With Boxing Day fast approaching, we’ve compiled yet another helpful holiday gift guide. The options can seem never-ending for those looking to purchase a gift for a home entertainment or media centre.
From new Smart TVs to soundbars and supplemental devices to help build an environment for watching movies, shows or playing games, 2021 has provided many options to parse through.
Here is our ‘MobileSyrup Home Entertainment Gift Guide’ for your consideration this holiday season:
LG OLED C1
LG’s C-series has consistently been a standout for the TV maker and this year’s C1 is no different. Though LG has once again raised the bar as far as picture quality is concerned. The C1 is able to provide a high-end experience with its 4K display that supports 120Hz. This makes it a perfect display for anyone playing on an Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5.
HDR10, Dolby Vision and HLG are also supported, which is great for streaming and watching movies. The C1 also packs a punch with 5.1.2 Dolby Atmos sound. The C1 is powered by LG’s WebOS, which brings quality of life improvements to the menu system and UI. WebOS also enables integration with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri.
For those who prioritize picture quality and robust features, LG’s C1 is a standout on the market currently. MobileSyrup‘s Brad Bennett went hands-on with LG’s C1 TV earlier this year.
Amazon Fire TV Omni
Another display option worth considering is the Amazon Fire TV Omni. While offering a more premium Fire TV experience, Amazon’s latest Smart TV manages to stay on the affordable side. The Omni series provides the features one would expect to find in a contemporary Smart TV, including 4K Dolby Vision HDR display. There are also presets to use for gaming to ensure low input lag and movie mode for a well-balanced colour spectrum.
With full integration with Amazon Alexa, users can have a hands-free experience thanks to voice controls. The Omni series has a premium design with minimal bezels. Plus, users will find the remote packs in all the basic features one would expect, including direct navigational buttons to Prime Video, Netflix, etc.
LG SP9YA Soundbar
Over on the audio side, LG’s latest SP9YA, backed by Meridian Technology, is a wonderful complimentary soundbar to a media centre setup. Its 5.1.2 channels are able to fill your entertainment space with directional sound coming from above and toward the viewers. The SP9YA also supports Alexa and Google Assistant, Apple AirPlay, and Spotify Connect.
From a feature standpoint, the soundbar has Dolby Atmos and DTS:X integration to provide a true cinematic experience while watching movies or shows. The wireless subwoofer brings a ton of deep bass when watching content, playing games, or simply listening to music. It can also be mounted to the wall and the AI Sound Pro tech will adapt the sound control to the room and its orientation.
Roku Streambar 4K
Roku has taken its tried and true streaming platform and spun it on its head with the Roku Streambar 4K. Not only does the user get to access a hub of streaming services from Netflix, Crave, Disney+, etc with 4K HDR10 support. On top of that, the device is a full soundbar featuring voice command options.
This is a fantastic option for those who want to take a non-Smart TV and gain some upgraded features and enriched audio. The Roku Streambar is also a cost-efficient soundbar that works effectively with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, Bluetooth connectivity and AirPlay 2.
Apple TV 4K
This year, Apple introduced the new Apple TV 4K, which features the newly designed Siri Remote. The new Apple TV brings long-requested colour balance technology to the foreground, providing a rich picture when streaming content.
Apple TV 4K is powered by the A12 Bionic processor, making it faster and more responsive when navigating between streaming apps like Netflix and Crave. HDR and Dolby Vision video support is also included. If you’re looking for a gift for those within the Apple ecosystem, the new Apple TV is a fantastic option.
Philips Hue Play Light Bar
I can’t think of a better complementary device to a home entertainment setup than smart lights. More specifically, the Philips Hue Play Light Bars can really help set the tone when sitting down to watch a blockbuster movie or settling in for a night of gaming.
Philips Hue Play Light Bar offers a robust 16 million colours to choose from. Customization options and preferences are set from the Hue app on iOS and Android. Alternatively, the Philips Hue Play Light Bar can be controlled via Alexa, Apple Homekit, or Google Home. Though it is important to note that a Philips Hue Bridge is required (sold separately).
Philips Hue Play Sync Box
Philips Hue Play Sync Box is a supplemental device, supporting the Philips Hue Play Light Bar. The Sync Box is integral to achieving reactive lighting to whatever is playing on a TV. When hooked up to the Light Bar and a display, the Sync Box will automatically adjust the lighting thanks to its HDMI pass-through.
This effect achieves a bleed-over lighting effect from the TV. Lights will dim, brighten, and change colours depending on what is primarily being shown on screen. The Sync Box also includes four HDMI inputs so you can connect your consoles, Apple TV, or other media devices to it and take advantage of the reactive lighting.
PlayStation 5 Media Remote
The PlayStation 5 Media Remote makes for a perfect stocking stuffer or gift for anyone with a PlayStation 5. Using the DualSense controller to navigate apps and control playback is possible but it’s not the controller’s primary function. This is where the media remote comes in.
The PlayStation 5 Media Remote can handle all playback options and also be used to easily bring up and navigate the PlayStation 5’s Control Centre. It also has four quick access buttons to Netflix, YouTube, Disney+ and Spotify.