The problem with life as a working stiff who loves video gadgets is you can't afford too many of them. And just ask any Apple technology geek about the dangers of jumping on a cool-looking gizmo before the kinks get worked out. Still, there are a few rocking bits of video technology that won't break the bank — much — one of which I already have. Here's my yuletide list for some cool TV-related tech.
Moto Z6c World Edition
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 old Star Trek reruns to the latest Daily Show, streamed right 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.
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.
Allio HD TV-PC
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 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 take you to Hulu.com for a quick catchup on a 32-inch screen. Just imagine how that YouTube Mentos video will look on a TV, and you're getting why this makes my knees weak.
Eric Deggans can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.