There’s a few things happening now worth noting in this endless timeline of technological advancements:
1) The new AppleTV (4th generation) was just released this week! I haven’t had a chance to play with one yet but.. I’m slightly skeptical of the added price tag, starting at $149; all the demo videos of the new unit show it having added Siri (voice-control), some gaming options (using the new AppleTV remote as a game controller or optional gaming controllers available), & better user interface. Not sure what else may make it worth the price lift. I’ll find out soon enough and I’m sure it will be wonderful.
2) Basic cable gone? Now basic cable with a “required” digital box? The sun has set according to the cable companies yet, we still have many homes with TVs wired to the wall and basic cable still works (for the most part). There are some warning banners injected on certain channels that the channel will disappear, and a limited amount of channelling has disappeared but, for the most part, we still have “basic cable” without the “required” converter. If you haven’t knocked on wood now, your basic cable may very soon be gone!
3) AT&T acquired DirecTV! Now you can bundle your internet service with high-quality DirectTV service.
If you travel a lot, DirecTV might be the way to go with their “Genie Go”. This device lets customers transfer DVR content to their mobile devices and lets them watch DirecTV and their DVR content on up to 5 mobile devices from anywhere in the world with a wifi connection.
Their Genie DVR also does 4k and, now they have 4k “minis”. In the beginning (earlier this year) only Samsung TV's were able to stream 4k content from DirecTV. Now with the new 4k minis all the new 4k TVs can be hooked up.
For more DirecTV knowledge or, to inquire on a free consultation from true DirecTV experts, contact our associate (& DirecTV guru); Rainer Zach from SynchronizedHomeSolutions.com.
4) That brings up the 4k question… is a 4k TV worth the extra money? Although there’s slightly more content now (and building), I’ll quote myself from an email I sent to a customer in
September that was asking. I replied:
“If you really want the best picture... Then maybe.
I personally don't see the value when looking at the amount of 4K content available. Not to mention that I don't have 20/20 vision so I probably wouldn't ever see the difference even with a microscope.
I feel as though the picture quality of the regular models is very good, enough without the need to be pushing the envelope to up-sell; 3D, 4K, curved screens, 4 color spectrums, etc...
But to each his own, and we'd probably have more sales if I were convinced the contrary! “
If you have cable TV service, you’ve probably already received notice they are “going digital” and you will need a digital set-top box/converter for every TV in the
house. This message is important for those TVs connected to just basic cable (“basic cable” is having the coax wire plugged directly into the back of the TV and using the TVs internal tuner to get
The digital converter boxes are currently being offered at a discount by your cable company. By mid-October, every TV with cable service will have a box required. This transition allows for more HD channeling, more reliable service (since the cable company will be able to "ping” their boxes), and a slightly increased cable bill (after the first year in many cases ~$2/box/month).
TV setups that should not be directly affected by this change include: Uverse, DirecTV, Dish Network, OTA antennas, & network streaming.
Of course we’ll be here to help if anyone needs assistance with the transition!
We just started carrying a new product called “Ring”. For less than $200, plus install (our first install only took a single hour!), this product replaces your existing doorbell with a camera/intercom system that rings to your smartphone(s). No doorbell wiring? No problem, just use batteries. See below video to learn more.
In reference to my prior article on 4/20/15 - “CCTV INFECTION…?”. We’ve installed several of these systems since. The HD picture quality is a world of difference and the software app to view on is very nice. I’m currently very anxious to install this in my own home.
DirecTV free upgraded equipment. If you’re out of contract with DirecTV and have a SWM dish (most dishes are this); your first three TV systems are eligible for a free upgrade to their whole-home Genie DVR solution. Of course you do have to sign a 2-year contract and, we have to charge to install. Let us know today if you’re interested.
If the above three things aren’t of interest, please indulge yourself in my here self-promotion. We just had our website rebuilt. Peruse away!
If you have a standard analog CCTV (surveillance) system with non-HD picture quality, your system could soon have HD-TVI.
Don’t worry, HD-TVI (High Definition Transport Video Interface) isn’t an infection, rather a solution. If your home is wired with standard-analog-CCTV wiring(typically RG59 or UTP), this new technology uses “that” wire. Now there’s no need to rip your walls open to pull in new wire (Cat/network) so to install an expensive IP system. Instead we simply replace the cameras & DVR with a cost-friendly, HD-TVI system, & ta-da, you now have HD picture quality! In summary: the “technology is ideal for migration from standard definition to high definition, maximizing return on investment because existing infrastructure doesn’t need to be replaced.”
Before HD-TVI there was(and still is) HD-SDI, another similar solution however, there are many downsides to this alternative technology: higher prices, limitations on wire lengths, limited camera selection. HD-TVI addresses all of those downsides very nicely. In addition, HD-TVI recorders have more hybrid options allowing the use of your existing analog camera(s); just replace one or two cameras at a time, budget depending.
