How to be Ready for the Holiday

It’s that time of year again. Homes full of folks and the big guy doing his chimney scurrying thing again. These days it’s not unusual to have a new media streamer, like an AppleTV or Roku, fall out of his bag. That means you can enjoy more programming than ever, and most of at wrapped around your schedule, instead of the reverse.

You may not have heard, but there’s a content revolution a’brewing. Streaming media companies, like Netflix and Hulu are spending billions on new content. Some of it they’re buying, but much of it they’re producing themselves. This isn’t “shot in the garage with a camcorder and a worklight” type stuff either. We’re talking sky-high production values with all-star casts.

Much if this new content is created in 4KHDR, the highest quality, commonly available format. If you’ve gotten a new TV in the last couple of years, it’s most likely 4K, and many support HDR. Many people report HDR makes an even greater difference than going from “full HD” 1080 to Ultra HD 4k. (Fuller HD??).

But . . .

Yeah, there’s always one of those. Most of the newer streaming media players support 4K and HDR, so if the content comes that way, you can enjoy it to the fullest. Know that so much quality requires massive amounts of data, and every part of your system must be up to the challenge.

For example, if you have a TV and and sparkly new AppleTV 4K plugged into it, the HDMI cable between the two must be certified for 4K HDR or you’ll likely get signal dropouts and other unpleasantness. The same is true for every cable and component between the source and display, whether that’s a TV or projector.

Now there are several providers such as Hulu Live, DirecTV, Sling TV, and YouTubeTV that offer streaming live TV. In some cases you can even get sports channels that may be otherwise unavailable. We’re talking several of the Power-5 conference networks, NAIA live game feeds, or Ivy League broadcasts. Between that and binge watching, there’s a plethora of content available to supplement what shows up from your dish or cable.

Don’t Do It!

We’ve blathered on about this before, but there’s a common thread that binds all your streaming content together. It’s your network, and all things streaming show up only after passing through it. Although most streaming media players have built-in WiFi, don’t use it unless it’s unavoidable. That little streaming box isn’t going anywhere, so it doesn’t need a WiFi connection. We recommend using a wired network connection if a device gives you the option.

Better save your precious WiFi so your kids can 2nd screen on their tablet while watching TV. Basically, reserve your WiFI for mobile devices and laptops, while offloading data hogs like streaming media players to your hard-wired network.

Of course, we are happy to help you sort this whole thing out before anything gets unwrapped this year. Contact Us Now and we can discuss how to make your home entertainment be more, well, entertaining than ever this holiday season.

The Rest of the Family

Tracer Johnson

Tracer Johnson

The average dog can be trained to understand roughly 250 different words and gestures, many of which they will eventually learn organically. For example, that’s why when you say “Time for dinner.” Your canine gets so excited. They’re well aware what the word d-i-n-n-e-r means!

Although you’ve always heard that your dog pants to dissipate excess heat because they don’t sweat, that’s only partially true. Dogs actually do sweat; through the soles of their feet, but the heat loss is negligible, hence the panting.

OK, just remember we're always here to make tech easier and more fun for you. We keep up with the crazy pace of change in home and technology so you don't have to (as much). Drop us a line any time if you've a tech question, or just need to bend an ear.