Netgear NeoMediaCast

Most of the equipment we get from our telecom providers is nothing to get excited about, but we might make an exception for Netgear's NeoMediacast. The Android-based HDMI dongle lets providers both offer their own services and support third-party apps without having to build their own set-top boxes or go the traditional TV route. Your cable company could let you stream your favorite shows on a bedroom TV, for instance, while making it easy to check social networks or play your local media library. The NeoMediacast is also relatively futureproof with 802.11ac WiFi, Miracast media sharing and support for both microSD and USB storage. Carriers and service operators can start using Netgear's device in the first half of this year, although they'll likely need to customize its software before it reaches your home.