This past year has come as a revelation to most of us. We’ve become so used to science and technology being a reliable source of solutions to all of our problems that when something completely new and unpredictable comes along it turns out we’re as defenceless as newborn babes. Most of us have been forced to cope because there was simply no choice. We found that our networks of friends and family were easier to reach than ever before thanks to social media, video conferencing and instant messaging, and we found that many of our jobs could be done from home, even if the distraction of being at home and not “at work” was baffling, frustrating and frankly annoying!
It seems like networking has never been so important, from our connections with friends and family, to our local communities, to work and colleagues, and to sources of news and current affairs, being able to gather and absorb information quickly, in a way that’s easy to achieve has become part of our everyday lives. Even for people who are naturally technology resistant, the last year has meant that they have embraced that which they would normally ignore. Necessity has driven that for some: if they can’t shop online & they’re considered to be vulnerable it can be difficult to get shopping done, especially if they don’t have young, fit, active people in their Bubble. Read more
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.
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.
Sussex, along with most of the rest of the country has been put into Tier 4 for Coronavirus protection and further lockdown instructions are being received all the time. Despite this, Briant Communications remains open for those who need television aerial antenna or satellite dish servicing and repairs.
It’s hard to imagine how we would have entertained or distracted ourselves, informed ourselves, or kept up with the kids’ education if we hadn’t had TV, or internet. Television is not only escapism, it’s a fast and timely way for us to consume news, receive information directly from Number Ten, SAGE and local authorities, while the internet allows us to investigate, help the children with their education, do the shopping if we’re not able to leave the house, and keep in touch with our families via social media.
It’s for these reasons that Briant Communications is still operating, ensuring that people in our community are able to get the television signal and internet they need.
The fact that there is an epidemic occurring doesn’t stop the weather. It doesn’t stop trees from growing or birds from building their nests. Many of our customers throughout the south east of England call us because of exactly these issues. Wind may have misaligned or damaged their satellite dish or digital TV aerial. Trees can not only interfere with the signal if a tree grows in front of a receiver, but when branches move in the wind or get broken off they can cause a great deal of damage to television systems. This damage doesn’t only interfere with the television reception, loose or dislodged receivers can be dangerous themselves. A falling aerial could not only injure anybody passing by, but were it to fall onto your roof or your car if it’s parked beneath the aerial then thousands of pounds worth of damage could be caused, along with the inconvenience of dealing with builders, mechanics and insurance companies.
The easiest way to avoid all of that is simply to call Briant Communications on 01273 465377 or emailing us on firstname.lastname@example.org with your concerns.
Our engineers are all well trained, experienced installation and maintenance specialists. We take Covid 19 very seriously. When you call us we will discuss the best way to go about ensuring there is as little contact between you, the members of your household, and our staff as possible. Fortunately most of the work we undertake takes place out of doors, but if for any reason we do need to come inside it is better for us to know before hand so that we, and you, can ensure that all the recommended safety precautions are taken.
All of our staff have PPE, a plentiful supply of strong sanitiser and wipes which they use between every visit. If they do have to come inside your property to install cabling or test for faults it will always be done as quickly as possible to avoid disruption to you. We’ll only come inside when we absolutely have to, and after you’ve isolated anyone in your household who is in any way vulnerable.
Free no obligation television aerial and satellite dish maintenance, servicing and repairs quotes
If you’re unsure if your TV aerial of satellite dish needs realigning, repairs or replacement, don’t let that put you off. We promise a free, no obligation estimate for the work that may be required, and in many cases the estimate can be made without entering your property at all. It’s often easy to tell if an aerial is loose or misaligned, or if trees or wildlife are interfering with your reception. Once we’ve carried out that survey we’ll give you a quote for the work that we intend to undertake, and if you’re happy with that, we’ll go ahead.
Unfortunately estimating from the ground isn’t always perfect, and we may discover that additional tasks needs to be done while we’re at work. We will always consult with you and let you know if it will incur extra costs before undertaking any additional work which wasn’t agreed to in the initial estimate.
