How To Make A Smart Home

Posted on July 14, 2018 by

With the rise of smart technology and the lowered price of smart products, creating a smart home has never been easier. Many, if not most of your current appliances including thermostats, garage doors, locks, security system, and many more, can now be easily controlled from your smartphone or device. The task of setting up a smart home can be intimidating, but with this quick guide, you can start building your smart home!

1. Finding The Right Assistant

To get started with your smart home setup, you are going to figure out which assistant best suits your needs. The assistant is the base software for your smart devices. Each assistant has their pro and cons and vary in price.

  • Amazon Alexa
  • Google Home
  • Apple Siri

2. Finding The Right Device

Once you have figured out which assistant you want, you can choose your smart home device. The device is the physical assistant you place in your home to speak into.

  • Alexa
  • Google Home
    • Google Home
    • Newer Android Smartphones
  • Apple Siri
    • Iphone
    • Ipads
    • Apple Watch

3. Adding Smart Devices/Technology

There is an ever growing list of smart home devices available. Depending on how “smart” you want your home, you can just about control anything electrical from your smart device. Here is a list of the top 9 most purchased smart home products:

  • Lightbulbs – Lightbulbs can be turned on and off with simple voice commands or from the convenience of your smartphone. You can also choose multi-color LED bulbs that give you the ability to change the color of the bulb from your phone.
  • Thermostats – One of my personal favorites, the smart thermostat, allows you to control your A/C or heat remotely from your phone or with voice commands. This is great for turning on your air conditioning or heating before you arrive home.
  • Smart Plugs – Smart plugs give you the ability to turn any plug powered appliance on and off with voice commands, through your phone, or scheduled with IFTTT (If This Than That) statements.
  • Security System/Cameras – A great addition to any home is a security system and security cameras. Having the ability to check your security system and cameras from your phone gives you an extra peace of mind when away from home.
  • Speakers – If you love music and hate having to shuffle songs on your phone, having a set of voice controlled speakers should be on your list. Easily play your favorite songs hands free with a smart speaker.
  • Televisions – Tired of looking for the remote? Most newer smart tvs can be configured to be controlled through your phone or through voice control for easy and convenient channel surfing.
  • Motion Detectors – Smart motion detectors can be used to configure all sorts of “triggers” such as turning on lights, locking doors, and many other actionable tasks.
  • Multi-Purpose Switches – Smart multipurpose switches can be used for a variety of different tasks. These are most popular with attaching to door and windows to notify users of an open door/window. They can also be used to trigger alarms for a smart home security system.
  • Garage Door Openers – Have you ever left the house and not remembered if you shut the garage door? Simply check the smart garage app and close the door remotely if needed!

In Conclusion

As you can see, there are many different ways to turn your home into a smart home. There are many starter kits to give the rookie smart home enthusiast a quick and easy setup to start their smart home. From a few smart bulbs, to fully automated schedules with home automation, homeowners are creating a more efficient home to save time and energy.

How Does Youtube TV Work

Posted on July 9, 2018 by

With the rise of streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, more and more people are making the switch from expensive cable packages to cheaper, streaming video services. While catching up on the latest episodes or watching long forgotten movies is great, there is nothing like watching live tv.

This is where Youtube has stepped in and closed this gap. Launching in early 2018, Youtube released Youtube TV – a branch of the popular site that streams live TV alongside the standard uploaded videos. Google’s mission statement is to let people watch what they want, when they want, how they want, without commitments. Could this be the end of cable? We look at all of Youtube TV’s features and what makes it the next big TV contender.

How Does Youtube TV Work?

  • Youtube TV can be bought for the low cost of $40 month with no contract commitment, meaning you can cancel at anytime.
  • Up to 6 people can watch different programs at one time on each account.
  • Youtube TV can be accessed through their dedicated mobile app or their TV app for viewing on larger screens.
  • You can watch live tv as it is being broadcasted on each channel.
  • You can also record and save programs to your library with your DVR.
  • There is a Home screen similar to Youtube that shows what you have watched and recommendation based on your watch history.

Using Youtube TV With Google Home

  • Step 1: Setup Your Chromecast & Google Home Device
  • Step 2: Using The Google Home App, Link Your Chromecast
  • Step 3: Control Youtube TV With Voice Controls

Getting Notifications From The App

A cool feature designed to allow you to never miss your show again, Youtube TV notifications, allows you to set up reminders for when your favorite shows are live. Simply click the bell icon in the app to get a push notification each time the show goes live.

What Channels Are On Youtube TV?

There are over 40 channels currently on Youtube TV including the top 5:

  • ABC
  • CBS
  • Fox
  • NBC
  • ESPN

Using Youtube TV With Google Chromecast

If you have a Google Chromecast, you will be able to stream Youtube TV to your television (unless you have the older, first generation chromecast models). This is a great thing to have if you do not have a smart tv with the Youtube TV app.

What About Ads?

A common question about Youtube TV is ‘Will I see ads if I am a Youtube Premium or Youtube Red subscriber?” Unfortunately, you will still see ads on live TV and DVR-saved videos. If you have Youtube Premium and you are a Youtube TV member, you can still enjoy ad free videos on the Youtube TV app.

In Conclusion

With cable companies not adapting to change and streaming sites offering cheaper alternatives, it’s not surprise that Youtube TV is already a hit. We foresee more channels joining the service in the near future making Google’s platform an even bigger powerhouse than before.