THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT

Several decades ago, Bob heard an interesting story from an aide to a newly elected Philadelphia congressman. When the congressman got to Washington,Slingbox Tuner D.C., he asked his aide to buy him a TV in Philadelphia and bring it to Washington. “But you can get TVs in Washington,” said the aide. “Yes, but I want to pick up Philadelphia stations.”

At last, the congressman’s wish has come true. You can be anywhere in the world and get stations from back home.

With a Slingbox (Slingbox.com), you can transfer any TV show to a computer that’s connected to the Internet anywhere else in the world. We found the Slingbox Tuner for $166 and Slingbox Pro for $213 from Amazon.com.

You can also do the opposite: send whatever is on your computer to your big-screen TV nearby. Why would anyone want to? Well, for one thing it gets you out of the office for a while. And as for other possibilities: Bill Gates, for example, sometimes likes to watch old basketball games that are available through the Internet. Someone we talked to at Netgear likes to watch Australian football, and you can subscribe to those broadcasts for free through the Internet instead of having to pay a cable TV provider. You can also listen to Internet radio, watch family photos, do a wide audience screening of a presentation, etc.Netgear eva 700

Start with the Netgear EVA700 Digital Entertainer from netgear.com and a wireless router that will broadcast Internet content to any compatible receiver within a couple of hundred feet. (Be sure to set the router’s privacy code to “on,” or anyone in range can follow whatever you do on the Internet.)

If you don’t want to use a wireless network, either because of the potential security problems, or you’re just plain sick of being blasted with radio waves, you can wire ports directly into the wall, or as a more practical solution, use your building’s own electrical wiring. Several companies make equipment for turning your house wiring into a network. We used Netgear’s  own Netgeear HD Ethernet Adapter Kit. It comes with two units for $160 from Amazon.com.

You need two units so that you have one plugged into the wall outlet by the router that receives the incoming Internet signal and the other plugged into the wall wherever you want to pick up that signal again. Each of those wall plug units will have a port for an Ethernet cable and a cable comes with the EVA700 unit. We found the Netgear EVA700 for $217 at Amazon.com.

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