Aerial and satellite dish repairs for flats, apartments, and HMOs
If you’ve noticed that your satellite receiver or aerial antenna is looking loose, you’ve been having intermittent interruptions to your television reception or you’re finding that some channels are missing entirely but you live in a house of multiple occupancy (HMO) or your property servicing is outsourced then talk to your property management company and ask them to get in touch with us. We have long established relationships with many of the property managers throughout the south after having installed aerials and satellite dishes for over thirty years, and they all recognise that it’s better to call in the experts rather than relying on an odd-job man when it comes to installing, repairing or maintaining specialist home entertainment electronics.
The number to call for all your television receiver maintenance, repairs and installation, including free, no obligation quotes on all works is 01273 465377 or email us on email@example.com
Christmas 2020 won’t be much like any others we’ve ever known before. In some ways that’s a sad thing, and in others, a clear benefit. You may doubt it right now, but I’ll explain: You may not be able to jet off to sunnier climes since social distancing, two lockdowns and a general concern with being in a tin can breathing recycled air would put anyone off air travel. You may not be able to go skiing for much the same reason, and the thought of putting extra stress on local hospitals if you break a limb when they’re busy dealing with people who are sick because of Covid seems unfair. But a year of social distancing and lockdowns has taught us to be resilient, to rely on our common sense, and to embrace technology as our friend instead of an inconvenience which must be overcome. Broadband internet is here to save Christmas!
Perhaps I’m preaching to the wrong people, and it’s technophobes and traditionalists who really need to get the message, but there seem to be fewer and fewer of them around since connecting with digital communications, and therefore each other is becoming increasingly easy.
With a virus with no cure as yet affecting almost everywhere on Earth it’s important that you keep yourself and your loved ones safe from Coronavirus infection and contamination. Our customers’ safety and health is naturally one of our primary concerns, as is that of our staff, including protecting our staff of engineers and our office staff from COVID 19 too.
In order to carry out our work while protecting ourselves and you we ensure that we undertake all the hygiene and social distancing protocols that the government and SAGE recommend. Current COVID advice, even under the current lockdown conditions is that maintenance and installation can take place provided PPE is worn and people take all reasonable precautions when a tradesman is visiting your home.
Fortunately for us, much of the work we undertake takes place exclusively outdoors so there is no need to worry about coming into contact with coronavirus unnecessarily. If, as happens on occasion, the engineer does have to come inside the property, then you can rest assured that they have been properly trained and advised about how to carry out their work safely, minimising the risks to themselves and you.
All of our engineers have a stock of facemasks and disposable gloves on their vehicles which they use whenever they come into your property. They have a plentiful supply of hand sanitiser and surface cleaning wipes which they use to clean their hands whenever they touch anything and to clean the van in order to minimise the risk of transporting contamination from one place to another.The good news is that there appears to be a vaccine which is 90% effective and safe for use according to the government public media speaker from shakespearecomms.com.
Working and learning from home, Zooming, Skyping, and all forms of social media have shown us that fast, reliable, unlimited data isn’t a luxury or something that only a certain group of people use, it’s become important for everyone to be able to get on line for work, for school, and for health, both mental and physical., however the bad new is that it may not be available for everyone until spring of next year, so in the meantime there’s still an onus on us all to protect ourselves and follow the latest SAGE advice: Hands, Face, Space. That means that Christmas and the New Year are going to be like no others, but that doesn’t stop the wind from blowing, or the rain and the snow from falling. Keeping the family entertained while it’s not possible to go on traditional Christmas treats, treats as simple as visiting Santa at the shopping centre or going to the Christmas market, and being stuck indoors instead make it all the more important to have distractions and boredom busters on demand. Read more
We’ve had Storm Ciara, and this weekend it looks as if we’re going to have another named storm in the form of Storm Dennis. If your satellite dish or aerial withstood the last gale, could it withstand another one?
TV aerials and satellite dishes work by presenting as large a surface area as possible to the incoming signal. The more signal the better, so you get excellent picture and sound as well as a complete choice of channels. Which is great if you live somewhere that isn’t prone to frequent gales and storms in the winter and up to sixteen hours of intense sunlight in the summer. While it’s calm everything is fine, but when the wind picks up that large surface area acts in exactly the same way as a sail, and it’s only the great job the installer or maintenance engineer did when they last looked at it which keeps it from flying off, potentially causing incalculable damage to anything or anyone it hits along the way.
