2011 Super Bowl XLV: Tech guide

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Whether you’ve participated in fantasy leagues, filled in brackets, and laid a week’s salary on your team, or just plan to make snarky comments about the commercials to your friends on Twitter, watching the Super Bowl come February 6 is a necessity. But no mortal should have to soldier through it perched on an La-Z-Boy plastered in cat hair, with a wooden spool for a tablet, picking it up through bunny ears on a 1987 Trinitron. Which is exactly why we’ve put together a gear list to turn your scrappy shag-carpet man cave into the place to watch the game. Here are some great ideas for transforming your space into your own private box at the stadium.

The Big Picture

With today’s high definition and 3D broadcast technology, watching the game at home can be more visually exciting than ever, before but you’ll need a big, crisp display to do it. As it turns out, 3D TVs make the best 2D TVs too. Check out these top-rated 3D-capable models:


Sony XBR-60LX900

Sony’s 60-inch Bravia LX900 comes with two pair of active 3D glasses, built-in Wi-Fi, Internet apps and stunning picture quality.

 

Panasonic TC-P50VT25

A plasma panel’s high-speed refresh rates make it perfect for fast-action sports like football, and Panasonic’s Infinite Black Pro panel is one of best on the market, delivering rich, deep blacks. The same bright colors and contrast that make it look phenomenal for ordinary TV also make it a performer when you switch it to 3D, where a fluid, stutter-free image will have you glued to the screen.

 

Want to go even bigger? Consider these projectors and a motorized screen for a big-screen experience that beats the pants off your local sports bar’s.

Sony Model: VPL-HW15

Sony’s SXRD Bravia Projector offers the kind of features normally found in much more expensive models. Full 1080p HD picture with outstanding color and brightness make this projector an easy choice.

 

Optoma Model: HD180

Optoma’s 1080p HD projector offers excellent performance at an incredibly low price. Get ready to take movies and gaming to the next level.

 

Elite Screen

These projection screens from Elite are available in multiple sizes and styles sure to match your décor.

Enveloping sound

If you’ve got your big picture ready for this year’s football season, you’ll need some big sound to go with it. With these speaker systems, you’ll hear every bone-crunching tackle and the roar of the crowd like never before.

For those of us limited on space, a full surround system may not be an option. These soundbar solutions will bring you high-definition sound without taking up big space or requiring lots of wires.


Yamaha YSP-5100

Yamaha’s top-rated soundbars bring you a surround sound experience without the multiple speakers and speaker wires. Great for a place where space is at a premium.

 

Vizio Soundbar and Wireless Sub VSB210WS

Vizio’s terrific soundbar solution includes a wireless subwoofer for deep, visceral bass and price that’s easy on the pocketbook.

 

For the best surround experience, consider these A/V receivers and speaker packages.

Onkyo HT-RC270

Onkyo’s new HT-RC70 receiver redefines the term “entry-level.” Armed with all of the latest technology and a whopping 7 HDMI inputs, this Onkyo receiver will make the perfect hub for your entertainment system.

 

Klipsch HD500

Klipsch’s compact home theater may be small in size, but there is nothing small about its sound. For big sound without the big footprint, this system is ideal.

 

Axiom Epic Master 350

Axiom’s audiophile-grade speaker systems can provide sound that rivals the theater. This system choice features moderately sized speakers and a powerful subwoofer for a high-end sound experience that will knock you right out.

Luxurious seating

We can probably all agree that seating at the stadium is a literal pain in the butt. You don’t have to put up with it! Take a look at some of these custom seating ideas that are so comfortable, you may have to kick your guests out at the end of the night.


The Magnolia

These plush seats are the same high-quality chairs you find in Best Buy’s premium theater rooms, and offer extra plush padding and optional power recline for a truly luxurious feel.

 

Palliser 41901 The Sequelle

Palliser’s The Sequelle chairs offer a wall-hugger design that makes them a great choice for smaller spaces. The chaise-style footrest and excellent lumbar support make this a great seat for long-term viewing.

Delicious and nutritious

To complete the at-home-stadium experience, you need to eat like you’re at the stadium. Check out these clever gadgets that will help keep you stocked with munchies and frosty cold beverages all game long.


Nostalgia Electrics Old Fashioned Hot Dog Roller


It’s not a day at the stadium without hot dogs, and if you’re inviting friends over, you’ll want to be well stocked. This slick piece of kit will perfectly roast your dogs and keep your buns warm and ready to go.


Nostalgia Electrics Retro Kettle Popcorn Maker

 

Keep your friends munching and crunching through the entire game with this fun old-style popcorn popper. It’s great any time!


EdgeStar Kegerator KC2000SS

 

After weeks of rigorous testing in the Digital Trends break room, we can attest that EdgeStar’s stainless-steel wrapped kegerator dispenses a frosty, productivity-boosting brew every time, and looks good doing it. We would say that buying kegs also saves money, but when you triple your beer consumption in response to having cold draft beer on demand 24/7, that turns out not to be true.

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