Weekend Roundtable: Christmas 2015 Wish List

December is here, which means that it’s time to get your Christmas wish lists in the mail to Santa. Assuming you celebrate the holiday, what goodies are you hoping to find under your tree this year?

Shannon Nutt

A few Christmases ago, my family stopped trying to guess what to buy me for the holidays and just started getting me gift cards to places they know I’d use them – like Amazon.com or Cinemark theaters. It saved me the embarrassment of having to tell them “I already have this” when they bought me a Blu-ray or DVD set.

With that in mind, I have to say I wouldn’t be too upset if I got surprised with some ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ merchandise this Christmas. Unlike when the prequels came out, I’ve been pretty sparse in my collecting, buying only a couple of Lego sets (Poe Dameron’s X-Wing and the new version of the Millennium Falcon) that I really wanted, as well as that super-cool Sphero BB-8 robot. Other than those few things and a couple exclusive Funko figures (via the Smuggler’s Bounty program), I’m pretty much sans new ‘Star Wars’ merchandise. I’d love to get the new soundtrack, or a couple action figures, or one of the great coffee table books (like ‘The Art of The Force Awakens’), many of which are being released around December 18th, when the movie hits theaters. Even if I don’t, chances are pretty good that I’ll take any gift cards and use them for purchasing said items. Unless the movie sucks, of course.

Mike Attebery

I really can’t think of a thing that I NEED this year. But WANT, that I can do. Friends, family, if we really focus on this, I think we can make it happen. I’d like a late-1970s to mid-’80s Porsche 911. The good old-fashioned air cooled variety – ideally with black exterior and leather interior (any color but red, please). If possible, I’d like something with a few dings in the paint. I’m looking for nice but not perfect condition, so I won’t feel bad when something bangs into it. These suckers are shooting up in value really quickly, so this is the year to make it happen. Thank you in advance.

Brian Hoss

This is likely more a January thing, but it may just be time to go crazy with a new acronym studded display. Upgrading a major part of the home theater can lead to a chain reaction, especially with DTS:X finally coming online. That means I’ll need more Atmos Blu-ray discs, and things like the ‘Roger Waters: The Wall‘ SE Blu-ray.

Of course, the best gifts are surprises, and usually ones that you can share. If four or so members of my family all read the same interesting book, that would be a nice gift.

M. Enois Duarte

Aside from upgrading a couple items in my home theater system, such as switching my OPPO Blu-ray player to the BDP-103 model, I would like a new seating arrangement for Christmas. Not that there’s anything wrong with the current seats I use, but I’m thinking about making more space for guests. I keep debating between an L-shaped sectional or a small row of theater recliners. I love the idea of adding another row, but the couch would provide more room for people to sit.

I’m also contemplating upgrading my front soundstage to a pair of Bowers & Wilkins CM10 S2 speakers, moving my current CM9s to the side surround positions. I haven’t really made up my mind on the speaker situation since I’m also tempted to experiment with Josh’s patent-pending “Zatmos” idea. Nevertheless, here’s hoping Santa is listening and might help make my decision easier.

Luke Hickman

Surprisingly – even to me – the only home theater-related item on my Christmas wish list is a decibel meter. I want to calibrate my 7.1 sound system on my own. Because I know a guy who used to do it professionally, I’ve got a maestro to help me along the way.

Aside from that, I’ve only asked Santa for four other items. On top of being a movie snob, I’m also a music snob. With vinyl records becoming an elitist hipster trend, it’s been easier and cheaper to add my favorite albums to my vinyl collection. In that area, I’ve asked for any records by The Cars, The Killers’ “Battleborn,” and Eddie Vedder’s fantastic soundtrack for ‘Into the Wild’.

In addition to the vinyls, I’ve also asked for two books to round out a collection. Because I’m a huge fan of the series ‘Justified’ and have just added the Blu-ray collector’s box set to my collection, I’ve started reading Elmore Leonard’s book series that inspired the FX television series. I own the first two books (‘Pronto’ and ‘Riding the Rap’), so I just need the short story collection ‘Fire in the Hole’ and the final novel in the series ‘Raylan’ to have them all on my shelf.

Adam Tyner (DVDTalk)

I’m cursed with a a birthday barely a month before Christmas, and that often means I get every realistic gift on my wish list before the holidays roll around. That turned out to very much be the case this year, although I was able to scrounge together a few more things I want: Warner’s ‘Special Effects Collection‘ on Blu-ray, a set of cymbals for ‘Rock Band 4’, ‘Yoshi’s Woolly World’ for the Wii U, and a ridiculous Japanese toy/instrument called an Otamatone chief among them. Less realistically, I’d be all over one of those 65″ 4K, HDR-friendly LG OLED displays.

