Our definition of home entertainment has changed drastically over the last few years. Gone are the days when a TV was just a TV. Our home theater systems have expanded to bring an immersive cinematic experience to the comfort of your own home. If you are looking to take your TV to the next level, you don’t necessarily need to break the bank. There are tons of inexpensive, handy gadgets that will help you take your TV from awful to awesome with very little effort.

VGA to HDMI Converter

Hammerhead by Sewell, VGA to HDMI Converter, 1080p

Hammerhead by Sewell, VGA to HDMI Converter, 1080p

$29.95

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This useful little adapter allows you to connect your computer to your TV. You might wonder why someone would want to do that. Well there are quite a few reasons. Thanks to high speed internet there are a plethora of different streaming services out there offering thousands of TV shows and movies that you can instantly stream for a very low monthly fee. Some of these services are even free. By connecting your computer to your TV you can enjoy all of these services on the big screen. Video games are also more popular than ever, with this handy adapter you can game on your HDTV, creating a much more immersive gaming experience.

The Hammerhead adapter is the smallest VGA to HDMI adapter on the market, but that doesn’t make it any less powerful. It converts VGA to full 1080p resolution, as well as supporting sound. The best part is that it can do all this in less than 50 milliseconds. That means that there is no detectable lag while using it.

Ghost Flat Antenna

 Ghost Flat Indoor HDTV Antenna by Sewell

Ghost Flat Indoor HDTV Antenna by Sewell

$16.95

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So you’ve decided to take advantage of all the inexpensive online video content. With all of that content it seems ridiculous to pay the exorbitant monthly fees the cable company is charging. But what if you want to still have some live HD channels for free? Well you have a few options: you can either get a large, ugly antenna that will clutter up your home theater room, or you could get the Ghost Flat Antenna. The Ghost Antenna is a digital antenna that is not much bigger than a piece of paper. That makes it easy to hang or hide anywhere.

IR Emitters

InjectIR Pro, Dual Band IR over HDMI for Remote Controls

InjectIR Pro, Dual Band IR over HDMI for Remote Controls

$49.95

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Speaking of cleaning up your home theater room; many home theater systems come with a ton of equipment. While it’s all necessary, it can be kind of an eyesore. An easy solution would be to move all of that equipment into a closet, or some other out-of-the-way place. The problem with that is your IR remotes won’t work through walls. That’s what makes IR emitters so helpful. They allow you to transmit the IR signal from your remote from a receiver and through a wire to an emitter that will control your devices. That way you can still use your remote and hide your equipment someplace else. The InjectIR even lets you use your existing HDMI cable to run the IR signal, making it so you don’t have to run extra cable.


InjectIR Diagram

If you have many devices to control, you may want to look into the BlastIR, which can use up to 8 different emitters.

HDMI Splitter

Sewell Active 4K HDMI Splitter, 1x2 HDMI Splitter, 4K Resolution, Built-in Booster, 3D, HEC, ARC support

Sewell Active 4K HDMI Splitter, 1x2 HDMI Splitter, 4K Resolution, Built-in Booster, 3D, HEC, ARC support

$14.95

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Splitters are used to mirror content from a single source on two separate displays. You see this a lot in restaurants to show the same content on multiple screens. At home you can use this to add another TV to a different room without having to buy another source. For example, maybe you want to be able to watch satellite TV in your bedroom and your home theater room, but don’t want to buy two satellite boxes. A splitter offers an inexpensive solution. Just remember that you can’t watch separate content on the two screens simultaneously.

HDMI Splitter Diagram

By using a splitter with the InjectIR, you can also control your source device (like the satellite box) with your remote from your bedroom.

HDMI Switch

IBIS 4K HDMI Switch Box, 2x1, 4K 60 Hz, HDCP pass-through (HDCP 2.2 support), 2x1 or 1x2 HDMI Bi-Directional Switch

IBIS 4K HDMI Switch Box, 2x1, 4K 60 Hz, HDCP pass-through (HDCP 2.2 support), 2x1 or 1x2 HDMI Bi-Directional Switch

$19.95

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Switches allow you to connect multiple devices using a single HDMI port. This is great if your HDTV doesn’t have enough ports for all of your devices. By adding a switch, you can plug in all your devices and use the switch to choose which source to display at any given time.

connection diagram

You can also combine the features of splitters and switches by using a matrix. To learn more about splitters, switches, and matrixes, check out this article.