Herald Sun Home Magazine

HomeMagazine

Hartsco had a conversation recently with Herald Sun home magazine on the rise of home automation in Australia.

As you can read in the article, there really has been a recent influx of new systems and options when considering a smart home / home automation solution. With technology heavyweights Apple and Google entering the fray, along with solid manufacturer input from companies such as Samsung, Panasonic, Sony, LG, Bosch and Canon, you know this technology is only a step away from becoming common place.

However, like most technologies, how do you separate the value add systems from the, “that’s great and all, but what exactly does it do” group? Interoperability (compatibility), is key.

Try not to be swayed by one single manufacturers offering if it doesn’t have the capability to interact and work with other areas of your home, now, and in the future. It’s fantastic that we can now do so many things with a smart phone or tablet, but a home automation system is going to get frustrating very quickly if you have to use a dozen different applications to interact with it, or spend three minutes opening you phone, find an application and navigate within it just to turn on or off a light.

To plan out what you want it to do, start with thinking about the convenience and security items, the things you wish you could do quickly and easily as you run out the door late for an appointment or sit on the train on your way to the office - are all lights turned off, did I lock the door and arm the alarm, did I turn off the iron?

Extend that to the monthly budget pain points, (of which there’s probably a cross over between the pain points and the convenience items), - how do I reduce my electricity and heating bills, how can I know if my electricity consumption is abnormally high this week?

Then add in the lifestyle and luxury items such as home theatres, distributed audio, outdoor entertaining spaces.

Remember, you don’t have to do all of this in the one go. A smart solution should be able to grow with your needs and budget and should continue to add value to your home and lifestyle over time.

 

Gear up for the fastest Internet Connection available from NBN

NBN

 

Are you suffering on account of slow internet connection? Well, you could soon enjoy the fastest internet available in Australia even sooner. As per the nbnco website: “Final approval has now been granted for a landmark deal that will enable the acceleration of the rollout of the nbn network and its completion by 2020. This means nbn is now in a position to progressively take ownership of Telstra’s copper and Hybrid Fibre Coaxial cables (HFC) and use those assets where they represent the fastest and most cost-effective way to deliver fast broadband to families and businesses.

The deal, which was struck in December last year, involves no overall additional cost to the taxpayer

The latest broadband roll-out plan by NBN will see a number of homes and offices not just in cities, but also in rural Australia enjoying high speed internet very soon. The national internet service provider has been pretty busy offering connections to thousands of premises across the country. NBN is taking it one city or town at a time and if it hasn’t reached your region yet, it will soon. The question here is - how prepared are you for this high-speed internet, which will connect you to the network dubbed as the "information superhighway".

Are you ready?

NBN aims to offer each and every household in Australia access to high-speed internet by 2020. So far, it has covered approximately 400,000 businesses, and homes are already enjoying the fast broadband connection offered by NBN. If the network has not already reached you, check NBN's website to figure out when the network is scheduled to reach your area.

Whenever it does, you need to be ready with the right hardware and equipment. Lack of the right equipment (e.g. your internet router) is one of the reasons that 430,000 odd households and offices that can make the most of NBN's high speed internet, are not yet connected.

Get the right Wi-Fi router

If the NBN is already available in your area and you have found the best internet plan to suit your needs, all you need is a router that will enable you to make the most of the available high speed. NBN can provide you with a router that meets the necessary requirements, you can use your current router (check that it’s compatible) or you could shop around for a different option that may be more suited to your needs, such as one that includes extended WiFi range, VOIP capabilities and most importantly, a WAN port rated to support at least 100Mbps connections and ideally, 1000Mbps connections.

One of the options you could look at is the ASUS AC2400, which allows you to experience the NBN "fast" internet as "fast" as it should be. To be able to use this router, your system should support the 802.11ac wireless networking standard. Most of the latest laptops and PCs do support this, but if yours doesn’t, you can always get an 802.11ac adapter. For instance, Asus offers the ASUS USB-AC55 adapter for laptops and AC1900 PCI-E adapter for PCs. These plug-in adapters allow you to get high speed Wi-Fi signals from the AC router and let you experience high speed internet as it should be.

With the NBN fast internet and the Asus AC2400, you can enjoy seamless movies and TV shows on your Netflix account. In fact, all of Australia can enjoy seamless movie streaming with this new broadband network. All you have to do is get the right equipment to pull out the maximum potential.

 Read about the NBN deal here: http://www.nbnco.com.au/corporate-information/media-centre/media-releases/deal-to-accelerate-nbn-rollout-comes-into-effect.html

and about maximizing your NBN speeds here: http://blog.iinet.net.au/a-techii-guide-to-maximising-nbn-speeds/

SONOS July Sale

 Sonos Your Home

What better way to welcome in the new (financial) year and your tax return than with all the music on earth!

Hartsco are running a special on the Sonos PLAY:1 speakers for the whole of July 2015.

