New Ways to Stay Safe for the Holidays

It’s one of the busiest times of the year for most people. You’re probably one of them. Thankfully, technology can help lighten the load for you. Here are some examples of what those white coated lab rats have been cooking up to help.


Out of the House, Fast and Easy


When you’re rushing out the door on your way to your next holiday function, the last thing you have time for (before getting stuck in traffic) is scurrying around your house, turning off the lights, closing the shades, and killing all the TVs and music. Sure, LED lights don’t waste as much power as incandescent lamps, but still, you’re pretty green at heart, right?


Now, you can just say, “I’m leaving now” and the house will do its thing, so you don’t have to. If that’s just a bit too 21st century, we can put the whole shebang on a single button press by the mudroom door, so you just hit it on the way out. It can also happen automatically when arming your security system to leave. Easy as pie!


Put Down My Packages, Please


Package theft is rampant during this time of year. If you’re gated, hey, one less worry for you. If not, we can help ensure your deliveries stay yours, or the PD can at least track down the perps.


Step 1: Install a motion/photocell controlled light on the porch or have us program it to come on automatically at dusk. Yes, your packages aren’t usually delivered during dark hours, but you may arrive home then. 


Step 2: Cover the porch with a camera. If we’ve already installed a camera and recorder for you, that’s fantastic. You should have us over to check everything out to make sure it’s functioning correctly.


Cool New Developments to Keep You and Your Property Safe


CCTV Cameras have come a long way in terms of clarity, but that’s only the beginning. They, like everything else in tech, are also becoming smarter. Their added brain power can save you plenty of headaches, while helping to catch the bad guys.


Motion detection features have been part of CCTV systems for years. A big problem is that they respond to many motion events that really aren’t a threat. That raccoon in your front yard may present a clear and present danger to fluffy, but it’s probably not going to run off with your packages. The same can be said for the bird that flew into the picture.


So, now your system can ignore such things. The field of video analytics is finally coming to the home. Developed for use by governments and large institutions, the technology goes much deeper when analyzing video. The result is no more raccoon, but you can tell if a car drove the wrong way down your street, or an adult ventured into your lawn.


You’d expect the CIA and Bellagio Hotel/Casino to have such sophisticated hardware but probably not an average citizen. The same can be said for a smart watch, though. Dick Tracy never imagined anything with apps! Drop us a line to discuss how we can help bring this to your home.


Every Piece of the Holiday Puzzle


4K is here to stay, and yes it looks real! The last puzzle piece, something to watch, is here too, as myriad providers are releasing and rereleasing titles in 4K. Enhancement technologies, such as High Dynamic Range (the “HDR” you see some TVs touting) make it even better.  4k displays are plentiful, and are finally the true standard. Even video game consoles have adopted 4K. 4K BluRay disc players are here and more are on the way.


If it all sounds fantastic, well, it is, but…… Yeah, you just knew there was one of those. 4K uses a bit of copy protection technology called HDCP 2.2. Yep, it’s another acronym, but the content producers insist on complicating everything in the name of digital piracy fighting. Then, there’s another bit of alpha-babble called HDMI 2.0. It’s the cable and transmission format the signal uses to get from one device to another.


Why does this matter?


It doesn’t, if you simply have a 4K TV and plug it in to your cable or satellite box with a brand new, compatible HDMI cable. Where the whole thing starts going sideways is if your system is more complicated, and you have surround sound and multiple sources (think Roku, cable/satellite receiver, Playstation 4, etc…).


All devices in your system, including cables, must be 4K compatible. If not, the wheels can come right off the bus, and you’re left with a big, fat blank screen and a whole lot of quiet. Relax! We can take a look and make sure your system is compatible with the latest tech, before you’re left staring at much nothingness. Sometimes it’s as simple as swapping out a cable or two. We’ll take a look for you though, while the bus is still merrily rolling down the street.