It may seem a little, well, bland and impersonal to buy your father a digital set-top box, but it’s actually the kind of useful gift that he’ll probably appreciate the most. Most of us can’t afford to buy our father a whole new TV with an integrated digital tuner, but you can get an external digital tuner quite cheaply now. This tuner can work with your dad’s old TV set, so he won’t have to go out and buy a new one right now.

When he plugs the digital set-top box into the TV he’ll get both DVD-quality TV viewing as well as access to the extra channels that can only be seen by people with digital TV (such as ABC2 and the high definition commercial channels).

We haven’t listed a specific model of tuner, since there are so many and they all do much the same thing. You can readily get one for $60-70 now, however – and you should look for one that supports HD.