TODAY   |  December 08, 2013

Affordable options for top tech gifts

To spend or not to spend? TODAY’s digital lifestyle contributor Mario Armstrong told TODAY’s Erica Hill about some less expensive alternatives for this season’s must-have tech items.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> free.

>> the first thing we'll look at is streaming video on your tv. this is something like apple tv that people may be familiar with. that's about a hundred bucks.

>> yes, about 99 bucks. apple tv is great. tons of content. you can do air play mirroring. you can show what's on your iphone or ipad on the big screen .

>> otherwise you're using a device like this to basically watch streaming video . it could be something like netflix or a youtube video or something like that on your tvs throughout your house.

>> that's right. so google -- what's new and what's lower cost, google has something called the chromecast. it's only 35 bucks. you actually plug this right into your hdmi slot in the back of your tv.

>> it does all the same things?

>> not all the same content. you can get youtube, netflix, hbo go, pandora, and more coming. any time you use a chrome web browser from your lab top or tablet, you can stream that direct live to your big screen .

>> a third of the cost.

>> a third, 35 bucks.

>> that's one option for streaming video . when it comes to a gaming system, there's the xbox, the play station , talking hundreds of dollars. something else you have that i don't know how to pronounce.

>> people are so used to the big three, nintendo, sony and microsoft. this is called ouya. the website is ouya.tv. it's made by gamers who left big companies to come up with their own thing. this is 99 bucks.

>> versus as high as 500.

>> here is a fun thing, too. ki try out any game for free. you have to have the internet at home to download the game. i can try any game for free. they run from free to 15 bucks.

>> so the games are less expensive, too.

>> you might say it looks like a little kiddie game. they have all types, they have the first person shooters.

>> a little tight on time. before we let you go, wireless speakers.

>> a lot of people like bose and the big names. they sound great and have great quality. my particular favorite is the sonos. it's $299, gives me wireless control. i can change the volume and the track. if i add more speakers on different parts of the house, ki listen to different music in different areas.

>> you can control it with your phone?

>> control it with my phone.

>> if we went with all your picks, we could save $570 dollars.

>> yes.

>> that's why i love this man. get back with the answer on how to pronounce your name.

>> my dad calls me mario. my mom yells at me with mario.

>> it's a lot to discuss.