Father’s Day Gift Guide: Great gear to upgrade his home entertainment setup

Does your dad’s home entertainment kit need an upgrade? We shortlist our favourite sound systems, speakers and Blu-ray players to make buying for dad a breeze this Father’s Day

Like any self-respecting couch potato, your dad probably owns an HDTV. However, this is only one part of the audio-visual puzzle (the visual part, to be precise). To truly immerse himself in the next Ashes series or latest blockbuster movie, your dad will need some speakers to go along with that oversized boob tube. Here are a few of our favourite picks:

1. Sony MU.TE.KI (HT-DDW7500) sound system (RRP: $1499)

If your dad is lacking in the audio department — if his chief music source is a little transistor radio in the garage — we've got an easy one-size-fits-all fix. Sure it weighs 50kg, but that just makes it a more impressive present! Sony's MU.TE.KI 7.2-channel surround sound system is the perfect complement to a high-definition TV and Blu-ray player, and with almost 1700W of power it's enough for him to strategically annoy that pesky neighbour with the leaf-blower.

2. Panasonic SC-HC3 micro hi-fi system (RRP: $389)

Maybe you don't have the money or the space for a massive hi-fi system. No problem: Panasonic's slimline SC-HC3 micro hi-fi packs great sound quality into a small body. It plays radio and CDs, and it has an integrated iPod dock and a connector for other MP3 players — everything even the most gadget-heavy dad could want.

3. Logitech LS-21 speaker (RRP: $59.95)

Your dad might have an MP3 player or old CD Walkman lying around that doesn't get enough love. Why not put it to good use? Get some cheap speakers like the Logitech LS-21 and bring some music to the garage for when he's out mowing the lawn or raking leaves.

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Another essential component of a home theatre setup is a Blu-ray player. After all, what’s the point of a high-definition television if you’re still watching regular old DVDs? Thankfully, prices have come down substantially in recent years, with entry-level Blu-ray models costing as little as $250. Here are our top Father’s Day choices:

1. Kogan Blu-ray Player Full HD 1080P (RRP: $499)

The Kogan Blu-ray Player Full HD 1080P is an entry-level unit that doesn’t skimp on the extras. While it lacks BD-Live support, the Kogan Blu-ray Player Full HD 1080P comes with plenty of connectivity options, including the ubiquitous HDMI. Picture quality is also excellent — easily the best we’ve seen from a Blu-ray player in this price range.

2. Sony BDP-S350 (RRP: $479)

The Sony BDP-S350 is another good option for Father’s Day. If you’d prefer not to spend a fortune on a Blu-ray player — but still want the quality-assurance that comes from the Sony brand — then the BDP-S350 is pretty hard to beat. We were particularly impressed by the Sony BDP-S350’s DVD upscaling; if you dad owns a stack of DVDs, this may be the player to get.

3. Panasonic DMR-BW850 (RRP: $2199)

If money isn’t an obstacle, go for Panasonic’s flagship DMR-BW850 Blu-ray recorder. The DMR-BW850 comes with a 500GB internal hard drive for recording TV, along with Internet connectivity and 7.1 HD audio support. It also has a built-in SD card reader, which is handy for viewing holiday snaps. If your dad has been pining for an HD media storage device, he could do a lot worse than this high-end offering.