Category Archives: Residential

System Updates

Pain in the…

I’m not going to sugar coat it. System updates are a pain. If you have not experienced a system update on your TV, then YEAH for you. However, that means you either don’t have cable, smart features, stream or many of the other things a TV and components can do these days. So, those readers can move on to another article or email.

For those who have seen system updates, if you are like me your first reaction is total panic followed by yelling for Lew. OK, not followed by yelling for Lew, since he isn’t in your home. System updates are imbedded into most new technology. They are not much different from the updates you get on computer software, i.e. those Windows updates, smart phone updates, Mac updates & so on. They are simply in your TV or some other component and chances are they will show up.

So what do you do when you get an update. Follow the directions on the screen precisely. And, if things then don’t work, you can call the manufacturer’s tech support department and ask them to walk you through it. Or, go online to their site for update support.

If this doesn’t get you up and running, unfortunately you will require a service call from an AV senior level specialist. Sometimes you have such a sophisticated system that your update causes something else not to work. That is the price we all pay for interconnecting so many components. So when there aren’t updates, we are happily enjoying our TV shows, sports & movies.

New name, same great service!

Beginning June 1, 2015, Home Network Solutions and Office Network Solutions were merged into Home & Office Network Solutions. We have changed our logo & updated our website. We are still incorporated and licensed as Home Network Solutions, LLC.

While we have merged our two business entities into one brand, and changed our internal structure, our services have changed only slightly. We will continue to provide home and office network solutions as we have done since opening in 2003.

Since we have noticed some major changes in the market for various services offered, we will be putting our energy into three main specialty areas:

Network Infrastructure: Designing and installing hardwired and wireless networks will be our primary service. Due to the skill set of owner, Lew Little, we are able to bring you high quality networking services both in the residential and commercial sectors.
Electronics: We will continue to offer residential and business electronic installation services, including working with contractors, remodelers and interior designers, however we will be limiting the scope of work we accept to ensure we have the skilled labor to complete your project professionally & on time. This can be determined during our initial phone conversation or at the site survey.
Service Calls: In the AV business, it takes a technician with at least 15 or more years of troubleshooting experience, to identify and correct a problem with Audio, Video, Data and Voice. With over 40 years of experience, including a team of specialists, we are able to quickly determine problems within your system and move towards resolution.

Home Network Solutions, LLC using the name Home & Office Network Solutions is a licensed contractor and warranties all work. The name change also does not impact any existing warranties with both Home Network Solutions and Office Network Solutions, as they will still be honored.

Lastly, excluding situations where we are utilizing one of our specialists for electrical, telephone & control system programming, owner, Lew Little, will personally be involved in all installations either alone or with the aid of another technician depending on the type of job.

We look forward to servicing your needs for years to come. Please don’t be shy about sending us referrals. As we always have, referrals are given priority treatment just behind clients.

Thank you for your continued support of our business and we look forward to being your network solutions company for years to come. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call or email us.

Lew & Bonnie Little

Owners

Making the switch to wireless Audio?

Wireless has come a long way in the last 10 years. While it used to be limited to communications and data, i.e. telephones and computers, it has expanded to audio and even a few TVs.

But, before you decide to go wireless with your audio you really need to understand it better. PC Magazine has a very easy to read article called the 10 Best Wireless Speakers. They aren’t just touting speakers, but they actually explain the pros and cons when searching for wireless products.

We utilize wireless audio in many of our projects, generally to expand wired audio platforms. For example, a client has a receiver and speaker set up and wants to add a speaker to their patio or to another room. We look towards wireless products that can tie in to that existing hardwired system and give them the sound quality they want.

The industry has made some great advances in wireless audio, but there are still limitations. Having a professional assist you with your home WIFI network will help you avoid the frustrations that many people face when they aren’t getting optimum audio performance.

Dead Zones in Home

Can you fix areas with poor wireless access?

