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Must-have electronic side dishes for your new HDTV. CNET Top 5 Home Theater.
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Home Theater Essentials: CNET Top 5
Maybe you waited through my recent Top 5 TVs which actually was nine of the damn things, lots of ties. Well to reward you for that, I’ve got the perfect side dish. Top 5 home video gear devices to go with that new TV, and yes, it's actually five this time. Let’s go.
Warming things up. At number five, the brand new Roku XDS Streaming Player. You want to join the whole screw you cable company movement? This is about the best way to do it for a little bit of money, under 100 bucks. You’ll get Netflix, Amazon, Pandora, MLB TV, Hulu Plus for a fee. No iTunes or YouTube support though. This will not raise a vein on your forehead when you’re setting it up either, we like the simplicity. And go for this XDS version because it has a USB port for playing your own movies off a thumb drive, rounds up the package nicely.
Number four is the Slingbox Solo, our favorite place shifting device. Now, I think Slingbox is something of a niche device personally. You either don’t need one or you absolutely love it. It takes whatever’s on, on your home media system and streams it to just about any computer, smart phone or other device that can run the Sling software. It’s great if you have one of those pricey live sports packages and you’ll waste a bunch of it because you’re away from the house all the time, you can get one of these guys for as little as a $160.00.
Coming in at number three, the Samsung BD-C6500 Blu-ray Deck, it's our favorite straight up Blu-ray player. But even if you’re just lukewarm on Blu-ray itself, like yours truly, this box also gets you streaming services like Netflix, Voodoo and YouTube. It has 7.1 surround outputs and a gigabyte of storage on board plus built-in Wi-Fi. Oh and Samson is pushing their own apps platform now. So down the road away, you will be able to load this thing up with what you want and make it a personalized home media terminal.
At number two, we have the Harmony One, do it all and make it easy unified remote. These guys kind of own the space and the model one is the sweet spot of their line in our opinion. You program tasks like let’s say play DVD in 5.1 audio via HDMI input 2. You put that into a little macro and that’s programmed via web service, could not be easier.
Okay, before we hit the number one present, you should give your TV, look at how many TV’s we own, could grief. The latest Nielsen numbers show just 17% of households are scraping by with one television. 28% of us have two and 55% of our households have three or more. In fact the average now is three TV sets in a home.
Okay, let’s reveal the number one best piece of home video gear to hook up to at least one of those TV’s is the Sony PS3 Slim, just about the priciest thing at $350.00 but still the best value, games, Blu-ray, online streaming from their service as well as other like Netflix. And Sony just gave it a 3D update. So now you’ve got some future proofing there with a compatible 3D TV.
Full details on all these products are over at Matt Moskovciak’s list on CNET and keep an eye on it if you’re in the market because this is a every hot sector and new products are popping up all the time. Just go to CNET, click the home video category then best home video products or just go to our page, it's Top5.cnet.com. I'm Brian Cooley, thanks for watching.