Tips Tech the Halls Gift Guide: Family-Friendly Ideas
Tech the Halls of your home this year with all the coolest gadgets … Fa la la la la, la la la la! Every week leading up to Christmas, we’ll feature some of the top tech gifts of the season – Week 1 for the home, Week 2 family-friendly, and Week 3 kid-friendly. We’ll also be giving away some fun, techie prizes, with a Very Grand Prize awarded nearer Christmas. Contest details are below.
This week, we’re featuring family-friendly tech gifts for 2020 – a portable video projector, a photo printer, and three streaming devices.
Portable Mini Projector
Family movie nights, big screen shows for backyard/campsite/glamping, parties, and even educational experiences are fun and easy with a portable video projector. We like TOPVISION’s Portable Mini Projector. It’s small, lightweight (about 4 pounds), quiet, and easy to take along. It comes with a 100” screen, but watching size is from 72” to 240”! You can project from your iOS or Android smartphone via screen mirroring (adapters not included) or take advantage of its totally versatile digital connectivity – projecting from a PC/laptop/tablet, TV box, Blu-ray/DVD player, USB disk, PS4/Xbox, camera, SD card, media players, and much more. It has built-in HiFi speakers, but if you want more sound, it’s easy to hook up an external speaker. One reviewer says, “Are you kidding me!! This thing is the BOMB!!!! With the state of the world these days (social distancing), this projector and screen have been a godsend. They have made family night so much more enjoyable. My son, who is really ‘techy’ set it up for my granddaughter to have her Zoom school lesson. It was such a success that two of our neighbors joined in and attended the class with us. The kids were much more excited and engaged. Love it!!” Currently $99.99 on Amazon (regularly $129.99), you may be able to save $10.00 on this great gadget by using a coupon at check out.
Bluetooth Photo Printer
Do you have tons of photos on your phone, but feel frustrated because you don’t have even one of them displayed in your home or at the office? And, really, it’s just not that convenient to get prints made – unless you have a portable photo printer. Plus, who wouldn’t want one – it’s a great gift idea! We recommend the Kodak Dock Plus Portable Instant Photo Printer. It’s compact, lightweight, easy to use, easy to transport, and (best of all) you can print high-quality photos right from your mobile device via docking or by using a Bluetooth connection. At $124.99, and with the trusted Kodak name, this device prints flawless, fingerprint-proof and water-resistant photos instantly. Use the free Kodak app to add stickers, frames, and filters. It makes 4”x6” prints (at just 30 cents per photo) and 10 sheets of photo paper with cartridge are included with the purchase. One reviewer says, “I’ve wanted to have this for so long and without any doubt, I love it! The photo quality is great, and it is easy to use. What I love the most is that I can keep the pictures printed and look at them right at home, not just on my phone! I would recommend it for sure!”
We’re all about finding the best ways to stream entertainment. Believe us when we say that a streaming deviceis a wonderful gift that keeps on giving … and giving. Here are three options to consider – and you might like one for yourself:
- Fire TV Stick – It’s currently just $29.99. Amazon says it’s their most powerful streaming media stick, delivering quick app starts and fast streaming in full HD. The compact design plugs directly into an HDMI port, tucking neatly behind your TV, and can be moved easily from TV to TV. With one, you can watch all your favorites from Netflix, YouTube, Prime Video, Disney+, Apple TV+, HBO Max, and more (subscription fees may apply). Access over 20,000 free movies and TV shows from apps like IMDb TV, Tubi, and Pluto TV, to name a few. Enjoy home theater audio with Dolby Atmos. But maybe best of all, Alexa Voice Remote lets you use your voice to search and launch shows across apps. Ask Alexa to check the weather, view live camera feeds, order a pizza, stream music, or turn on your lamp. Amazon Prime members get unlimited access to thousands of movies and TV episodes. If you purchase the Fire TV Stick now, you’ll receive one year of Food Network Kitchen free. One reviewer said, “Easy set-up, excellent remote control. I was playing a TV show with this device less than 20 minutes after opening the package. The TV image and audio are very clear, and it loaded the show quickly.”
