With outboard high-definition tuners and DVD players competing for your TV's component-video inputs, a video switcher like the Key Digital KD-SW2x1 might come in handy. It has two inputs and one output, each with jacks for wideband component video, stereo analog audio, and coaxial digital audio. LEDs on the front of the 4 1/2 x 3 x 2 1/2-inch switcher show which input is selected. The switcher automatically chooses the active input, but you can select your source manually as well. An RS-232 port allows for computer control. Price: $449. www.keydigital.com, 718-796-7178
The XGA Theater upconverter from TV One lets you watch standard video on a VGA, SVGA, or XGA computer monitor. No software needed: just install the box between your video card and monitor, then connect a satellite receiver, videogame player, VCR, camcorder, or DVD player to the converter's composite- or S-video input, and the box converts the signal for display on your monitor. It does the same thing for standard broadcast or cable programs through its built-in TV tuner. The converter simultaneously routes stereo audio to your speaker system, and it includes controls for brightness, contrast, hue, and color. A remote control is supplied. Price: $199. www.tvone.com, 800-721-4044
The three 1-inch tweeters in NHT's CS-8.3 Ci are said to eliminate the "hot spots" (beaming) of typical single-tweeter ceiling speakers. An 8-inch long-throw woofer combines with the tweeters to deliver a rated frequency response of 55 Hz to 20 kHz ±3 dB; sensitivity is given as 87 dB. Each speaker weighs 5 pounds and has a paintable matte-white finish. Price: $550 a pair. www.nhthifi.com, 407-333-0900
Although the CD has all but completely replaced the analog cassette, tape decks still have squatter's rights in many car systems and portable players. So you might want to consolidate your recording gear and make music compilations in both formats with Tascam's CC-222 CD/cassette recorder. It has both coaxial and optical digital inputs as well as outputs, plus analog stereo RCA jacks for recording from analog sources. The double deck performs easy dubs from cassette to CD or vice versa, and fade and pitch controls help you make smooth compilations. A remote control is supplied. Price: $875. www.tascam.com, 323-726-0303
Copyright © 2013 Bonnier Corp. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.