Best Home Theater Accessories and Gadgets - $99.99 or Less

Accessories and Gadgets to complement your home theater setup

Are you looking for an inexpensive home theater gadget for yourself or the some one special? If so, check out my selection for great budget-priced, and practical, home theater gadgets and accessories. Most priced less than $99.99.

1
Amazon Fire TV Stick

Amazon Fire TV Stick - Package Contents
Amazon Fire TV Stick - Package Contents. Photo © Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

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If you have an older HDTV TV has at least one HDMI input, you can give it new life by adding internet streaming capability via Amazon's Fire TV Streaming Stick.

Not much larger than a USB flash drive, the Fire TV and plugs into any TV that has an HDMI input, and for power, there is USB power cable provided that is also adaptable to an AC outlet if you don't have a USB power port nearby.

The Stick has built-in Wifi, so connecting to the internet is easy, if you have also have a wireless router for your PC.

Amazon Instant Video is emphasized, but Amazon's Fire TV Stick also includes access to a larger number of content services, including Crackle, HBOGo (must already be an HBO cable/satellite subscriber for access), HuluPlus, iHeart Radio, Netflix, Pandora, YouTube and more.

Amazon's Fire TV Stick also provides access to over 200 online games - and is compatible with several game controllers.

You also have a choice of a standard remote, or an Alexa-enabled voice control remote.

Note For 4K Ultra HD TV Owners: The Amazon Fire TV Stick cannot stream content available in 4K - will default to 1080p.

2
DYMO Rhino 4200 Label Printer

DYMO Rhino 4200 Label Printer
DYMO Rhino 4200 Label Printer. Image provided by Amazon.com

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A great tool to have on hand when putting together a home theater system is a label printer. You can label all your connection cables and speaker wires so that you don't forget what they are all connected to when you have to change things out, or move to a new residence and have to reassemble it all. One great label printer option is the DYMO Rhino 4200.

3
Accell Locking HDMI Cables

Accell Locking HDMI Cable
Accell Locking HDMI Cable. Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

One example of a very practical idea is the development of the locking HDMI cable. Why is this important? Simply put, HDMI cables are quickly coming the standard for connecting home theater components. HDMI cables are great for passing both high definition audio and video between components and displays in a home theater system, but the one problem they have is that they don't fit very tight and sometimes fall out when things are moved around.

Accell has come to the rescue of both the home theater installer and the do-it-yourself consumer with a line of locking HDMI cables that fit firmly into your HDMI ports, which helps in maintaining good signal transfer.
 

4
Monoprice HDMI Swivel Connector Adapter

Monoprice HDMI Swivel Connector Adapter
Monoprice HDMI Swivel Connector Adapter. Images courtesy of Amazon.com

No space left behind your TV, Home Theater Receiver, DVD or Blu-ray Disc player to connect your HDMI cables? No problem, the HDMI swivel connection may be just the ticket! All you have to do is connect the male end to an HDMI input or output on a component, angle the HDMI swivel adapter according to your needs, and then connect your HDMI cable into the female end of the HDMI swivel adapter. This is definitely one of those "why didn't I think of that" products.

5
Accell MHL-to-HDMI Adapter

Accell MHL-to-HDMI Adapter
Accell MHL-to-HDMI Adapter. Image provided by Accell

Connect your smartphones, tablet, and related portable devices into your home theater setup with the Accell MHL-to-HDMI adapter. This adapter enables you to watch video content and still images, or listen to music stored on an MHL equipped portable device (check list of compatible devices) on an HDTV or Home Theater system.

Setting up the Accell MHL-to-HDMI adapter is easy: just plug in the micro-B USB end of the adapter into the micro-B USB port on your portable device, then connect the AC power adapter supplied with your portable device into Charge port of the MHL adapter, and finally, plug in a standard HDMI cable into the HDMI-female end of the MHL adapter. The Accell MHL-to-HDMI adapter is a great accessory to have if you want to enjoy the media playback capabilities of your portable phone or tablet on your TV or home theater system.

6
NextGen Products Wireless Remote Control Extender

NextGen Products Wireless Remote Control Extender
NextGen Products Wireless Remote Control Extender. Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

Control your devices from any location in your house with the NextGen Wireless Remote Control Extender. Utilizing RF technology, all you need to do is replace one of your IR remote's batteries with the battery-shaped RF transmitter (available in AA and AAA sizes) and place the remote control receiver (which is connected to the device to be controlled) and your remote control can now control any connected device from other rooms.
 

7
The Doctor Who Sonic Screwdriver Remote Control

Doctor Who Sonic Screwdriver Remote Control
Doctor Who Sonic Screwdriver Remote Control. Image Courtesy of Amazon.com

OK, it won't disable force fields, hack computers, or fix the Tardis, but the Doctor Who Sonic Screwdriver Remote can take control of your TV in a fun way. Designed to look just like the Sonic Screwdriver used in the newest Dr Who TV series, this device can learn the commands of your TV's remote control.

Since this a replica of the Sonic Screwdriver, this remote does not have the button layout of a traditional remote control. The remote works by responding to how it is held and rotated, in combination with your own hand gestures. The Doctor Who remote allows you to control volume and other functions (including some menu navigation) of your TV, as well as Blu-ray/DVD playback functions. It will work with any home entertainment product that features Infrared transmission. Makes a great gift for any occasion.

For a closer look at this device and how to use it, check out a great video review

8
Skip Doctor CD/DVD Repair Kit

Skip Doctor DVD/CD Repair Kit
Skip Doctor DVD/CD Repair Kit. Image Courtesy of Amazon.com

Have your CDs and DVDs become unplayable due to scratches? The Skip Doctor is a practical, inexpensive product that does a great job of CD/DVD scratch removal. For more details on Skip Doctor and what you need to know about CD and DVD disc repair, check out the FAQs posted by Digital Innovations, makers of Skip Doctor.

9
Spears and Munsil High Definition Benchmark Test Disc - Blu-ray Edition

Spears and Munsil High Definition Benchmark Test Disc
Spears and Munsil High Definition Benchmark Test Disc. Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

With the Spears and Munsil High Definition Benchmark Disc, the average consumer has the ability, viewing a series of tests, to find out whether their HDTV, Blu-ray Disc player, or an external video processor/scaler is delivering good performance.

The disc starts with scenes that contain complex shapes that test the limitations of your equipment. The disc also takes the user through a series of technical tests: Color Bars, Gary Scale display, Black Level, Image Geometry, Jagged Edge Tests, Film and video cadences, Video Title overlays, and even provides samples of Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, and PCM audio codecs. For a detailed look and explanation of the tests, check out the Spears and Munsil User's Guide.

10
Epson LW-600P LabelWorks Printer

The Epson LW600P LabelWorks Printer Package
Photo of the Epson LW600P LabelWorks Printer package. Photo © Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

Photo Illustrated Review

Do you lose track of which cables are connect to what components in your home theater setup? If so, the Epson LW-600P LabelWorks Printer, might just the perfect accessory to have onhand.

This printer can print a variety of label types, from wrap-around labels for cables and wires, or stick-on labels for identifying components and what inputs and outputs are being used.

The LW-600P can be used via direct connection to a PC or wirelessly using a smartphone (Access to downloadable PC software and Smartphone app is provided). It is also small enough to travel with, and can run on AC (Adapter included) or 6AA batteries, which makes it very portable.

With a $99 suggested price (minus the cost of label cartridges), the Epson LW-600P LabelWorks Printer is a really good value.