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Totally blow out the big game! Part III: Super Bowl XLII

Darren Murph

Oh sure, just about every sports fan from casual to hardcore already saw the Patriots edge the New York Football Giants earlier this season in the blistering cold, but considering that only Tom knows what's really up with that ankle of his and the fact that Eli has been looking an awful lot like Peyton these past few weeks, it's a whole new season come Sunday. Thankfully, you've still got a few waking hours left before hordes of raucous guests come pouring into your abode to catch America's most highly anticipated (or so we're told) sporting event, and we've got just a few suggestions to make sure you do it up right.


We've already solicited your input to find out just how many of you were planning on picking up a new set primarily to really enjoy this year's Super Bowl, and while the proverbial playing field is far too broad for us to whittle it down to one, we've got a few surefire bets. For those with oodles of cash and a thing for any product labeled "Elite," there's the 60-inch Pioneer PRO-150FD 1080p Elite KURO plasma. For fans of LCD (and not blowing the budget completely out of whack), Sony's 46-inch KDL-46XBR5 should do you just fine. 'Course, some would argue that bigger is indeed better, so Samsung's 57-inch LN-T5781F and Olivia's 65-inch 665H LCoS RPTV may be worth a glance, too.

Feeling a little restricted by the real estate provided by the aforementioned sets? Fret not, as there are a plethora of HD projectors out there just waiting for the lights to dim in your den. The recently released (and pictured above) Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 1080 UB will certainly light up any screen / white wall you've got laying around for $2,799, and if you've managed to scoff at such a miniscule price tag, we're sure your guests would also love the $31,995 SIM2 C3X. Oh, and Panny's lovely 1080p PT-AE2000 should show off the greenest grass in the desert quite pleasantly, too.

The Signal

Contrary to popular belief, an HDTV will not magically convert all your SD programming into high-definition. Baffling, we know. So if you're still sitting around with nary an OTA antenna or HD set-top-box at your domicile, well, what are you waiting for? If you're within range (find out here) of your local FOX affiliate's tower, we'd highly recommend grabbing that OTA HD signal out of thin air for the most impressive (and free, to boot) picture. If you're not, feel free to ping your local cable provider -- be it Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, or any of the others -- and see if you can't get your locals in HD. Alternatively, there's always DISH and DirecTV, but once again, you'll need to clarify with a company representative whether or not HD locals are available in your neck of the woods. [Image courtesy of RayCeefBlog]


If you're fortunate enough to have a dedicated closet to hide your totally important (but totally unsightly) equipment in, Dell's XPS 420 (with CableCARD) may not be a bad choice for capturing the game along with almost anything else that dares take on the NFL's biggest game. For those taking aesthetics into account, it's hard to go wrong with Okoro Media Systems' OMS-CX100. If you've got a soft spot in your heart for glowing extraterrestrial beings, we hear Alienware's Hangar18 has your name written all over it.


Assuming you're not already relying on one of those units doled out to you by the cable / satellite company, and you're not quite ready to plunk down for an entire Media PC, might we recommend Sony's DHG-HDD500. Yep, this is the same fellow that we suggested last year, but considering the dearth of alternatives out there right now, we still think it's your best option. Well, aside from the equally hard to find LG LST-3410A (pictured). Shame that Echostar TR-50 isn't out yet, eh?

The Audio

Had you given any level of thought to this upcoming day, you would've pieced together a harmonic assemblage of separates to create a masterful 7.1 surround setup. Granted, we suppose that is still an option with the nearly bundled Pinnacle QP 1530 system, but for the bulk of ya, we know what you want, and you want HTIB. If you've been scouting a new DVD player anyway (or don't mind auctioning off unused hardware), Harman Kardon's latest trio -- the CP 65, CP 60 and CP 55 -- is bound to hit a sweet spot. Looking for speakers only? Infinity's 5.1 TSS-800 should provide plenty of oomph without engulfing your living area, and for the real minimalists out there, the YAS-70 from Yamaha aims to dish out faux surround and plenty of lows with the included subbie.

The Seating

On any given Sunday, we wouldn't hesitate to suggest just about any home theater seating surface constructed by Berkline -- the 45013 Series, 45015 Series or the 090 Series, for instance -- but for this particular Sunday, why not go full tilt? That's right, we're recommending that you load your living room up with Giants / Patriots DreamSeats to really set the mood, but feel free to swap 'em out for your favorite team if necessary.

The Eats

Besides the obvious -- nachos, salsa, wings, burgers, ribs, chips and, if you're lucky, your grandmother's outrageously delicious Taco Dip -- you'll need a 'fridge full of seconds, thirds and a fine assortment of beverages. To be honest, we figure a household servant bot would be the best solution to not missing a moment of the action while never running out of grub, but if that's just not in the cards this year, why not wheel in LG's LSC27991? This refrigerator not only features 26.2 cubic feet of ultra-cool storage space, but it houses a 15-inch HD-ready LCD right on the door, ensuring that even your waterboy won't miss a tick.

The Pre-Game Game

No doubt about it, Electronic Arts has the NFL video game market completely locked down (for better or worse, if you catch our drift), but at least this year you can actually have a little more control of your Pats - Giants simulation match. That's right -- this go 'round, you and three others can wield Wiimotes and get into the action like never before, but please, considering all the dough you just dropped, enforce the Tight Armband Policy. Don't say we didn't warn you.

The Payback

Who are we kidding? We know good and well that a-many coveted gadgets (and maybe a few dinners, vacation days, etc.) will be riding on the outcome of this game, but we're here to put a special twist on the traditional wager. For starters, we'd make the loser(s) hang around until they hit 999 on Konami's push-up counter. If that's not enough to truly get even, you can also remove all things open-source from a devout Linux user's home and force him / her to compute with Windows until Super Bowl XLIII. Just don't blame us when they absolutely refuse to speak to you ever again (or skin Vista to look just like Ubuntu). [Image courtesy of ESPN]

Obviously, we wouldn't be shocked to find that your favorite wares weren't listed here, so be our guest and shout our your recommendations in comments below!

See just how far we've come:

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