What’s on your wish list this holiday season for your Connected Home?
Wouldn’t it be nice if all the devices, and technology, in your home worked better together?Here are some of my thoughts for your shopping list …Music -I like having music distributed throughout my home and having a single music library from which I can play my personal library or Internet radio content. Without requiring major home renovation, here’s a cool product that uses wireless mesh technology in your home to do just that. The SONOS system connects to your home network and provides access to all of your music content. It integrates with existing stereo equipment, digital music libraries and Internet Radio, and for a modest amount of money you can add music to multiple rooms in your house. The remote control unit itself allows your digital music collection to be accessed from anywhere in the home; you don’t have to be parked in front of your PC or Mac.Storage -If you’re like me, you probably have a few PCs throughout your home -in the kitchen, in the den and somewhere convenient for the kids. With iPods, digital cameras and camcorders and downloadable movies, there’s an increasing quantity of extremely large, digital content files everywhere. And given that a piece of content is never on the right PC when it needs to be, and I don’t know any home user that has perfected the art of backup, a great addition to any Connected Home is a Network Attached Storage or NAS. NAS takes one or more large hard drives, attaches them to your router so it can be easily shared across your home, and optionally combines it with RAID technology to provide automatic backup by duplicating the content on a parallel disk. NAS systems are available in wide array of prices and capabilities. Playtime -My kids have told me the ultimate game experience is the Wii. Believe me, you don’t slouch around on the couch with this gaming experience. But at this point, you may have to find one on eBay as most stores seem to sell out of them immediately. In addition to the somewhat addicting sports games it comes with, it has an integrated Opera Web browser and integrated 802.11 wireless networking. The networking and browsers enable downloading of older technology games from Nintendo’s legacy products and also enable Web access. Never before has browsing the Web from your favorite living room chair been so user friendly from simply checking out the news or watching some YouTube on the tube-Think HD -If it’s time to upgrade some of your audio visual equipment like TVs and stereos, there are some great new Connected Home aspects to consider.Look to add home theater receivers that have wired or wireless ethernet connectivity along with multiple forms of digital audio and video interconnections. These new devices allow you to more easily play your digital music library on your home sound system and also makes connecting multiple high definition sources with that nice new large screen plasma TV really simple.Blue Ray content is making its appearance on DVD, bringing the HD viewing experience to your home theater with a Blue Ray or HD DVD player.New Plasma or LCD– Many new TVs come with one or more digital audio and video connections that enable HD hookup to multiple devices.I wish everyone a happy holiday season.