If You Think Your Job Is Rubbish, Look What We Do!

Briant Communicationsfibre optic, repair, maintenance, industrial, don’t only provide data cabling and fibre optic cables for household users. We were recently called out to attend a large industrial site, UBB in Essex. Unfortunately it wasn’t a bakery or biscuit factory, no, just our luck it was a 6 acre waste treatment and recycling plant.

As part of the waste treatment process it is left to maturate for several weeks, meaning that the smell inside swimming pool sized tanks was, predictable. Unfortunately the grot which is left in food containers when they’re thrown into the average household recycling attracts a variety of wildlife, who grow big and plump off of all the scraps which are available. The creatures which cause the biggest problem for us when it comes to fibre optic data communication is rats. They make their homes in the undisturbed, secure spaces where cables and fibre optics are housed and channelled, gnawing trunking and sheaths. And it’s this activity which gives us our biggest headache as the damage to fibre optic cabling is a great deal harder to fix than simply reconnecting two ends of wire, as it would be with metal cable. Read more

The Smart Way To Travel, Whether That’s To The Park Or Much Farther Afield

travel, running, fitness

What You Need To Know About The Latest Gadgets For Travellers, Whether That’s To The Other Side Of The World Or The End Of The Street. Smart home devices are a brilliant way to increase the functionality, efficiency of your home, including home security, but what about when you’re on the move? How can Smart Tech help you then?

Smart locks and access control, synchronised with your phone can lock the house firmly every time you go out. Using Bluetooth or GPS as soon as your Smart home network detects that you’ve left the house it can lock the doors, turn on motion detectors and set the alarms. If anyone comes to your home while you’re out you will then get a Push notification, open it and you can see, and talk directly to your visitor, letting them know when you’ll be home, where they should deliver the package, or tell them you’re not interested in their latest Get Rich Quick scheme.

If you’re going out for a run you may not want to take your phone with you, so why not take a Smart watch fitness monitor instead? You can still call, text, use the geofence which will activate and deactivate your home security while monitoring your pulse, heart rate, distance run and times. Read more

Tech To Take Travelling

Image courtesy of www.maxpixel.net

It’s June and the weather, as is traditional for a British Summer, is appalling. Sunny spells interrupt torrential rain, but only occasionally. Still, it’s good for the garden. It’s also good for hoteliers in sunnier parts of the world. The airports are telling us they need to expand to cope with the ever increasing traffic which goes through them as flying becomes more like commuting for more and more of us.

But this is a home tech blog, why am I talking about taking a flight to a beach somewhere?

Simple. Travel Tech. The stuff you can’t leave behind now that you are an online, connected individual. Read more

What will you look for when buying your next LED Flat Screen TV?

flat screen television, TV hanging, TV Mounting, television hanging, television wall bracketI wonder how many people would go back to buying a cathode ray tube TV if they had the choice. They were big, heavy, and not very impressive in terms of picture quality. Their only redeeming feature, so far as I can remember, was that once ensconced in the corner of the room they were a handy place to keep ornaments. The fact that you can hang your flat screen TV on the wall means that extra space is freed up, so you can find a proper bookcase where you can display your prized knickknacks.

Meanwhile, you should also be choosing your flat screen television, but which one?

LCD, LED, OLED QLED Flat Screen TV

LCD and LED TV sets make up the majority of TVs available on the high street today. The LEDs, or Light Emitting Diodes, can be made extremely small and that means that when they are build into a flat screen it’s possible to generate a picture of much higher resolution than was possible with the old vacuum tube TVs. Active dimming is used to ensure the contrast of the picture. Achieving a black which is really black has always been a problem for TVs of any kind, and active dimming is one way of ensuring that dark areas of the picture remain dark, even when nearby areas of the screen are fully illuminated. They also have a backlight which boosts the brightness of the picture but this comes with drawbacks: it makes the picture more visible if you’re watching in the dark, but it means that the true black everyone is looking for is impossible. Read more

Your Top Tips To Identifying The Cause Of Poor TV Reception

poor aerial installationBriant Communications get dozens of calls regarding poor TV reception, pixelation, and channels dropping out while others remain fine. Since we’re in the business of installing and maintaining satellite dishes and aerial antennae it’s no problem for us to send one of our engineers to look at the problem and fix it, but that’s not always necessary.

It really helps us if you could trouble-shoot before calling us. Many problems are solved simply by turning equipment off and on again, or by re-initiallising your TV or Freeview box. Depending on the make and model this process can be started by simply turning the device off at the mains for a few moments. Once you power on again you’ll be told that the channels have changed, and do you want to re-scan for channels? Select ‘Yes’ and let it do its thing. (Pro tip, if you hate shopping channels, sports, or those seedy ‘dating’ channels, take this opportunity to delete them, that way, next time you’re scrolling through you’ll be able to see the channels you like without being bothered by the ones you don’t ever again.) Read more

The Biggest Threats To Safety In The Home

Home, by definition, is a place where your can feel safe. A place to relax and unwind without being worried or stressed by the everyday troubles of the outside world.Coming home and relaxing isn’t always possible though. There are always safety concerns that it would be remiss to ignore. In the UK there are an average of 2.7 million visits to Accident and Emergency and 6,000 deaths due to accidents. Along with these accidents there are 650,000 break-ins each year. That means that 2% of homes every year have intruders break in and damage or steal goods from the householders.

Some groups are more vulnerable than others. The elderly and infirm are prone to accidents and it’s important that if you take extra special care of your home security and personal safety.

People who wish to ‘age in place’ have a number of options today which weren’t available until very recently. Sheltered housing may have had call buttons and alarms in the bathroom in case of slips or falls, but adaptations for the home were normally restricted to additional handrails and ramps for people who had trouble with steps. Personal alerts in the form of a fob worn around the neck were available, but if you weren’t wearing it when you slipped they weren’t much use. Read more

What To Really Look Out For When Buying A New Home

Modern white kitchen with white marble counter top and pendant lighting.You’ll want to move home for many reasons. It’s one of the biggest, and most stressful decisions you’ll ever make, so it’s important that you get it right before jumping in. There are many reasons to buy a house. You want something bigger, or something smaller, something with fewer stairs, or buying a new home now you can finally afford to move out of rental properties and start paying money into a bricks and mortar investment into your own future.

Location When Buying A New Home

As the old adage goes: the three most important factors to look at are location, location, location. And that hasn’t become any less true as the years have passed. You might find a beautiful property which has everything you want, but it’s located under an airport’s flight path. Or downwind from a waste processing plant. If you’re a heavy sleeper, hard of hearing or have a terrible sense of smell then these may not be deal breakers, but for young families and people with particularly sensitive noses, they’d be absolute no-no’s! So what are the pros and cons of location? Read more

Don’t Keep Changing Your Password To Keep It Safe

Child watching television in a lounge filled with furniture.We mentioned in a previous post that when security is too complex it has the unintended consequence of becoming less secure as people are forced to write down passwords, access codes and other ‘memorable’ details which it would be impossible for other people to guess but you should have memorised.

And now, finally, Microsoft has decided that regularly changing passwords is no longer required for their products which had previously still clung to the notion that getting rid of a perfectly good secure password for another password which you’ll have to remember is outdated. Of course this doesn’t give me back access to accounts which I’ve changed passwords for, promptly forgotten and, not having prepared for such an event properly, lost access to the tool, but at least it won’t happen again!

With the advent of password management tools it’s no longer necessary for our human brains to recall long, complex codes which include upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters. Instead we can get technology to do it for us, meaning that we can make any networked device incredibly secure. Having to arbitrarily change these passwords every few months would mean having to needlessly change a raft of different log in details. Read more