After a long, stressful day at work, sometimes you just need to zombie out in front of the TV or chill with some tunes. Make the most of that time by equipping your den with the newest, coolest home-entertainment gear. Here are some suggestions:
TiVo HD DVR
If you’ve got a high-definition television, then you’ll want to record Grey’s Anatomy, 30 Rock, and your other favorite shows in HD as well. TiVo’s latest digital video recorder lets you stock up to 20 hours of high-def (or 180 hours of standard) content, as well as pause, rewind, and fast-forward through grating commercials. You can even record two shows at once, something you couldn’t do on older TiVos.
Price: $299.99 ($12.95 per month for TiVo subscription)
Yamaha YSP-900 Digital Sound Projector
Get amazing surround sound without having to look at unsightly wires snaking around baseboards and under the rug. Yamaha’s YSP-900 Digital Sound Projector is a single component that houses a multitude of tiny speakers, each one focused in such a way to create the illusion of surround sound in your room. Sit it under your flat-panel TV, and you’ll have killer sound without a killer mess.
Polk Audio I-Sonic ES2 Music System
Love the radio but hate the same tired station playlists? Polk’s I-Sonic ES2 receives HD radio—digital broadcasts of regular AM and FM stations. Digital radio produces better quality sound and more channels of programming than you get with standard radio. The ES2 also includes an iPod dock for more personalized listening, along with a cool iTunes tagging feature, which lets you mark songs you hear on the radio, then buy them once you hook your player to your computer.
Forget trips to the video store. Apple TV connects to your television set and lets you rent flicks or buy TV shows directly over your home Internet connection. Videos come from Apple’s iTunes Store and cost $3.99 for new releases or $2.99 for older titles (HD movies go for an extra dollar). Rentals are available for 30 days, though once you start watching, you’ve only got 24 hours before the film or show is automatically deleted. Still, it’s a small price to pay for never having to leave the couch.
Price: $229 (40GB), $329 (160GB)