Should you buy last year's TV model?Is age 6 too young for a Nintendo DS? Tom Merritt and Brian Cooley tackle your questions and dish out the deals along with CNET Cheapskate Rick Broida and B&H Photo's David Flores.
[ Music ] ^M00:00:07 >> Yep, feels like the holidays now because we're in San Francisco and there's snow -- and I'm with a druid. It's all coming together -- >> Snow, in San Francisco today. Look at you. >> It doesn't mean you have to be a gnostic. Have you -- >> All I have to keep me warm is a hoodie. >> Or you're on the cover of an early Led Zeppelin album. I'm not sure what that look is. >> I see in your future -- deals. >> So he's Mr. Dickens, and I mean that in every sense. And I'm Brian Cooley, good to have you here for the Holiday Help Desk, everybody. We take your calls for the next half hour at 888-900-CNET, and we also take your e-mails at Holidayhelpdesk@cnet.com. Chat's open, cnet.com/live/holidayhelpdesk. >> Before we get started wanted to remind everyone watching that every weekday you have a chance to win some stuff in our daily holiday give-away. Just go to crave.cnet.com, look for the give-away posting. Post a comment, and you'll be entered to win. Today the prize is a 32-inch Samsung television. >> Nice. >> A very nice looking -- >> Look at how many TVs we're giving away. >> It does show more than just flowing streams. >> That's right. Isn't just a photo viewer. >> Shows all channels. You'll have now until 4 AM Pacific, 7 AM eastern time, Tuesday, December 8, to enter. Later in the show we'll have David Katzmaier's video review of that TV so you can find out if it's worth bothering entering. >> And of course we always try to go to our Cheap Skate when he's not down with the flu, and luckily this day he's not. That's of course going to be Rick Broido. Let's bring him in right now from the CNET Cheap Skate headquarters in Michigan. Hello, Rick, and welcome back. We missed you at least one day last week. >> Missed you guys too. >> Aren't you sweet. What have you got for us today on the Cheap Skate blog at Cnet.com/cheapskate. >> Well, you know, I've actually got a great match for that TV you're giving away. It's a Sony Blu-Ray player that's on sale for $99.99. And I'll be the first to admit that's not the best Blu-Ray deal I've ever seen, but i think it's -- >> For Sony. >> -- now starting to see a lot more players kind of sink below that $100 price point. And this one has BD Live support, which, you know, again is not a make or break feature for me, but I know a lot of people like to have the kind of bells and whistles that go along with that. So for under a hundred bucks now you can get yourself a BD Live Blu-Ray player, and it is a refurb, so you've got a 90-day warranty, but -- >> Oh, okay. >> -- [Inaudible] closely you'll see that for five bucks more I get a Vizio player that's new with a full one-year warranty. So a little something for everybody. >> Okay, so if you're nervous about refurbs, you've got another option. It's almost the same price. And like you say, a name brand player for $100, and with the latest Blu-Ray Firmware -- >> With BD Live, which a lot of times when you see the deal ones, they're the older ones that don't have the BD Live. People don't realize that, then they try to access certain extras on their Blu-Ray, they don't get them. Like you say, Rick is like a lot of people, don't really care. Just want to watch the movie. But if you do care, yeah -- [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> Yeah, for the person who's AV forward. And for those who don't know, BD Live allows the disc to reach out to the Net and have extended or sort of meta content. It can play games, it can pull down additional material. So it allows it to be a connected player like we're seeing in so many home theater trends. All right, that's good stuff, Rick, hey, thanks a lot for that. >> Thanks, guys. >> Now normally Debra from Shopper.com is here with deals of the day from Shopper, but Debra is off today. However, the deals are not off. In fact, they are on. >> They're way on. >> Like Donkey Kong. >> PC Nation has the western digital My Book Mira edition, 1 terabyte hard drive for $220.88. That saves you $30. Forget that. Amazon.com will save you $127.21, but you have to want a camera instead of a My Book. Fuji Film Fine Pix, S 9100 9 MP digital camera for $649.99. It's a lot of money, but -- >> It's a good camera. >> -- good camera for a good price. >> Yeah, we gave it a very good rating. And users actually out-rate it above us, which is always interesting, when the users think it's better than we do. So that's nice when it gets out there in the field and people say, no, it's really solid, and not the disagreement that goes the other way. >> Also Refurb Depot has a Toshiba Mini NB 205 netbook for $319.95. >> Really? [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> That one -- that saves you, like, $280. >> That's a 10-inch. >> It's not the cheapest netbook