It fell to me to do a video gadgetry gift guide. Since I dabble in all things consumer electronics, I figured, why not? I'm going to break it up into price ranges because some of us aren't millionaires but we all have video gadget needs, right? Heck, I'd probably be happy to receive most of these if I were on your gift-giving list and that's certainly saying something (since I'm finicky)
To help me with my own holiday shopping, there may or may not be some affiliate links in this article. I mean, if you guys don't want to buy me coffee for Christmas, the least you can do is let me get a cut of anything you were already going to buy anyway...right? (wink, wink...nudge, nudge).
For the Tight Purse-String Video Gadget Buyers (sub $150)
RO-KU RO-KU RO-KU
Hey the Roku 2 XS 1080p Streaming Player is a good deal for those on your Christmas list who want to watch a lot of online video, but do it on their non-connected TV. Plus, it's just under $100 so you have some left over cash for a little 'holiday cheer' for yourself, cheers!
Actually, the Boxee Box, Apple TV and even Google TV powered Logitech Revue all fit into this category and offer many of the same features.
Sure, there are all sorts of other nifty gadgets that I could work into this category, but the fun stuff is well out of reach here, so let's move on, shall we? Plus, I want to show you some super cool stuff I found!
For the Loose Purse-string Video Gadget Buyers (sub $500)
Take three Tablets and call me in the morning! Seriously, tablets are all the rage. Didn't you see that article I wrote that said tablet owners watch like 30% more video that mobiles? Now, with the tablet price wars raging across the planet and super chips like the NVIDIA Tegra 2 coming, how could you not want/need one of these?
The Tegra 2 powered Acer Iconia - $390-450 ($383.99 on Amazon)
This thing is about a pocket-sized powerhouse featuring a 10.1" touch screen, 802.11b/g/n, 5MP Rear Facing Camera and 2MP Front, 1GB DDR2 Memory , Android , Honeycomb , NVIDIA Tegra 2 Dual Core Mobile Processor (1 Ghz), 16 GB Internal SATA and 2 USB ports with a resolution of 1280x800.
Another option in just about the same price range is the ASUS Transformer.
You can get one of them for $300-400 ($380 for 16GB $420 for 32GB on Amazon). It's another of those Tegra 2 powered tablets with a 10.1" WSVGA (1280x800) IPS Capacitive LED Touchscreen; Android 3.2 Operating System NVIDIA Tegra 2 CPU; 1GB of DDR2 SDRAM, 1 slot, 1GB Max; 16GB Internal Flash Memory; Wireless 802.11bgn; Bluetooth 2.1 Mini HDMI Port; Micro SD Card Slot; 1.2MP (front) and 5.0MP (rear) Webcam, GPS; Gravity Sensor; E-Compass.
I suppose, if you're more price conscious but still want a good tablet experience you might go with the Amazon Kindle Fire, which I'm still trying to get my grubby little paws on. I did play with one this weekend along with an Iconia and a Transformer and I have to say, it's bright and fast and not too shabby. I'm sure you all know they retail for $199 and are available from Amazon, Best Buy and probably a couple other places. I can't wait to see the sales numbers on it. I know that it was number two to the iPad but will that hold out through Cyber Monday? It could be that come the end of this week, the Kindle Fire will have sold so well, Amazon is burning cash to heat their offices!
WHDI - Wireless HD Video Streaming at Home
Of course, some of you might have friends who are video producers and have tons of local media that they want to watch on your TV but they are separated by several rooms in your house. Screw running cables all over the place. That's tiresome and old school. What they need, and you as a good friend can get them, is a WHDI device which will stream HD video, and do so quite well. I've got an early production unit and while there were some minor connection problems in the past, it works flawlessly in streaming the HD video.
Here are two options:
- brite-View Air SyncHD (BV-2322) Uncompressed 1080p Video/ Audio Wireless Transmission Kit $210-230
- Belkin F7D4516 Screencast AV 4 Wireless AV-to-HDTV Adapter $240 (set to ship on January 1st).
Mine is a Chinese model that was sent for demo purposes but I still use it from time to time.
For the Aquatic Videonaut on your list
Who would want to film stuff underwater? Well, maybe you've got an aspiring video creator who wants to make the next saltwater horror or wants to do some exploration of sunken pirate ships, or even shoot an underwater spy action sequence. Then they might need the Swann Freestyle which has tons of uses actually and waterproof is just one feature:
- 5.0 megapixel still photos
- 1080p high-definition video at 30 fps
- 3x digital zoom
- 1.5" TFT LCD screen
MicroVision SHOWWX+ Laser Pocket Projector
Who doesn't want a pocket-sized projector that doesn't ever need to be focused and doesn't pixelate images cuz it uses frickin laser beams!?
I reviewed this particular unit some time back and I still use mine, it's the bedroom projector in fact for the occasional late night Hulu viewing or what not. It's actually on sale at MicroVision SHOWWX+ Laser Pocket ProjectorAmazon right now for just $280 and since it's pico green laser technology, it never needs focusing, never pixelates, never surrenders...no wait, that last one is the Terminator.
- Image is always in focus - you never, ever have to adjust focus
- Rich and vivid laser colors amplify your photos, movies and more
- High resolution (WVGA 848x480), Widescreen (16:9) aspect ratio
- Made for Apple iPod - works with various other devices with video out capabilities
For you Media Moguls out there (If you have to ask, you can't afford it)
If you've got friends like me, who want a big, bright, clear image when checking out the latest in online video, video games or home media, then you need to go big. I've got the Optoma GameTime 750 which is great, but only outputs 720p. Who wants that when they can have 1080p for around the same price?! Enter the ViewSonic PRO8200 HD 1080p 1920x1080 2000 Lumens Home Theater DLP Projector. At just $700 it's a steal for that really big 1080p image.
Then again, if you're going to view massive 1080p video, you need something that can capture it and the Sony HDR-TD10 High Definition 3D Handycam Camcorder might be just the thing. It does HD, it does 3D is does still shots. It also offers the world's first 10x optical zoom in 3D (consumer camcorder) along with:
- Xtra Fine 3D LCD touch panel with TruBlack technology
- 7.1 megapixels (2D still image)
- 3D HD:2x 1920x1080/50i
- Optical Zoom: 10x(3D)/12x(2D)