The Belkin Thunderstorm brings a little more boom to the iPad's sound.
Chromecast from Google
SanDisk Connect Wireless Media Drive
Netflix’s in-house productions House of Cards and Orange is the New Black are proof that TV has come a long way. Here are gadgets that adapt to a streaming world.
This unobtrusive TV dongle from Google connects to Wi-Fi. It sticks into the TV’s HDMI port to stream videos from Netflix, YouTube and Google’s Chrome browser. The device is controlled by smartphones, tablets and Chrome. For just $35, Chromecast upgrades “dumb” TVs.
Connect Wireless Media Drive
To take shows and movies on the go, SanDisk's Connect Wireless Media Drive (starting $80) is a pocket-sized device ideal for group outings and family trips. The drive, which comes in 32GB and 64GB capacities, can connect to eight devices and stream to five simultaneously. If the built-in storage is not enough, it also includes a memory card slot that can add up to 128GB. Lastly, the ability to pass through and broadcast a Wi-Fi network to multiple devices makes this handy for overcoming hotel Internet restrictions.
Cord cutters might eschew pricey cable bills, but many of them still crave live TV (we are in the midst of football season, after all). An upgrade from rabbit ears, Mohu's Leaf Indoor HDTV Antenna ($40) is remarkably thin, modeled after a military mud flap antenna design. The multidirectional Leaf, which has a 35-mile range, can be secured to the wall with thumb tacks and is also reversible — black on one side and white on the other — to match a home's décor.
Though the iPad is a popular device for watching TV and playing games, the audio could stand to improve. To enhance the entertainment experience, Belkin has integrated a speaker dock into a protective case. The Thunderstorm Wireless Home Theater ($200) case for second- and third-generation iPads provides a dramatic upgrade from the tablet’s built-in speakers, pumping out rich sound and big bass.