you can buy, but if you want that netbook -- >> It's a good sized one, too. >> Right. Exactly. >> Big savings. >> Yeah. It's a nice 10-incher. >> Okay, so anyway, some great deals there at Shopper.com. Go to Shopper.com, and when you get there just click on the upper right corner. Let's show them that right there. And there's this little button for deals. Which -- right up there at the upper right, and that's where you go get the latest deals, right there, today's deals. This is where you find the freshest stuff, so if you want to get out in front of the -- >> Because they run out fast sometimes. >> Yeah, a lot of these do. So if you want to get on top of things before they run out that's the way you want to go to that. All right, you know what we're really here for is the calls, at 888-900-CNET, 888-900-2638. Also for the e-mails. Let's get into the calls. This is where we play the little game of how much can we help you and how quickly can we do it. >> We've got three lines open, folks. Give us a call. >> That's right. Let's go to our first line here, which was Andrew calling in from Florida. Let's see if we can help him out with a question about buying a TV, a strategy in the store. Hey Andrew, welcome to the Holiday Help Desk. >> Hi. Hi, Tom and Brian. >> Hello. >> Love the show. >> Thank you. >> I just want to ask do you think that buying an -- say a TV from a retailer that is older -- like, not older, but not in production any more, instead of like a new, brand new TV, what do you think, what are your thoughts on that? ^M00:05:14 >> Is this a name brand or is this a house brand? >> A name brand. >> Okay, so it's like a Sharp or a Sony or something? >> I was talking like a TV that's not really -- like, it's not the newest TV, but it's, like, an older kind of one. >> Yeah. Are you able to find any reviews on it, or is it just not written up in reviews. >> I'm not really looking right now. But -- >> Okay, generally speaking? I don't have a problem with that. The question is what has replaced it. Is it an important technical feature or is it something that you can live without. Like, a lot of TVs are being phased out now for new models that have 240 hertz refresh rate, which to be honest is not something that's night and day by any stretch. A lot of TVs are being phased out because they've gone from 720 P in a lot of the stock to 1080 sets. That I think is a little more meaty, for example. Others are being phased out for reasons you can't always detect, like a change of model because they're coming from a different manufacturing partner. There are over 130 television brands, I think, that CNET has in our catalog at Shopper.com. And yet there's only maybe a dozen factories that make them. So a lot of these vendors -- a lot of these manufacturers are changing where the TVs come from, and that will engender a new model number. And so they might flush out the old ones. And so there are a lot of reasons that you can and sometimes can't tell why they flushed it out. But in general, I don't have a problem with that. It's not like, you know, if you were to go buy a car that was a model year out of date, doesn't matter if you like the car. >> Okay. >> So I wouldn't have an issue with that. >> All right. >> And I buy, you know, I'm the "good enough guy." I buy TVs that are good enough. I don't worry about getting the ultimate spec if I can't really convince myself that I'm going to see the difference. >> Depends on how much future-proof you want to be against new features, right? If, you know, I bought an older television and I only had one HTMI port for a while. So I had to go out and buy an HTMI hub so I could start putting more stuff in. Right now I've got a newer TV, and I don't have any issues like that. But I don't have all of the widgets and stuff. So if I start to really want to have, oh, the Yahoo widgets or the Netflix widget on my TV I'm going to have to upgrade the TV. So if that stuff bothers you, that, you know, like, oh, I'm going to be left out. You're not future-proofing yourself as much when you buy the older models. >> Right. And the key is to look at the specs. It doesn't matter if it's an older model or a newer model. That doesn't matter. It's just a matter of what does it have, is that what you want. Is it a great price because it's old stock. Great. Oh, well, there's not that much model yearism in televisions the way there is in cars, for example. So good luck with that, go shopping. >> All right. >> Thanks Andrew. Bye. Another question? >> Yes. >> Let's do it. Which one do you like? >> I like -- actually, I think Jake has a very interesting question that even our executive producer probably wants to weigh in on here. Jake, welcome to Holiday Help Desk. What can we help you with today? >> Yeah, my 6.5-year-old wants very badly a Nintendo DS. And I'm trying to find out how durable are they, and how appropriate are they for a 6-year-old. I know Nintendo has all the kid-friendly