TV Accessories

Small Package. Big Streaming Media.
spot cool stuff TECH

Big things come in small packages, they say.

“They” must certainly have a Roku 3 Streaming Media Player. It’s Spot Cool Stuff’s new favorite way to watch streaming videos and on-demand television — and cost-effective too.

It works like this: You connect the little Roku 3 box to the internet, either through an Ethernet cable or wifi. Then you hook the box up to your HD television1 via an HDMI cable. And — voilà — you are ready to watch television (and listen to music and play games . . . more on that in a moment).

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Cheaply, Easily Boost a Wifi Signal

Spot Cool Stuff recently moved into a farmhouse. It’s a lovely place, built in the 1780s, but there’s something about the layout or the construction materials used or the ghosts of past generations who lived here or we-know-not-what that prevents a wireless internet signal from traveling through the house well. What’s a four-bar wifi signal in the home office is reduced to one bar most anywhere else downstairs. Upstairs there’s no signal at all.

So we asked our Tech Editor to propose a solution. The one he came up with: the Western Digital My Net Wifi Range Extender.

It seemed too good to be true, if only because the paperback-sized device costs a mere $35 with the current Amazon discount (versus the $75 retail price). Here’s what we found when we gave it a try:

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Scam or Deal?
SatelliteDirect TV On Your Computer

It’s becoming increasingly easy to ditch your monthly cable or satellite bill and watch television over the internet instead. Several networks stream their television shows directly on their own websites. In addition, you can watch television through services like Cracked and Hulu, and stream movies on a computer, smart TV or portable media player via Netflix and Amazon Instant Video.

Of course, none of those offer an array of live television channels over the internet. But there is a software product that claims to: SatelliteDirect. But does the service really deliver 3,500 channels of satellite television directly to your computer? Spot Cool Stuff takes a look:

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Turn Your USB Drive into an HD Media Player

You have a great HD television set. And you have all sorts of great hi-def videos and photos on your computer. But how to link the two up?

Most people either set up a complex home networking system, cope with constant plugging and unplugging of cables and drivers, or burn their videos onto a disc and play them on a DVD player. But there’s a more elegant, and surprisingly inexpensive solution: Western Digital’s HD Media Player.

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The Best Blu-Ray Players Revealed
Every time we go to the local video store it seems that the Blu-ray section grows larger. And the store isn’t getting any bigger, so presumably their selection of old fashion DVDs is shrinking. And it isn’t only at our local store—movies-through-the-mail services like Blockbustertv accessory blu ray dvd  The Best Blu Ray Players Revealed and Netflixtv accessory blu ray dvd  The Best Blu Ray Players Revealed are expanding their fast expanding their Blu-ray offerings too.

There is no doubt: The Blu-ray future is upon us. The humble DVD will soon go the way of the Betamax and VHS tape. Which means now is the time for you to buy a Blu-ray player.

If you own a high definition TV then a Blu-ray player is a must. Looking at a normal DVD on an HDTV is like listening to an audio CD through a 1930s gramophone speaker.

Even for those who don’t yet have an HDTV we maintain that a Blu-ray is a worthy investment—you’ll eventually be buying one anyway (read our review of the best inexpensive HDTV sets) and once you do you’ll have access to a host of interactive Blu-ray movie features. (What those features are exactly varies from movie to movie). Most of all, movies look considerably better with Blu-ray.

Spot Cool Stuff has run through all the mainstream consumer Blu-ray player options. Here, in our judgment, are the best:

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Turn Your BlackBerry Into A Universal Remote Control

In addition to using your BlackBerry to make phone calls, write emails and play BrickBreaker, you can now use it to change the channels on your TV, pause your Blu-Ray player and program your TiVO. That thanks to a new app that gives your BlackBerry all the functionality of a universal remote control.

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Watch Your Home TV Channels On Your Laptop, Or Mobile Phone, From Virtually Anywhere

You’ve recorded the big game on your digital video recorder at home. But you are stuck in an airport lounge half a world away. If you have a broadband internet connection where you are, and either a computer (Mac or PC) or a mobile phone (running Windows mobile), you needn’t wait until you get home to watch your recording.

With a Slingbox console anything you can watch on your home television you can watch on your laptop via the internet or on your cell phone via a 3G network. That includes live TV. How cool is that!

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    Creative D100 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
    Cool-looking. Highly portable. And, for the moment, 44% off!

Cost: $44.99 Time left:
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