Still not sure which set top box to go with? Things just got simpler following Amazon’s foray into the market with Fire TV. Plug this small, elegant box to your HDTV to access [nearly] all your favorite services, including Netflix, Hulu Plus, ESPN, Pandora, Crackle, Amazon Instant Video, and many more. With 1080p output and Dolby Digital Plus up to 7.1, your streamed shows and movies are as immersive as ever, and a slew of other features, including gaming capabilities (with Amazon’s Fire Game Controller), predictive buffering to cut loading times, and accurate voice search straight from the remote’s built-in mic add up to make Fire TV a serious contender.
Order at Amazon – $100
If you love beer – really love the nuances, the regional character, even the sound of the cap extraction making way for your lips, Patrick Dawson’s Vintage Beer: A Taster’s Guide to Brews That Improve Over Time is a tome you’ll want to revisit time after time. Just as wine improves over time under the right conditions, so too will high alcoholic content brews, conditioned beers that are bottled with yeast, barleywines, and others. The aging process changes the flavor of the beer in delicious ways, and so Vintage Beer explains what makes a good candidate for aging and what to look for when sampling aged beer. If you’re interested in the science behind the process, he covers that too. And if all that wasn’t enough the book also contains a buyers’ guide, helping you select from a variety of ready to age beers to add to your fledgling collection.
Grab one at Amazon - $10
First impressions aren’t everything. Avegant’s Glyph may look like a pair of bulky, Beats-like over-ear headphones, but flip down the visor to immerse yourself in media like never before. Unlike traditional media-displaying devices that utilize a pixelated screen placed before your eyes, Glyph relies on a Virtual Retinal Display that uses LEDs and a million micromirrors in each eyepiece to safely project a sharp, vivid image directly onto your retinas. The resulting image interpreted by your brain closely mimics the way we naturally perceive light, appearing more realistic. And using Glyph is as straightforward as plugging it in, relying on HDMI input and/or an audio jack to deliver your media of choice, be it music, movies, or immersive gaming.
Go pledge at Kickstarter – $500
When it comes to televisions, bigger is undoubtedly better, and so is curved over flat. LG’s Curved Ultra HD TV covers both bases, boasting tremendous size – 105 inches, diagonally – and curvature, angling each one of its 11 million pixels rightly towards the viewer. Unsurprisingly, it’s the biggest curved television to see production so far. Else, it has an aspect ratio of 21:9, employs refined TFT technology adapted to its shape, and, we’re willing to bet, costs at least a little more than the 50-inch currently sitting in our living room.
Read the full press release at LG – $TBA
Most media center computers sit beneath your television, alongside your Playstation 4 and Apple TV. Piixl’s Jetpack goes a different route, instead hiding behind your 32- to 70-inch flatscreen thanks to its slim profile while remaining accessible on both sides with an extendable chassis. This dual-booting computer runs both Valve SteamOS and Microsoft Windows (and/or Linux at your discretion), and features an open-hardware design that allows for powerful components including Core i7 processors, custom graphics cards, loads of storage, and anything else crucial to bringing flawless computer gaming to your living room.
Breakthrough albums deserve more than a bit of disk space on your computer’s hard drive, but we don’t need to tell you that. A Deluxe edition of Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories is coming together in physical form, chock-full of memorabilia including helmet and robot schematic posters, 56 page hardcover picture book from RAM recording sessions and film shoots, a 10″ vinyl with an extended interview of Giorgio Moroder, a 70mm film strip with 5 sequential frames from the production of Lose Yourself to Dance, all packed in a cloth-bound box stamped with the album’s title in gold foil. Of course, it includes the album as well, in both special edition 180 gram double vinyl form and on two gold- and silver-plated USB drives, alongside a slew of hi-def videos.
Shipping in early December. Learn more at Daft Punk’s RAM website - $275
Ever dream of quitting your job, cutting all [ultimately unimportant] ties and hitting the open road in a camper? Until that day, live vicariously through Foster Huntington, who’s put 80,000 miles on his VW Vanagon since July 2011. Home Is Where You Park It is a 125 page photo collection of campers, all shot on 120mm and 35mm film, detailing the most interesting wheeled homes, and what drives the individuals behind the wheel, that he’s run into on his adventures.
Learn more at Kickstarter – $65
Whether you’ve followed television’s most likeable serial killer for the past eight years or are just starting to, with Dexter: The Complete Series collection, you’re bound to get your fill. This monster box set includes all 8 seasons, behind-the-scenes interviews and featurettes, a documentary on the evolution of Dexter Morgan, exclusive photos, artwork, and more, all obsessively organized inside a blood slide box that’s fit for hiding inside your air conditioner.
Grab it in Blu-ray on Amazon – $322
Better not have any big plans for the next few weeks. Roughly on par with your average Hollywood blockbuster in development costs, GTA V features the largest, most dynamic world Rockstar’s pumped out to date, spanning different cultural sub-regions and a slew of interesting citizens as varied as the Los Santos landscape. Other selling points include numerous recreational activities such as golf, skydiving, triathlons and street racing, as well as more ways to make money – aside from robbery – like investing in local businesses, and of course a rich storyline that has you controlling three distinct protagonists through large multi-part missions.
Breaking Bad’s rapidly building up to its colossal end, and we can already tell you that we fully plan on rewatching the entire series as soon as it’s over. Grab the full set with Breaking Bad: The Complete Series, a collector’s pack containing the show in its entirety, over 55 hours of special features across all seasons, an all-new two-hour documentary, a 16 page booklet with a letter from the show’s creator, plus a Los Pollos Hermanos apron and commemorative challenge coin, all housed in a replica plastic money barrel. Sure, it’s not packed with Walt’s millions, but it’s contents are still plenty valuable to us.
Preorder on Amazon – $225