Five gifts to supercharge Dad's home theater
If Dad's a movie lover, there's nothing better than the gift of home theater. These five gift picks will bring the theater experience right to dad's living room.
If Dad's ready to upgrade from his TV's built-in speakers, the Vizio S4251 is the way to go. Not only is it one of the best sound bars we've listened to, it also support true surround sound with included rear speakers. Even better, the rear speakers connect to the wireless subwoofer which can be placed behind your couch, so there's no need to run wires from the front to the back of your home theater.
No modern home theater is complete without a streaming-video box and the Roku 3 is the best one you can get. It has the same massive collection of channels (750+), but the new box has lightning-fast navigation and vastly improved user interface. To top it off, the remote has a nifty headphone jack, so Dad can watch whatever he'd like without disturbing the rest of the house.
Just because Dad's already getting a Roku 3 doesn't mean you should skip the Apple TV. There's plenty of room for both compact boxes, especially if dad has a few other Apple products hanging around. The Apple TV's secret weapon is AirPlay, which makes it dead simple to wirelessly stream music, videos and photos from an iPhone or Pad. It even supports most third-party apps, so it's a cinch to stream Spotify or Pandora straight to your home theater.
PS3 Super Slim
A true home theater isn't complete without an HD gaming system, and if you can only have one, the PS3 is the way to go. The big plus with the PS3 is Blu-ray, which still offers the best audio and video quality for a movie-loving dad. The PS3 is also quite the capable streamer on its own, supporting Netflix, Amazon Instant, Vudud, Hulu Plus and MLB.TV without requiring a yearly subscription like the Xbox 360.
If Dad's got the space, nothing sounds as good as a full 5.1 speaker system. The Pioneer SP-PH52FS is a phenomenal choice, offering outstanding sound quality at a seriously budget price. They're not the nicest looking speakers, but if Dad has a den or a basement, they're a perfect fit and an unbeatable value.