Josh Zyber

Ever since I had kids, I stopped thinking about Christmas as a holiday for myself anymore. The boys are on the verge of turning 2, which means this will be the first year they have some concept of what’s happening when they receive gifts. Honestly, I’ve hardly given any thought at all to what I might want.

If I were to shoot for the stars here, I’d love a copy of the recent ‘Collected Works of Hayao Miyazaki‘ Blu-ray box set. Thinking more modestly, I could use this rug to hide some cords running across my home theater room floor.

Your Turn

Have you been good boys and girls this year? What would you like Santa to bring you?

18 comments

  1. photogdave

    As a couple without children but with shrinking incomes, my girlfriend and I decided to stop gift-giving and decorating last year. It was such a success that we are going for year two, and I can’t tell you how freeing it is to just ignore all the holiday hullabaloo – busy stores, traffic, frantic phone calls to update wish lists etc.
    We will still watch some Christmas specials and splash out on some above-average wine and good food for the holiday time, and put some tinfoil balls in the cat’s stocking.
    Not to say I didn’t take advantage of some Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals to flesh out my bluray collection for the required holiday viewing!

  2. Chris B

    For a Christmas miracle I’d love to be able to watch The Hateful Eight in 70 mm. Sadly it’s looking like there aren’t going to be any theatres in my province showing it so I’ll have to wait for the general on Jan. 6. 🙁

    I’d love an Xbox One but it ain’t really in the budget. Hopefully I’m able to sell some blus and laserdiscs I currently have listed on Kijiji to raise the funds for my new console.

    I’m mostly looking forward to having the 5 days off work and getting a whole pile of blu rays from my wife. Throw in copious amounts of turkey and beer and that’s all I really need to enjoy the holidays.

  3. EM

    My Amazon wish list of 36 items has no Blu-rays and only 3 DVDs (Dark Shadows episodes), but well over half the list is movie- and TV-related, mostly books about Star Trek and Star Wars in one form or another (a rare exception being the Dark Shadows multi-CD soundtrack set). It’s all good stuff, but perhaps the most intriguing are the two books of stereographic photos from 19th Century Paris. One is Paris in 3D in the Belle Époque (which actually bleeds into the early 20th), which boasts 34 stereograms of city scenes. The other is Diableries: Stereoscopic Adventures in Hell, which presents 180 3D color scenes of Halloweenish fantasy that were popular a century and a half ago.

  4. Deaditelord

    Although my family has been breathing down my neck for ideas the last week or so, I haven’t really thought much about what I want for Christmas this year. The one thing that does spring to mind though is a nice stand or a container to store the Sennheiser HD600 headphones I picked up last month. Now if only someone would release an AV receiver with DTS Headphone X support so I could ask for that too. (Might as well dream big right?) 🙂

  5. Csm101

    If I had to pick a piece of home theater equipment that I would most desire, it would be a new receiver with Atmos and DTS X capabilities. Something in the Yamaha AVENTAGE line would be preferable. I can’t complete an Atmos wishlist without at least a pair of height channels ( in ceiling speakers would be preferred ) I would go with a pair of Klipsch reference cdt-5650-c II to go in my ceiling. I see they have a new line of in ceiling speakers, and I liked the pro-4650-c model at first glance, although I have no idea what those cost.
    Aside from those mentioned above, which os more of a 2017 wishlist, I got everything I wanted this holiday season and am grateful for what I have now.

  6. Bill

    Given the lackluster list of new BDs or HD transfers of any kind available this year for Christmas, I’d like to see a promise from the studios that they will be releasing on BD next year more of their big but still unreleased classic films from their vaults. A note to that effect placed under my tree this year would give me a reason to look forward to next year.

      • Bill

        No. I mean the classic films languishing in the studio vaults that are yet to be released on BD. Christmas themes have nothing to do with it. In all honesty I have given up expecting that any of them ever will make it to BD never mind UHD BD. I can just hope.