This technology is cutting edge, was developed by Techpoint in 2012 and only available to us in the past month(through distribution). If your system suffers from low-resolution picture quality, ask us… Wave Connects, M.D.
[Happy Wifi = Happy Wifey]
My wife & I are now in beautiful Jamaica. Typically we would have been out & about to partake in what the country has to offer; waterfalls, zip-lines, horse-riding, surfing, etc. Instead & unusually for us, we simply lounged around the resort, content with relaxation. This was a reminder how much vacation was in need… in particular from our two baby boys (ages 1-1/2 & 3).
While pool & beachside, my grip is off my computer and smart phone; however, my wife (and seemingly the other hotel guests) continued to “Facebook" & text-mingle with the outside world, all while relying on the hotel WiFi.
In general their access speeds were better than expected but a few times by the beach, WiFi was lacking. This sparked a brief interruption of my time in the shade with a comment hinted by frustration from my better half. This just reminded me, good wifi = happy wife = happy life.
Most every system we install now is dependent on happy wives with good Wifi, that’s what we will continue to produce!
[Progression with Sonos]
We’ve sold & installed Sonos music systems for years however, in the past our one deterrent from Sonos had been
their lack of integrability with other control systems. We mainly relied on distributed audio systems from Nuvo or Russound but, times are-a-changing.
Recently… or somewhat recently, Sonos has opened the doors to co-exist with systems we love; RTI, Control4, Crestron, to name a few. No longer having to switch between different control apps to enjoy all they offer while controlling the rest of the system has been refreshing indeed. We’re proud to say that Sonos is now our “go-to” brand for whole-house music.
If you don’t know, now you do - www.Sonos.com
Not huge news but, worth the mention: Wave Connects recently (& finally) got our name and logo registered as official trademarks!
Just in time now as I’ve already had to flash it to a Wave Connects infringer. The infringing person/company had been advertising and doing business on Craigslist using a name different by a single letter (the name still sounds and looks basically the same as ours). I won’t bother with the details but it was good having some solid backing, thank you USPTO!
Apple was just awarded a patent for an electronic wristwatch… “iWatch”.
Their watch patent claims to be a touchscreen, portable computer, mobile phone, and desktop computer, all in a wristwatch. Setting itself apart from Google’s “Smartwatch" (just released last month) & other competitors, the iWatch can be used without your phone.
There’s some hype for a product unveiling at an event on September 9th. Watch out!
[Big News, Smart Phones are Huge!]
Yeah we know… this is why we have just officially expanded our line of services by adding: Cell signal improving products.
As a certified installer for Wilson Electronics, we are committed to helping your home stay technically savvy!
Besides the obvious reasons such as reduce dropped calls & faster data speeds, there are a few reasons to equip your home with a cell booster system;
1) Less radiation from your phone. Instead of your phone radiating and stretching it’s reach to hear the signal, we move a lot of this unwanted carcinogen to the roof (or at least away from your head).
2) Longer cell phone battery life, because your
phone isn’t working as hard.
3) Also to mention: No extra contract & works with any carrier.
For a limited time, we will be offering some discounted installations on cell-signal improving systems for your home. Let us know if you’d like to improve your situation?
Keeping busy here makes me sometimes miss writing our “monthly” article. This year is flying fast; we’ve been solidifying the (Wave Connects) company structure, getting the weeds out, the flowers watered, and letting spring cleaning do it’s thing (metaphorically speaking of course).
In the past couple months we’ve seen the usual new model lineups from Yamaha, Samsung, Universal Remote Controls, and many other brands… too much to go through here. I know it’s old news now but, one happening that interested me was Google’s acquisition of “Nest”. The price tag of 3.2 BILLION DOLLARS that came with the purchase makes me wonder on the possibilities Google should be getting itself into.
Google now will have access to all those email registered accounts along with the ever-collecting data. Somehow, somewhere at Google, someone smarter than me is calculating algorithms similar to those embedded in the Nest product itself. These algorithms will soon forecast when people work, their vacation schedules, their temperature preferences, house size, and many other facts that before were impossible to acquire in such mass quantities. I also imagine there to be endless sales opportunities with all this info, hence the tremendous price tag on just a four-year-new company.
By the way, check out Nests’ latest products; Smoke & Carbon Alarms - HERE.
Despite two totaled vans (not both our fault) and my start-up van dying on us (Astro Van RIP); 2013 brought us: Prestigious awards, a 9th consecutive
year with increased sales, we birthed another future tech (baby Garren), and my firstborn son Grayson now fits an official Wave Connects work
It was a good year & many thanks go to our friends, family of customers, and the Wave Connects team (Ben, Todd, Kevin, Dean, Courtney, JT, Jordano, Jonathan, Eric, Paul, & Rachel).
Like each year before... we’re stronger than ever. 2014 is looking bright!
Paul T. James