Gadgets: Box brings HD programming to your analog TV, computer
Just as the sign says on HDTV displays in electronics stores, you must have an HD signal sent to the TV in order to get HDTV-quality programming.
But what if you are happy with your analog TV, which doesn't have a built-in HD tuner, but you want an HD quality picture?
A simple solution is the KWorld External TVBox (model SA295-Q DE), which connects to your older TV or even a computer to display HD content.
The device also allows user to view TV shows via the Web in the higher qualify format.
Once connected, programming is viewed with 16:9 aspect ratios in 1080i or 720p.
A nice built-in feature is a USB port to allow view of digital photos and MP3's, which can't be connected to many of the older TV's without the addition of a device like this.
Users have a variety of options (VGA, DVI and HDMI output) for connecting the device depending with ports on the backside.
Many other features are included, such as parental controls for selected channel viewing, closed captioning and Power Smart energy-saving technology to shut the unit down when it is idle for a defined period of time (30-minutes up to 4-hours).
Details: kworldcomputer.com, $109
The nio Bluetooth device makes sure you don't leave home without it.
"It" can be whatever device you have chosen to pair with the nio using its security software with a device via Bluetooth.
Consider the nio your device's burglar alarm. Once connected, the devices are secured as a pair, even if not in close proximity. An alarm on both devices sounds once they are separated past an acceptable distance.
Users have to do a simple software install from the nio download site and then pair the devices. All this takes just a few minutes.
When setting it up, the most important choice you will make is how far you want to allow the devices to be separated before the alarm sounds.
It's about the size of a flash drive and is powered with a built-in battery recharge via USB. A reset button is the only control on the device.
Details: bluenio.com, $69
The Concord Keystone Easy Shot Clip ultra-mini digital video camera is exactly that.
Measuring just 2.24-by-0.83-by- .071 inches and weighing less than } of an ounce, users get a device that can film up to 2GB of video and sound to the built-in memory at 30 fps 640-by-480 pixels.
If you're looking for a camera to film great HD video to produce DVD's, this one is not for you.
Instead, if you want one of the most portable video cameras, which is incredibly easy to operate and produces decent video for what you pay for Â- then this video gadget is for you.
Working the device is incredibly simple, since it has just one button to operate.
ArcSoft Media Impression Software (Mac and Windows compatible) is included to get videos uploaded to social networking sites.
Also included in the packaging is a bicycle mount, helmet adapter, mounting stand, neck strap and a shirt clip.
A Built-in Lithium-polymer rechargeable (USB) battery powers the recorder, which is available in both black and white options.
Details: concordkeystone.com, $70
With all the apps available for the iPhone to use while in a car, the NewerTech Window Mount for the iPhone 3G and 3GS can be a handy accessory.
The best feature is that while driving you will be in a hands free mode when using mobile apps or phone calls.
For installation, simply mount the media player to any window, which gives you full view of the screen. It also gives access to the touch screen, but of course users would never use this while driving.
It's made with a vibration resistant, flexible arm to adjust for most any view and NewerTech suggests it can be used just about anywhere in addition to autos. For example as I write this, the super vacuum adhesion suction cup is holding my iPod touch on an airplane tray table.
It's suggested to use it with the Apple iPhone 3G and 3GS models only but obviously my touch is having no problem coming to a rest in the handy accessory.
Details: newertech.com, $19.99
(c) 2010, Gregg Ellman.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.