        • William Henley

          Is Song of the South on that list. 🙂

          I feel you, though, there are some I would love to see. Now, I don’t know as many of the “classics” as I would pretend, but there are some later movies I would love to see. *batteries not included, Cocoon, My Stepmother is an Alien. More recently, I would like to see Dreamer (you can actually get it from Italy, but its a BAD transfer). Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat with Donny Osmond would be nice (you can get it from the UK, but it turns out it is just upconverted SD, and actually looks WORSE than the DVD with a halfway decent upscalling Blu-Ray player). A proper HD transfer of Farscape would be nice. DS9 and Voyager would be a nice announcement.

          On the foreign film side, I would love to see Hilfe Ich Bin Ein Junge, and Die Trapp Familie and Die Trapp Familie im Amerika make it to Blu-Ray (with English subtitles). The spanish Zorro television show that came out a couple of years ago would be nice.

  7. William Henley

    Well, I am single, so nothing under the tree.

    That said, I am buying a house, and it has two living areas. One is going to be a home theater. and the other a more formal living room (there will be no television in that room). I was originally going to make the back living area the home theater, but I went over there this past week to take measurements, and realized the back living area is only about half the size that I had in my mind that it was. It’s fine for some couches and bookcases and stuff, but not really big enough for a screen and projector. So I flipped the plan in my mind and the front living area is going to be the home theater.

    I picked up the projector a couple or weeks ago, and I am going to reuse my current sound system (although if I end up running wires through walls and ceilings, like I hope to, I may go ahead and run wires for Atmos overhead speakers).

    I hope to close on the house this week (should have been November 28th, but the bank messed something big up that is causing all sorts of delays). Hopefully I will get to close this week, and be in the house by Christmas (I better be at least, I told my apartment I would be out by end of December).

    There are still a few things I am hoping to pick up. Let’s start with non-home theater stuff – I need a washer / dryer, computer desk, a dishwasher (older house, so it needs to be one of the portable ones), and I hope to replace toilet and tub (eying a whirlpool, but that depends on if I have room for the electrical access). Oh, and the back living area needs new flooring, and drywall in the entire house should probably be replaced, but not sure if I will do that now or later. Oh, and I should probably put in a few energy efficient windows – the windows in the house have been replaced over the years, so some are brand new, some are like 20 years old, some are 60 years old. Oh, and more insulation. Oh, and of course, paint.

    As for the home theater, I still need a screen, projector mount, seating, more blackout curtains, and probably more cabling and wires (especially if I run them through my wall instead of across the floor like they are in my apartment). I was thinking of getting a 115″ 2.35:1 gray screen, but as I have a short throw projector, I may go larger. I pretty much need to figure out where the projector needs to be mounted, then figure out how large of an image it throws from that distance. However, its looking good that I may be able to go with a 150″ screen.

    As for the seating, I am looking at the powered leather recliners that have the cup holders and console in them. The one I am eyeing also has AC outlets and USB ports. But I am also thinking about other seating that may be needed in the room in case I have more than two people over to hang out. My current furniture needs to be in the other living area – there is no way it would match the theater seating. Thinking of just adding a leather couch, although additional seating will be dependant on how much money I have left.

    Wiring is also going to be an expense. I already bought a 25 foot HDMI cable from Monoprice, but then it occured to me that I may also need a component cable that long, unless I want to replace my XBox with one that does HDMI (which I may end up doing – haven’t decided yet). Some of the speaker wires I have now can probably be recycled, at least the front three speakers and subwoofer cable, but the side and rear speaker cable will almost for sure need to be replaced, as my apartment does not have as big of a living room as the house does.

    Another project is getting power to the projector. The ceiling fan is right in the center of the room, so there is a good chance it will need to be removed to mount the projector. If I do that, I am probably going to take the wiring from the fan and use it to power an electrical outlet in the ceiling.

    I’m debating on if I am going to run ethernet cabling. I will probably just end up doing 802.11ac 2400 and then use a wireless bridge adaptor for my Tivo Minis.

    So that is my Christmas wish list this year – a new (well, old) house and home theater.

    • William Henley

      Oh, I might also end up adding a PS4 finally. Final Fantasy VII Remake and a new Kingdom Hearts game is enough to push me over the edge to finally pick one up

  8. charles contreras

    Since I lost everything last year, and I do mean everything, due to lack of steady work, my ideal Christmas wish list would be for a new apartment or decent sized house to live in. Now that I’m working steady again, I would depend on myself to buy the A/V gear that I want, and then build up my dvd and blu ray collection. It’ll happen all in good time. In the meantime, I consider myself lucky to have my health, family and friends who encourage and inspire me to keep hanging in there, and a good job to go to every day. Everything else will fall into place.

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