Three cool TV technology gifts to consider this Black Friday
The St. Petersburg Times' gift buying guide won't be published until Sunday. But in honor of Black Friday's rush of breakneck shopping buys, here's an early peek at my three picks for cool TV-related gifts to consider for the holiday season.
And if Santa were to drop one of these off at the office of your friendly neighborhood TV critic, well, that would really be a Christmas Miracle.
Price: $319. What better gift for a TV critic than a phone with a television inside? Push up the front plate slider to open this sleek Motorola phone, and you can click over to access a range of TV shows, from Star Trek reruns to the latest Daily Show, streamed to your phone in startlingly clear color. You do have to buy the V Cast mobile TV package and Verizon only provides access to one or two shows each from about 16 channels at a time. But the lineup changes regularly, providing no better way to while away a stretch in the bank teller line or dentist’s office.
Allio HD TV/PC
Price: $1,599. Used to be, the biggest problem with TV-packed streaming Web sites such as Hulu and Joost is you had to watch your Heroes reruns and Office webisodes sitting at your home PC. No more. The Allio pulls together everything you need in a smart TV -- a Blu-Ray DVD player, a digital video recorder and a PC with 250 GB of storage. Miss your favorite Knight Rider episode, and a few remote clicks takes you to Hulu for a quick catch-up on a 32-inch screen. Just imagine how that YouTube Mentos video will look on a real TV set, and you’re getting why this makes my knees weak.
Price: $299. If the Allio sounds too pricey, the SlingCatcher offers a cheaper way to see video on the Internet on your home TV. Plug in this device, and you can “sling” the display from your PC screen to your home TV. Ports in the device also allow you connect any digital media storage device like a memory stick or portable hard drive, and play files on your TV. And if you have any other TVs in your home connected to the SlingBox -- a device allowing you to view your home TV’s output over the Internet -- you can control them with the SlingCatcher too. Even if they’re on the other side of the country.