stuff. >> Yeah, 6.5 is pretty young on the Nintendo DS side. They're durable, but are they 6.5-year-old durable. I'd almost say no. >> Two screens that are delicate, yeah. Breakable, anyway. >> They're not delicate. They're actually fairly sturdy. But you know. >> There's a hinge there. >> If you're not paying attention, yeah. >> You know. >> The game content you're totally in control of with the DS, so I wouldn't worry about that too much. And you probably could find age appropriate content. If you got it for -- I mean, you know your kid better than I do, maybe your kid's total responsible and everything. But if you got it for him I would keep it under your control rather than just throw it around. >> Yeah, no, it's either that or like the new baseball bat. And I figured if I get the bat [Inaudible] the DS. >> Don't get both. >> Yeah, definitely -- >> Because one will be used on the other. >> -- don't have a baseball bat and the DS in the same room. >> Right. >> And there might be -- I don't know, are there drop-proof cases for DS? I've never looked. You know, because kids tend to drop things a lot. And if it's got a little shock case around it, that might be a decent little investment. >> It's -- what is it, Costco's got the starter kit for 185. >> And that comes with a hand -- basket of games, a bundle of games? >> No, that's just getting in the door. >> Oh really? [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> Yeah, it's interesting -- >> Pricier than I thought. >> The 6-year-olds kind of love it, of course. Now you said this is for your nephew? >> No, my son. >> This is your son, okay. I was misinformed. >> Yeah, you were lied to, really. ^M00:09:20 >> I was bald-faced lied to. [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> -- don't be so damn diplomatic. Just say it. You were led down the primrose path and then slapped. >> Yeah, it kind of -- how you feel about it, and how much you want to protect it makes all the difference in the world. Because 6.5 -- right on the cusp. Four years old I'd say definitely not. >> And 10. >> Eight years old, I'd say probably, okay. Probably going to last, durably. You have to decide whether they're responsible enough and all that. >> I wonder what Nintendo says. Let me see. Age -- >> Yeah, what's on the box. That's a good question. >> Yeah. [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> Not that I care that much. I think our answer is better than what's on a box. But I'm curious what they say. >> Let me just see here. Here's something up on Amazon, people were -- okay, people were asking the same kind of thing. What's the minimum recommended age for a DS. Well, this is about the game titles. That's a different thing. >> Because the game titles, that's easy. >> Yeah, our executive producer has a child not too much older, a few -- couple years older. And she says the kid is going to become addicted like hers. So be prepared to lose him -- >> So limit the time. >> Or her, for a lot -- [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> A lot of sources recommend it as 8 and up. So I'm not sure that's an official Nintendo thing, but a lot of places that do, you know, reviews of educational toys -- >> That fits in with what we're saying. >> Yeah. >> So we think it's okay at 6.5. But you know, don't cry too much if it ends up broken in a couple weeks. Because it's -- you know -- [ Inaudible comment ] >> Bonnie Ganheart [Assumed spelling] our executive producer says next year. And she's been through this ringer. >> She says when you're older. >> And your son can get one right away. But when you're older you can get one. >> All right, Jake. Hope that helps you out a little bit. >> All right, yeah, no, no, thanks. You guys say hi to Jeanie. >> Oh, of course. In the chat room. >> Jeanie in the chat room. All right, Jake, thanks for the call there. Good stuff. We'll get back to more of your calls, by the way, and some of your e-mails as well. 888-900-CNET, 888-900-2638. Got all that coming up. Coming up right after a short break, by the way, we're going to be talking to one of my favorite merchants, and I say that without any padding going into my pocket, it's B and H Photo. I love these people. So we're going to be talking to one of the original tech merchants that goes way back before there was online shopping, back when, you know, it was all about photography in so many ways, and they branched out to a lot of stuff. So David Flores [Phonetic] is coming from that -- coming up with that from New York City, talking to B and H, and taking for of your calls at 888-900-CNET, 888-900-2638 as the Holiday Help Desk continues. ^M00:11:38 [ Music ] ^M00:11:43 >> If you think all batteries are the same consider this. These Duracell batteries were given to the Mattel Children's Hospital at UCLA, because when it comes to kids and healing you're not just powering a toy, you're powering a smile. Duracell, trusted everywhere. [ Music ] >> Everywhere you look new