Welcome to the Engadget Holiday Gift Guide! We're well aware of the heartbreaking difficulties surrounding the seasonal shopping experience, so we're here to help you sort out this year's tech treasures. Below is today's bevy of curated picks, and you can head back to the Gift Guide hub to see the rest of the product guides as they're added throughout the holiday season.
For a crowd-pleasing holiday gift, it's hard to do better than a TV (or something that plays on or plugs into a TV), so naturally we're here to help you out once again. Of course, this is an ever-changing industry segment, but we've got you covered -- regardless of whether you need a flat panel or a projector. If you're out shopping for someone that has (or wants to) cut the cable, or someone that has every channel, there's something for you. Of course, we'd also recommend keeping a close eye on the tablet and gaming categories too, but companies like Roku, Samsung and Ceton are making sure you have all kinds of options dedicated purely to video. Give them a look after the break.

On the cheap

Tron: Legacy Blu-ray

Engadget's holiday gift guide 2011 HDTV and home theater

Whether or not Tron: Legacy's story makes it a great movie, its sharp visuals in 2D or 3D, and pounding soundtrack courtesy of Daft Punk will keep it near the top of the demo disc pile for a long, long time. Add in an innovative Second Screen app that pulls up special features in sync with the movie on an iPad or computer, and you've got something to impress the relatives with over the long holiday break and beyond.

Price: $29.99 on Amazon

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Engadget's holiday gift guide 2011 HDTV and home theater

Star Wars Blu-ray

These are the Blu-ray discs you've been waiting for -- as long as you don't mind a bit more post-release editing, courtesy of George Lucas. Greedo shoots first, but these are still largely the sci-fi classics you remember, and both the video and audio have been carefully restored in HD.

Price: $86.99 on Amazon

Engadget's holiday gift guide 2011 HDTV and home theater

Roku 2 XD

Positioned just between the $50 LT and $100 XS, we think you'll find the $80 XD is just right. It has the 1080p capability its cheaper streaming sibling lacks, while all you're missing from the highest-end model are wired Ethernet and USB hookups, plus a motion game controller.

Price: $79 on Amazon

Mid-range

Samsung BD-D5700 Blu-ray player

Engadget's holiday gift guide 2011 HDTV and home theater

Sure, it may be 2011, but not everyone owns a Blu-ray player. Or perhaps they need one in another room, or a new model with access to additional entertainment like Netflix streaming. Samsung's BD-D5700 also includes access to the Samsung App portal with a slew of internet content to play, plus compatibility with local media in AVI, MKV, WMV formats, among others. Unfortunately there's no Amazon Prime Instant Video streaming -- at least not yet. With WiFi built-in and a (suddenly rare these days) optical audio out for your aging receiver, this should fit within most setups without a problem.

Price: $129 on Amazon

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Engadget's holiday gift guide 2011 HDTV and home theater

Ceton InfiniTV 4

The DIY-inclined TV lover on your list knows what's up -- why put up with frustrating cable company DVRs when you can build your own? Ceton's InfiniTV 4 CableCARD tuner can turn a basic PC into a DVR easily, while also allowing for endless tweaking and extra capabilities not easily found on other platforms.

Price: $299 on Amazon

Engadget's holiday gift guide 2011 HDTV and home theater

TiVo Premiere Elite

If you'd prefer a ready-made model, the TiVo Premiere Elite lives up to its name by raising the bar with four tuners, a 2TB hard drive, the freshest software build available and 1GB of RAM. Of course, membership has its costs and this box will require a $499 payment upfront, plus $20 a month for service.

Price: $499 on Amazon

Money's no object

Sharp LC-80LE632U

Engadget's holiday gift guide 2011 HDTV and home theater

This one probably won't fit under the tree -- in fact, you may need to knock out a wall, but it's worth the effort. Sharp's bigger-is-better mantra has taken its LCDs all the way up to 80-inches, which is probably enough to outpace the guy down the block no matter what street you live on. It'll take a few bucks to arrange a delivery, but at double the screen size of a 55-inch model, it's money well spent. There's no 3D or super-high refresh rate chicanery here, just a big, LED backlit LCD HDTV. The biggest problem you might have is clearing out ten feet or more in front of this monster to watch it properly -- if you can call that a problem.

Price: $4,999 on Amazon

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Engadget's holiday gift guide 2011 HDTV and home theater

Optoma HD33

Optoma has a long history of bringing home nicely spec'd projectors at surprisingly low prices, and its latest effort is the HD33. It sports 1,800 lumens of brightness, new image processing and is the least expensive model you'll find that can blast out 1080p 3D. Get ready for some of the most epic sports, gaming, and movie experiences available this side of the cinema.

Price: $1,458 on Amazon

Engadget's holiday gift guide 2011 HDTV and home theater

Panasonic TC-P65VT30

Panasonic's premiere plasma HDTV line just keeps getting better, with improved picture quality in 2D and 3D modes, plus an adjustment for the rising blacks that plagued earlier editions. The VT30 also includes Panasonic's new Viera Cast suite of internet apps for those so inclined, but buyers are probably more impressed by a picture that continues to close in on the mighty Kuro, and at a much friendlier price.

Price: $2,999 on Amazon