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Holiday Gift Guide The HT Newbie

The HT Newbie

Practical Home Theater: A Guide to Video and Audio Systems by Mark Fleischmann (2008 Ed., $20)
Our intrepid audio editor Mark Fleischmann is too unassuming to make this pick, so Ill make it for him. Marks book is filled with information that will get newbies off on the right foot. It remains a one-stop go-to reference for those who move into home theater as a long-term hobby. You need to have this on your shelf.—SCB
www.quietriverpress.com

Sony BDV-IS1000 Blu-ray HTIB ($1,000)
Although $1,000 is a lot to dish out for an HT newbie, when you take a look at Sonys newest HTIB, youll be happy you did. This starter kit includes one of the quintessential aspects of a true home theater: a Blu-ray player. It also includes five golf-ball-sized speakers, a sub, and Sonys S-AIR technology for simple wireless setup.—DS
www.sonystyle.com

RadioShack Analog Display Sound Level Meter ($45)
Weve been recommending this for years, but there are always new enthusiasts who need one for precision sound system setup. The slightly cheaper analog meter is the one to get. Yes, most new receivers have auto level setup, but theres nothing like a good, old-fashioned manual calibration for you to bond with your home theater.—TJN
www.radioshack.com

Velodyne Optimum-8 Subwoofer ($1,299)
Buying a subwoofer is like buying a house. You want the most affordable house in the most expensive neighborhood, and the Optimum line is that great neighborhood. It sits just below Velodynes vaunted Digital Drive series, which is too much house for you anyway. The Optimum-8 comes with a seven-band room equalizer, a remote, and a pedigree of good sound.—FM
www.velodyne.com

ISF calibration ($300 to $500)
Dont let your loved one suffer with a brand-new HDTV shipped in torch mode. OK, you dont need to be a genius to switch it into Movie mode—but for best results, you should really let a pro have a look at that puppy. An ISFcertified technician can burrow into service menus not accessible to the user and tweak that new flat panel to perfection.—MF
www.imagingscience.com

Onkyo HT-S9100THX HTIB ($1,099)
Just getting into the whole home theater thing? How about getting just about everything you need in one box (with THX certification to boot)? The HT-S9100THX is a complete 7.1 speaker system that comes with a receiver that decodes Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. Hook it up to your display, and youre ready to go.—JH
www.onkyousa.com

Canton Sound Bar CD 90 SB Speaker ($650)
If youre just dipping your tootsies into the HT waters, a sound bar is an easy way to get vastly better sound than what your TV speakers can muster. And theres no denying a sound bars sleek aesthetic and all-in-one-box convenience. Cantons latest offering features six drivers, magnetic shielding, and your choice of a black or silver finish.—CL
www.cantonusa.com

DVE: HD Basics ($30)
Before you throw a new Blu-ray into your system, you should make sure your setup is tuned in. DVE: HD Basics is a great starting point. Video maestro Joe Kane put together this tool to help the average Joe make the most of his video and audio. This step-by-step guide to proper audio and video setup is available on Blu-ray.—KD
www.videoessentials.com

Next Generation Home Products Remote Extender 433 Kit ($55)
Even when the electronics arent near the screen, its instinctual to point your remote at the television. The Remote Extender 433 Kit comes with an RF transmitter that takes the place of a battery in your remote control. The included RF receiver/IR blaster sits near the equipment and repeats your remotes original IR commands.—DW
www.nextgenerationhomeproducts.com

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