Top Holiday Gifts and Gags for Video and CE Devices

By Bob Wallace December 05, 2013

With holiday shopping in full swing, it’s time to identify the buys and some busts in the content and consumer electronics fields. And with electronics far outselling clothing (unless you are dressing your smartphone) keep your eyes on the real prize.

Times are changing with technological advancements are expected to reshape the holiday season. The changes go far beyond actual gifts to the overall experience which can be good and bad. You decide.

Page 1 of 9

Santa and Reindeer Facing Unemployment/Layoffs?

If Amazon’s Jeff Bezos’ entertaining a plan to deliver products direct to homes via mini-drones comes true, you can forget about leaving out milk and cookies on Christmas Eve. The fallout will have these staples at most every retail store and strip mall. Sorry kids.
Page 2 of 9


This $35 HDMI-slot plug-in promises to let countless non-smart (no Wi-Fi) access the plentiful streaming video assets of the Web. How can you go wrong at that price point? Google has created some apps for it but others are needed to fully keep the promise.
Page 3 of 9

Speed Racers

Driven in large part by Google, the intensified race to provide consumers higher-speed Internet raises all boats in our expanding broadband economy. Don’t forget the rurals! And be price savvy.
Page 4 of 9

Amazon Prime

The pioneering e-tailer and Web services provider has launched its first original programming series – “Alpha House,” with John Goodman. Better late than never. Still, choice reigns.
Page 5 of 9

The Esquire Network

Just when you thought there were more than enough channels and little worth watching, The Esquire Network launched with solid content that appeals to multiple age demographics. Check it out.
Page 6 of 9

Bye Bye Rain (and other) Forests

Direct mail pieces must have a solid ROI as competing pay-TV providers drop them in so many mailboxes so often. Add in inserts in newspapers and other mailers/coupon books and you’ll understand why when we run out of oxygen.
Page 7 of 9

Attack of the Gaming Systems

Nobody played the year-end shopping frenzy better than arch-rivals Sony and Microsoft who unveiled new versions of their systems in time for the holidays– helping fuel much of Black Friday madness. Game on!
Page 8 of 9

Dropping Big-Screen TV Prices

This is more of a trick-or-treat situation as some retailers are looking to sell quality units while others are just looking to unload unsold inventory. Check your specs and reviews! Shop responsibly.
Page 9 of 9

Smartphone “Upgrade Programs”

Long overdue but welcomed more than winning lottery tickets (

And the Winner is…

The No Gift Award goes to football venues trying to inject social media into the fading fan experience to slow continued attendance declines. Displaying random generic tweets and tweeting for the next song to be played –What DOES the Fox Say?? Is a lame excuse for out of town highlights, scores, replays and the former long-term staples of in-stadium jumbotrons.

Sometimes not giving a gift is better than a gift you have zero use for.

The Lump of Coal Award goes to Comcast, for introducing a monthly  $1.75 Broadcast TV fee starting in 2014. An effort to avoid jumping programming costs, the NBC owner has chosen the fee approach which towns have already embraced sports and rubbish fees after townspeople voted down property tax increases. Ughh.  Happy New Year!

….And feel free to re-gift this list.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

VP of Content

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