gadgets are popping up. To get the real story on them, there's really only one place to go. Cnet.com. Discover something new at CNET. ^M00:12:13 >> Last FM now on Xbox Live. Discover more music and explore endless personalized radio stations. Find out more at www.lastfm.com/xbox. ^M00:12:30 [ Music ] ^M00:12:34 >> Welcome back to the Holiday Help Desk. Phones are open at 888-900-2638. Right now we've got one, two -- two lines open. >> Two beautiful lines open. >> So two of you can get on the horn. >> Come on and get those fresh pickings. >> Hmm, hmm, hmm, tasty -- [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> Right off the top -- >> Cooked up fresh daily, on the Holiday Help Desk. >> Top of our brain-addled minds. >> Let's go now to New York City where we've got David Flores joining us now via Skype from B and H Photo which is almost a misnomer these days, David. You guys are B and H Photo and video and AV, and electronics, and almost ENG equipment, you've got all -- you've got everything going on there. Welcome to the show. >> Everything. Great to talk with you guys today, how are you? >> Good, good, good. And I've been a B and H customers for like, forever. And you know, mostly for still photography stuff, you know, a lot of 35 millimeter gear. But these days we're talking about of course much more of an electronic bent. Tell me some of the things that you've got going on that are extremely hot right now that you're very proud of, as deals. >> Oh, B and H started off as a professional source for photography. But like you said, we've expanded into the realm of consumer and professional video products. We have something out there for everyone, whether you're just getting started or you're a professional working in the industry. And one of our favorite products this holiday season is actually the Flip Minnow HD camcorder. This is part of that shoot-and-share line family from Flip. Records about an hour of high definition 720 P HD video. Has a built-in integrated Lithium ion battery. And we're selling this right now for $151.95. And it comes with a free power adapter. We have free shipping on that as well. So that's one of the exciting things we have going on for the holidays. >> Now this is of course one of the kind of products that you can get anywhere, and it is very simple to use. So how do you -- how do you guys market something like this. Is it something that you're selling to existing customers that are buying other kinds of gear. I mean, how do you beat Amazon and Walmart when you're selling something like this. And you guys are known as more of a specialist. >> We are specialists. And I think B and H has been able to sell this to a variety of different types of customers. You know, we service the professional market and the intro -- introductory market. I think Flip has done a great job at making the brand known, and you see this marketed by everybody. But when you come into our store and you're buying a professional DSLR, sometimes spending upwards of $20,000 for some report tog [Assumed spelling] systems. We have folks that are asking us, hey, you know, I'm with a press agency, or you know, I need to do a little bit of documentation of my photo shoot. We're selling these to pros just as well as we are to folks that just want to take great family video. >> Now let's talk about something a little more up-market. A really nice compact digital camera. A lot of folks are looking to step up to a better camera than their first digital camera. And you've got one that you're pretty excited about, Canon's S 90, one of their PowerShots. Not the most compact camera, but close to it, and very capable. >> Extremely capable camera. Canon in the last several years has really been aiming certain segments, I think, of their point-and-shoot market towards professionals or advanced amateurs that want more control. That want SLR-style functionality and SLR-style, SLR-quality images in a compact. And that's what the PowerShot S 90 does. Effectively, it's using the same sensors the very popular PowerShot G 11 camera. So it's very conservative in terms of resolution. You know, you're getting around 10 mega pixels out of the file. But you can push this to an ISO 3200. So you can shoot in -- at almost no light situations, which is great. >> And I'm always telling people that they should look for good low light sensitivity. Because then they can turn off the Flash, steady the camera, and get nice, natural existing light photos, instead of that -- because when you buy a camera like this, which is a really nice, advanced pocket camera. And then you go and leave the flash on all the time, it brings the shots down. They're going to look like your typical washed out flash shot in many cases. The camera can't do anything about that. But a really capable camera can do good existing light. >> Right. And optics I think are also a really big part of this camera. We're seeing in the consumer realm high ISO taking