This month, you can enjoy a PLAY:1 for only $296.00 ea

Purchase 2 or more and we'll drop the price even further to $280.00 ea

To order, just send us an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we'll look after the rest.

Get in quick, offer only lasts until the 31st of July.

 

Advancements in Home Automation Systems and How it Simplifies Your Life

Home automation, in essence, is a technology that integrates with various electrical systems in your home to provide convenient and complete control over them. While users are relieved from the tasks that previously required manual control, home automation provides enhanced comfort and security to your household. Automating your home gives you peace of mind while simultaneously making life easier for you. Also, it makes your home security system more reliable and reduces the likelihood of human errors. But what does a modern home automation system actually do?

The trends in home automation continue to change as the industry expands every month. In fact, there is no lack of options for people who wish to build a smarter home. As the industry advances and integrates more and more technology, smart homes can even accomplish tasks like watering your lawn, monitoring your thermostat, and even making sure that you never have to worry about home security again. But even with such advancements in technology, is home automation worth considering? How does home automation help you on a daily basis? Can automating your home really simplify your life the way it promises?

Advancements in home automation

Home automation systems are getting better. With every other electrical appliance getting more and more smart features everyday, it makes it easier for your system to interact with your home. Apart from just working with home-based devices, home automation systems need to get more energy efficient and secure for people to trust them enough. Due to which, various new trends can now be observed in the home automation industry. Here are some advancements that the home automation industry is working to get better at.

  • Efficient energy management : One of the most recent trends in home automation involves efficient energy management. Utility companies can now provide you accurate information about your peak energy consumption hours, letting you keep a track of your energy usage and make appropriate adjustments. Managing the energy spent on automating your home is crucial in the long run. That is why, several new technologies in home automation revolve around the idea of efficient energy management. While you may wish to make your life comfortable and reduce the need for manual efforts, make sure it doesn't cost you a fortune.
  • Better integration : Latest technologies in home automation are looking forward to a better integrated system where all the automation features are inculcated into one central unit. There is no longer a need to perform different tasks individually. Door locks of every room in your house can now be connected to one single command.
  • Emergence of radio frequency communications protocols : Coupled with better integration and complementing the purpose of efficient energy management is the emergence of RF communication technologies like Zigbee and Z-wave. Z-wave is an interoperable and wireless protocol that enables you to access your Z-wave devices at home from anywhere using your smartphone, tablet or PC. Such advancements have certainly brought in a more affordable, reliable and easy-to-use approach to home automation.
  • Wireless automation : With wireless technology reaching new heights every other day, home automation has not been left too far behind. With the recent advancements in the market, it is no longer a necessity to use complex hard-wiring to connect your system and appliances. Almost every function can now be automated wirelessly. In fact, top-notch home automation systems have become even more streamlined and most of them can now respond to verbal commands as well.
  • Security monitoring : Security monitoring is one of the biggest steps home automation industry has taken towards development. Advanced sensors inside the system now allow you to monitor movement and behavior of residents in the house. The system can also warn you of any abnormal activity inside your home. In fact, intricate and more advanced home automation systems (like the one by Hartsco) even allow home owners to view or monitor every room inside the premises and communicate with people present in different rooms. At the very basic, an advanced home automation system can notify you about your kids coming back from school and entering the house.

How home automation can simplify your life

Apart from just making your life more comfortable, automating your home also improves your home security by making it more efficient, reliable and time-saving. From locking all doors at night to turning off the lights when nobody is around, home automation eases your everyday life by providing you more control over your home. Here are a few ways how an advanced home automation system can add simplicity and comfort to your life:

  • 24x7 access to your home : Home automation allows you to know and control who enters your home and what they do. Keeping a check on your house even when you're not at home is a technology most welcome to almost every home owner, especially parents.
  •  Homes with better security : Home automation  not only allows you to disarm or re-arm your alarm system, but it can also send you alerts about events like when the smoke detector is turned on or when the alarm goes off. With an advanced home automation system in your home, you can be comfortable about leaving your home ensuring that it is well protected.
  • Lighting and home entertainment systems: With just a smart phone or laptop, you can easily control the lighting systems in your home from virtually anywhere in the world. You can turn the lights inside your house on, before you enter your driveway. Home automation also allows you to control various remote operated systems in your home including music systems, DVR and so on. So even when you're having dinner in your dining hall, you can effortlessly command your home system to record your favorite show while you finish your meal.
  • Smart energy conservation : One of the best features of an advanced home automation system is that it allows you to automate various electrical appliances in your home. It allows you to monitor your HVC system or the thermostat and warns you when they are not kept at pre-set levels. You can automate your home appliances to shut down at certain times during the day and save a lot of money by prioritizing energy conservation.

With a long list of benefits that a home automation system offer home owners, it is no surprise that such systems are increasing in popularity by the day!

More Articles...

  1. Amazon Echo
  2. CES 2015