One of the most innovative products to come out this year is the Slingbox, a little box that goes on top of your cable box and broadcasts your TV to the internet. It's garnered tons of buzz by doing something that not many new gadgets can claim to do: change how people use their TVs and computers. It's a stunningly simple premise: placeshifting. It might sound complicated, but it isn't. If you've got someone asking for a Slingbox this year, here's the info you should have before hitting the stores.
What it is: The Slingbox AV, Slingbox Tuner, and Slingbox Pro all hook up to your TV and allow you to control it via the internet.
Why it's cool: It lets you watch your TV from anywhere, including using your DVR, OnDemand services, and Pay-Per-View. It works on both computers and hand held devices hooked up to a 3G wireless network. You can control your TV with no additional monthly fees and it's a breeze to set up.
How much it costs: The AV and Tuner models both cost $170, while the Pro model is $250. The Pro model is for people who have lots of devices they want to hook up, and it also supports HD. The Tuner model connects via coaxial and the AV via RCA or S-video cables..