1. Samsung UN65H6400 65-inch 3D Smart LED/LCD TV
Looking for a great gift for Mom that the whole family can enjoy? The Samsung UN65H6400 may just the ticket. The UN65H6400 features a very stylish thin silver bezel design and attractive built-in stand. Within the bezel, this set incorporates a large 65-inch 16x9 LCD screen with energy efficient LED Edge Lighting (with micro dimming for improved contrast), 1080p display resolution, and Clear Motion Rate processing.
For added viewing enjoyment, both 2D and 3D viewing options are provided (two pairs of 3D glasses included). Also, four HDMI inputs, and both ATSC and QAM tuners are included. The ATSC tuner allows reception of the over-the-air HDTV signals and the QAM tuner allows Digital/HD-cable (non-premium channels) reception. In addition, 3 USB inputs are provided for accessing content from compatible devices.
The UN65H6400 connects directly to an internet router via Ethernet or WiFi, providing access to Internet apps and internet-based content, such as Netflix, YouTube, and more, including a full web browser, all easily navigated through Samsung's Smart Hub onscreen menu system.
Now, you normally think all of the above is definitely enough to make Mom smile, but there is more, including Screen Mirroring (Mom can wirelessly send content from a compatible smartphone or tablet to the TV for the whole family to enjoy), and, by the same token, the SmartView 2.0 feature allows Mom to pull content showing on the TV to her compatible smartphone and tablet to take somewhere else in the house. There is also a Voice Interaction feature (yes, Mom can talk to the TV) and if you an optional compatible webcam, Mom can control the TV using hand gestures (sounds like fun!).
However, all these features don't mean much without good picture quality, and with that in mind, the UN55H6400 delivers excellent detail, color consistency, and contrast.
2. Panasonic TC-L39A400U 39-inch LED/LCD TV
Are you looking for a basic, no-frills, TV in a moderate screen size that would be great for Mom? If so check out the the Panasonic 39-inch TC-L39A400U LED/LCD TV. This set has an attractive slim bezel design, 16x9 aspect ratio screen, 1080p native display resolution, wide contrast ratio, and 60-Hz refresh rate supported by 120Hz backlight scanning, the set delivers a great picture. There are 2 HDMI inputs, 1 shared component/composite input (you cannot connect both a component and composite video source to the TV at the same time), ATSC tuner, and USB port for accessing still images and music from compatible USB-equipped playback devices, such as flash drives, media players, and digital cameras.
Also, available, the 32-inch TC-32A400U, which has the same features, except that it sports a 720p native screen resolution.
For more suggestions, check out my 32 to 39-inch LCD and LED/LCD TV picks.
3. Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 2030 3LCD Projector
Give Mom the gift of really big screen entertainment with a video projector. The Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 2030 is a 3LCD projector priced below $1,000 and features full 1080p display resolution and both 2D/3D display capability.
This projector provides 200 watt lamp that can produce up to 2,000 lumens of both white and color light output and last up to 5,000 hours. Epson rates the contrast ratio as 15,000:1 with provides a decent black level. The 2030 can project 16x9 aspect ration images up to 300-inches in size. What all this means is that the Home Cinema 2030 provides strong, long lasting, light output for large screens and 3D viewing. For 3D viewing, Epson offers convenient USB rechargeable Active Shutter RF glasses that must be purchased separately.
The 2030 proivdes two HDMI inputs, one of which is MHL compatible. What this means is that Mom can connect compatible portable devices, such as smartphones and tablets, as well a Roku Streaming Stick. In other words, you can turn your projector into a full-blown local or internet media streamer. For added convenience, a USB port is also provided for playback of photos and slide shows from flash drives.
Also, although connection to an external audio system is definitely preferred for a full home theater listening experience, the Epson 2030 does have a built-in 2 watt mono speaker system, which work in a pinch in a small or average room where there is no external audio system available.
