GadgetGuy 2014 Holiday Gift Guide: Sound and vision

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Home theatre evolved

Finally, if you have a relatively large packet to spend on someone (could be you), consider an upgrade to their living room. Now that Ultra HD TVs are becoming relatively common, our TV suggestions are based in them, while audio evolves with Dolby Atmos sound.

Soniq 55 inch E55S14A Frameless Full HD TV

Price: $1099

Not everyone needs Ultra HD yet — hey, we don’t even have the content for the new TVs — so if you can live without it and want to save a buck, Soniq might have the answer with a frameless TV that is almost all screen and then a stand.

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Sony 55 inch X8500 Ultra HD TV

Price: $2499

Sony’s X8500 isn’t quite flagship level, but it does offer the 4K picture new TV owners are craving, support for 3D, a Triluminos display for brighter and more dynamic colours, and is even one of Sony’s few TVs that will offer five UHD movies over the holidays.

This might not seem like a huge draw in the beginning, but there’s virtually no UHD content in Australia, making this a gimmick that could grab sales.

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Samsung 55 inch HU9000 Ultra HD TV

Price: $4999

Prefer the allure of a curved screen to one of those flat ones everyone has? Samsung has the edge this year, offering curves throughout both the Series 8 and Series 9 TVs. If you go with Series 9, you’ll find Ultra HD, but if you forgot the new level that constitutes higher definition — higher than Full HD, that is — you’ll save around $1200. It’s your call.

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LG 65 inch EC970T Ultra HD OLED TV

Price: $9999

OLED TVs have been called the next generation of plasma now that the gas-based TV technology is gone, and if you see one for yourself, you can totally see why: the colours are so vivid, the images almost pop out of the screen, presenting a picture that you just can’t take your eyes off.

But few companies are producing OLED TVs, with LG the only company releasing a 4K model in Australia, supporting the Ultra HD and the OLED technology.

We don’t have this much money for a present, but if you do, power to you, and this telly is worth considering.

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Onkyo TX-NR636 Atmos amplifier and speaker 5.1.2 package

The entry level Dolby Atmos amp from Onkyo is the TX-NR636, and that's $1199.

Price: $2297

We’ve had 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound for so long that it’s high time we had something new for this area, and now we do. Movie theatres overseas have had Dolby’s even more immersive Atmos sound for a while, and while only one cinema in Australia supports the technology, now Aussies can bring it home.

It’s not cheap, and there’s even less content here than in UHD (amazingly), but loads of movies are Atmos ready, so now we’re just waiting for companies to release the titles, and then you can get into a deeper sound experience.

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