It’s that time of year again. Are you wondering what gifts you can give to the home theater enthusiasts in your life? Here are three of our staff’s favorite 2012 home theater gadgets that will fit in your holiday stockings and put a smile on even Ebenezer Scrooge’s face:
Apple AirPort Express – Stream Music Over Your Wireless Home Network
Already have a home Wi-Fi network in place? Use Apple AirPort Express to wirelessly stream music from your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or PC computer with the iTunes app to any speaker system location in your home for music listening.
In fact, you could purchase several AirPort Express base stations, which would give you a whole-house iTunes streaming music system. We have installed many AirPort Express base stations. It is a wonderful gift for streaming music from your iOS device to your existing theater speaker system.
Disney WOW: World of Wonder Disc – Optimize Your HDTV Picture Settings
The Disney WOW: World of Wonder Blu-ray calibration disc is a wonderful introduction for the home theater enthusiast who wants to see first-hand what a visible difference proper picture adjustment provides. Although this Blu-ray disc alone will not produce the picture quality results of a professionally ISF calibrated HDTV, it will get you started walking down a more picture-perfect road. This disc will allow you with the included test patterns to set black levels with brightness control, white levels with a contrast control, and set your sharpness control correctly to improve your HDTV’s picture right away.
Keep in mind that professional TV calibration services use other test patterns not included in this disc to perform gray scale tracking for proper color management control. Also, for gray scale tracking adjustment work, a professional calibrator uses a special piece of gear called a color analyzer to set color adjustment controls properly. Still, this is an excellent first step to eliminate some of the common picture setting problems you may encounter with a new HDTV.
RedEye Universal Remote – Control Your Home Theater from Your Smartphone
One of my favorite very well priced, yet powerful, home theater remote control solutions is RedEye, the next step in universal remote control by ThinkFlood. By leveraging your existing smartphone (iPhone, iPad, Android, or even your PC and Mac computer’s web-browser) and home Wi-Fi network, RedEye allows you to control your entire theater system.
The remote’s program is stored in the RedEye Wi-Fi docking base station. This means that any Wi-Fi capable smartphone with the RedEye app can instantly retrieve the program configuration from the RedEye base, and allow you to control your home theater system. I recommend hiring a professional to help you program the RedEye for optimum performance.
Please share in the comments section some of your favorite small gadgets that pack a big entertainment punch!