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Budget Priced Home Theater Accessories and Gadgets

Accessories and Gadgets to complement your home theater setup

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Are you looking for an inexpensive home theater gadget for yourself or the some one special? If so, check out my selection for great budget-priced, and practical, home theater gadgets and accessories. Most priced less than $99.

1. Roku Media Players

Roku Digital Video Player
Photo (c) Roku, Inc.

The Roku boxes are compact media streamers that connect to the internet, via your internet router. Roku boxes offer either or both wired and wireless internet connection options. Roku boxes can stream movies and TV content from several services, such as, Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, MLB TV, Hulu Plus, and more. Keep in mind that one limitation is that Roku boxes cannot access audio and video files stored on your PC, MAC, or portable USB devices. However, that being said, being able to access a lot of great content from the internet makes the Roku is a great home entertainment bargain.
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For additional suggestions, check out my list of Best Network Media Players and Media Streamers.

2. AWOX StriimLINK WiFi Home Stereo Streaming Adapter

AWOX StriimLINK WiFi Home Stereo Streaming Adapter - Package Contents
Photo © Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

The AWOX StriimLINK WiFi Home Stereo Streaming Adapter is a device that allows you to add internet and network music streaming to an older stereo or AV receiver. The StriimLINK connects to your internet router via Ethernet or Wi-Fi, and can connect to your stereo/av system using either an analog stereo cable (provided) or digital optical connection (optional purchase).

To control content access and navigation, all you need is a compatible iOS or Android smartphone, or a PC/MAC running a compatible operating system. Once connected, your system is rejuvenated with access to a host of internet radio stations and streaming music on-demand via Deezer, and music content stored your phone or PC/MAC. There is also a USB port on the StriimLINK that allows you to access music files on Flash Drives or other compatible USB-connectable devices.
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3. The Doctor Who Sonic Screwdriver Remote Control

Doctor Who Sonic Screwdriver Remote Control
Image provided by Hammacher Schlemmer

OK, it won't disable force fields, hack computers, or fix the Tardis, but the Doctor Who Sonic Screwdriver Remote can take control of your TV in a fun way. Designed to look just like the Sonic Screwdriver used in the newest Dr Who TV series, this device can learn the commands of your TV's remote control.

Since this a replica of the Sonic Screwdriver, this remote does not have the button layout of a traditional remote control. The remote works by responding to how it is held and rotated, in combination with your own hand gestures. The Doctor Who remote allows you to control volume and other functions (including some menu navigation) of your TV, as well as Blu-ray/DVD playback functions. It will work with any home entertainment product that features Infrared transmission. Makes a great gift for any occasion.

For a closer look at this device and how to use it, check out a great video review
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4. DYMO Rhino 4200 Label Printer

DYMO Rhino 4200 Industrial Label Printer
Photo © Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com
A great tool to have on hand when putting together a home theater system is a label printer. You can label all your connection cables and speaker wires so that you don't forget what they are all connected to when you have to change things out, or move to a new residence and have to reassemble it all. One great label printer option is the DYMO Rhino 4200. For more details, read my Photo Illustrated Review.

5. Accell Locking HDMI Cables

Accell Locking HDMI Cable
Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com
One example of a very practical idea is the development of the locking HDMI cable. Why is this important? Simply put, HDMI cables are quickly coming the standard for connecting home theater components. HDMI cables are great for passing both high definition audio and video between components and displays in a home theater system, but the one problem they have is that they don't fit very tight and sometimes fall out when things are moved around. Accell has come to the rescue of both the home theater installer and the do-it-yourself consumer with a line of locking HDMI cables. Check out all the details on the Accell Website.
Official Product Page

6. NextGen Products HDMI Twister Connection

NextGen Products HDMI Twister connection
Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com
No space left behind your TV, Home Theater Receiver, DVD or Blu-ray Disc player to connect your HDMI cables? No problem, the HDMI Twister connection may be just the ticket! All you have to do is connect the mail end to an HDMI input or output on a component, then angle the HDMI Twister according to your needs and then connect your HDMI cable into the female end of the HDMI twister. Check out the NextGen Website for more Product Details and Purchasing info.

7. Netgear Universal WiFi Internet Adapter

Unlike the USB wifi dongles, the Netgear Universal Wifi Internet Adapter connects to your device using an Ethernet cable. Once this wifi unit is set up by connecting it to your computer, you can use it for any of your network media players or network devices. You can even move it from device to device as needed. The network media player or component thinks it is connecting to the home network via Ethernet connection. There is no need for additional setup; the device immediately connects to the home network.
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8. Accell MHL-to-HDMI Adapter

Accell MHL-to-HDMI Adapter
Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

Connect your smartphones, tablet, and related portable devices into your home theater setup with the Accell MHL-to-HDMI adapter. This adapter enables you to watch video content and still images, or listen to music stored on an MHL equipped portable device (check list of compatible devices) on an HDTV or Home Theater system.

Setting up the Accell MHL-to-HDMI adapter is easy: just plug in the micro-B USB end of the adapter into the micro-B USB port on your portable device, then connect the AC power adapter supplied with your portable device into Charge port of the MHL adapter, and finally, plug in a standard HDMI cable into the HDMI-female end of the MHL adapter. The Accell MHL-to-HDMI adapter is a great accessory to have if you want to enjoy the media playback capabilities of your portable phone or tablet on your TV or home theater system.
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9. NextGen Products Wireless Remote Control Extender

NextGen Products Wireless Remote Control Extender
Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com
Control your devices from any location in your house with the NextGen Wireless Remote Control Extender. Utilizing RF technology, all you need to do is replace one of your IR remote's batteries with the battery-shaped RF transmitter (available in AA and AAA sizes) and place the remote control receiver (which is connected to the device to be controlled) and your remote control can now control any connected device from other rooms.
Official Product Page

10. Spears and Munsil High Definition Benchmark Test Disc - Blu-ray Edition

Spears and Munsil High Definition Benchmark Test Disc
Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

With the Spears and Munsil High Definition Benchmark Disc, the average consumer has the ability, viewing a series of tests, to find out whether their HDTV, Blu-ray Disc player, or an external video processor/scaler is delivering good performance.

The disc starts with scenes that contain complex shapes that test the limitations of your equipment. The disc also takes the user through a series of technical tests: Color Bars, Gary Scale display, Black Level, Image Geometry, Jagged Edge Tests, Film and video cadences, Video Title overlays, and even provides samples of Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, and PCM audio codecs. For a detailed look and explanation of the tests, check out my Photo Gallery and the Spears and Munsil User's Guide.

11. Accell GreenGenius Smart Surge Protector and Power Conditioner Model 220

Accell GreenGenius Smart Surge Protector and Power Conditioner Model 220
Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com
You've spent a lot of money and collected a lot home theater components over the years. With each component upgrade or addition you have another power cord to plug in. After the number of wall outlet options run out, you add a power strip, then another one, and then you still run out. One solution to all this mess is to get a surge protector that not only provides all the outlets you need, but also includes additional connectivity for organizing coax and ethernet cable connections, and aids in clearing up power interference. A product that might do the job for you is the Accell GreenGenius Smart Surge Protector and Power Conditioner Model 220.
Review - Photo Gallery - Official Product Page

12. Skip Doctor CD/DVD Repair Kit

Have your CDs and DVDs become unplayable due to scratches? The Skip Doctor is a practical, inexpensive product that does a great job of CD/DVD scratch removal. For more details on Skip Doctor and what you need to know about CD and DVD disc repair, check out the FAQs posted by Digital Innovations, makers of Skip Doctor.
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