These days, we surround ourselves with gadgets, we carry them around, we even wear them. There is no place where gadgets are more relevant than the living room. It is after all where we spend most of our free time, except perhaps in bed.
Using gadgets to make your living room smart is a great idea. Embrace the new technology that is available and you, your friends and family can enjoy endless hours of riveting, cutting edge entertainment.
So, where do you start? Well here are my 5 top picks to make your living room smart:
TP-Link Archer C9
The first thing you will need for a smart environment is fast reliable internet access for multiple devices. The TP-Link Archer C9 will give you exactly that, and then some. With multiple ports, it can support a number of wired and wireless connections at speeds of over 802.11ac. The three antennas provide a decent range and the best part is the reasonable price tag.
Now you have the wireless internet access in place, you need something to control the smart environment. Look no further than the Amazon Echo. Think of it as having a PA in your living room to attend to all your needs. It is like having Siri, Cortana and Google Now all rolled onto one. The smart future is here. This time, it is called Alexa. That is the name of the AI assistant driving the Amazon Echo and will respond to voice commands to read audio books, take notes, attend to your diary, reminders and alarms, tell you the weather and many other day to day tasks. When not busy with that, Alexa will provide you with quality sounds through the Bluetooth speaker.
Most importantly, the Echo will connect to your other smart devices and be your central control unit for the multiple gadgets as you add them.
Now that the basics are in place, you will need a smart TV in order to view content. A great value for money option, without compromising on quality, is the Vizio E48-C2. This 48″ edition is a good buy, giving you a decent size Full-Array LED Smart HDTV. The sleek exterior design will fit in perfectly with the smart theme of the room and give you vivid colours and vibrant graphics. You will get 1080p HDTV and the 120Hz HDTV will give true aspect ratio. The easy to use smart interface provides you with plenty of features and apps.
Monoprice 108250 2-Way Bookshelf Speakers
Next on the list is taking care of the audio aspect of your smart living room. Staying with the good, value for money options (you still have plenty more gadgets to buy) comes the Monoprice 108250 2-Way Bookshelf Speakers. More than up to the job, these speakers will provide a crisp, detailed sound at a really great price.
Logitech Harmony 650
As powerful and useful the Amazon Echo is, a good universal remote is still going to come in very handy. The Logitech Harmony 650 is a great balance of quality, functionality and price. With a sleek comfortable design, this universal remote will be compatible with most of your gadgets and control up to eight simultaneously. For all its complexity, it is remarkably easy to use.
Those five gadgets will give you a great foundation for a connected, smart and entertaining living room. The system can handle expansions and upgrades along the way as you decide on future gadgets. You might never leave the living room again.