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Get a memory-card-to-TV adapter for $18.37

Want to view your snapshots on your TV? This handy gadget can read 17 kinds of memory cards (including flash drives) and comes with a remote for couch-based slideshows.

View photos on your TV with this inexpensive memory card reader.
View photos on your TV with this inexpensive memory-card reader.

Recently my folks returned from an amazing overseas trip. At a welcome-home dinner, we wanted to look at their photos, but my dad didn't have the cable needed to connect his camera to the TV.

Thankfully, my always-prepared uncle had just the solution: a memory card reader with TV-out capabilities. It's a great little item to keep on hand, either at home or in your travel bag. (When you're on vacation, it's always fun to gather around the TV to look at everyone's snapshots from the day.)

An outfit called has the TV Card Player 17-in-1 Memory Card Reader for $18.37, plus around $4 for shipping. (Update: shipping is now showing around $8, which I think is high for an item like this.)

The gizmo connects to any TV via a composite video cable. True, that doesn't give you HD resolution like you'd get from an HDMI connection, but in my experience the photos still look quite good.

The reader can accommodate most versions of SD media. It also has a USB port, which is good not just for flash drives, but also for USB adapters (in case you have a memory card that's not directly supported, like microSD or Memory Stick Duo).

Format support is limited to JPEG photos, MP3/WMA music, and MP4/Divx videos--more than sufficient for most users, I suspect.

To use the player, just connect it to your TV, pop in your memory card, then hit the couch. A bundled remote lets you control your slideshow from afar.

Like I said, this is just a handy item to keep on hand--especially during this busy vacation season.

Bonus deal: Have minimalist navigation needs? Firemall via Amazon is offering the refurbished TomTom Ease 3.5-inch GPS for $39.99 shipped. This particular model is known for its supereasy operation. The only question mark is the warranty, which isn't listed. I'd assume 90 days, but consider pinging the seller before buying to find out for sure.