over, image stabilization or vibration reduction technologies entering that market. But what hasn't penetrated it yet are quality lenses. This particular zoom lens has a maximum aperture of F 2.0. So you can take in a lot of light, a very light sensitive sensor. Very, very fast. Fast on auto focus, great for controlling shallow depth of field and giving you that nice buttery, out of focus background. >> Yeah. >> Really, really fantastic camera. >> Quick question. Most all the cameras in this category, they seem to go no wider than a 28 millimeter, 35 millimeter equivalent. Is that kind of as wide as this class of cameras can get? Because I'm a huge wide angle fetishist. >> For the time being, I think this is where we are in terms of keeping them at a somewhat affordable price point. The camera like this, it's a little bit more expensive than your standard point-and-shoot. Retails for over $400. It's about $430. We have instant savings of $30 on it right now, so you can get it for just under $400. I think in the future you will see some wider options. A lot of this is going to have to do with sensor design, and then also lowering cost on components for optical formulas. So this is -- it's really a timing type of thing. Where we are in the market right now, I think that's about as wide as we're going to be able to go in the price point. >> Okay, last thing real quickly. You've got a Blu-Ray player deal for us. Which one is it, who by, and what's the price? >> This is the Samsung BDP 3600. I think Blu-Ray -- we think of it as a physical format, but so many more entertainment services are moving towards the cloud. So BD Live I think is something that's -- that's very, very popular. But also streaming services like Netflix and Pandora are available on demand with this particular Blu-Ray player. So if you're looking for a digital hub that you can plug into your television set. This gives you Blu-Ray functionality, but you can also stream movies from your Netflix instant queue, or listen to music on Pandora, which is great for holiday parties. >> Yeah, we're big on that. It's very good over the top of stuff, really hot. Hey David, thanks for joining us. Appreciate it. >> Hey, thanks guys. Have a great holiday. >> We'll talk to you next week. Again, another episode of Holiday Help Desk. This is David Flores at B and H Photo and Video, Bhphoto.com in New York City. >> Okay, we're going to get back to a few more calls, but first we want to take a first look at the Samsung 32-inch LCD TV player that is up for give away on Crave today. >> CNET senior editor David Katzmaier here, sitting next to the Samsung LM 32 B 360. This is an entry level LCD TV, the 32-inch model. There's also a 26 that this review applies to in Samsung's least expensive LCD series for 2009. This little 32-incher is one of the better performers in its class. We'll get to that in a little bit. It's also one of the better looking TVs. You can see it's got a sort of slightly rounded bottom lip here. Also kind of a little protrusion of clear plastic below that, kind of adds a nice accent mark to it. There's also a matching stand that's a little bit rounded itself. And unlike a lot of TVs in this category the stand does swivel. We did appreciate that factor. Going into the menu you'll see a good selection of picture controls. You can do most of the things you can on higher-end TVs, including adjust the color temperature, you can also play around with gamma and a couple of other settings. So in all, we did like the adjustments on this TV. Connectivity is another issue, however. This TV lacks side panel AV inputs. You can see on the side here it's just a black panel where the inputs should go. There are a couple inputs on the back panel, though. Two HTMI, one component video, and a PC input. But overall, connectivity is a little bit underwhelming on this Samsung. As I mentioned at the top, this picture quality is pretty good. You can't expect reference quality from an entry level TV. But this Samsung does a pretty solid job starting off with the black levels. They're deeper than most of the other TVs in its class. It's also a 720 P TV, but don't worry about it. You really don't need 1080 P at this price level. The resolution is not an issue at all. Color accuracy is very good on this TV. Once you do dial in the adjustments, again, for an entry level LCD. And off angle and standard def performance really had no problems. And that's a quick look at the Samsung LN B 360 series, and I'm David Katzmaier. >> All right, there you go. If you want to win it go to crave.cnet.com and enter. You have until 4 AM Pacific, 7 AM eastern time tomorrow. Phones are open at 888-900-CNET, 888-900-2638. Let's pick up Corey out in Maryland. Welcome to Holiday Help Desk, Corey. What can we do for you? >> Thank you, Tom and Brian. How you all doing? >> Good. >> I'm [Inaudible] HP Dream Screen 100. >> You're -- oh. >> You have any thoughts on that? >> Sure do. >> Sure do. >> Piece