With a digital video recorder, you're master of the HDTV universe today, but brought to your knees tomorrow when your DVR fills up and automatically deletes the penultimate episode of Dancing with the Stars before you've witnessed the duel play-out.
Portable media players with touchscreens have been captivating users ever since Apple's introduction this summer of the iPhone. No need to wonder why: Imagine all your music, videos, and photos stored in a device slim enough for your pocket and available for playback at, literally, the touch of a finger.
Now that cable operators are required to separate access and security from the tuner(s) in new set-top boxes, you have the opportunity to buy a digital video recorder that's potentially more stylish and capable than the one you might be leasing.
From the outset the most intriguing thing about the Apple iPhone hasn't been the phone so much as the interface: a high-resolution touchscreen on which your fingers do the talking: Tap an icon to select an application, spread them to enlarge the picture, slide your finger to move the cropped image into view, swipe the screen to reveal the next slide. It all feels so natural.
In the last 5 years, more than 50 companies have introduced home-network-ready receivers that connect your computer with your TV and audio system so you can stream music, TV shows, movies, and photos from the home office to your home theater. As place-shifting devices go, Apple TV - the slickest media receiver yet - is decidedly late to the game.
Despite the widespread installation of Wi-Fi both at home and on the street, downloading of music to portable players has largely remained a corded affair, with the device wired to a computer. But if you're keeping up with the times, you may have noticed that Wi-Fi now beckons anyone sporting earbuds.