If your home has areas that cause your WiFi to drop on your phone, smart device, computer, etc., this can generally be resolved or at least reduced substantially. While communication companies like Xfinity, Fios, etc. enjoy advertising the best and fastest speeds for streaming and Internet access, in actuality they can only bring this speed into your home.

Depending on the size & structure of the house, you may not have the proper network system set up. When all you depend on is the router that came from your cable provider, you could end up with dead zones.

As we enter an era where everything is “network ready”, the systems that you get from the Internet service providers (ISPs) are just the base for what you will need. If you are even considering streaming video, you have to have a better in-house network system in place. Those with home based businesses or those working from the home most definitely need at least one hard wired computer and strong wireless, especially if you are using your cell phone or tablet to do business from home.

If you want to learn about home networking, read this article from PC Magazine “The Ultimate Guide to Home Networking”. Or if you want to optimize your home’s network, call us. We strive to put in systems that work reliably and constantly.

Home Network Solutions was started by Lew Little, a networking specialist. That is why when Lew visits a prospective client about Video and Audio work, he’s going to talk about networking too. Because without the proper network infrastructure, your video, audio, data and even voice systems will not be working at their optimum level, even if you are paying for the highest broadband offered from your communications carrier.

Spring has Sprung (sort of)

It has definitely been a rough winter in our area, but soon homeowners with outdoor electronics will be taking covers off their TVs and cranking up the patio and deck speakers.

Outdoor electronics are manufactured to withstand the elements. However, that does not mean that they are impervious to them. If you are planning an outdoor event, don’t wait till the day before the event to ensure your outdoor electronics are working. Test everything out fully at least 2 weeks before your events.

Here’s a list of things to do to test out your outdoor electronics.

SPEAKERS
Turn on your speakers from whatever means you use and test each. Test the radio, streaming, portable device, TV. Test all devices that use your outdoor speakers to be sure that something didn’t go wrong on the inside with your configuration and all is working through the speakers.

Obviously, go out and put your ear to each speaker. You may need to pull a ladder out for speakers that are higher up. You don’t need to put your ear up against the speaker, just close enough to be sure that sound is coming out and there is no major distortion.

For patio speakers, clean them off, brush leaves and cobwebs out of crevices. Make sure it is level as snow and wind could have moved it.

Problems: If you are not getting sound, here are a few things to check: look to be sure the connection between the speaker & cable is still there. This should be easy to do for outdoor garden and patio speakers, but you might need a ladder to get a good look at deck speaker mounted on the side of the house. Again, the elements can be vicious and can have broken a connection point. This doesn’t mean your entire cable is bad, but the connector will need to be replaced.

TVs
Outdoor TVs are made to take the sun & winter elements but covers are always recommended after usage. So, your TV should have been covered up all winter. After removing the cover, clean the TV of spiders (NOTE: Be careful when taking the cover off, things do like to hide under grill, chair & TV covers), leaves, etc. Be sure to use proper TV cleaning wipes and sprays to clean the TV.

Turn the TV on with your remote. Try everything, i.e. Cable, a movie, standard & High Def channels, streaming if you have it. Change channels, use the guide, check the volume control. Make sure if it is connected to the speakers that the speakers are working with the TV.

Again, if you having any problems, look for loose or bad connections. If it is a loose connection, tighten it up. If it is damaged, you may need to call us to repair it. If the TV doesn’t power up, be sure the electrical is on. Since you haven’t used it, a fuse could have blown & you didn’t even know it. And of course, make sure it is plugged in and if using a power strip, it is on.

These may all seem like common sense things to do, but it is amazing how many times we make a service call to plug in an electronic device. Save yourself some money and do your own check-up. We’d be happy to open up your electronic outdoors system & run it through its paces for you, but it really isn’t necessary if you have an hour to devote to it.

If you find something broken or not working, call us for a service call and we will troubleshoot & help to resolve the problem. Again, don’t wait till your party to figure out that something doesn’t work. It could be something major that could result in ordering replacement parts and that can take time. Plan early and then be ready to start enjoying your Spring.