How to Keep Your Home Electronics Up and Running Through the Winter

Winter is the season of power outages in Massachusetts. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for home electronics to misbehave after an outage. If any of your electronics stop working – whether it’s after a power outage or any other time – the first step is usually to reboot the equipment.

A reboot means turning the power off for at least 10 seconds. With cable boxes and other components, the power cord needs to be disconnected from the device or the device needs to be unplugged in order to completely power off.

Usually, rebooting is an easy fix. Sometimes devices are located within cabinetry or an equipment rack, which makes it difficult to access the cords. It can also be hard to pinpoint which device needs to be rebooted, especially for homeowners with robust electronic systems.

There are several new products available that allow ACT to assist customers remotely, preventing the need for a visit from a technician. These products can help tell which devices need to be rebooted and perform the reboots. They also help ACT get diagnostics for Internet speeds and help determine if network problems stem from an issue on the Internet Service Provider’s end.

ACT can also set up a user-friendly app our customers can use to fix common issues on their own. With the app, you can see all of your components in one place and reboot them right from the app. This can also be done remotely, which is a nice feature for second homes, homeowners returning from vacation or anyone who knows their home has lost power when they’re not there.

We know our clients don’t enjoy making service calls or waiting for repairmen or technicians. With this new class of products, in most cases, our clients can either fix home electronics issues on their own or have problems resolved via a phone call with ACT.

For more information and pricing, please call ACT at 781-741-5959.

Sonos Wireless Audio – Is It For You?

People often call us looking for a Sonos system, and it’s easy to see why. Sonos is affordable and very simple to install, making it a great choice for a lot of homeowners. ACT is a Sonos dealer and we have installed many Sonos systems.

If you are only looking for an audio system and you mainly listen to digital music, Sonos is an excellent option. It’s relatively inexpensive and can be installed quickly because minimal wiring is required. Sonos lets users listen to Internet radio (like Spotify, Pandora, etc.) and their own digital music collections (iTunes library, Amazon Cloud Player, etc.). The system is controlled by an easy-to-use app that can be installed on smartphones, mobile devices and computers.

Sonos does have the capability to add one outside source, for example, a cable box, but you won’t be able to control that source with the Sonos app.

There are several situations where Sonos may not be the best choice for you. If you want to control anything besides music in your home (such as lighting, climate, surveillance, etc.), either now or in the future, it’s worth at least looking into other options.

If you want easy control of sources beyond Internet radio and your own digital music, Sonos probably isn’t the right choice for you.

Finally, if you want a large-scale audio system with a lot of zones throughout your property, you’ll want to investigate other systems along with Sonos. As Sonos systems get bigger, prices get comparable with other, more robust options.

Sonos has dominated the wireless audio market, but ACT is excited about some of the newer offerings on the market too. One such option is Fusion Research’s Ovation Wireless Player, which is a whole-home solution (up to 16 zones) that can be controlled with an app. Fusion Research differs from Sonos in that Fusion worked with outside vendors to make sure the Ovation Wireless Player would work with control systems, including AMX, Savant, Control4, Crestron and others.

If you’re interested in an audio system for your home, please call us at 781-741-5959 for more information or to discuss your project. Consultations are always free of charge.