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WiFi 6 Coming at Ya?

Wi-Fi 6 is the newest version of the 802.11 standard for wireless network transmissions that people commonly call Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi 6 isn’t a new means of connecting to the internet like fiber — rather, it’s an upgraded standard that compatible devices, particularly routers, can take advantage of to transmit Wi-Fi signals more efficiently.

While it is still an unknown, the industry touts based on testing only that Wi-Fi 6 will offer speeds that are roughly 30% faster than Wi-Fi 5, with theoretical maximum transfer speeds up around 10 Gbps.

The actual number you ultimately experience will really depend on context, though, because it’s a lot more speed than you’re likely to ever need from a single device. In environments with lots and lots of devices that need to connect, Wi-Fi 6 might make a huge difference. In small homes with only a few devices on the network, the difference might be harder to notice.

The other important thing to keep in mind is that the speed from your internet service provider (ISP) is like a speed limit for your local network — a Wi-Fi 6 router won’t magically speed it up. Right now, most plans don’t go nearly that high.

In other words, ISPs still have a lot of work to do with fiber rollouts and such in order to really capitalize on next-gen router technology, and that might take years. But when those faster ISP speeds get here, it appears that the hardware will be ready to go.

If the most advanced technology a device supports is 802.11ax, then it shall be identified as generation Wi-Fi 6. If the most advanced technology device supports is 802.11ac it will be identified as Wi-Fi 5. And, if the most advanced technology a device supports is 802.11n, it will be identified as generation Wi-Fi 4.

When will Wi-Fi 6 get here?

Wi-Fi 6 is already technically a thing — it’s a new, certified standard that newly-made wireless devices can put to use. Since it is officially up and running, it’s a pretty sure bet that the next generation of laptops, streaming devices and Wi-Fi smart home devices will follow suit.

Apple Fans will get plenty out of the Apple TV 4K

Apple TV 4K is a solid choice for streaming with its super fast A10X Fusion processor, as long as your Internet connection can handle it. The new option to copy login info directly to the Apple TV from iPhones, iPads and Apple laptops will reduce the amount of time spent entering passwords. Plus if you have a third-or fourth generation Apple TV now, it will automatically sync your previous TV OS layout.

You can use Siri to search for content, including cross-platform searches though Apple’s library of apps isn’t as diverse as Roku’s. You can send images, video and audio via AirPlay 2 from a supported iOS device. You also have access to the iTunes store and its library and can use the intuitive questions and statements for voice-controlled searches.

You will need to use Ultra high-speed HDMI cable connections to see Dolby Vision, so that may result in some additional costs and set up.

Halloween High Tech

Forget jack-o-lantern carving and bobbing for apples. Halloween is now about 3-D imaging, home automation and creative use of drones.

The future is 3D. Kids and adults alike will build costumes and props using 3D printers. It’s obvious that automation programming and use of motion sensors can be leveraged to improve haunted houses experiences. Control everything from the fog machines, the “blood fountains,” the science lab, audio distribution, lighting, numerous IP cameras and security features, and more—and everything can be turned on, or off, with just the simple touch of a button.

High-tech Halloween costumes are all the rage using LED lighting in a variety of way. Popular mechanics has quite a few samples for the DIYer in you.
Now that drones are affordable and readily available, we can probably expect to see some clever Halloween uses for the technology.

Human Centric Light (HCL)

The latest advance to mimic nature.

Because we crave nature with every fiber of our being and we suffer physically, mentally and emotionally from our severe nature deprivation, the home technology sector is warming up to human-centric (circadian) lighting. HCL is a classic tool for mimicking nature through changes in lighting intensity and color temperature that replicate natural daylight patterns from dusk until dawn.

Scientific evidence abounds for the health benefits of circadian lighting when you’re trapped indoors for 90% of the day. It is now big business for office buildings and hospitality, prisons and schools and soon to be for homes and apartments where builders, developers and smart-home integrators play.

Two recent discoveries indicate we have non-visual photosensors during the day and melatonin at night. Disruption of these natural light patterns confuses our highly evolved circadian circuitry, which informs our sleep, hormone secretions, alertness, neurological functions, metabolism, immune systems, moods…pretty much everything that makes us human at the cellular level.

Artificial lighting that simulates daylight makes us more productive and happier during the day and helps us sleep at night. Dusk-appropriate lighting in the evening helps us wind down for bedtime. Expect to see and hear more about what you can do to make your home’s lighting healthier for you.

Rescanning your TV Antenna

The process is pretty simple but varies a bit depending on what brand of TV you own. Start by using your TV remote control (or a digital converter box remote if you still have an older analog TV) to press the Menu or Setup button. You may see the Channel Scan control right away, or it could be one layer down, under Antenna, Channels, or Channel List. It might be called “Live TV” (for LG TVs) or “Broadcast” (for Samsung sets).

If you don’t see any of those options as soon as you press the Menu button—and that’s not unusual—you’ll have to go one layer deeper by first choosing Settings or Setup.

Once you find Channel Scan or Channel Tuning, you may have a choice to tune automatically (Autotune or Autoscan) or manually. You want the automatic option, which will make the TV search through all the channels.

If you don’t see any of these options, you can usually perform a channel scan by selecting the Input button on the TV remote or in the TV’s main menu, then choosing Antenna.
Depending on the number of channels you can receive, it could take a few minutes to complete the rescan. If it doesn’t work the first time, try again. We recommend doing a second channel scan anyway just to see whether you get any stations you missed on the first rescan.

If you’re already using an antenna to get free TV, you’ll probably only need to rescan your TV—you won’t need any new equipment.
The one exception is if a local station moves from UHF (channels 14-51) to VHF (channels 1-13) and your current antenna is either UHF-only or gets poor VHF reception. In those cases, you might want to consider a new antenna.