Mother's Day isn't just about flowers, brunches, and chocolates. Those are all good ideas but I'd like to take this opportunity to suggest technology as a gift. Chances are that your mom doesn't have everything on this list. My favorite item is the Accurian portable TV because of its versatility. The other item of note is the HAVA Platinum HD, which can help the mom on the go stay in touch with her favorite TV programs while out and about.
This is by far my favorite of the current under-cabinet TVs on the market. It is capable of displaying resolutions up to 720p. It has a built-in digital tuner, so it is ready to receive over-the-air (OTA) once connected to an antenna. Other features include a built-in DVD/CD player, AM/FM digital radio tuner, 300:1 contrast ratio, and 20ms response time. The screen looked significantly better than expected when I saw it at Target. The image was clear and bright. I like the overall design. It has plenty of buttons on the front panel and a 270-degree swiveling screen. The swivel mechanism is plastic and I worry that it may break if abused. This item is sold at Target.
Accurian’s 7” portable handheld TV, model 16-454, is sold exclusively at Radio Shack. My overall impression of the Accurian 16-454 is good because of its portability and reliable reception when using the external antenna. Consider buying the extended warranty. The TV I reviewed had a dead pixel and I worry about the lifespan of the lithium-polymer battery. Picture quality was better than expected but there are times when it looked like I was watching the picture through a screen.
The EF71001 is a hybrid 10.2" digital picture frame that works overtime as a digital TV. It has a built-in ATSC and QAM tuner. The panel is a 800x480, which measures out to approximately a 5:3 aspect ratio. I see this as a competitor to the under-cabinet TVs used in the kitchen or as an item to have in an office. The TV function is a bonus to the digital picture frame world but it also increases the overall purchase price compared to non-TV counterparts.
The HAVA Platinum HD is one of those cool little products with a purpose. It allows you to connect a High Definition source, like a cable or satellite receiver, to your PC so that you’d be able to watch and record TV on your a PC as long as its connected to your home network. This network interaction also gives you the capability to watch your TV over the Internet when you’re not at home. It also compatible with a broadband-connected mobile phone. The Platinum HD box is pretty lightweight. It’s slightly larger than two DVD cases stacked on top of each other. The only downside is that it uses external power.
ConsumerSearch rates Samsung's LN40A550 rated as the best value among 40-inch TVs. The LN40A550 is the 2008 version of the LN40B550, so this rating likely applies to the LN40B550 also. [p] LN40A550 key facts:[/p] [p] [ul] [li]40" 1080p 60hz LCD TV[/li] [li]5ms Response Time[/li] [li]Three HDMI inputs (2 back, 1 side)[/li] [li]Hidden Speakers[/li] [li]Energy Star Certified[/li][/ul][/p] [p] [b]My Thoughts:[/b] The LN40A550 is part of Samsung's Series 5 line of LCD TVs. It's middle of the pack for Samsung. It's 60hz so there will be more motion blur than on a 120hz TV. It has two HDMI inputs. This is financially something to consider if you have more than two HDMI devices because this may require you to buy a $100+ HDMI switcher.[/p]