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Holiday Tech Guide 2020

by Ronald Elias

The holidays are always a busy time of year – 2020 being no exception – and all of us at Mission Audio Video wanted to take a second before things got even busier to make sure to educate all of our customers on the latest and greatest in the technology and smart home worlds. 

The industry has seen plenty of ups and downs this year, but December is the perfect time to look back at some of the newer technologies and how they can improve you and your family’s home life. 

So, what are the big topics you should know about? Whether you are just getting started with the wide world of home automation, or you are a long-time adopter, here’s an explainer of some of the newer technology on the marketplace, and a look at what you should be paying attention to for the holidays and as we head into 2021!

Home Security: Cameras

Just because we all spent a lot of time at home this year doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be spending time thinking about home security. 

A smart home security system is a must-have for most of our clients, and it meets many of their needs at once. And, by integrating your smart home security system with your larger home automation system, the benefits only grow -- truly giving you the best of both worlds.

As for smart security cameras, you won’t believe how much they’ve improved over the years. With 1080p resolution and a host of alert features, smart security cameras can even go so far as to tell the difference between leaves or other normal outdoor false flags and genuine security alerts that you should be notified about. 

TV Tech: 8K 

While this year saw a huge increase in the amount of consumer-level 8K TVs available, that didn’t lead to an increase of 8K content being available – you are still going to be hard pressed to find much in the way of native 8K content these days. 

That doesn’t mean that 8K is a bad investment, but just as we talked about here on the blog last month, you are only going to get the benefit on a large screen that you are sitting quite close to. 

For most people, that means you will probably be able to get away with 4K for another year, at least. But, if you are looking for the best resolution possible in your home theater this holiday season, then 8K is always going to be your best-looking option, and we have plenty of home-theater ready 8K options we can show you that would make great gifts for the whole family. 

Music: Tech Smart Speakers and Whole Home Audio

If you haven’t jumped on board the whole-home audio and smart-speaker train, what are you waiting for?

Between the Sonos Move speaker, the new Apple HomePod, or new versions of Google Home and Amazon Echo, everybody really is getting ready for the day when each and every speaker in the home is not only smart, but can also play and work with the rest of your smart home. 

If you really want to surprise somebody this holiday, you could secretly set up a whole home audio system and then surprise them by having it all implemented, installed, and ready to go before they are any the wiser! Give us a call at (805) 682-7575 – we’d be glad to help get your smart home set up with a whole home audio system that will blow your family away. 

Phone/Network Tech: 5G

We’re expecting chatter around 5G to really pick up, especially now that the iPhone 12 is compatible with this new wireless technology standard. The good news is that with Apple jumping on board, the number of people with 5G-ready phones should continue to increase throughout the year and into next year. The problem? Most places don’t have access to true 5G networks yet. 

As far as the holiday shopping season goes, if you MUST have the latest and next best thing, 5G is most likely going to dominate cell phone conversations for years to come. There’s just not much application for it yet for most cities and locations. But, at the very least, it’s technology to keep an eye on, as it could make a big difference when it comes to your cellular data – and your home network – in the years to come. 

Even More Network Tech: A True Smart Home Network

If there’s one thing all of us learned in 2020, it’s to expect the unexpected. If there’s anything else we learned, it’s that home wireless networks are not set up nearly as well as business or enterprise networks. 

This problem only got further complicated when we brought all our work computers and phones and devices home, and added them to our tablets, smart devices, TVs, video game systems, and so on and so forth. Those Wi-Fi networks sure got crowded, fast!

The good news is that with solid smart home networking products, you can easily stream video calls from as many laptops as you want (OK, within reason!), and your kids can still stream Netflix, and your whole home audio speakers will still be able to communicate with your smart home controller. If there’s one major upgrade to recommend as a gift for the whole family, upgrading your smart home network is THE big-ticket item. 

If you are interested in smart home technology, these topics are just the tip of the iceberg. There’s so much more exciting and upcoming technology we could talk about, whether it’s smart shading, smart lighting, outdoor lighting, face recognition, or any of the other exciting products that have continued to advance and grow this year! 

The best way to stay informed? Keeping your eyes on this blog in 2021, that’s how! And if you are looking for further help with your smart home project, give us a call today at (805) 682-7575 and remember that we’re always here to help our customers. 

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