Many people today wouldn’t buy a car without electric windows or air conditioning, especially with the summer heat wave we’ve just had.  So why buy or renovate a house that isn’t ready for today’s technology and ready for what the future may bring?  In the industry we refer to this as “Future Ready”.  All too often, I see many beautiful homes that have cabling tacked down on the outside for the various incoming services in to the modern home.  Let us explain what we mean;

Connected Home

So you’ve decided to buy a new build home, renovate an existing house or are in the early planning phase.  There will be many decisions and choices to make, such as decor colours, kitchen and bathroom units, flooring and the list is literally endless.  Once the pain of all of this is over and you’re ready to settle in to your new home, one of the first things you will do will be to order incoming services in to your home, such as Cable or Sky TV, broadband.  You will also be very likely to pick up one of the awesome looking large flat screens so you can start enjoying some entertainment as you settle in to your new home.  Here is where the problem starts.

The Problem!

Many people don’t give much thought to how the incoming services will be presented in your property, this includes builders, designers, architects and electricians, all of whom are professionals in their respective fields. Once your home is complete and you’ve moved in, you pop down to the local Curry’s or John Lewis to pick up that awesome screen I talked about earlier, when you get it home you find you have a slight issue.  Maybe you wanted the TV mounted on the wall, but realise there are no connections or power there, or maybe you want to put it on a tabletop stand, but realise you can’t make all the connections to the screen as you only have power available there.

Almost all TV’s now come with a wide variety of input connections, such as DVB-T (Aerial / Freeview), DVB-S (Satellite / Freesat), Ethernet (For streaming services such as Netflix), Radio Frequency, Bluetooth, WiFi and possibly more.  You find that you may only have an aerial connection if you’re lucky and realise you wish to take full advantage of that 4K HDR TV you just purchased, so decide to order Sky Q.

Along comes the Sky installer and starts to drill holes in your new or recently refurbished property. One to feed the cable through the wall and another to anchor his ladder as required by Sky’s health & safety policy. Also the installer will never install the dish higher than first floor level, as once again they are prohibited by internal policies from doing so, they can’t even drill holes above head height.

So once they have got the cable through the wall they will tack this down along your skirting boards until they get near the TV. Then they connect up the box and wire it up to your TV, if your TV is wall mounted, you’ll have that nasty HDMI lead trailing to a TV cabinet or unit. All up and running and they’ll be off, each installer has about 9 installs to complete in a 8 hour day, so they’re looking for the quickest and easiest install, not the prettiest!

Bad Sky Cabling

Online Services & WiFi

OK, so you’ve got the TV setup, Sky Q or Virgin is installed, you then wish to take advantage of some online streaming services from Sky, Amazon Prime, Netflix or Disney+.  Your TV will have a hard wired ethernet port as well as WiFi, you realise there is no hard wired ethernet port behind your TV, so you use WiFi.

“What’s wrong with WiFi” I hear you say. 

Have you ever experienced that buffering screen, or general slowness, these are typical symptoms of WiFi, especially when you have multiple devices connected to a basic router supplied by your service provider (we’ll talk more about WiFi later).  As a general rule of thumb, fixed devices such as TV’s, Fridges, Ovens, Game Consoles, Set top boxes etc should all use hard wired connections, leaving the WiFi for wireless devices that move around the home, such as phones, tablets and laptops.

WiFi has improved considerably over the years with faster speeds and better range, but it’s not a perfect technology and no substitute for a hard wired connection. Not to mention it’s half duplex technology, meaning only one device can communicate at a time, instead of many devices being able to all communicate at once, this all happens in milliseconds but you get the idea.

Then you have an ISP supplied router, that promises to be even better than before and has an extended range with no dead spots, whilst true, your neighbours will also have similar devices.  Have you ever tried  searching for a WiFi network and see more than just your own? All ISP’s set their routers on a default channel or on auto, which will overlap your neighbours WiFi channel too, making both of your networks very slow.  If you live in a flat or maisonette, this problem is even worse.

Adding WiFi boosters, changing channels are all options, but aren’t real solutions, imagine you added a few boosters to help with bad coverage.  Now you take a WhatsApp voice call or FaceTime someone, as you move around the property you may notice drop outs, freezes, disconnects which leads to a poor experience, this is because your device is switching between all the boosters you have dotted around, not ideal.

The simple solution is to install an inexpensive Enterprise Grade WiFi system with access points optimally positioned around the property that allow seamless roaming, it will also have a controller to continually optimise the network, even when your new neighbour gets his ISP router and plugs it in, your network will dynamically adjust itself to reduce any overlap or interference.

Most devices now come with some sort of connection option, not just TV’s but Ovens, Fridges and Washing Machines.

It is very important that all of this is planned out by a certified professional to ensure you can just get on with enjoying your new home, instead of fighting with technology, this is where K i S can help you by simplifying the technology experience in your new home.