PC Advisor picks out the best gifts for the media-loving couch potatoes in the family. Get connected with connected TV.

Christmas 2009 buyers' guide: Connected TV

Samsung and LG are among the pioneers of Connected TV – an idea whereby, rather than watching shows on your PC, you get live updates on your TV, PC-style. Developer Yahoo has a large collection of widgets that keep you informed about the weather, the time, stocks and shares, instant messages and so on; you can bring up or hide the widgets by pressing a button on your remote. Part of the idea is that it avoids the age-old family dispute when one person is watching a programme and another wants to check the news headlines.

Thankfully, TVs that feature the Connected TV technology also offer decent-quality high-resolution screens, so you’re not paying for this extra feature by sacrificing quality elsewhere. Flickr, Facebook and Twitter updates can be performed from the comfort of your couch and remote control, making for some pleasingly lazy nights in.

Nintendo Wii

Nintendo has launched a limited-edition black version of its Wii console and introduced new pricing deals on this most family-friendly of games consoles. Either the new black edition or the original white Wii can be bought with Wii Sports Resort and a Wii Motion Plus controller for £159 inc VAT. The nunchuk controller and Sports Pack are also included as usual.

The controllers offer buzzing feedback as you throw your arms about in an attempt to keep up with the virtual sports action. Ideal for Christmas gatherings, we reckon.

See also: Nintendo Wii review

Sony PlayStation 3 Slim

The freshly updated 3.2kg Sony PlayStation 3 Slim is about a third less bulky than the original model and uses less electricity; its late summer launch also coincided with a price rethink. As a result, the powerful games console with built-in Blu-ray is set to be a prize catch for Christmas. Little wonder when it plays the most realistic games – as well as some of the cutest, such as Little Big Planet – and accepts all known media types.

Interactive elements include games, trailers and film downloads, plus collaborative online gameplay. The 120GB version costs £250, while the 250GB version is £350. The PS3 is also able to reproduce HD video content and take an HD feed via HDMI.


PC Advisor Christmas 2009 technology buyers' guide

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