is programmed to occasionally perform a couple of meaningless functions on some of my home audio equipment” then you need to look at the new tech in this area and prepare to be blown away. The Logitech Harmony Elite Remote is one such device.
This amazing piece of technological innovation does more than simply turn your TV or Receiver on and off with just one button press, it is a full home command centre that allows you to group different devices together and also lets you control them when you aren’t even home. The Harmony Elite is compatible with Amazon’s Alexa devices as well as Google Home to give you unbridled control over your entire setup using only your voice. Simply walk into your theatre room and tell Alexa what preprogrammed Activities you want to turn on and moments later the TV, receiver, streaming device, and cable box are all running. Control up to 15 connected devices including lights and door locks. You can use the remote device itself or you can also control functioning with an iOS or an Android smartphone or tablet device. The Logitech Harmony Elite Remote will revolutionize how you interact with your system.
Amazon Echo Dot
When it comes to Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant, you have options as far as size, speakers, volume capabilities and other parameters but if you are going to primarily use Alexa to control the components in your home theatre setup then the 3rd generation Echo Dot is all that you need. It will have to be paired with a compatible remote like the aforementioned Harmony Elite but when it is, the levels of voice control are straight out of science fiction films.
With a small footprint and a stealthy aesthetic, the Echo Dot will easily blend into your home theatre setup and quietly sit there waiting for your next command. Able to control more than just your home theatre setup, the Echo Dot will give the tech lover in your life increased control over their entire smart home realm. Alexa can speak to you directly from the built in speaker or you can run a line out and connect it to other speakers including your home theatre receiver. Alexa answers questions, plays music, gives you the weather forecast, set alarms and timers, and will even tell you when your Amazon package was delivered. The Echo Dot gives you all of this in addition to making you the Overlord and voice master of your home theatre system.
Monster Power Center
One area that often gets neglected when putting together a home theatre is how to adequately power and protect your investment. With the sheer number of devices needing to be plugged in your home’s fixed outlets will almost certainly not be enough to accommodate your gear. Sure, you can plug in an extension cord or a simple plug-in extender and while that may address the concerns about plug space, it introduces issues that can have long-term impacts on your equipment. These issues include power surges, voltage spikes, or electromagnetic noise, which can result in less than ideal performance or damage to your components.
With built in filtration for any electrical noise, both EMI (electromagnetic interference) and RFI (radio frequency interference) are covered, the end result is a better picture and better sound. The Monster Power Centre has twelve outlets, all of which are surge protected. This protects your valuable equipment from the obvious danger of lightning but almost all homes experience surges, spikes, or even sags in their power distribution almost everyday. Your smart TV and receiver for example, feature highly sophisticated circuitry that drives the appropriate internal processors and having a stable and reliable flow of power to these will ensure a longer and more productive life.
BenQ 4K UHD HDR Home Theatre Projector
I don’t want anyone to misunderstand me here as I am not saying that having a large screen 4k smart TV is the wrong choice or that you don’t even need one. In my mind, as well as in my home, a 4K flatscreen can be the centrepiece of any home entertainment oasis. However, if you really want to up the WOW factor, and have the room and budget to do so, then a 4K projector like the BenQ TK800M will seriously up your game (Erin reviewed this machine on the blog earlier this year). With an impressive throw ratio you can project an image sized anywhere between 30 inches and 300 inches. Talk about placing yourself right in the middle of the action.
Nothing quite replicates the cinema experience like a projector and when the image is crisp, clear, vivid, and in 4K resolution, it is truly breathtaking. Projectors aren’t only for movies either. All programming looks amazing with particular awe at sporting events. The BenQ TK800M looks best in a darker space, frankly all projectors do, but even with the lights on the images don’t get washed away. With a resolution of 3840 X 2160 and the ability to show High Dynamic Range 10 (HDR 10) programming you can’t ask for much more to have that really awe inspiring home theatre setup.
Apple TV 4K
There are many different components in the home theatre setup. The traditional elements like a receiver, speakers, a device for playing physical media – whether a DVD/CD player, Blu-ray or 4K Blu-ray player, or maybe you still have a VHS machine in your system – every home now needs a media streaming device. I have selected the 4K Apple TV box largely because, as an Apple person myself, I know how easy and valuable it is in my own media ecosystem (Brad reviewed this on the blog).
The colours and detail in the streamed 4K HDR content is absolutely stunning. In addition to providing you the new lineup of Apple TV+ programming like The Morning Show or See, you can watch content from apps of such media sources as Netflix, Prime, Disney+, CBC, TSN, YouTube, and many more. If you have iOS devices like iPhones or iPads, you can easily send content from them to your Apple TV for viewing on your television screen. With a 4K Apple TV connected to your home theatre system, access to a seemingly infinite amount of visually breath taking content is at your fingertips.
It was early in the process of putting this blog together that I realized I wasn’t going to be able to limit it to just 5 items. As a result I have selected 2 more for inclusion in the “honourable mention” category. Think of these as something that you should also consider when trying to pick that amazing gift for the tech lover in your life.
The first one is a screen for your projector. Of course you can simply paint a large bare wall and project your content against that but with modern screens specifically produced to capture and disperse light so all the detail in the original image is retained and this can indeed heighten the home cinema experience. And if you’ve gone this far, might as well make it motorized. The EluneVision Reference Studio 106″ 4K Tab-Tensioned Motorized 16:9 Projector Screen more than meets this bill.
The final item I want to give an honourable mention to is the one that may actually get the most use and may also have the biggest effect on how much you enjoy your viewing sessions. I am talking of course about your seating. The Valencia Verona leather power recliner may be the most comfortable seat you’ve ever had a seat in. Top grain leather and an ergonomic design ensure that you will be in the lap of luxury. It has some subtle LED lighting in the cupholders and the base to make sure you don’t spill your beverage or smash into anything when coming or going in your darkened room. It also has a built in USB so you can keep all of your important devices fully charged and operational.
Buying for someone else is never easy, buying for yourself is tough enough. Hopefully this will give you some ideas and make this process a little less stressful because it really needn’t be. Check these and other items out online at Bestbuy.ca or drop into your local Bestbuy and see them in person. Someone will be there more than happy to assist you and answer any questions you might have. Happy shopping!