- Roku – They say, “Yule love this” and we agree! From budget-friendly HD streamers to 4K powerhouses, there really is a Roku player for everyone. The Roku Express ($21.99), Roku Premier ($27.99), Roku Streaming Stick ($49.99 – our favorite and about the size of a pack of gum), Roku Ultra ($99.99), Roku Streambar ($129.99), and the Roku Smart Soundbar ($179.99), make it easy to find the best streaming device for your family’s needs – or for a nice gift for someone else. One of Roku’s strengths is its awesome user interface! So smart, it’s able to take verbal commands from Alexa, Google Assistant, or the Roku remote. With over 140 sports channels, Roku players offer more sports channels than any other streaming player. Live and breaking news and weather coverage from around the world are at your fingertips, including access to over 100 free live channels. There are oodles of children’s and family-friendly programming options, and you can always add premium subscriptions (which are easily managed with your Roku account). The Roku Channel is FREE, with an always-changing selection of free movies, shows, live news, kids’ TV, and more. With a Roku device, enjoy “Winter Streamland” – free, unlocked entertainment for the season.
- Apple TV – This is a really great product – especially if you are already in the “Apple ecosystem.” The latest model, Apple TV 4K is $179.00. As the first streaming player to be both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos certified, it produces a stunning picture and incredible sound – bringing home a complete cinematic experience. Apple TV has teamed up with some of the world’s largest TV networks and broadcasters to bring live content via NBA, MLB, Bloomberg, CNN, DirecTV Now, YouTube, and Sling TV apps. With the Apple TV App, you can browse content from over 100 video services without switching from one app to the next … and no more typing to find exactly what you’re looking for. Just ask Siri for a movie, show, genre, actor, or song you love. The App Store on Apple TV has something for everyone – Amazon Prime Video, HBO NOW, Hulu, Netflix, thousands of top sports, fitness, and lifestyle apps – plus your favorite games (which run smoothly and beautifully). View photos and videos from your iCloud Photos library – and Apple Music gives you access to over 50 million songs and music videos! Turn your iPhone into an Apple TV remote, then control your smart home through Apple TV. Shut your garage door, control your home’s heat, etc. One reviewer says, “Our house became Apple’fied a few years ago and the Apple TV box is pretty much central to that experience.” Need we say more?
As long as you have an internet connection and a TV at your destination, you can take any of these streaming devices on your Christmas vacation – even if it’s at home! And, unless you choose to subscribe to something really special (there are lots of options), there are no monthly fees once the device has been purchased. Merry Christmas!
Contest Rules & Eligibility
This contest has ended.
Contest Rules & Details
- Ends December 21 at noon
- Three winners will be randomly selected and announced on December 22 on Facebook
- Prizes: Echo speaker, Amazon Fire tablet, and Chromebook laptop
- Must be an SKT customer 18 years or older with an account in good standing
- Primary residence must be at the service address
- SKT employees and members of their household are not eligible to win
Entry options include:
- Facebook: A Tech the Halls Giveaway post will be added to SKT’s Facebook page weekly leading up to Christmas, for a total of three (3) posts. Get up to one (1) entry per week by commenting as directed on each post.
- Website Form: Fill out the form on each Tech the Halls Gift Guide for up to three (3) entries. By submitting the form, you agree to be signed up for SKT’s monthly newsletter.
- 3-Month Speed Bump: Sign up for a free 3-month speed bump and get three (3) entries. Only for eligible SKT customers.
3-Month Free Speed Bump Rules
Qualified SKT Internet customers may receive a bump up to the next available internet package, free for three months. Open to residential and business service addresses. To qualify, the customer account must be in good standing and be eligible for a higher speed. Customers who have received a free speed bump in the last 12 months are not eligible. SKT reserves the right to determine eligibility.
Excludes customers in Belle Plaine, rural Mulvane, Peck, and the Lake Waltanna and Beaver Creek neighborhoods.