14 essential Christmas gadgets for movie buffs

29th Nov 2008 | 08:30

14 essential Christmas gadgets for movie buffs

Smart gadgets and accessories for film fans

God rest ye merry gentlemen, 'tis the season for giving and we've delved deep into Santa's sack to come up with some choice gift ideas for the movie buff in your life.

Starting from an affordable £20, and going up to more expensive gifts, there's something here for every budget.

So whether you're after a stocking filler or something more expensive, here are 12 Christmas presents for movie fans.

1. Vuzix Eyewear
From £129.99
Watching movies on the go using glasses is nothing new, but until recently the options have been limited to ridiculously clunky goggles that look more like protective eyewear. Enter the new movie face candy from Vuzix, which incorporate built-in headphones.
Buy from Firebox

2. Panasonic Free Angle HDMI
Price varies
Having invested in a superslim screen that's not much thicker than a VHS cassette, there's nothing more frustrating than having to leave enough space behind it so that you can attach an HDMI cable. Regular cables stick out between 7 and 9 cm, making installation tricky. Help is at hand, thanks to this ingeniously simple solution from Panasonic. The version 1.3a HDMI cable comes in 1.5 and 3m lengths and has an innovative connector that can be angled so that it only takes up 3cm behind the screen.

3. Creative Zen X-FI
£110 (8GB)
For those who want to watch movies on the hoof, but shun the idea of wearing Vuzix-style glasses, Creative has come up with this stylish portable media player. With its 2.5-inch screen it can display video and photos, and there's an FM tuner and microphone for digital recording thrown in, too. Available with either 8 or 16GB storage, the players conveniently connect to your PC via Wi-Fi.

4. Lojoball: The Mustang
There's nothing more frustrating than having to give up your favourite seat when you have friends come around to enjoy the football or when you have movie evenings, but now you no longer need to. The Mustang is a super stylish seat that is way more comfortable than any bean bag and can be zipped up so that it looks neat and tidy when not in use.
Buy it from Amazon.co.uk

5. Ethos Popcorn maker
If you're really going to recreate the at-the-movies experience in your living room, you're going to need a cinema snack, and popcorn makers don't come much more stylish than this retro offering from Ethos. With its classic Fifties jukebox design, it'll turn plain old kernels into hot, tasty popcorn using just hot air.
Buy it from Amazon.co.uk

Most new TV screens comes shipped with the factory or showroom settings intact, making pictures too bright and garish for viewing in the home. While you can spend hours fiddling with the controls to improve the picture, the easiest answer is to invest in a screen calibration tool. This excellent option from Datacolor includes a light meter that is attached to the screen at one end and your laptop at the other. Plug it in, turn it on and let it do all the hard work for you. The results are stunning and ensure that your TV becomes more environmentally friendly, too.

7. Goodmans GDB9
Make the switch to digital TV with possibly the most affordable Freeview box we've ever seen. Costing not much more than a Blu-ray movie, this box of delights is way more stylish than you'd expect, has a 7-day electronic programme guide and boasts a pair of Scart connections (one Scart lead is bundled, too). It receives all the Freeview TV channels and radio stations, so you shouldn't be stuck for something to watch once the Queen's speech is over and done with.

8. One For All Remote
Are you tired of reaching for the TV remote and turning the DVD or Blu-ray player off instead? Remote control confusion is one of the biggest problems for the modern AV enthusiast who owns everything. The Energy Saver lets you control up to four different devices at once and it can turn your entire system off at the touch of just one button.

9. Linksys Media Extender
If you've got a wealth of HD programming you want to watch on your TV, why not treat yourself to a media streamer that will relieve your congested PC and send programmes wirelessly to any TV in your home. Not only will this nifty box allow you to pause or rewind live TV, but it will also access video on-demand via the internet and can upscale your SD DVDs to 1080p to give them a new lease of life. With music, movies, pictures and recording capability available from one single box, this is £260 well spent.
Buy it from Amazon.co.uk

10. USB VHS Converter
Breathe new life into your existing tape collection with this nifty converter. Simply attach it to a PC, via the USB, and then digitise your VHS library. Material can then be burned to disc so that you can watch it on your DVD player, or uploaded to a portable media player so that you can watch it on the move.
Buy it from Firebox

11. Pocket Cinema
Portable media players often have small screens that make it difficult to fully enjoy a movie. So, it's nice to find a PMP-sized device able to produce pictures as large as 50in. Powered by a rechargeable lithium battery, this pocket-sized projector uses a high-powered LED to produce a 640 x 480-pixel resolution image. It has built-in speakers, a stand, remote control and can playback JPEG, MPEG4 and MP3 files as well as connecting to games consoles and DVD players.
Buy it from Firebox

12. Wattson
With both electricity costs and the awareness of the importance of the environment on the increase, the power consumption of your kit has become more important than ever before. This, stylish, wireless gizmo is able to display a running total of the electricity that you are using, allowing you to go around the house turning things on and off to see just how much they cost to run. Wattson's clear display provides the damning truth in either pounds or Watts.
Buy it from Firebox

Visit TechRadar's Christmas shopping page for more great gift ideas!

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