4 Ways a Smart Home Simply Makes Your Life Easier

For generations, we have all tried to maneuver through life the "Smart" way. Trying to find the easiest path to enjoy the fruits of life. Fast forward to 2016, we find that technology has made our lives even sweeter by making our homes smarter too!

Today's blog focuses on the top ways to make your life smarter without breaking the bank. Yes, saving money while having the best in technology is a good thing.

Many Styles of Motorized Shades With Hunter Douglas

My article, "Why you should invest in motorized window treatments," in last week's edition of #TechTuesday at HOSSMagazine.com was a real hit among readers, so I wanted to demonstrate some more different options available that works seamlessly with motorization. In my own personal opinion Hunter Douglas has the answer to your motorized shade needs. Here's a short video explaining why.

How the Apple TV 4 Won Over My Family

Apple TV 4

Our family recently purchased a new home and over the last two months we have been making a significant amount of renovations involved where we resided in the basement. We are so happy that we can finally settle in and enjoy the rewards of our efforts. Our home now feels like home.

It just so happened that no sooner did we get the media room complete that Apple came out with their latest version of the Apple TV. Apple's long-awaited fourth-generation Apple TV features an A8 processor with 32 to 64GB of storage, along with a touch-based remote control that doubles as a gaming controller. It has a brand new operating system, "tvOS," which includes deep Siri integration and a full App Store.

Here are a few things that our family has loved (and not loved) about the device so far:

Apple TV 4 Setup

The setup was virtually seamless. Through my iPhone and Bluetooth, the fourth generation Apple TV grabs everything it needs to get online and hit the ground running. It's a very cool feature in comparison to the Roku, Amazon Fire, or the Google Nexus Player.

Suri Functionality

The kids love the Suri integration on the Apple TV remote. When searching for a movie, they can ask Suri a variety of questions about the movie, such as "Who is the director?" or the "What did he say?" during a movie which prompts the movie to rewind and a closed captioning with the characters comments appears.

As well, looking up a show, like the Game of Thrones, the display will indicate that you can buy it on iTunes or stream it on HBO Go or HBO Now.

Like any new innovation, Siri only works with a handful of apps at the moment, including Netflix, iTunes, Hulu, HBO and Showtime. At this time, you can't ask what's on CBS or command Suri to find a funny YouTube video. Apple claims that there is a Suri search API in the works.

Remote Control

The layout and function of the remote is very straightforward. The trackpad is used for navigation, and pressing on it activates the selection with a satisfying click. The Menu button performs a number of tasks, such as bringing you a step back from your selection and launching the screensaver, while the Home button (logically) brings you back to the Home screen. Holding down the Siri button allows you to speak commands via two mics on the top of the remote.

The Future of Cable

Undoubtedly, it is my considered opinion that, with the fourth generation Apple TV, cable companies will continue to see a decrease with their digital television subscribers. Apple certainly hasn't met the full requirement in making APPS the new TV, but as Tim Cook of Apple explains: the future of TV is providing fast and reliable services for people to watch their shows.

For those looking to disassociate themselves with their cable provider and pick up a micro-console that will deliver a family oriented home entertainment experience, the fourth generation Apple TV is a great place to start.

Maybe your cable company will follow Apple TV's new approach in technology that offers convenience and the best in entertainment?

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