Gadget and app reviews from AccountingWEB gadget devotees including executive peripherals editor Nigel Harris, columnist Philip Fisher and editor John Stokdyk.
Christmas Gadget Countdown Day 9: TV and home entertainment
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without television, so if you haven’t got your’s yet here are a few tips.
Stuff magazine rates the Sony KDL-46HX853, a 46 inch 3D monster with LED backlighting and the best speakers around. And all for under £1,500.
Not big enough? A 55 inch ultra high resolution Toshiba 55ZL2 will cost you £5,500 more. If you need something bigger than that we’d recommend shares in a multi-screen cinema business.
The best way to uprate your existing TV is to invest in a home cinema system to enhance the audio output. The snag is, surround sound usually means trailing cables to all four corners of the room unless you build them in from the outset. One of the neatest solutions is one of the many multi-speaker bars such as the Samsung HT-E8200 which comprises a 104cm speaker bar that sits neatly below your TV and a wireless sub-woofer that will sit just about anywhere else. The built-in Blu-ray player, FM radio, wi-fi and Bluetooth make for a great package at around £500.
For twice as much the Yamaha YSP-4100 does a similar job of simulating surround sound from a single bank of speakers, but twice the cost seems to produce a result that’s twice as good. In fact, Yamaha produces a range of digital sound projectors which constantly gets top marks in hi-fi reviews.
For those on a budget, stores such as Richer Sounds carry a range of home cinema soundbars starting at around £50, so there truly is something for everyone.
That’s most of the equipment you need – now you just need something to watch. However, the various digital TV providers – Sky, Virgin, BT, etc - offer a bewildering choice of channels, so the other thing you’ll need is a large had disc recorder. The facility to record several programmes at a time with a SKY+ or Tivo box makes these virtually indispensable, added to which they are just SO much easier to program than an old-fashioned VCR.
Returning to the working accountant, don’t forget to get an HDMI adapter and cable for your iPad so you can download or stream video from the Internet straight onto your TV – it’s so much easier to catch up on those episodes of TaxTV on a big screen!