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Published: 2011-12-02 - 13:53:30
Home Theater : News and Show Reports

6 High-Tech Christmas Gifts for When Money is No Object

By Rachel Cericola

When it comes to holiday shopping, there are always a few people on the list that stump you. These are the people that seem to have everything. Robot? Check. Cleaning Service? Check. Robotic cleaning service? Check! They really do seem to have it all.

Instead of making gift-giving a pleasant experience, you end up spending hours wandering through store aisles, surfing the web, and even lying awake, wondering what the heck he or she will actually appreciate. Luckily, you have something that they don't have: A flair for electronics and an unlimited budget.

Of course, the unlimited budget may be stretching things a bit. If you're stretching dollars instead of the imagination, you probably don't want to read any further. This is our list of 6 gifts for when money is no object. However, not every gift below costs more than a house, a car, and/or a first born child.

If you do have the cash to spare, send us some -- please? Then, try snagging yourself (and your gift recipient) one of the following incredibly fun, indulgent items.

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Panasonic VIERA Ultra High Definition 152-inch NeoPDP Plasma TV

If your friend has an auditorium for a living room, the VIERA Ultra High Definition 152-inch NeoPDP Plasma TV would be the perfect thing to fill it. Fronted by a single pane of glass, this ginormous display has a 4096 x 2160 resolution and supports 3D for a truly in-your-face viewing experience. Panasonic says that this model has the equivalent screen size of nine 50-inch panels with super-high-resolution. With the kind of cash and space needed for this set, you could probably book The Rolling Stones to play your room -- or at least a really good Stones cover band. That said, if you actually need to ask how much this TV costs, you probably can't afford it. We hear on good authority that it's somewhere in the neighborhood of $500,000.


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Wilson Audio Alexandria XLF Loudspeaker

Dave Wilson, the guy that founded Wilson Audio, says that the Alexandria XLF is a "no-compromise speaker." In other words, it's a seriously expensive floor hog. Of course, if you're spending $195,000 for a pair of these, we're guessing that your living room is akin to a basketball court.

Looking like your own personal pair of Transformers, the big hook on these speakers (besides the obvious) is that it has an improved bass management system. Basically, Wilson says that it allows users (or butlers) to optimize the system so it matches your specific room.

If you decide to opt for these speakers, your recipient will have plenty of time to figure out where to place the set. Wilson doesn't plan to deliver the first pair until early 2012.


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Bang & Olufsen 85-inch BeoVision 4-85 3D Plasma HDTV

It wouldn't be an extravagant Christmas without a little something from B&O. If your gift recipient needs an HDTV that's better than everyone else's, look no further than this 85-incher.

When money is no object, your recipient probably doesn't just want gorgeous 1080p HD and 3D. Sure, this model does that, but pimps the ride with a few motorized options. Flip on the TV and the set will take a little trip upward, to rise to its optimal viewing position. That welcome adjustment will also expose a BeoLab 10 center channel loudspeaker so the sound is as good as the image. From there, you can use the remote to turn and tilt the TV until your heart (and eyes) is content. Turn it off, and it goes into stealth mode, making the screen less prominent. Of course, at $85K, it may be something your recipient really wants to show off at all times.


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Kohler's Numi Toilet

This throne is truly fit for a king -- one that doesnt shudder at the idea of a bathroom appliance that costs $6,390. For that price, Numi will make the most of that private time, and may even extend it. This funky looking toilet features an interactive LCD touchscreen, built-in personalized bidet and deodorizer features, dual-flush technology, a heated seat and foot warmer, and automated open/close options for the lid.

Numi can also rock out via built-in speakers that can blast pre-programmed audio and FM radio. If the user must have a personalized potty soundtrack, there an audio input jack on the remote docking station for your iPod, tablet or smart phone. Other features include a magnetic remote and illuminated panels that can guide you to toilet goodness in the middle of the night.


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Stewart Filmscreen Couture Collection

Sometimes a big screen just isn't enough. If someone on your list enjoys a little extra bling, there's Stewart's Couture Collection. Starting at $9000, this is one of the the least expensive options on our list. However, it still manages to bring out the Paris Hilton in all of us, via thousands of little Swarovski crystals embedded into the mount of your home theater projection screen.

Available with a sculpted fixed frame design for front- or rear-projection systems, buyers can opt for a little black VeLux trim to give the screen a dramatic punch. It also comes packing a wall-mount system, although you can opt for others, as well as the company's Z bar system.

Back to that bling, though; just know that there's plenty of it. Options include Diamond, Onyx, Silver, Gold, Rubellite, Amethyst, Sapphire, Ruby, Emerald, Aquamarine, Peridot Topaz, as well as custom colors.


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Wisdom Audio LS4 Reference Speakers

Don't confuse this Wisdom with the Wilson above. Well, how could you?  One needs a lot of floor space. This model, however, hangs on the wall for all to enjoy -- and ogle. If the $80,000 per pair price tag isn't enough to get your gift recipient bragging, know that these reference-level speakers are part of a limited production run, which makes them just that much more exclusive.

This two-way speaker boasts a pair of upper bass/lower midrange planar magnetic drivers to cover frequencies from 80Hz to 750Hz. It also got another high-frequency driver to handle everything beyond 20kHz. At 80 inches, this is one tall drink of water to be hanging on the wall. Of course, Wisdom doesn't want you to leave the floor completely naked, pairing these with the company's STS subwoofer (sold separately for $10K) for best results.


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