Christmas is Over, Now Get To Grips With Those Tech Prezzies!

digital technology, digital tech, smart speaker, alexa, sonos, Did you have a good Christmas? What was your best present? Did you get lots of Smart Tech and digital gadgets? Good for you!

The market for Smart devices and high definition television keeps on growing. Smart speakers are now on to their fourth generation, and with 5g technology becoming available throughout the country their usefulness is becoming amplified.

What’s 5g got to do with your Smart Speaker or Home Automation system?

Smart devices connect to one another wirelessly, that’s true, but they don’t juts perform one operation or have one conversation with another smart device at a time. Smart devices are always on, looking out for updates, listening out for each other as well as your voice in order to perform their role properly. If they didn’t there would be no point having them. There’s no point yelling “Alexa! Turn the kettle on!” in the lounge if nothing in the kitchen is connected.

And this uses digital data. If you only have three or four Smart machines then a run-of-the mill router can more than satisfy your home system’s data requirements, but, as we fill our homes with more and more Smart devices, TV which are connected to Netflix and Google, speakers which are linked to your Spotify account and home security which is uploading sound and images to the cloud whenever anybody walks onto your property there is a need for a lot of data. Lots and lots of it.

I Feel The Need, The Need For Data Speed!

It’s not just the amount of data you have either, it’s the speed of that data which is important. There’s not much point having unlimited data if it comes in so slowly that it would take hours to download a movie. Playing games online or streaming films would be impossible as the action would freeze every few seconds while buffering took place and the data caught up with where you’d got to in the action.

Ultrafast data doesn’t only mean that your Smart devices can work more efficiently though. It may seem that once you have fast or superfast then ultrafast is gilding the lily, but this is to miss the point. The speed at which data is delivered is inextricably linked to the number of devices you can have working at any one time. A movie will use a certain amount of data, so, depending on whether you download or stream it will affect the amount of data there is available to other devices. If you can download an entire movie in less than a minute then it will have negligible impact on your smart devices unless you call on all of them to do different tasks while the movie loads. If on the other hand you’re streaming a movie and the cache is five minutes ahead of where you are in the narrative then that’s five minutes when all the data coming into your home can be used for anything but streaming the sound and vision without you noticing. It’s when you do notice that there’s a problem. There’s nothing like the particular frustration we feel when we’re just getting to a good bit and the action freezes! Only for it to stop and start again until you’ve turned everything off and on again. But this simply doesn’t happen with Ultrafast broadband, and if it does, talk to your supplier and get it fixed.

Totally Digital

We started off talking about flat screen HD television sets. It’s true to say that the way we watch TV since the Digital Switchover in 2012 has changed in ways that were the stuff of science fiction before. To simply be able to pause, rewind and watch a live sports event was a childish fantasy. If you missed a show, that was it, there was no catch-up or +1 channel. And recording an entire series as it was shown would mean endless VHS programming, making sure the right tape was in the machine, and heaven forbid the tape ran out before the end of the show!

But wait! What if your receiver is damaged or starts to move about thanks to storms? If you’re watching Sky TV through a satellite dish which is poorly maintained, or Freeview using an aerial which is rusty or loose you’ll find that you don’t get all the channels you expect, you experience glitching and freezing. Having to reset decoder boxes because channels have dropped off often means losing all of your stored shows and having to reset all your scheduled recordings. A time consuming, tedious job which could have been avoided if your aerial or satellite system had been properly serviced.

If you’re interested in having a flat screen TV hung on the wall, aerial and satellite receiver servicing and repairs, or even ultrafast broadband then why not give Briant Communications a call on 01273 465377 or email us at enquiries@briantcoms.com We’ve over 30 years experience as aerial and satellite dish engineers and now take on all types of Smart Home and home cinema installations with our new enterprise, Briant Broadband supplying ultrafast digital data to the Worthing area.

Landlords Need Communal Satellite Dishes & Digital TV Receivers

Satellite television is becoming ever more popular. The range of choice is better than any Freeview service, and if you subscribe to a specific satellite television broadcaster, such as Sky, your options are phenomenal. No wonder then that every home needs a satellite dish. However, unlike standard analogue and digital television receivers, satellite dishes are large and won’t work if you put them in the attic. They need to be on the outside of the building, Which is fine if you’re a regular sized family living in a detached house, all watching the same thing at the same time. But what if you’re not?

Travel around any city and you’ll see houses of multiple occupancy, houses which have been converted into flats, apartment blocks and high rises. Each one of these homes has an individual or entire family all with unique television watching habits. In some instances you’ll see that there are still multiple satellite dishes and aerials clinging to the outside, usually rusty and uncared for.

There are several problems with installing a separate satellite dish for each residence, which could easily be solved by installing a communal satellite dish and aerial array.

