USA TODAY’s Jefferson Graham gets lowdown on hot tech gift ideas for the holidays from Rich DeMuro, host of KTLA-TV’s “Tech Report”, Dawn Chmielewski, senior editor of and Andrew Wallenstein, co-editor-in-chief of Variety.
Robert Hanashiro, USA TODAY

LOS ANGELES – New smartphones from Apple, Google and elsewhere, streaming TV boxes, wearable smartwear – what will be the hot tech gift for the holidays?

We put the question to our panel of experts on the #talkingtechLIVE podcast this week – KTLA-TV’s Rich DeMuro, Variety co-editor Andrew Wallenstein and Recode’s Dawn Chmielewski and the verdict was unanimous: streaming boxes.

The revamped $149 Apple TV will be in stores this weekend, offering voice-activated search from Siri and apps for TV, and Roku, Amazon and others updated their boxes recently, to bring internet entertainment to the living room.

“Apple TV will sell a lot,” said Demuro. “It works nice with the iPhone. If you have an iPhone, you understand the Apple TV.”

Wallenstein said he thought the lower priced streaming sticks from Amazon, Roku and Google (which start at $35) would be better sellers. “In terms of volume, Apple TV won’t be able to touch those products.”

And Chmielewski selected drones as another hot product seller.

“People are going to get drone crazy.”

On the podcast, we also discussed:

–Whether Apple, Facebook or Google might one day buy a Hollywood studio.

–The debut of YouTube’s new ad-free $9.99 subscription service YouTube Red, and whether people will pay to subscribe.

–Sonos’s debut of the revamped Play5 Wifi speakers–complete with reaction from the audience.

#talkingtechLIVE airs every Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on TuneIn, and is archived for later listening on iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher and TuneIn.

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