Best home theater accessories

Home Theater Popcorn

Upgrade your rig with the best home theater accessories, from the ultimate universal remote and HD DVR, to boxes that will rumble your seats and curtains to keep your neighbors happy.

You agonized on the LCD versus plasma issue, dropped four digits on a receiver that will be in your will someday, and compromised with the Missus on speakers that will rattle your teeth without ruining the décor. But your home theater is still… missing something. Time to fill in the gaps. From wireless transmitters and remotes to blackout noise reduction curtains, these home theater accessories will help make the most of your core components by adding convenience, more features, and better sound.

Logitech Harmony 900 universal remote ($300)

Logitech Harmony 900

Perhaps the most practical accessory that no home theater should do without is a universal remote. There are larger and cooler looking touchscreen remote controls than the Logitech Harmony 900, but none of them can touch its ease of use and functionality. Its backlit, solid-feel buttons, high-resolution color touchscreen, computer programmability, and RF capability (several IR blasters come included) make the Harmony 900 remote a top choice for total system control.

Panamax MX5102 battery backup ($650)

Panamax MX5102

Home entertainment systems involve more hard drives and other sensitive electronics than ever before. To protect them, the use of a quality surge suppressor is a given. For more advanced protection and functionality, consider a power management system with battery backup, like the Panamax MX5102. The MX5102 aims to improve picture and sound by providing constant, isolated power to home theater devices. Its battery backup system and IR ports can help keep sensitive gear like video projectors up and running during a blackout, until they can be shut down properly.

Eclipse noise reduction black-out curtains (Price varies)

Eclipse noise reduction black-out curtains

The right kind of curtains can work small miracles in a home theater space. Curtains like Eclipse’s noise reducing black-out curtains provide a number of different benefits all sorts of home theater spaces. By shutting out light from any windows, the curtains not only achieve a more theater-like mood, but dramatically improve picture quality from projectors. By helping to keep sound from leaking out or in, they also keep neighbors happy and environmental noise like barking dogs and traffic from creeping into your movie. Plus, they work very well as acoustical treatments by deadening the room.

ButtKicker LFE transducer kit ($400)

ButtKicker LFE transducer kit

Bass transducers aren’t for everyone, but for those who do enjoy them, they can be a lot of fun. This ButtKicker LFE kit attaches to home theater seating to add a visceral, bone-rattling experience during movie watching and game play. If you like to really feel your low frequencies, the ButtKicker LFE kit can deliver.

D-Box motion simulators (Price varies)

D-Box motion chair

If you really want to feel like you’re part of the action on-screen, this cool new development from D-Box could do the trick. D-Box seats are just now making their way into commercial theaters but they can be had in a home theater as well. D-box also makes a retro-fit device that can transform many existing chars into motion-seats as well. The chair moves and shakes according the action on-screen and we hear that it is a lot like riding the motion simulator at Disney Land. Is it a gimmicky add-on to the movie experience? Perhaps, but the novelty factor just can’t be denied.

Amphony Model 400 Multi-Channel wireless audio transmitter($50)

Amphony Model 400 Multi-Channel wireless audio transmitter

We like this wireless transmitter because it handles two separate zones of audio and its receivers have built-in amplifiers for driving passive speakers. It can allow its user to have two pair of wireless surround speakers or one set of wireless surrounds and a wireless subwoofer. This device could come in particularly handy for those wanting to upgrade a custom built 5.1 theater to a 7.2 or 9.2 system without digging back into the drywall.

TRENDnet 300Mbps Wireless N 4-Port Media Bridge (65)

TRENDnet 300Mbps Wireless N 4-Port Media Bridge

DVRs, Xboxes, PlayStations, media streamers, Blu-ray players…they all need a connection to the Internet to perform their best. For those with devices that don’t have wireless adapters built in, this Ethernet bridge from Trendet offers a high-speed wireless Internet solution for up to four devices.

Moxi 3 HD DVR ($599)

Moxi 3 HD DVR

The Moxi 3 HD DVR might just be the ultimate in digital media boxes. It packs three HD tuners inside so, conceivably, one could record three programs while watching a fourth. With a 500GB hard drive on board, the Moxi 3 can store up to 75 hours of 1080p HD programming. The Moxi 3 also streams YouTube. Netflix, Hulu and other internet content. Ah, yes, and there are no monthly fees involved.

Atlona PC to HDTV, Projector or Monitor Wireless adapter ($220)

Atlona PC to HDTV, Projector or Monitor Wireless adapter

Check out this slick solution from Atlona. The AT-AiR3 allows its user to stream up to 1080P full screen-video and audio from a PC or laptop (Mac, too!) to a TV, projector or A/V receiver. It uses a USB transmitter on the computer end and a receiver with both HDMI and VGA outputs on the other side. Your spreadsheets have never looked so cool as they will in high definition.

Slingbox PRO-HD ($300)

Slingbox PRO-HD

As wonderful as home theaters are, they are limited by the fact that they are stuck at home, which means when you leave the house for extended periods of time, your sweet entertainment rig will have to stay behind. The Slingbox PRO-HD is a device that purports to let you take your home theater with you by providing online access to your content through PCs, Macs and mobile devices-all in high definition. The PRO-HD will accept up to three inputs from devices like DVRs, cable set-top boxes, dish receivers, media servers and over-the-air antennae. With the Slingbox connected to the Internet, users can access any of their content remotely in resolutions up to 1080i.

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