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Engadget's holiday gift guide 2012: HDTV and home theater


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Welcome to the Engadget holiday gift guide! Picking presents for friends and loved ones is never a simple task, and with thousands of options for each category, buying technology can be an especially frustrating experience. We're here to help. Below you'll find today's bevy of curated picks, and you can head back to our hub to see the rest of the product guides as they're added throughout the holiday season. And don't forget to enter our giveaway -- leave a comment for a chance to nab AT&T's HTC One X+.

It's been a great year for home entertainment, with geek-friendly blockbusters ruling the box office, HD streamers gaining popularity and a bevy of pixel-dense TVs hitting the market. Way back in January, CES showed off some breathtaking Smart TVs, and now -- while it's a pricey proposition -- an 84-inch 4K TV isn't the stuff of dreams. If you've been waiting to treat a loved one (or yourself) to some new gear, now's the perfect time to leap in. Head past the break to find some home theater goodness for every wallet size.

On the cheap

Apple TV (2012)

Engadget's holiday gift guide 2012 HDTV and home theater

Yes, there are plenty of other media streamers out there -- at lower price points, no less -- but if you're already inside Apple's content ecosystem, this compact box deserves a place under your TV. AirPlay streaming ports content from your iPad, iPhone or iPod to the big screen, and integration with Hulu and Netflix -- plus Digital Copy support -- gives you access to endless media options.

Key specs: A5 processor, 512MB of RAM, 1080p, 802.11a/g/b/n.

Price: $89 on Amazon

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Engadget's holiday gift guide 2012 HDTV and home theater

'Marvel's The Avengers' Blu-ray

The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and, you know, the other ones team up to defeat Earth's greatest threat. If you're looking for a disc to show off your new home theater system come December 25th, this is the one.

Price: $35 on Amazon

Engadget's holiday gift guide 2012 HDTV and home theater

'The Dark Knight Rises' limited-edition cowl pack

If you've been practicing your gravelly voice for the release of "The Dark Knight Rises," then surely you need a replica cowl to finish off the impersonation. That's where this limited-edition Blu-ray set comes in, with a Bane-damaged mask to call your very own.

Update: Looks like it's already sold-out, so if you missed it, it'll now cost you $160 from a collector!

Price: $36 on Amazon


PlayStation 3 (late 2012)

Engadget's holiday gift guide 2012 HDTV and home theater

While it's a little more expensive than your average Blu-ray player, there's no doubt that it's the best-equipped option. The third major revision to Sony's PlayStation 3 hardware isn't the most exciting or fresh (we're expecting the PS 4 within the next 18 months), but if you want a device to stash under your TV that'll keep everyone entertained with any media you can throw at it, there are few players that offer as much bang for your buck.

Key specs: 250GB hard drive, bundled Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception game, free PlayStation Network membership, 7.5 pounds.

Price: $260 on Amazon

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Engadget's holiday gift guide 2012 HDTV and home theater

Panasonic BDT220

Fancy a Blu-ray player that lets you connect to Facebook, Hulu, Netflix and Skype? The BDT220 offers that, plus the ability to convert regular discs to 3D. DLNA capability is on board, and you can use your smartphone as a remote.

Price: $99 on Amazon

Engadget's holiday gift guide 2012 HDTV and home theater

Yamaha YHT-697BL Home Theater

Yamaha's new five-speaker home theater-in-a-box will play nice with every gadget in your arsenal. In addition to the usual features like a 100W subwoofer, it has an Ethernet port, AirPlay, pass-through 4K and 3D video, DLNA and a front-facing USB port.

Price: $650 on Amazon

Money's no object

Sony Bravia XBR-84X900

Engadget's holiday gift guide 2012 HDTV and home theater

If you aren't a Major League Baseball player, spending $25,000 on an HDTV might seem a tad excessive. And indeed, this 84-inch panel is super-size in every way: it's four times as dense as your average 1080p display, with built-in WiFi and full HD 3D. Of course, it's probably worth reiterating that it's 84 inches -- that's just about the size of a double bed. That said, there's really no better (or bigger) way to show someone you love them if you've got the dough to spare.

Key specs: 4K resolution, 50W sound, capable of presenting two full HD screens for two-player games with SimulView.

Price: $25,000 from Sony

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Engadget's holiday gift guide 2012 HDTV and home theater

Samsung UN60ES8000 HDTV

Capable of running a variety of apps (including Facebook and Twitter) and sporting a built-in webcam and a classy design, Samsung's super-skinny, 60-inch Smart TV is destined to improve any room you decide to hang it in.

Price: $2,998 on Amazon

Engadget's holiday gift guide 2012 HDTV and home theater

Sony VPL-HW50ES Projector

For discerning cinephiles who want to enjoy movies on a 100-inch wall rather than a 40-inch screen, a projector's the only way to go. Sony's 3D unit will spray 1080p visuals across any flat surface, with a 1,700-lumen bulb keeping colors vivid.

Price: $3,998 on Amazon


DNP Engadget's holiday gift guide 2012 tablets

HTC One X+

Ready to take home one of AT&T's hottest smartphones? Today's offering is the HTC One X+, which offers some key improvements to the much-lauded One X. To enter for your chance to win, be sure to review our full guidelines, then leave a comment below.

The rules:

  • Leave a comment below. Any comment will do. Duplicate entries will be filtered out and discarded, so adding additional comments won't increase your likelihood of winning.
  • Contest is open to all residents of the 50 States and the District of Columbia, 18 or older! Sorry, we don't make this rule (we hate excluding anyone).
  • Winners will be chosen randomly. One winner will receive one (1) HTC One X+.
  • If you are chosen, you will be notified by email. Winners must respond within three days of being contacted. If you do not respond within that period, another winner will be chosen. Make sure that the account you use to enter the contest includes a contact email. Social media contact details are not carried over into our system.
  • This unit is purely for promotional giveaway. AT&T, HTC and Engadget/AOL are not held liable to honor warranties, exchanges or customer service.
  • The full list of rules, in all its legalese glory, can be found here.
  • Entries can be submitted until December 31st, 2012 at 11:59PM ET. Good luck!
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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