Seventeen days until Black Friday. Forty-four days until Christmas. Are you ready?
In this week’s addition of Top Tech Gifts of 2014, you’ll notice a theme. Since cable is slowly dying, we felt it only right that we spotlight some devices that can help those contemplating the decision to cut the cord. So not only will you be giving a friend or family member a great gift, but you’ll potentially be helping them save hundreds of dollars a year. Definitely great gift ideas for those that register on the frugal to Scrooge spectrum. 11. Chromecast
Chromecast is Google’s Android based TV streaming stick. No bigger than a thumb drive, it plugs right into any HDMI port on most digital TV’s. The Chromecast pretty much sets itself up and you can use your phone, tablet, or computer to cast apps like Netflix, Hulu, HBO GO, YouTube or more to your TV. Kindle owners beware. The ongoing feud between Google and Amazon render the Chromecast useless with a Kindle. The Chromecast retails for $35.
Another streaming stick, the Roku works pretty much the same as the Chromecast. Just plug into an HDMI port and get to streaming. With the Roku you also get access to over 1,800 channels that feature movies, sports, news and music. Some channels may require payment and a subscription to view content. The Roku also comes with a separate remote to control it with, but you can also control the device from an app on your smartphone or tablet. The Roku retails for $49.99.
13. Apple TV
Apple TV nestles comfortably in any home ecosystem that consists of Apple products. A small box console, Apple TV connects to your TV through the HDMI port. Netflix, Hulu Plus, HBO GO and the like can be streamed through Apple TV as well as live programming from ESPN, MLB, NBA, and NHL. You can also access content from your iOS device with AirPlay right on your TV. Apple TV retails for $99.
Amazon’s Kindle Fire TV Stick has just hit the market, and although you can pre-order it now, it won’t arrive until after Christmas. Kindle Fire users can rejoice now that they will be able to view their Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Instant video purchases on the big screen again. Like the Chromecast and Roku, the Fire TV Stick plugs right into the HDMI port on you TV. The Amazon Fire TV Stick retails for $39.
15. Nexus Player
The Android product in the lineup is the Nexus Player. Much like Apple TV, the Nexus is a small console that connects to your HDMI ready TV. Unlike the other streaming devices, the Nexus Player comes with a voice-activated remote. You can rent movies and access your favorite apps through Google Play and sync to other Android devices to start a movie on your tablet and finish it on the big screen. You can purchase the Nexus Player for $99.