Category Archives: Residential

Wellness Technology Needs Remain High

While the market for wellness technology has slowed down, it isn’t stopping.
The top 10 most frequently installed wellness technology include:
  1. Indoor air quality sensors/filters
  2. motorized shade control tied to astronomic timers
  3. human-centric lighting controls and fixtures
  4. Indoor air quality/central vacuum
  5. Immersive/integrated home fitness gear
  6. water quality monitoring systems
  7. nature-related audio/soundscaping
  8. aroma infusers
  9. smart sleep technology
  10. nature-related visuals/digital art

Telework is not going away

The Pandemic forced many businesses to set up teleworking and while people are returning to the office due to vaccinations and new protocols for safety, many businesses are sticking with teleworking.
There are two reasons that businesses are choosing teleworking.
First off, it allows a business to lease less square footage of commercial space. So while businesses may want to get their employees back into the office while they have all this empty space they are currently paying for, as leases come up in the future, we may start to see more teleworking and smaller commercial workspaces.
The second reason is that people saw the advantages of teleworking; no commute, more time with family and less risk of getting sick from fellow colleagues. If the worker can prove they can do the job well from home, employers are more prone to let them stay home either 100% of the time or most of the week. While teleworking had many challenges, it also proved to have a positive impact on society.
Just look at a recruitment site and you will see more virtual jobs being offered than ever before. Businesses have invested in hardware & software to manage employees virtually and want to continue to use this investment, so new positions are being examined closely now as to whether they will be an in-office job or a virtual job.
One thing is for certain, businesses & even more importantly, workers will need to ensure their home’s network infrastructure is designed for telework, since it is here to stay.

H&ONS Goes Back to its Roots

Beginning July 1, 2021, we are going back to our roots. When we started in 2003, we started as a networking company. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough of a market back then for networking services in the home, so we expanded into the Audio & Video sector and have grown from there.

Over the last 5 years, we have seen a strong demand for networking needs, whether simply getting Internet service to new rooms in a home or installing a full scale home network infrastructure. Therefore, we have decided to take only network related work going forward. This includes hard wiring (Ethernet) & wireless (WiFi) work. There are many AV companies out there that focus their services on TVs and projectors, audio and other products, so we will leave that work to them.  In addition to AV companies, there are security companies who install cameras, video doorbells and other equipment of that nature.  We have found that people really need someone who understands residential networking and how to design and install it right. In addition to this major change, we will also discontinue working with contractors on remodeling projects where we have to work our schedule around other trades. It has been a major challenge over the years trying to take care of our clients while anticipating when a contractor needs us back.

With these changes, we will also be able to perform service calls expediently. Service calls for existing clients can be performed on any past installations, including AV and camera work.

We will have at least one day a week set aside for service calls so we can better respond to issues our clients face. We will also keep Mondays open for writing estimates from site surveys performed the week before. This should result in faster turnaround of estimates and scheduling of networking installations.

We really appreciate the variety of business that our customers have brought to us over the years.  We know that these changes will result in some of our customers having to go elsewhere for projects, but in looking at the overall scheme of things, we feel these changes need to be made at this time.

 

QLED vs. OLED

For the last few years, Samsung, the most popular TV maker in the world, has been branding its TVs “QLED.” Its 2021 QLED lineup is massive, with Neo QLED models in 4K and 8K resolution, The Frame art TVSerif and the Sero rotating TV all bearing the Q. Meanwhile, LG’s 2021 OLED TVs include six series, from the relatively affordable A1 to the 8K Z1 to a model that rolls up like a poster.

Picture quality comparison:

QLED TV picture quality varies more than OLED. Samsung and TCL each have multiple QLED series and the most expensive perform a lot better than the cheaper ones. That’s mainly because the biggest improvements in the picture quality of QLED sets don’t have much to do with quantum dots. Instead they’re the result of mini-LED backlightsbetter full-array local dimming, bright highlights and better viewing angles, which help them outperform QLED (and non-QLED) TVs that lack those extras.

Meanwhile, every OLED TV I’ve reviewed has very similar image quality — all have earned a 10/10 in picture quality in my tests. There’s some variation among different OLED TVs, but they’re not nearly as significant as the differences between various QLED TV series. In 2021, LG and Sony will sell the first OLED TVs that might perform significantly better, thanks to higher brightness. We’ll see.

OLED has better contrast and black level. One of the most important image quality factors is black level, and their emissive nature means OLED TVs can turn unused pixels off completely, for literally infinite contrast. QLED/LCD TVs, even the best ones with the most effective full-array local dimming, let some light through, leading to more washed-out, grayer black levels and blooming around bright sections.

QLED is brighter. The brightest QLED and LCD TVs can get brighter than any OLED model, which is a particular advantage in bright rooms and with HDR content. In my tests, however, OLED TVs can still get plenty bright for most rooms, and their superior contrast still allows them to deliver a better overall HDR image than any QLED/LCD TV I’ve tested.

OLED has better uniformity and viewing angles. With LCD-based displays, different areas of the screen can appear brighter than others all the time, and backlight structure can also be seen in some content. Even the best LCDs also fade, lose contrast and become discolored when seen from seats other than the sweet spot directly in front of the screen. OLED TVs have almost perfectly uniform screens and maintain fidelity from all but the most extreme angles.

Resolution, color, video processing and other image quality factors are basically the same. Most QLED and OLED have the same resolution and 4K, and both can achieve 8K resolution too. Neither technology has major inherent advantage in color or video processing areas. Check out OLED vs. LCD for more details.

QLED can get bigger and smaller (and cheaper)

There are only five sizes of OLED TV on the market today: 48-, 55-, 65-, 77- and 88-inch, with an 83-inch version on sale later in 2021. Meanwhile, QLED TVs come in 32, 43-, 49-, 55-, 65-, 75-, 82-, 85- and, yes, 98-inch sizes. Of course, non-QLED LCD TVs can get even smaller.

One big advantage, so to speak, that QLED and LCD have over OLED is the cost of mainstream sizes over 65 inches. Large televisions are the fastest-growing segment of the market and show no signs of slowing down. LG’s 77-inch OLED costs around $3,300, significantly more than most 75-inch QLED TVs, and in larger sizes the difference is even more drastic.

Samsung is actually working on an OLED TV of its own (again), investing $11.1 billion in new facilities to create “QD display” tech that’s basically OLED with a different name — and quantum dots, natch. Rumors pin 2022 as the earliest customers could buy one.

For now, however, OLED rules the picture quality roost over QLED.

Source: https://www.cnet.com/news/qled-vs-oled-samsung-and-lg-tv-technologies-explained/

Sales of Networking Gear Rise

Likely driven by the work from home and distance learning trends, the PowerHouse Alliance distribution group recently created a white paper discussing the emerging trend in consumer networking. This white paper was based on a survey of over 55 distributors analyzing sales data from the start of 2020 through the end of 2020.

Using these distributor interviews and sales data pulled from 2020, they anticipate a 54% increase in home networking in 2021. In addition, they project a 15% increase in home control/automation and 4K displays.

Manufacturers have done a great job at keeping up with spikes in demand, in spite of the difficulty finding integrators to actually perform the installations. However, we are seeing inventory levels of network electronics dropping due to the backup of container ships at the ports.  This may start to have an effect on projects in the near future.   Hopefully, manufacturers will continue to produce and get their products out while these new trends encourage more AV integrators to focus on the networking and not just the audio and video aspect of business.

Home & Office Network Solutions has been specializing in networking since its inception in 2003.