There are so many products that I want as High-Def Husband, but like many of you, I’m on a very limited budget (understatement of the year!). In today’s economy, the luxury of splurging on a new flat-screen TV or HD camcorder just isn’t possible. So, I’ve tasked myself with finding products that can deliver high-quality results without breaking your bank account.
This morning I was on FOX 9 Morning News in Minneapolis and had the chance to demonstrate a few products my family and I have found that are really cool. Not only have these products made our home entertainment options more enjoyable, they’ve allowed us to continue to buy the things we need – like groceries, gas and the occasional ‘treat’. Here are a few of my thoughts on the products I had on KMSP-TV this morning:
Winegard SS-3000 HD Off-the-air Antenna – I absolutely love what this product represents on every level. Not only does this bring in crystal-clear HD broadcast channels that our cable company can’t, it serves as a cool conversation starter that looks as funky as it is functional.
First time I plugged it in, I dialed in more than 30 stations in the Twin Cities metro. With a price tag under $60 (cheaper if you dig around), this is as important an investment you can make when it comes to watching high-def programming. Winegard has been around since the early 1950’s down in Burlington, Iowa. They offer 100% American-made products, so a good group to support! You can find more info at www.winegard.com
Pinnacle PCTV HD Pro Stick – I’ve had this little wizard in my possession now for a few months and I’ve been able to enjoy watching live TV at work when no one is looking (don’t tell my bosses!). We used this product to watch the Presidential Inauguration ceremony, and just yesterday I got caught up in yet another ‘baby mama drama’ on Maury Povich (can’t believe he’s still going at it after all these years!).
Pinnacle has really captured the ‘ease of use’ tactic with this product. Simply plug it into your USB port on your laptop or PC – there is a Mac version available, too – install the software, and within minutes you’re watching TV. If your computer can handle it, the PCTV HD Pro Stick will also work as a DVR – so you don’t have to miss any of your favorite shows. You can also plug in your cable or satellite feed to this gadget, so the idea of having live, real-time TV on your PC is just under $100 away. You can find more about of Pinnacle’s line of PCTV sticks at www.pinnaclesys.com
Optoma Pico Pocket Projector – One word for this product – wow! Whether you need to beam a presentation onto the side of a building, or keep the kids quiet with a movie, this pint-sized projector (only 4 ounces and literally the size of a cell phone) fits in your pocket and connects to any mobile device. With picture imaging of 1000:1, the clarity is simply amazing and there aren’t any complicated instructions to get it to work – “turn on, plug in, point and present”.
Featuring a DLP Texas Instruments lens, the Pico is a must have for anyone who needs to get a message across – sales, marketing, PR, coaches, parents traveling with kids. Literally, this product crosses over from business tool to consumer ‘must have’ – shine it on the back of a plane or car seat to keep the kids at bay, upload maps and directions on your cell phone, then beam them onto the dashboard…tremendous opportunities with limitless options. With a price tag of under $400, it’s not cheap, but considering all the miles you can get out it…it’s worth every penny! More info at Optoma’s website: http://www.optoma.co.uk/optomapico/PicoAboutOptoma.aspx
Kodak Zi6 Pocket Video Camera – Everyone wants to be able to capture their memories in high-definition nowadays…Kodak hears ya! They’ve introduced this diminutive dish that certainly slays the Goliaths of the video world. With multiple video format options – VGA, HD and HD60 (720p resolution!) – you’re sure to get a great shot; the simple, no ‘bells and whistles’ platform makes it a cinch to document any event. This is truly a ‘point and shoot’ camera, but I’m continually impressed with the image quality. Simple, elegant…oh, and did I mention that you can instantly upload videos to YouTube and other media sites? Yup…swing open the USB adapter, plug it in and with a few clicks of the mouse, your video is online and ready for the world to see.
Kodak has included their own video editing software – an easy to navigate program that will do the job – and can’t forget the 3 megapixel camera…so still photos are an option as well. I can’t believe the Zi6 is under $180 – a bargain! At that price, you could outfit your entire family with their own and still not spend as much as you would for most consumer-grade HD camcorders. Check out Kodak’s new website, lots of great resources (and my good pal Paige Davis as well) – www.kodak.com
Hopefully, these products can help make your life a little clearer when it comes to video and entertainment options. Like I’m always trying to do as the High-Def Husband, I’m helping all of us live a ‘High-Def Life on a Standard-Def budget’!