Here’s how to make sure electronics are up to par for guests
What is your favorite holiday movie? Whether it is “Elf,” “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” or “The Polar Express,” curling up on the couch with popcorn is a favorite holiday tradition for many families. Imagine carving out the time and gathering around the entertainment center only to find the TV is not working! Talk about a letdown.
It is best to take time now to make sure all things are in working order, especially if you haven’t indulged in TV time as of late.
- Check the batteries in the remote — do you have enough AA’s or AAA’s to go the course of the holidays?
- Hit the reset button on the front of your cable box. Restarting any device is maintenance 101 and is often all it takes to get things up and running again.
- Resetting your router and modem can often help with a slow internet connection, but make sure you have the internet strength to power all that you want to accomplish. Consider how many people are in the house and how many devices are being used at a time. Consult with your network provider to see if an upgrade is in order. Keep in mind that if you have opted for a new digital alarm system, your internet may need upgrading for this reason as well.
- Dust the area around and behind the sound system.
If not for this year, add it to your list for next year!
- Electric box — When you are dusting the unit pull it out and see what is going on behind the cable box and receiver. Is there just one duplex receptacle with a surge protector extension cord and a whole slew of messy cords? It would be a good idea to have an electrician install another box and untangle the mess.
- Make sure all chords are good quality — Better-quality, thicker cords provide better sound and allow less interference from electrical wires.
- Remember that those chords don’t actually protect from surges — A whole house surge protector is the only way to truly protect your investment and is reasonable and well worth the money!
- One of our favorite improvements at the Romero household is the Universal Remote — Imagine having just one remote to keep track of for your entertainment center! These can take a bit of time to program. Consider hiring an expert to spend the time (about 2 hours) to set it up as a gift to yourself this year!
- Other improvements — These might include the installation of sound boards, area placed on hard floors and adjustable lighting.
If you find an issue, now is the time to schedule an appointment with a reputable company. Dennis Sage of Dennis Sage Entertainment says it gets really crazy the closer we get to the holidays. Often, they “receive frantic and last-minute requests for service.”
Remember that we live in a growing city (No. 1 in the country at this point in time!) and every home-related industry is working hard to keep up. Giving service companies time to respond will lead to less frustration on both sides!
Sage offers some purchasing tips for homeowners:
- Use an authorized dealer — Buyer beware! “There are a lot of unauthorized online sites offering extremely low prices,” Sage says. “Often, these companies are not authorized sellers of the products. This severely affects delivery time, warranties, product condition.”
- Clarify expectations — Many companies offer great prices on products that are not current technology. That is OK, but if you are expecting the latest and greatest technology be sure to ask a lot of questions and let the salesperson know what you expect.
- Connectivity — Do your research when purchasing. Analog is almost obsolete, so a new TV may mean you need new connections.
At Rosie on the House we often warn homeowners that if a deal seems too good to be true — it probably is! Be careful not to let some scammer take your holiday spirit away. Some simple tips include:
- Only shop on secure websites. Website addresses must start with HTTPS and will display a lock to the left of the website address. It is best to type in the address. Scammers lie in wait to divert users to illegitimate websites.
- Make sure your internet is password-protected.
- Use a credit card rather than a debit card, as credit cards offer protection and recourse where debit cards do not.
- Purchase from reputable companies.
- Research return policies and warranty coverage.
Join Rosie on the House every Saturday morning from 7 to 11 a.m. on KTAR News 92.3 FM. If you’d like to send us questions or comments, email [email protected]. Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.