Smart Home Entertainment Options
Taking Entertainment to the Next Level
How do you watch TV? Are you a cable person? An over-the-air broadcast person? Do you use Netflix or another streaming service primarily? Regardless of which approach you take, the way we watch TV has changed dramatically in the past decade; especially when it comes to movies. VHS ruled for decades, and was ultimately replaced with DVD’s. Then came the BluRay discs. Now, even those are fading from existence.
Today, most people stream. It’s cheaper than renting or cable, and it’s incredibly convenient. Here are three methods you can link your TV to your smart home, so that you can enjoy nearly endless smart home entertainment options for your viewing.
Google Home and Google Chromecast
For about $30 you can pick up a Chromecast dongle. With this dongle you can connect any smart device to your TV, so you don’t actually even need the Google Home device. Straight from your smartphone, you launch the Netflix app, find your favorite show, and then “cast” it over to your television.
But there’s an even easier way. Using a Google Home device, you can connect a smart TV to your Chromecast, and all you have to do is tell the device what you want to watch. Just say, “Hey Google, play West Wing on the living room TV.” And it will all fire up for you. If West Wing isn’t your cup of tea, you can probably watch cat videos too.
Amazon FireStick and Alexa
Alexa has taken over many of our lives. In part because it’s super affordable. You can pick up an Alexa Dot for under $40, and a FireStick for under $40 as well. Link the two together and you have all your entertainment at your fingertips.
Even if you don’t want a Dot, Echo, or any other speaker device, you can connect your Amazon account to just the FireStick. With voice activation you don’t have to type anything in; simply hold the speaker button on the remote, and say what you’re looking for. If you have an Amazon Prime account you can watch Prime TV and movies right through the device.
Apple TV and Apple HomePod
Apple makes great devices. But their voice recognition software is trailing a bit behind the other two. That’s not to say it isn’t a great option. It’s the more expensive choice, but Apple devices are known for their quality.
Connecting your Apple TV to Netflix and syncing it with your HomePod you can watch your favorite shows, even when you can’t find the remote. Just say, “Hey Siri, play West Wing” and it will launch right into the show.
Welcome to the Era of Smart Home Entertainment
We live in a connected world. As the old and bulky proprietary systems fade away, we are left with some amazing streamlined technology. You can update a house to be connected for relatively cheap now, so that your lights work by voice control or they go on and off all by themselves. Your smart home entertainment options are just a “Hey (Siri, Google, Alexa)” away, and we really don’t have a need for remotes anymore.
Of course, technology breaks. When it does, come see us at either of our Billings locations. We will get you fixed up.