Christmas is a great time to be a movie lover: there are countless re-runs of classic films on television, endless discounts on merchandise in stores, and lots of recent Hollywood flicks being released on DVD and Blu-ray.
Put the shoe on the other foot for a moment though. What if you’re buying a gift for a movie lover this Christmas? What should you get them? Will your 50-year-old dad really want a “Special Edition” release of the year’s biggest romantic comedy, or would he prefer something a little more nuanced to his personal tastes?
To help you decide what to buy the film fan in your life, we have put together a special guide to the best gifts for movie lovers this holiday season. Enjoy!
If they have not already got a Netflix subscription, the movie lover in your life is missing out. Big time.
Netflix launched back in 1997 and has since gone on to become the gold standard for on-demand video streaming around the world. The most recent estimates suggest that at the end of the third quarter of 2015 the service had almost 70 million subscribers, and its content is now available in more than 80 countries.
Netflix offers three price plans – $7.99 per month for “Basic” (one screen, no HD), $9.99 per month for “Standard” (two screens, HD available), and $11.99 per month for “Premium” (four screens, HD, and Ultra HD available).
The best way to provide the service as a present is to buy a Netflix Gift Card from Amazon. Online cards are available for any denomination between $25 and $100, while physical cards can be bought to the value of either $30 or $60.
If they have already got a subscription to a video-on-demand service, why not buy them a wall projector? It’ll let them watch their content in all its glory, thus making the home cinema experience a lot more enjoyable.
The Xinda 100 Projector is currently available on Amazon for $79.99. It comes with a 500:1 contrast, support for both 4:3 and 16:9 screen ratios, and connection ports for Video In, USB, SD cards, VGA, and HDMI.
Finally, its LED lamp will last for 20,000 hours – that’s almost 2.5 years of around-the-clock, 24/7 playback!
For those who don’t know, Blu-ray discs are the high-definition version of traditional DVDs. They can store video with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and can support 60-frames-per-second during playback, whereas DVDs can only support a maximum resolution of 720p x 480p.
Blu-rays endured a slow start when they first hit the shelves, but are now the industry standard for high-density optical discs. 4K Blu-ray discs are set to become available in the first quarter of 2016.
Let your movie lover enjoy some of this high-definition action by getting them the Samsung BD-J5100 for $47.99. It has HDMI, USB, Ethernet, and HDMI-CEC ports, and comes complete with YouTube, Netflix, Yupp TV, Pandora, and Amazon apps built in.
With the imminent release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, now is a great time to catch up on the previous six episodes of the epic series (it’ll also give your movie lover something to watch on their new Blu-ray player!).
This boxset includes all six previous releases, more than 40 hours of extras, 45 deleted/extended scenes, 90 minutes of bloopers, cast interviews, and audio commentary. The total running time of the nine discs is a mammoth 891 minutes – more than enough to keep someone busy between Christmas and New Year.
Roku 4 is the latest release in the ongoing war between Roku, Google, Apple, and Amazon for control of the streaming stick market.
If you’re looking for TV “channels” that could replace your cable subscription, a Roku product is probably your best bet – though you can make your own mind up by reading our comparison of the various offerings.
The Roku 4 comes with 2,500 channels, 4K Ultra HD capabilities, voice search, and an earphone jack on the remote control for “silent” listening.
Once you have the projector and Blu-ray player in place, the visual side of your home theater is complete – but what about the audio?
For true movie lovers, the quality of audio is just as important as the on-screen images. There’s little point in your eyes making you believe that you’re actually stood on the bridge of the Death Star, only for your ears to give you an experience more akin to going for a ride in a clapped-out Mini Cooper.
Try getting them the Infinity Floorstanding Speaker to add to their set-up. It should cost around $115, but comes complete with three individual speakers, dual 6.5-inch MMD low-frequency drivers, a 4-inch MMD mid-range driver, and a 3/4-inch MMD hi-frequency driver.
Chromecasts are probably the biggest rival to Roku, and like Roku, Google has also released a new version in time for the festive season. It comes with better connectivity and a more user-friendly design.
At just $35 it’s the best value of all the options on the market, but it also differs quite drastically in that it doesn’t have a user interface. Instead, you need to use either your smartphone, tablet, or computer to push content to the dongle.
The biggest downside is that it doesn’t support Amazon Instant Video, but at the low price point, one can hardly complain.
At the moment it’s only available through the Google Store, not via Amazon.
It’s no good having all these fancy gadgets if you can’t enjoy a good snack once you sit down to enjoy your movie of choice.
For just $35.99 this popcorn maker will give you cinema-grade nibbles every time you want them. It works solely using hot air, and can make up to 10 cups of popcorn in three minutes. It comes complete with a butter-melting tray, and is entirely dishwasher-proof.
Universal remote controls are nothing new; they have been around since the mid-1990s. However, with the increasing number of gadgets that are now hooked up to your TV, they’re becoming more useful than ever.
This $65.95 Logitech offering can support up to eight different devices and works with more than 225,000 different devices, including everything from old legacy VCR players to the latest and greatest high-def television sets.
“Turn it down!” – the most frustrating three words for any movie buff who’s trying to watch a film in peace.
Buying them a quality pair of wireless headphones will quickly remove this frustration. This product from Sennheiser will give the wearer interference-free reception through walls, along with a range of 300 feet.
It comes with a two-in-one charging dock that also acts as the wireless transmitter. They will set you back $69.66 on Amazon.
What Will You Be Buying?
Have we inspired you with our gift ideas for movie lovers? Which of our 10 gifts do you think is the most appropriate for the film fan in your life? Please share your thoughts with your fellow readers in the comments section below.
Image Credit: cinema by Syda Productions via Shutterstock