If your satellite dish or aerial antenna was installed recently it’s probably going to be quite safe and do a fine job of standing up to the weather. If it does happen to move at all it’s no problem for a professional installation and maintenance firm such as Briant Communications to realign the dish or mast so that it picks up signal again. The bigger problem comes from old redundant receivers which aren’t being used any more. It’s a faff to have the old receivers taken down and removed when you’re putting the new one up, so why not leave it in place?
The problem is that you now have an ageing piece of unwanted and untended technology attached to your wall, chimney stack or roof which is still getting battered by the wind and rain. You won’t notice that they’re getting loose because your reception isn’t affected, but a large piece of unsecured metal on the roof poses a huge threat to your house and personal safety! Read more
If you got an Alexa for Christmas you’ve been living with her for a month now. How’s that going for you? Many people will be getting used to having her around and thinking about what else she can do. As a stand-alone device she can be a lot of fun, but her real benefits only come when she is synchronised to the rest of your Smart devices.
It’s easy to choose the smart tech which will work with Alexa, because the answer is basically anything! If it’s an Amazon or Echo product it will work with Alexa with the minimum of fuss. Then there are all the third party products which Amazon has given licenses to. Manufacturers have recognised that if their product is going to sell then it’s necessary to make it compatible with the leading Smart home interface, which is essentially Alexa. Google Home is right along side Amazon with market penetration, so it’s handy that these two major players are working together to create a ubiquitous format which will support all devices.
But now that you don’t have to worry about whether your new investment will work with others, which are the top choices of nick-nacks which will bring joy and ease of function to your life?
Why not check out these top ten purchases to begin with, and see where the Smart home revolution takes you?
People admit to watching around three hours of TV a day, but we all know the reality is that while you might only remember watching TV for that long many of us switch the TV on when we get in and probably won’t turn it off again until we go to bed. It keeps the kids quiet after school, then there’s the soaps, followed by the news, then a movie and before you know it you’ve been watching television for six hours. Maybe not really concentrating, but still, that’s a quarter of your day when the TV has been on.
Considering how large a part television plays in our homelife today it’s important that you choose the right one for you. In the days when we only had one big TV per household the choice was easy, pick one which was big enough to be seen from the other side of the room and put it where it wouldn’t get glare from the sun streaming through the window. But things change. We now have more channels via Freeview, Freesat and Sky than we could ever hope to watch, and that’s before we even begin thinking about Netflix, Hulu (via a VPN), YouTube, and streaming sites.
There is choice not only in size, but in picture quality too, both factors which naturally affect the price of the television set you ultimately end up bringing into your home.
Simple economics would dictate that you get the biggest screen for the lowest price if you want to score yourself a bargain, but in reality that’s far from the case. A large TV in a small room will absolutely overpower the space and you won’t be able to get physically far enough away from the screen in order to be able to enjoy the picture. The rule of thumb is that the screen should be positioned one and a half to three times the screen’s diameter from your head. So if you have a 70cm screen the closest you would want to be from it is just over a metre, and the furthest you would want to sit would be approximately 2 metres. You would most likely want to sit within a 30 degree angle of the screen. Flat screen TVs are made up of laminated layers which perform a different task in the makeup of your picture. Increase the angle you’re watching at too far from 90 degrees and your view of the layers goes out of phase, meaning that colours change or invert entirely. Read more
The convenience of wireless it that you can take your networked devices anywhere with you. Desktop computers no longer outcompete laptops, except that they don’t need recharging and the screen size isn’t limited to the dimensions of a laptop. Phones work everywhere, and Wi Fi enabled speakers can be set up anywhere you want throughout the home to enjoy hifi quality sound in every room. The only drawback was that stray too far from the router, into the garden for example, and your wireless connected devices would start to misbehave. Sound stutters, downloads pause and streaming TV or movies pause (invariably at the moment where the action gets exciting).
While this is irritating for those of us who use Wi-Fi strictly for entertainment, for those of us who have Smart Home Automation a poor Wi-Fi signal means that devices such as burglar alarms and CCTV can’t be relied upon. If you work from home as a writer, designer, musician, or any other profession which requires instant and dependable access to digital communication, including internet, Skype, or file transfer platforms a poor signal in the home is a problem. And if you’ve set up your office or studio in an outbuilding or converted the garage into a workshop then one option is running a cable from your Wi-Fi or internet router to your laptop or desktop. A far from perfect solution. Read more
Installing 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