Satellite television dishes installed by unqualified individuals don’t come with the required insurance and guarantees. Should a inexpertly installed dish fly off in a storm and the installer was uninsured then the householder would be responsible for repairing and paying for any damage the errant dish caused. The software that industrial cleaning companies use classify this mistake as offensive under various laws. This is also why it’s important to remove any old and unused dishes when new ones are installed. Since an old dish won’t be covered by the original warrantee or installers insurance it’s far better to remove the risk once a suitable replacement has been made. Read more

Lights, Cameras, ACTION! How To Ensure Your Security Lighting And CCTV Work In Unison

CCTV camera, smart CCTVSurveillance cameras along with home and business CCTV have been with us for years but it’s only now that wireless data in the home has become ubiquitous enough for everyone who has a wireless router to be able to take advantage of Smart home and office security technology.

They’re a low cost, low barrier to entry security system, and are recognised widely by users, police and insurance companies as one of the best deterrents to burglars, vandals and housebreakers.

They work as a deterrent only when people know they’re there though. If nobody knows they are there the burglar will still break in, they’ll simply get a big surprise when their picture is known to the police and splashed around in the local papers.

Another drawback many cameras have is that at night they’re not always that effective. In poor light lower quality cameras struggle to create the best picture quality and even if they provide excellent quality images at night, if they can’t be seen, they’re not going to work as a deterrent and because their mere presence won’t put the unwitting intruder off. Read more

Cheap Home Security Cameras Are Actually More Risky Than Nothing At All

pet cam, pet monitor, baby monitor, baby cameraOne of the most popular home gadgets of recent years has been the home camera. They’re sold as a baby, pet or security monitor which allow you to watch what is going on at home from wherever you are. People love them because as a baby monitor you can see as well as hear what your child is doing, letting you judge if you have to dash upstairs to prevent disaster, or take it easy, it was just a doll falling out of the cot.  

They’re handy as a pet monitor too. Dogs left at home get bored, and can often be anxious if left alone for too long. Their feelings can manifest themselves in destructive behaviour, or making a mess of your home. A pet monitor here lets you know if the dog is behaving, and if you opt for a camera with a mic attached then you can tell Fido that you’re watching and not to misbehave!

They’re also handy as security devices too. They may not be a visible deterrent to burglars preventing a break in from taking place, but they do let you see what’s going on at home and, if necessary, you can use them to record footage of any intruders walking around your house and call the authorities based on the images you see coming from your camera. Read more

Looking For The Best Electronics Installation Professionals In The South East Of England? They’re On This List

installation engineer, fibre optic, flat screen, satellite dish, aerial, security, CCTV, burglar alarmInstalling home entertainment and Smart Home Technology, including flat screen TVs, wireless burglar alarm systems, Smart CCTV cameras, aerials and satellite dishes isn’t a job for just any old handyman. For a reliable installation carried out by expert professionals it’s best to call in specialised tradesmen who carry regulatory body membership, insurance, who offer warranties and also guarantee their work and the products they use.

Before you agree to allow workmen to carry out work installing TV receivers, cables, security cameras and alarms, as yourself, and them these questions:

Is this company qualified?

Anybody installing Smart Home Automation devices should be a CEDIA member. CEDIA are the Smart Home trade association so you can rest assured that if your installer is a member they will hold all the necessary certification required.

Companies who carry out other home entertainment installations, such as flat screen TV installations and putting aerials or satellite dishes on the roof don’t need to be members of a trade body, but should carry insurance to protect themselves, and you, in case of any accidents during the installation, or as a consequence of the work they undertook. Read more

Top 5 Gadgets for Starting Out In Home Automation

home automation, smart home, connected devices, connected homeAs Smart Home installation engineers we meet people at every stage of their Home Automation journey. From those just starting out to those who are fully cognisant with the tech but need help with the labour it takes safely and securely fit the Smart devices they want in their homes.

Many people still don’t grasp what a connected home has to offer. They see the devices fitted with Smart technology as simply gadgets, knick-knacks which you put around your house for entertainment’s sake, but have no real practical use. It’s only when we explain the many different applications these devices can be put to, the way they can be controlled and control one another that the potential benefits become clear.

The ideal place to begin is to explain what practical tools a Smart Home can be started off with. Once the concept and application have been grasped the possibilities explode! Everyone’s needs and wants are different, so the fact that Smart Home Technology can be so adaptive and expandable is just what the doctor ordered!

So, if you’re one of those people who’s heard about Home Automation, who likes labour saving, energy efficient tools, but you’re not sure what the Smart Home has to offer you, read on.