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4. Sony BDP-S5200 Blu-ray Disc Player
Give Mom the gift of Blu-ray! The Sony BDP-S5200 plays both 3D and 2D Blu-ray Discs (including BD-R/RE), DVDs (including most recordable DVD formats), and CDs (including CD-R/RW/MP3). This player also access content from connected USB flash drives, as well as the internet (over 200 channels, including the Sony Entertainment network) via ethernet connection or Wifi to an internet router. Also, Mom will also be able to stream content directy to th player (which then sends it to your TV or home theater system) from compatible wireless portable devices via its built-inMiracast feature.
The BDP-S5200 is also DLNA certified, which allows content stored on compatible network-connected devices (such as the family PC) to be sent to the player.
For additional suggestions, check out my current list of Blu-ray Disc Players.
5. Roku Digital Video Players
When you think media streaming, you think Roku. Roku boxes are small, compact, media streamers that can access over 1,000 channels of internet streaming content including from services, such as, Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, MLB TV, Hulu Plus, and more. Keep in mind that one limitation is that Roku boxes cannot access audio and video files stored on your PC, MAC, or portable USB devices. However, that being said, being able to access a lot of great content from the internet makes the Roku is a great home entertainment bargain.
For additional suggestions, check out my list of Best Network Media Players and Media Streamers.
6. Pioneer SP-SB23W Speaker Bar System
The Pioneer SP-SB23W Speaker Bar is a good sounding, easy-to-setup-and-use system that comes packaged with a Sound Bar and Wireless Subwoofer. The sound bar section is about 36-inches wide and can be wall or shelf mounted, providing a good physical complement to a TVs with 32 to 46-inch screen sizes (although you can match it with both smaller and larger TVs). The wireless subwoofer is extremely compact, making easy-to-place without sticking out from room decor, but still delivers surprisingly good bass.
The SP-SB23W is attractive and features sturdy wood cabinet construction, six independently amplified speakers (four mid-range/two tweeters), Dolby Digital Audio decoding, and three sound listening modes (Music, Movies, Dialog). In addition, standard analog and digital optical audio inputs, as well as Bluetooth connectivity, are provided to access sound from your TV, Blu-ray/DVD player, cable/satellite box, and compatible wireless portable devices.
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For more suggestions, check out my current list of Sound Bars and Digital Sound Projectors.
7. ZVOX IncrediBase 580 Single-Cabinet Surround Sound System
Here is a great idea for Mom that will really like - A home theater sound bar system that is also a TV stand. The ZVOX Audio IncrediBase 580 fill your room with great sound for both movies and music, without the clutter of a lot of speakers. Also, the ZVOX 580 provides a wide sound image using virtual surround processing. The ZVOX provides both analog and both digital optical (Toslink) and coaxial digital audio inputs which makes connecting CD player, DVD player, and even a VCR easy.
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For more suggestions, check out my current list of Sound Bars and Digital Sound Projectors.
8. Voice Clarifying TV Speaker
The system is easy to set-up - just the provided wireless transmitter to a TV (or cable box, satellite box, DVD player or Blu-ray Disc player) that is equipped with either analog or digital optical output connections. Next, place the TV speaker near your seating location (the transmitter has a 50 foot line of sight range), synch the speaker system and transmitter together, and you are set to go.
For added convenience, a headphone connection (headphones not provided) is also provided that is perfect for late night private listening.
9. Yamaha MCR-232 Mini CD/iPod System
For more suggestions, also check out my list of Compact Audio Systems.
10. RCA LED29B30RQD 29-inch LCD/TV Combo
The RCA LED29B30RQD is a 29-inch LED-backlit flat panel 720p LCD TV combined with a DVD Player that not only offers DVD playback, but can also play CDs, SVCDs, VCDs, and JPEG CDs. This unit is also equipped with additional AV inputs, including two HDMI, one shared composite/component, a USB slot for accessing compatible content from flash drives or digital cameras, and a digital optical audio output for connection to a home theater audio system. The LED29B30RQD also comes equipped with a built-in ATSC/QAM tuner, which allows direct reception of the digital over-the-air and digital unscrambled cable channels. An added bonus is the inclusion of an analog audio output that also doubles as a headphone jack. With its modest size and basic features, this unit may be a good option for your home theater setup.
For additional suggestions, check out my list of TV Combos.