Your TV Tech Fix: 5 Great Holiday Gifts for TV Addicts

The Holidays are here again! That, of course means it’s time to buckle down and think hard about what great gifts we want to give to our closest friends and family. If you have a TV addict on your shopping list (and no, I’m not talking about Daniel, the actual TV addict) you could go the easy route and pick up a TV series or two on DVD, but there are a wide variety of tech gifts that can make enjoying TV easier, and even bring new forms of entertainment to their lives.

Here are some great tech gifts the TV lover in your life would love:

Sony BDP-S370 Internet Connected Blu-Ray Player – $99
Is your TV lover still stuck in DVD land? 2010 is the year to finally make the upgrade to Blu-Ray, where TV on disc is in pristine HD quality. Sony’s BDP-S370 isn’t the most expensive Blu-Ray player out there to begin with, but this thing is selling for a crazy $99 all throughout the holiday season. Add the fact that it also includes Instant Watch support for Netflix AND DLNA support for network media, means that this $100 player has all your TV entertainment mediums covered.

Roku XD – $79
If your TV addict is thinking cloud rather than disc these days, Roku’s digital media players make the perfect gift. In short, plug one of these bad boys into your TV and you’ll have access to all sorts of Internet content, including Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon VOD, Flixster, Vimeo,,, and a whole bunch more. Roku offers a trio of players, and the XD falls right in the middle. I think the $20 is worth it for 1080p support and wireless networking. Don’t worry, if you really want every feature they’ve got, the top of the line XDS model is only $99.

Apple iPad – $500+
There are those who love the iPad, and those who don’t. That said, even the haters still probably want one. Apple’s sleek tablet device (no, I won’t call it a computer yet), is the ultimate couch companion… save your spouse of course. With and endless number of third parties creating applications for it, Apple’s iPad can be everything from an over sized remote control for your home theater (or even your entire house!) to a display for watching TV itself. It’s the hot toy this year at the top of the list for kids and adults. Prices start at $500 for the 3G-less 16GB model and go up from there.

Samsung HT-C6600 3D Blu-Ray Home Theater System – $400
Personally, I’m not a fan of “home theater in a box” solutions. I find they’re usually lacking in features, and don’t offer the same theater quality sound as component systems. That said, I hate TV speakers more. If your loved one is still rocking it old school with the TV’s built-in’s, then Samsung’s HT-C6600 may be the perfect gift. It offers a boat load of value at it’s normal price of $549, but with holiday prices hovering around gift-friendly price point of $400 for a 3D-ready Blu-Ray player and 5.1 audio system, it’s practically a no-brainer.

NETGEAR XAVB2501-100NAS Powerline Networking Kit – $145
The network and the Internet are crucial to getting the most out of your TV experience these days, however getting your home theater connected to that big digital cloud can often be tricky. Most people don’t have structured wiring for Ethernet right behind their TV set. That alone can hold people back from buying more advanced gear or taking full advantage of the equipment they already have. Sure, there are WiFi options for a lot of  equipment, but why pay the upcharge for every device when all you need is something like NETGEAR’s powerline AV kit. Totally plug and play, it creates a high-speed network connection wherever you plug it in. The XAVB2501 is my favorite, given it’s good price, secure features, and pass through outlet that makes it easy to put anywhere. This kit’s good for one connection, but a simple Ethernet switch can give you as many ports as you want, and you can even get more adapters to put in other rooms.

Did you think of a different tech gift for your TV addict? Share it in the comments section below. If you still need more gadget and technology gift ideas, check out the 2010 Holiday Guide!

Satisfy your inner geek while fueling your TV addiction… TV Tech Fix is a column by Matt Whitlock, editor of the Consumer Electronics Community (plus several other gadget-focused community websites), and lover of both technology and TV. In this column, he’ll cover a wide variety of tech topics aimed squarely at the TV addicts of the world – from tips and tricks to help you better your TV experience, to gear recommendations, to the impact technology is having on the TV shows we love.

Want more TV Tech Fix? Click here to see past entries.

For all the latest TV news and reviews

  • Anonymous

    I’m not an iPad hater, but it seems really overrated to me. It’s like an enlarged iPod Touch/iPhone. Sure, it looks really sleek and cool, but I’d rather spend money on a powerful laptop.

    Am I missing something on #5? What does this do extra that any random Wifi router couldn’t?

  • Anonymous

    Regardless of what the iPad may be on the surface, an over sized iPod Touch is pretty accurate, third party developers have embraced it wholeheartedly and are doing some really cool stuff in terms of home theater and home automation. As a tech lover and TV addict, it would be a welcome addition to my living room.I suggest products like #5 for a few reasons. 1. WiFi works, but it is often an unreliable technology for HD video streaming. These things are plug and play (so really easy for anyone to set up), usually work really well, and offer great throughput for high-bandwidth video streaming.2. A lot of the Internet connected TVs and other connected devices out there don’t have wireless built-in, and don’t offer WiFi as an optional dongle. And, even when they do, the option to add wireless tacks on a hefty sum and the adapters they sell separately (for TVs in particular) are like $80-$100 bucks. Highway robbery in my opinion. One of these Powerline kits and a cheap Ethernet switch can get reliable Ethernet to your entire setup. Some kits even build in a 4-port switch right into the Powerline receiver.