Video Doorbell

Intercoms are nothing new. From old buildings converted to flats to businesses in office blocks we’ve all buzzed and struggled to hear the voice coming from the panel on the door frame. But today’s Smart access control is very different. Now there’s no need to go to the handset on the wall to let people in, you can admit anyone you want from wherever you are instead. Not only can you speak to people on the doorstep, you can see them, but they can’t see you. That means that if you’re in the bath, in the garden, on the sofa, even away from home, you can see who’s calling and either let them in or ask them to come back another time. Read more

Thinking of Boosting Your Home Security With CCTV Cameras? Here’s What You Need To Know

CCTV camera, smart CCTVCCTV cameras have been shown to be a fantastic deterrent against opportunist burglars targeting homes in Britain and abroad, making them one of the most popular options for many people boosting their home security.

When burglars plan a break-in it’s not usually well thought out with floor plans and circuit diagrams like the movies would have us believe. In many cases the planning aspect is simply looking a the property and thinking “is it worth me climbing in that window or putting in that door?” and if you own nice things and you don’t have obvious crime prevention devices, the answer is going to be “yes”!

Once inside your property the burglar will generally not spend more than 15 minutes collecting your possessions, putting them all in a sheet, and dragging them away. Opportunistic burglars don’t like to carry any tools or bags with them as they look suspicious, and ‘going equipped’ shows intent and carries a longer sentence in the event of a conviction. Once they have your valuables outside your house they’ll leave them somewhere secluded until they can return to collect them unless they live so nearby that they can get them home safely. If you have a car in the drive and leave your keys where they can be found, then that’s a different story. Read more

Kitting Out Your First Smart Home? Start With The Basics

We’ve all been there. We’re browsing online, popped into a shop or visited an exhibition stand at the mall only to be pulled in by a great looking ad or snappy sales patter, then coming away with a bit of tat masquerading as tech that never gets used.

You get it home, open the packaging, set it up and find that it’s nothing like as good as you thought it would be, it’s cheaply made, poorly performing and probably makes a funny smell if you leave it switched on too long. But you’re ashamed of yourself for being tricked, so, instead of sending it back and asking for your money back it just falls into redundancy or gets put in the cupboard under the sink/stairs/attic or garage in the hopes that you’ll either find a use for it or give it to the jumble next time they come looking for collections.

The problem is that the more technology which is available to go into our homes, the more rubbish there is blocking our view of the good, helpful gadgets and tools which would help make life that much easier. And different people have different needs. We’re sold on ‘lifechanging appliances’ but unless we actively want to change the way we live our lives, a bit of tech we can pick up for a few pounds at the supermarket isn’t going to make a huge difference to our lifestyle. Read more

Light Bulbs Featuring Motion Detection, Speakers, And More!

GE LED+ LightingWhat if you want Smart lighting, but don’t want lighting attached to your Smart hub?

There could be any number of reasons why you want the advantages of Smart lighting but would prefer not to attach your lights to your home hub. Security is one issue. It has been found that in the past some manufacturers were not adding sufficient security to Smart bulbs, which left a huge hole in people’s security. You may want to keep your Smart Home hub sleeker, adding only the most necessary items to your portfolio of apps, but still with to take advantage of energy saving lights with offer more than just on, off or dimmed. Or you may not even have a Smart Home, but you like the idea of lightbulbs which have several functions.

If that’s the case then GE, Philips, Feit and Ecosmart have a range of LED+ lightbulbs which are intelligent enough to install into your home without needing to be added to your home hub.

What Do They Have To Offer?

Specialised LED bulbs are a relatively new addition to the market and offer several features and benefits which up until now had only been available through specialist retailers or via Smart Home technology. These features include:

Motion sensors

Bluetooth speakers

Colour control

Battery assistance and backup

‘Dusk to Dawn’ outdoor lighting Read more

Turning Your Family Room Into A Home Cinema

home cinema, family room, entertainment, home theatreWhen people think of a home cinema they probably think of a small bank of recliners, low light, big screen and an audio system most of us would have to take out a second mortgage to be able to afford. And yes, such home cinema exist and we’d all love to be able to have one in our home if only we could, but what about we mere mortals who don’t have the kind of wallet that allows for a wing of the family pile to be given over to home entertainment?

What if we’ve got kids, a regular size house, bills and car payments to make? How do we get into Home Cinema?

First of all, think about which space you’re going to use and how you already use it. People don’t tend to keep the Front Room for best any more, nor do they have dining rooms which are only used to entertain guests. Often these spaces have been knocked through to provide a larger living space or made into family rooms where the kids can shout and scream until they wear themselves out in time for bed.

Aha! There’s the trick! If you’re going to use it for watching serious movies or playing until it’s your bedtime there is no overlap. Once the kids have vacated it it’s yours for the use of.

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