Eight high-tech must-haves for your Super Bowl party
You’ve got your remote control, your favorite recliner, and your beverages at the ready. You’ve put together a nice assortment of snacks tastefully arrayed on plates and platters. You’ve even donned appropriate attire—49er gold-and-red or Raven purple—for the occasion. Surely, you are ready to sit down and watch Super Bowl XLVII this Sunday.
You most certainly are not.
Look, if ever an event called out for living large, it’s the Super Bowl. The word “Super” is in its very title. The football game is usually the most watched TV program of the year with the most recent installment setting ratings records. Why not watch it in style? At the very least, tap into technology to augment your viewing experience.
Here are eight next-gen options for enjoying an afternoon of Super Bowl XLVII—and any given Sunday thereafter.
Panasonic 65-Inch VT50 3D Plasma TV
If you’re looking for an HDTV that’ll serve as a living room mainstay for years to come, you’re going to want a screen that measures at least 32 inches diagonally. That said, bigger is usually better.
We’ve already drawn up a game plan for finding an HDTV worthy of the Super Bowl, but for a truly immersive, arm-tingling experience, you’ll want to go with a plasma screen that’s 3D-ready and stretches the limits of your field of vision, like this 65-incher from Panasonic. It comes with two remotes (including one that resembles a Bluetooth trackpad) and earned plaudits for its stunning display, 96Hz refresh rate, and variety of Web-enabled applications.
Price: $3000; Company: Panasonic
Sudsbuddy Half-Keg Beer Dispenser
Gone are the days when keeping your keg at peak coolness meant some clumsy mini-fridge-type of contraption. The Sudsbuddy, costing a little less than a grand, aims to reprogram your expectations of the in-home kegerator. It features a curved design and thermoelectric coolant system, which eschews freon for electronic heat pumps and will last for 200,000 hours of continuous usage. (That means you’re set for the next XXIII Super Bowls.) It’s also home brewer-friendly, able to accommodate a number of smaller carboys or corny kegs. And the SudsCounter display atop the unit also indicates temperature as well as 12-ounce brewskis yet to be poured.
Price: $995; Company: Sudsbuddy
Optoma HD33 Projector
If you’re looking to go beyond your flat-screen for something akin to a true theater feel—and you’ve got the space for such a showcase—this Optoma model may be the projector for you. The HD33 can project up to 300 inches diagonally and features true 1080p for Blu-ray and compatible gaming consoles. But for the Super Bowl, it’s the 1,800 lumens of brightness and PureMotion image processing (something not available on the more budget-friendly HD20) that’s going to keep the picture humming at a continuously crisp quality throughout all quarters.
Price: $1,299; Company: Optoma
Designating the proper bowl to hold your chips and salsa may seem like a trivial and low-tech consideration on Super Bowl Sunday, but it can be critical to the process of grabbing a chip and seamlessly loading it up, all while maintaining eye contact on the game. The Salsabol, with its recessed bamboo platter, was crafted to provide just the right curvature to give your chips the perfect allotment of drippy salsa goodness upon every dip. And with plenty of surrounding real estate for chips and the like, you’re looking at least a full half of football before needing a refill.
Price: $48; Company: UncommonGoods.
Sony HT-CT150 32-Inch 3D Sound Bar System
Back in the day—say, five years ago—facilitating brain-rattling sound out of your setup required all manner of SurroundSound speakers lining the perimeter of your space. Thankfully, today’s wave of svelte soundbars pack a lot of finely-calibrated decibels into a teeny package. This offering from Sony, a little less than three feet in length, sits conspicuously in front of any display and tickles your eardrums with an immersive depth that should cost you five times as much. The three HDMI inputs also mean adaptability to your entertainment options without the need for more equipment, and the subwoofer measures less than eight inches across for a compact footprint.
Price: $198; Company: Sony
Acoustic Research MVP Portable Wireless Speakers
A serious Super Bowl party (read: one where the food spread is continually replenished) means one or more people are often away from the TV—either in the kitchen or with the grill outside. An easy way to keep these worker bees abreast of the game action is to hook up your smartphone inside one of these portable wireless speakers from Acoustic Research, fire up your radio app of choice (such as TuneIn Radio, which will bring up your local affiliate carrying the game), and your guests are all set to follow along with the action, no matter where they roam. The speaker skins are also completely Raven- and 49er-customizable, so your team spirit always shines through.
Price: $99; Company: Acoustic Research).
CamelBak 2012 Gambler 100-Ounce Hydration Pack
The smart football-watcher is the one who knows how to maximize those critical blocks of time that bookend play on the field: timeouts, commercials, bathroom breaks. Getting up to refill your tasty beverage can also be a frustrating time-suck, but this snazzy hydration pack from CamelBak will keep you quenched for more than eight beers at a time. The patented Big Bite valve means minimal effort for drinkage, and the backpack straps with waist clasp mean the Gambler goes where you go, especially when it’s time to restock your rations.
Price: $90; Company: CamelBak.
Human Touch iJoy-2580 Robotic Massage Chair
If you’re watching the game by lounging at home, then you need a grade-A lounger. This iJoy model from HumanTouch, which has even dabbled in chairs that are iOS-controllable, doesn’t break the bank while providing numerous massage options and an array of built-in conveniences, such as a cup holder and auxiliary power outlet for keeping your gizmos charged. And the power recline function means that your massage gets more intense the further back you go—a handy option should you find your team getting crushed by the time Beyoncé comes out for the halftime show.
Price: $999; Company: Human Touch
Panasonic Smart Viera TC-P55VT50 55-Inch Plasma HDTV