of crap. >> There it is. Boom, bang, thanks for calling. >> I -- okay, let me back up before HP sends me the e-mail. If you start from the premises that a digital photo frame is worth anything at all, then this is a very nice digital photo frame. But I hate digital photo frames. And this thing, it doesn't have Wi-Fi, it doesn't have a battery, it's just -- all it is, is a digital photo frame that plugs into the wall, and they added widgets to it. So you can do an Ethernet connection. I could be wrong about the Wi-Fi, but I couldn't find any reference to it. [ Inaudible comment ] ^M00:21:35 >> Yeah, so you get an internet connection, and then you can put some -- you know, online photos on it, you've got some widgets. It's got a little more going on. It's got some apps in it. So in the world of digital photo frames, I guess it's okay. But honestly I don't see any use for this. A few hundred dollars, it's a waste of money, in my opinion. >> Okay? >> Okay, what about -- I also, if you don't mind, I have a question about smart phones. >> Okay. >> Any of them have, like, video out. I know they've got video out, like I've got the iPhone. >> Yeah. >> I'm trying to find [Inaudible] get safari out, or GPS out to an external device, like a TV or a monitor. >> So -- oh, so you want to put the GPS out to an external monitor. That's interesting. >> That is interesting. [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> I'm just trying to do something on the weekends to my car, have, like, Internet in my car, using my smart phone and maybe a GPS. >> Yeah, there's no reason you couldn't jimmy something up with the AV cable for the iPhone. Or if you've got -- if you end up getting another phone, some other AV cable out to an external monitor that's running. You want to put it in your car, though. Would that -- would that Mimo [Phonetic] work somehow, would you be able to power it off the USB and then put the AV cable, or is it only has a USB. >> Only has USB. >> I'm pointing at something you can't see. [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> This little portable Mimo USB monitor here. But it only has -- ^M00:22:57 [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> But that would require a computer to hook up to it. >> Right. ^M00:22:59 >> But these -- these AV cable outs are just to component. So you plug it in one end, goes into the phone, and the other end goes into a component in. So if you could find any kind of display that you could power in your car you could do the component in there. >> [Inaudible] iPhone won't -- it won't [Inaudible] Safari doesn't push that out, and GPS, doesn't push it out -- ^M00:23:17 [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> So it's only pushing out the video from the iPod. Yeah. You need screen capture. For that you're going to have to jail break. If you jail break your iPhone then there's some apps that do background processes and run screen capture. But that's the only thing I could think of for the iPhone. ^M00:23:32 >> What about any other phone, do you know any other phone that provides that? >> Not off the top of my head, I don't. That doesn't mean it doesn't exist, though. >> Yeah, don't know about that. That's a pretty nichey request. Most folks wouldn't even think about it. But, no. >> Droid, Jason? Droid doesn't -- >> Oh, there's one thing it doesn't -- ^M00:23:50 [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> Smarty boy. >> Not that the iPhone does. >> No, but whatever. ^M00:23:54 >> All right -- >> [Inaudible] but, thank you. >> All right, we got some folks in the chat room noodle on this too. If you think about it, pop in the chat room, Corey, and see if anybody in there can come up with something. But I'm -- >> It's a classic jail breaking situation, isn't it? Yeah, absolutely. Okay, we've got -- let's see, I want to go to this one here about a media center, and getting that in the living room and see what Andy in Nebraska wants to do with it. Andy, welcome to Holiday Help Desk. >> Hey, thanks for taking my call, guys. >> Sure. What are you thinking about? >> Well, I want my parents to stop paying over $100 a month for cable. So I'm trying to convince them to get some home media PCs, like under $500. They like Hulu, and they like iTunes podcast. But I can't convince them to break their -- break their Time-Warner contract. So -- >> Is there something on there in particular that they bring up and say, like, gosh, I'd do it, except I really like watching American Idol Live or something. Is there anything like that? >> HBO is the only thing that I have found -- [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> I haven't been able to try the HBO on demand. So -- >> We don't have any media center PCs that will take in HBO satellite signals. Isn't that right? >> Well, what you can do for HBO is -- you have to wait a day, right? If you love watching it on Sunday night, then you've got to buy HBO. But if you don't mind waiting