Now showing in your living room: Bring your home theater up to snuff with the latest in DVD systems, big screens--and even a video fridge. (Gay Guide To Home Theater).
You've got the high thread-count sheets, and you've got the sterling
silverware nestled in your kitchen drawers, but aren't you still entertaining
friends to the sounds of your old '70s console setup? Wood grain is nice, but
it's time to bring your big queer living room into the future. Here are some
perfect ways to pretty up your home theater in time for your next Oscar party.
Sony has become a 21st-century old reliable, and for good reason. It makes perfect little boxes like the 27-inch Sony WEGA KV-27FV300 TV ($699). It brings you into the fiat-screen full-color big leagues without breaking your pocketbook. Once you've graduated from casual viewer, you may want to consider getting a high definition-ready TV like the 32-inch Philips PT8419 ($2,000). Purchase an HD tuner to view special HD broadcasts (like the last Olympics) or just enjoy a crisper view with the TV's progressive scanning.
If you're ready to worship at the video altar, it's time for wide-screen. The 57-inch Sony KP-57WV700 ($3,500) is the choice of champions. Despite the glamour-free model number, this rear-projection TV is all about turning your living room into ground zero for major entertainment. HD resolution, the new 16:9 screen ratio, and the Micro-Focus lens system mean some of the crispest, brightest, contrast-filled images you've ever seen in a rear-projection set.
Now that you've got your eyes fixed, it's time to work on those ears. Garage-sale those 80-pound '70s speakers and update to something sleek. Sony's DAV-C990 DVD Dream System ($1,000) sounds like a better-than-average home-theater-in-a-box setup, and it has looks, four little silver spire-like speakers for full surround sound, and a progressive-scan five-disc DVD changer. If you prefer function over form, the Denon HTIB DHT700DV ($1,000) is a great choice for the price. It includes a DVD player, a receiver, five surround speakers, and a subwoofer.
Time to toss the VHS and bring your recording up-to-date. The current choice of TV addicts is still TiVo, the magic black box that records shows onto a hard drive. The company has just released the TiVo Series 2 in 60-hour ($299) and 80-hour ($349) models. If you really love your TV, try the ReplayTV 5160 ($499), a competitor to TiVo that gives you a whopping 160 hours of recording time as well as the ability to send shows to other ReplayTV units using a broadband connection. What about your permanent archive, though? DVDs are about to become the new videotape thanks to the Panasonic DMR-E30K DVD Recorder ($700), a device that actually lets you burn DVDs from TV using the company's Time Slip function.
And feel free to take your home theater on the road with the Samsung DVD-L100 ($1,299), a beauty of a portable DVD player if ever we saw one. It's great if you're obsessed with films and stuck living an airport-to-airport lifestyle. Or if you're grounded at home, maybe you'd just like to enjoy a little Oprah while you're searching for that last frozen waffle with the LG Appliances Multimedia Refrigerator ($8,000). But maybe that's just going a little too far. Or not.