Once you’ve unwrapped all those shiny new gizmos on Christmas Day, here are some simple tips for making the most of them.
Microsoft Xbox 360
The must have accessory for Microsoft’s console, Kinect is a video camera system that allows you to control Xbox games by body movements and voice commands.
Sign up to Xbox LIVE
Download games, play with friends online, rent high definition videos and even hook up to your Windows 7 mobile phone. Simply connect your Xbox to the internet to open up a world of new possibilities.
Sony PlayStation 3
Sony’s Move controllers take gaming to the next level, allowing what you’re playing to respond to movements of your hands, just like on the Nintendo Wii.
Sign up to the PlayStation Network
Play games online, download add-on content and chat with friends once you connect your console to the net using wireless or cabled broadband.
Watch Blu-ray discs
Your PS3 is also a fully-functional Blu-ray player so you don’t need a separate machine to play high definition discs. It’s better than going out to the cinema.
Watch live TV
When someone else is hogging the main telly, use your iPad and a Wi-Fi connection to stream live TV.
Add a real keyboard
The touchscreen keyboard on the iPad works great, but if you ever want to do any serious typing, invest in a keyboard dock. The two slot together easily and the dock even stands the iPad at a decent viewing angle.
Get a stylus
iPad demos are always shown with fingers, but some creative apps demand a bit more precision.
Read the app reviews
With thousands upon thousands of apps to download from the Apple App Store for your new iPad, don’t part with any cash until you’ve checked out the reviews and ratings on each one to make sure they’re worth it.
Compact Digital Camera
Buy a weatherproof case
If your new camera isn’t already watertight, buy a case so you can safely use it in the pool, the beach or the British rain.
Get some photo-editing software
Experiment with all sorts of tricks using photo software to crop, enhance and change the look of your snaps. It’s more fun than the actually shooting. Adobe Elements and Apple’s built-in iPhoto are two of the best.
Make your own photo books
It’s pretty easy to create professional coffee table photo books from your digital snaps using a range of online services.
Buy a tripod
Make more creative movies, or film yourself, by investing in a tripod for your camcorder.
Now you can shoot in high definition, why not experiment filming everyday things in new ways? You’ll be amazed at how much detail you’ll capture. Try black and white or sepia tones or just different angles of vision, like shooting up from the ground or from a higher vantage point downwards.
Create family movies and send to your relatives
Most camcorders come with software to edit videos, upload them to YouTube or email them to family and friends. There’s no point making a great film if no-one is going to see it.