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Christmas Gift Guide
TVs

Richard's Christmas cravings: Home-cinema heaven

A 50-inch plasma, a fancy-pants DVD player and some extra bits to finish off my home cinema. Surely it's not too much for Santa to carry?

"We're gonna to need a bigger chimney", Santa might say, in his best Chief Brody (Jaws) impression, at first sight of my Christmas wish list. But, as far as anyone knows, I've been a good boy, so even if it takes a few extra elves to cram my ultimate home-cinema system beneath the tree, I deserve it!

The centrepiece of any shrine to home entertainment is a big screen and they don't come much better than the Pioneer PDP-5000EX plasma. It's 50 inches of Full HD fun and one of the few plasmas that's compatible with all hi-def formats including the latest 1080p. It doesn't have a built-in tuner, so I'll need a Sky HD receiver to watch or record high-definition broadcasts, especially if visiting relatives force me away from the festive football matches. Oh, and maybe a year's subscription in my stocking.

Our jury is still out on the next-generation Blu-ray and HD DVD disc players, so I'll content myself with a state-of-the-art upscaling model like the Denon DVD-3930. I can play virtually any standard disc and, with the same technology used by Hollywood to remaster films, upscale the images to resolutions as high as 1080p.

Finally, for a sound system that'll shake the snow off every rooftop within a square mile I'd like to pair Denon's corresponding AVR-3806 home-cinema receiver with a space-saving but super stylish B&W MT-30 speaker system. Thanks, bearded one, nice doing business with you. -Richard Arrowsmith