My father wore cheap suits and expensive ties.
He knew accessories can make a huge difference at a small price. And thats true whether were talking about the wardrobe of a chic supermodel or dressing up home electronics.
Today well talk about high-tech accessories that can add sparkle and fun.
Video streaming once only available to geeks is in the mainstream now. It can deliver high-definition movies and television shows from the Internet to that big-screen TV of yours.
Heres the big deal about all that you get instant access to a vast video library. So instead of selecting from the assortment offered by your cable or satellite provider or the neighborhood video store, you can literally leaf through a world-wide assortment of entertainment.
My choice for the accessory that does the best job at delivering Internet video to your TV is Boxee. Its a $200 box that is easy to use, offers video at up to 1080p and can stream video from commercial sources such as Hulu Plus and Netflix, as well as free video directly from websites around the world.
You can read about, or even order, the Boxee box here: www.boxee.tv/buy.
Supercharge it: Desktop and laptop computers are faster than ever. But there is an enormous speed bump built into almost every computer: the hard disk. Because a hard disk is a mechanical device, it limits the speed of a computer. That means that no matter how fast the processor chip, your computers speed is dragged down by the performance of your hard disk.
Thats changing fast with the advent of solid-state hard disks. The idea isnt new. Memory sticks and cards have used solid-state storage for years in USB flash drives and in memory cards for digital cameras and other entertainment devices.
But until now, both the price and the feasibility of furnishing a large-enough amount of solid-state memory has slowed the use of whats called SSD (solid state drives) in desktop and laptop computers.
SSD drives are still expensive compared to what youd pay for a conventional hard disk. But prices will fall quickly as SSD drives pick up steam on the mass market.
And, I promise, youll be shocked when you try one; your computer will run dramatically faster. One relatively affordable choice is this SSD drive from Kingston: http://tinyurl.com/44f3y7r .
Take charge of TV: Watching television used to be easy. Just turn it on and flip to the right channel. When remote controls came along, that process got even easier.
But today the television set is just the start of a home entertainment center in most homes. There is a sound system, a box for the cable or satellite, a digital video recorder to adjust, a DVD player and perhaps a game console.
That makes for enough remote controls to fill the top of a good-sized coffee table. But a series of universal remotes from Logitech makes the set-up process easy. Just connect the remote to your computer using the supplied USB cable and select your gadgets from a pull-down list on the website. You can read about them here: www.logitech.com/en-us/remotes. Even the least expensive model delivers dependable performance.
firstname.lastname@example.org. Bill Husted writes for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.