Euro 2012 – Television
Your Euro 2012 guests will demand a bigger, better screen than the one at The Queen’s Head if they’re to forsake the pub. This 65in beauty fits the bill. It’s a plasma, which means wider viewing angles than on LCDs. The active shutter 3D has excellent resolution and motion handling, so even Theo Walcott in fifth gear will remain in blur-free.
Buying lots of active shutter 3D glasses for your guests can get pricey. If that’s a concern, go for this excellent ‘passive’ 47in LG. Its 3D tech works nearly as well as its active-enabled rivals, and you get five pairs of specs in the box.
Euro 2012 – PVR
Virgin Media Tivo 1TB
£50 + £32/month virginmedia.com
A roomy 1TB hard-drive and three tuners mean you’ll be able to watch live Euro games without giving up your US dramas. There’s plenty of 3D from the Beeb and ITV, plus it’s a good investment for the Olympics too, with all 24 of the BBC’s live sports feeds available in HD from late July.
If you don’t want to shell out for a monthly subscription, your best bet is a Freeview HD PVR. This Panasonic is easy to use, has a large 320GB hard-disk and two tuners, meaning you can watch a game while recording the latest episode of The Bridge.
Euro 2012 – AV receiver
Onkyo’s flagship is the Ronaldo of the AV receiver world. It’s got THX certification, support nine speakers and over 1300W of power. Run it with front-height and front-wide speakers for max stadium atmospherics, then watch its Imaging Science Foundation-approved video calibration to fine-tune your picture. Finally, get an ice-cold beer, and recline.
The entry-level model in Onkyo’s all-new network receiver range, this 5.1 system is – as you’d expect – simpler and smaller than its bigger brother (above). It’s still more than powerful enough to fill most front rooms with stadium-style sonics, though, so if you’re not Ukraine-bound, you won’t feel left out.
Euro 2012 – Surround sound speakers
Monitor Audio Apex
The gorgeous Apex range looks stunning, and its metal alloy drive units give it the accuracy and clarity you’d expect of the hefty price tag. The price covers the basic 5.1 system plus an extra four Apex A10 satellites for a 9.1 setup – if you’re going to fill your lounge with speakers, better make them pretty.
Q Acoustics 2000i 5.1
The perfect speaker foil for the TX-NR414 receiver, this 5.1-speaker Q Acoustics system is small enough to be unobtrusive, yet muscular enough for most needs, with excellent speaker-to-speaker cohesion. It’s just the ticket for that ‘sitting in the stadium without the bellowing drunkards’ feel.
Euro 2012 – Chair
Ligne Roset Petite Sieste Indiana Leather
Not all recliners are hideous 80s throwbacks. The curvy Petite Sieste is a lounge icon with posterior-pleasing memory foam, and a secret footrest that flips out into a ‘relaxed’ position or a fully horizontal ‘siesta’ mode. A shoo-in for a win at the Armchair Football Fan Olympics 2012.
Hay Helgo L Beanbag
Being relegated to the lounge beanbag is usually a demeaning experience, but your football-watching guests will be clamouring for a spot on this Tetris-styled Danish chair. The Helgo L is strong enough to sit free-standing or propped against a wall, and comes in festive red, green or grey.
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