The RCA ultrathin indoor TV antenna receives local HD and digital broadcasts but looks nothing like those intrusive rabbit-ear antennas my dad had on the family TV decades ago.
It’s an 11-by-13-inch flat antenna that mounts on a window within 12 feet of the TV (the attached cable is 12 feet long).
It mounts with double-sided tape or you can be creative and use hook-and-loop fastener if you want it removed at times. One side is black, the other white so you can choose which color faces the room.
Digital TV can be received in resolutions up to 1080; lower signals are enhanced to better quality since the antenna amplifies weak signals.
The setup is simple: Connect the other end of the cable, which has a coaxial connection, to a TV.
A USB port needs to be connected to a power source — an AC outlet or your TV if it has a connection.
I tried this on an older TV that collects dust in my guest room. Guests haven’t been able to watch that TV for more than 10 years.
You’ll have to do a channel search and read the dreaded instructions to tweak the antenna settings but it was pretty easy, just not as simple as plug-and-play. I did end up putting it higher on the window for better reception.
My future house guests can head on down, knowing that bedtime TV does exist once again.
Cranking up the sound
At the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas this year, iLuv gave me a demonstration of the SyrenPro wireless (Bluetooth) speaker.
Testing audio on a trade show floor is never a true indicator of quality, but the device more than passed the test once I possessed a review unit.
From my family room to poolside, the speaker cranked out music with superior audio at any volume.
Since my years of blasting rock ’n’ roll are long over, I seem to gravitate to lower levels with great clarity, which the SyrenPro gave me indoors.
Outdoors, I cranked up the 360-degree sound and it held its own in clarity and great amounts of bass. All this is a result of iLuv’s jAura sound technology, which produces a balance of low, middle and high frequencies.
It’s equipped with TrueWireless Stereo, allowing easy pairing of SyrenPros for stereo.
An internal rechargeable battery will last up to four hours of playtime in each speaker.
The body is weather- and ultraviolet-resistant, which makes it great for outdoors, but that doesn’t mean it’s waterproof.
The BookArc from Twelve South is for using select Apple laptops on a desktop to save space.
While many laptop owners love their portability away from home, there’s nothing like having a bigger monitor for home use, and this hardware allows for both.
The directions are simple; park your laptop in the stand, run the cables you need connected through the bottom cable management system and your laptop becomes a desktop computer. And because the laptop is in a vertical position, look at all the desktop space saved.
The cable management system has hooks to hold the cables when the laptop is unplugged, preventing them from falling behind your desk.
No need to transfer files because you’re still working on the same computer.
According to Twelve South, the BookArc is designed exclusively for the MacBook Pro (unibody) and MacBook Pro with Retina display.
www.TwelveSouth.com, $49.99 for the BookArc; you supply the desktop monitor and external keyboard.