a day, until Monday, you can purchase them from iTunes. Almost all the shows now are available. Or a lot of the shows are available. And then there is HBO online. But it's spotty, it's -- it often isn't full episodes. They want you to buy the subscription. So -- >> The question is how many of those shows are they -- [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> SO HBO is in iTunes? >> The show -- the shows are -- ^M00:25:36 [ Multiple voices speaking ] ^M00:25:39 >> Yeah, the thing is you've got to do the math and see how many episodes they're going to buy. You might be running them into the same cost by the time they buy all these episodes, if they want them, you know, all and accumulatively like that. If they want to go with the spottier coverage on HBO on line. Is that free, Watching episodes there? >> I -- you know, I don't think they have much of anything. >> Not much, right? >> Yeah. [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> Not as far as full episodes. >> And that doesn't show up on places like Hulu or anything, I assume. >> No. Not at all. Absolutely not. No, HBO's whole model is we get you to pay for it. So they're not like -- ^M00:26:09 [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> Oh, well it's free over the air, so we'll make it free with ads on line. They just don't do it. >> I guess I'm also running into -- I see -- I'm looking at the Dell Inspiron Zeno HP. And that starts relatively cheap. But I didn't know what absolutely I needed to run Hulu properly. Like, do I need a dual core processor or 4 gigabytes of ram. >> No. Honestly, the thing you need most -- you need to have HD out put off of whatever machine you buy, and you need to have as fast an internet connection as you can get. Those are your two gauging factors. The video card, as long as it can do HD, will be plenty handy for running Hulu, but what you're going to run into is buffering issues. So if you're on a 1.5 mega bit per second DSL line it's going to be spotty sometimes. You're going to have to do the trick where you start the Hulu video and then pause and wait for it to buffer out, and hope that you don't ever catch up with the buffer. If you've got a nice, beefy 25 mega bit per second connection or something like that, then you're better off. It all depends on what kind of internet they have and where they live, and what they're willing to pay for the Internet. >> And you can scrub, you know, half off of any stated speed. So if you've got a 10 mega bit line, you've got, you know, 5 sustained is very typical. Also, you want that machine to be wired, of course. Not wireless. >> Hmm. And so that Celeron processor should be fine, then? >> Yeah, I'd say. An Adam might have trouble, but a Celeron should be okay. >> Okay. >> Even an Adam will do it. Yeah. Just, you know, you don't want them to get annoyed by this. Because you're trying to move them, you want to give them plenty of head room so they don't have to go, ahh, this doesn't work that well. They'll resent you for doing this. >> I still think the best media center right now is the Mac Mini. Because you don't have to -- you know, it doesn't come with a screen built into it. It's $500. You can run iTunes on it, seek, they can do the front row on it, and you can -- and you can do web browsing on it. And it's all -- >> [Inaudible] the remote. >> And it's all controlled with the remote. Exactly. Now you can build that yourself with the myth box and things like that. But for situations like what you're talking about where somebody's not terribly willing to get in and tweak stuff every once and a while, that's probably your easiest bet. >> And Apple TV wouldn't have as many choices as a Mac Mini, right? >> Apple TV is more locked down than a Mini, and has to really have another computer running anyway to sync all the stuff over -- [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> I mean, you can buy things directly from it, but it's really limited, then. And you're only getting the iTunes stuff. And if you don't have it hooked to another computer once you run out of space you've got to start deleting stuff and it's a mess. >> Yeah. So we like Mac Mini. So good luck with that, Andy. >> All right, thank you guys. >> Thanks a lot. >> Hulu would come to Roku, man, that would be the thing. >> Don't even -- don't even wish for that. Do we have time for one more e-mail or do we want to move on to -- where are we at here? >> We've got time for one more. Yeah. >> Let's do it. Okay. Hit it. We want to go with Line Five. We'll go with Rolfe who is calling in from Sacramento, not far from where we are. And did you get any snow last night, Rolfe? >> Yeah, actually I did. I'm from Wisconsin, so it was a nice little home break. >> Yeah, what's going on in northern California today. Good grief. >> It's his fault. He's from Wisconsin. >> He brought it with him. Son of a -- all right, so what's your question, Rolfe, What are you looking for? >> Well, right