Home theater gifts for a college bound cinema buff (slideshow)
These gifts will keep your college-bound movie lover in the game, even in a cramped dorm.
When it comes to streaming-video, there's nothing better than the Roku 3. It's packed with over 750 "channels", including Netflix, Amazon Instant, Spotify, HBO Go, Pandora, Rdio and MLB.TV, with lightning-fast navigation making it a joy to use. There's also Hulu Plus, which is indispensable for a cinephile thanks to its healthy selection of Criterion Collection classics. The Roku 3's remote even has a built-in headphone jack that's perfect for listening without disturbing your dorm mate.
The Roku 3 is the king of streaming-video, but the PS3 Super Slim brings another must-have feature for movie lovers: Blu-ray. There's still nothing that tops Blu-ray for movie image quality and the PS3 Super Slim offers the best overall value, since you're also getting a full-fledged gaming console too. And if you don't spring for a Roku, the PS3 is quite the competent media-streamer itself, supporting Netflix, Amazon Instant, Hulu Plus, YouTube and MLB.TV
You can't truly experience a movie unless you've got some decent quality audio, and Sony's HT-CT260 is an excellent pick for a dorm-sized living room. It's compact, sounds great and it even has built-in Bluetooth for wireless audio streaming from most smartphones and tablets. Vizio's S4251W does sound somewhat better and includes wireless rear speakers, but Sony's strictly stereo configuration is probably better for cramped living quarters.
Whether its quiet hours or your roommate just needs to study, you won't always be able to crank up a sound bar to listen to movies. Audio-Technica's ATH-M50 are the easy pick for comfortable headphones with outstanding sound quality that are perfect for connecting to your Roku 3's remote. Their over-the-ear design also makes them great "study" headphones, as they block out a good deal of outside sound.
The 3M Streaming Projector may be the most fun product you've never heard about. It's a hand-sized, battery-powered pico projector with a built-in Roku Streaming Stick, which means you can stream Netflix (or anything else on Roku) anywhere you Wi-Fi and large flat surface. Perfect for a floor-wide movie night, although you may want an external speaker to boost the audio. Which brings us to...
A portable Bluetooth speaker is a must-have on campus and the JBL charge is one of the best values. It has a built-in battery and Bluetooth means it's compatible with nearly every smartphone and tablet for wireless audio streaming. Even better, it has a USB port on the side that's capable of charging your smartphone in a pinch, provided you've got the right cable on hand. Oh, and it has an auxiliary input too, so you can connect it to the 3M Streaming Projector using a minijack cable.