Get Smart, Get Superfast WiFi Access Throughout Your Home And Garden

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

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

Wifi Signal Extenders or Mesh Networks, Which is Best To Ban Blindspots and Increase Speeds?

smart home, connected devices, wifi signalSmart Home systems are the tech revolution the world seems to have been waiting for since the invention of science fiction, maybe even longer. The ability to simply ask a robot to carry out all of the mundane tasks, to have everything controlled from a simple device, and to be able to see and do things from anywhere we like was always on the cards, because we could see people doing it on Star Trek, and we knew that one day science reality would catch up with science fiction.

But with so many things the surface is glossy and works perfectly, but underneath there is a whole raft of issues which need dealing with before your tech can work properly. And one of the main considerations for people looking for whole-home connectivity is signal strength.

Clearly, in order to work effectively, the Connected Home needs to be connected. In the past if there was a spot where signal was weak then we just wouldn’t try to connect to the internet from that room. Today however, with Smart Home devices being what they are, it’s not reasonable for anyone who’s interested in making their home Smart to simply write off a room, the garden or an outbuilding because of poor wifi signal. Read more

Why Buy A Smartwatch? All Your Apps On Your Wrist

Smartwatch Photo courtesy of Maxpixel.netEach watch and phone/computer manufacturer seem to be making their own versions of the Smartwatch. They’re convenient, user friendly, and absolutely packed with functions.

Wristwatches were only invented just over a century ago. Having a watch which you could just glance at to tell the time was critically important to men in the trenches who previously had to dig about in their tunics to find their fob watches to see whether it was time to launch an assault or expect a barrage of artillery fire.

Since then the wristwatch has always been something of a status symbol. Rolex and Cartier made the watch a statement piece, more jewellery than a practical means of keeping track of the time, but with mobile phones the popularity of watches was beginning to wane. There was no point having a watch if you had the time, a calendar and alarm clock all available on your phone. However, the reason why the wristwatch was invented became important again. Digging around in your pockets or trying to find your phone at the bottom of your bag is inconvenient, and having all that functionality on your wrist just makes sense.

Keep All Your Apps Close At Hand

Because we use our mobile phones for so much more than just making calls it makes sense to be able to have an interface somewhere upon us that is easy to get to. So what are the benefits of having a smart watch instead of simply taking your phone out every time it beeps? 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.

Read more

What’s Stopping You From Installing A Home Cinema?

home cinema, home theatre, projection screen, Unless you’re building a new home or have the luxury of being able to add an extension to you home just to facilitate your new home cinema you’re going to have to work with the layout of the room you’ve got when thinking about configuration & location. Windows and doors offer the biggest problems, followed by chimney breasts and fireplaces. Not only can you not place a projector screen or large format TV across a window or door, you need to be able to use them, and can’t put speakers in them either!

Chimneys and fireplaces offer their own inconveniences as a mantle is a great place to hang a regular size flat screen TV, but a large format is too big to hang where they can be seen without straining your neck while hanging a projector screen in front of the fireplace makes it a fire hazard.

And once you’ve found the right location for your TV or screen, where do you put the speakers to get the most out of your surround sound?

In order to get the most out of your home theatre you have to be both flexible, and imaginative. Windows, doors and furniture tell you where things can’t go, so you have to work that little bit harder to find the perfect spot where things can go.

Often placing the picture, be that the TV screen or projector screen is the least of your worries. You’ve got a perfect, UHD display, but now where to put the speakers to get the surround sound to finish off the full theatre experience? Read more

News For Nest Environmental Control Customers

Touch sensitive digital heating control panel mounted on a light coloured wall.Briant Communications have been installing Nest domestic environmental controls for a number of homes in the southeast since they first landed in the UK. Recently they have been going through some changes and that has had an impact on the way their devices can be used and operated.

Google owns the Nest brand and as such has taken the decision to incorporate the Nest controls and Google Home controls into one Google Nest. This rebranding and control overhaul will also be reflected in the Google Home Hub becoming the Nest Hub, which will be followed by the Google Nest Hub Max at some point in the future.

The only problem is that users don’t get to simply update the app or download a piece of software to complete the update. Instead you’ll need to manually switch from Nest to a Google account. Read more

Dos And Don’ts When Changing Broadband Providers

Hands holding a wifi enabled tabletWhy do people stick with their poor, expensive ISP & cable TV providers when there are usually better deals to be had? When we looked at why people don’t migrate their broadband to fibre, despite it being faster, more reliable and cheaper it was the perceived inconvenience that held people back. Despite 94% of people having fibre broadband available, fewer than half to British internet consumers have taken up the option, and one of the main barriers to uptake was the thought that it would be a huge inconvenience to change.

Internet service providers do themselves few favours on this score. While there are ads for superfast broadband, with mesh disks which will mean that no matter where you are in the house your wifi will blow your socks off people aren’t making a bee-line to become new customers.

There is more than just the perceived hassle of migrating. When we sign up to a contract it usually comes with a year, 18 month, or two year minimum contract. Breaking the contract will mean having to pay off a fee, get a new landline, cancel a bunch of stuff, sign up to a new bunch of stuff, replace cookies and saved sign-ins, and lose all your old saved shows. All that fuss to save a few pounds a month doesn’t seem worth it, does it? Read more