Whether wall mounted or on a pedestal, a plasma TV exudes slenderness, so who wants to saddle it with a bulky cable box and a photo-card reader? LG's 42PX4D 42-inch plasma HDTV has a CableCARD slot that lets you skip the box, plus a built-in memory-card reader for viewing images stored on removable media from most digital cameras. The set includes LG's fifth-generation HDTV tuner, which receives digital cable as well as off-air broadcasts. The built-in TV Guide On Screen program guide comes in handy when using a CableCARD, since the card's one-way interface prevents you from using your cable company's guide. Screen resolution is 1,024 x 768 pixels. Price: $5,000. www.lgusa.com, 800-243-0000
If you use your Windows XP or 2000 notebook PC to play music, movies, or games, you can enhance the experience by sending the audio to your home theater setup via Toshiba's Multimedia Center Audio/USB Hub. Or you can hook powered computer speakers directly to the Hub, which decodes Dolby Digital 5.1 surround soundtracks. About the size of a VHS cassette, the Hub includes a sound card, four USB ports, an Ethernet jack, and both analog stereo and coaxial digital audio outputs. The supplied remote can do things like select the type of sound processing or shut down your computer. Price: $130. tacp.toshiba.com, 800-867-4422
Macintosh computers have always been head turners. Now the sound coming from your Mac will get some attention, too, with Griffin's FireWave. It hooks up to the computer's FireWire port and provides connections for five speakers and a subwoofer as well as an extra FireWire port. Besides decoding surround sound DVDs, FireWave includes Dolby Virtual Surround processing to expand the sound field for any stereo source - including iTunes, QuickTime, and streaming audio. Price: $100. griffintechnology.com, 615-399-7000
A boombox once had to be balanced on a shoulder to be carried, a real feat if you were on rollerblades. But the Philips Personal Sound System (PSS110) is just 7 inches long. Besides stereo speakers, the PSS110 contains 256 megabytes of flash memory for holding up to 8 hours of music in MP3 format or 16 hours in WMA. It's also an FM/clock radio, and it comes with rechargeable batteries good for 10 hours of play plus a travel case. Price: $150. usa.philips.com, 800-531-0039
NOTE All prices and product information are supplied by the manufacturers. Dealer prices may vary.
Copyright © 2013 Bonnier Corp. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.