Turn your laptop into an HDTV
AutumnWave's HD tuner plugs right into your USB port
If you can't decide what kind of HDTV set to buy--or whether you even want one--here's a way to experiment without shelling out thousands of bucks to find out.
Start-up AutumnWave makes a tuner that can plug into a laptop's USB port and pick up high-definition broadcast signals, effectively turning a computer into an HDTV. All you need besides the device, which is about twice the size of an iPod, are the right kind of monitor and AutumnWave's software to make it work.
A News.com reporter tried it out and said he would buy it even though reception was spotty or choppy in some places. One reason might be the price: At $179, the OnAir GT is a relatively inexpensive backup TV to have around, especially for the occasional airport delay or camping trip, he pointed out.
(Photos: Greg Sandoval/CNET News.com)