now I've got the iPhone. And I'm one of those folks with the iPhone that can't wait to get out of the contract and then go onto the next phone. But I want to get a radio that I can plug it into. Like, a docking station, so I can get better sound out of it for the music when I play. But what I'm finding is I'm only finding for the iPhone or iPods are radios that are docked specifically for that. And I don't want to invest into a device that's then going to be useless after I'm on a different phone. I'm looking for a radio that's more universal. And I'm having a real hard time finding anything. >> Yeah, that's because Apple has decided that you don't want a different phone. And so they don't license the dock to people who make a radio that docks with other phones. However, we have heard rumors that there might be something out there that has multiple lines. I would say that the short answer is if you go ahead and get a radio that docks to an iPhone, make sure it also has an aux input. Because then, even if it doesn't sit prettily in a nice little dock like the iPhone does, you can plug anything with a mini jack into it. And so that essentially for your sounds purposes enables it to work with anything. Now you'd still have to control it on the phone instead of controlling it on the radio, it wouldn't charge, all those lovely things that the docks sometimes do. But it would still be able to get you that better sound that you're looking for. >> I'm wondering if -- do you think Apple is able to dictate a no aux rule in the designs also, because I'm -- >> No, you can find them with aux. I've definitely seen them. The one we have, we have a -- what do we have? It's an All Tech Lansing [Assumed spelling] it has an aux jack on it. >> It does? Okay. Because I'm not finding a lot of them. I'm sure they're out there, I know they're out there. But that's the way to go. You're not going to find -- like, I thought earlier today I saw one that was iPod, iPhone, and certain cell phones. And I can't remember where I saw it. I thought it was JBL. I don't see it. I was just looking through crutchfield.com. You might want to call them because I -- it might have been there. It was one of those on two sites. >> He was drunk. >> I was drunk, or I was drinking, and that's what it was. I was, you know, shoot a pretty good stick with that bottle yourself. >> Did not exist. >> So -- >> You're seeing pink radios -- [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> I'm looking at a pink radio right now, in fact. Yeah. So I'm thinking you're going to need to go aux as the back up there. But you're not going to find, you know, Droid and iPod docking ability, or certainly not iPod and Zoom. So no, that's not going to happen, because Apple doesn't want that to happen. So that's -- that's the way it's going to be. But aux will always cover you, just a little bit sloppy. But that's not the worst in the world. >> Yeah. At least it future-proofs you. So if you go ahead and buy it, you're not stuck if you change your phone. >> Yeah. And it's a very good sounding connection. It's not like it's got any issues with the quality. Okay -- >> A-U-X, if anybody wonders why do they keep talking about oxen? >> Right. >> I don't understand what a big cow, male cow, is going to do about it. >> Auxiliary. All righty, before we wrap up today it's time to announce who won our give-away that was on last Friday's show. And congratulations goes to Thejesusinme. I mean that's -- >> That's their user I.D.. >> That's not my congratulations. >> They were not named -- >> The user Thejesusinme. >> Congratulations, that's fantastic. And a nice phone, too. >> A Motorola Click was the give away there. We've got that right there. This is the -- this is the Click, you know the one. It's a great T-Mobile product right there, and it's got a nice little slide-out keyboard on the bottom and it's a nice thing to win during the holidays. So I continue to be amazed at how great we've got in terms of the products coming out of the prize closet there. Now to take part in the next give-away, the one that we talked about earlier, the 32-inch LCD TV. Just go over to crave.cnet.com and search give-away. You'll find that TV pop right up. It's the one that's dated today, December 7. And then all you've got to do is leave a comment and you're in the running to go ahead and hopefully win a TV tomorrow on the show. >> When Brian Tong and Molly Wood will be on the show, sitting in these seats, at 4 p.m. Eastern, 1 p.m. Pacific, and you can find out if you've won that Crave as well as get your calls in. If you weren't able to get through, if you hit a busy signal or we ran out of time, call again tomorrow. We're on every day from now until December 23. >> Third. And that's the Holiday Help Desk, every day, 1 o'clock Pacific, 4 o'clock Eastern. And I'm thinking it's about -- hmm, 11 AM Hawaiian -- >> Yeah. Probably. >> Cheers, everybody. >> See you, folks. ^M00:33:13 [ Music ]