Computers & Electronics

Would love advice - tech needs for new home

  • Last Updated:
  • May 29th, 2021 3:37 pm
[OP]
Newbie
May 22, 2021
3 posts

Would love advice - tech needs for new home

Hi! Covid made my husband and I realize we kinda aren’t meant to me so we parting. I need some tech help. I have two kids 10 & 12 who game all day and do not watch tv. Would love some advice:
- I’m thinking of not getting cable. No one watches tv. We all just watch Netflix. Do I need to get cable in order to watch Netflix on a smart tv?
- should I get Apple TV?
- where and when is the best time to buy a new smart tv?
- best deals on internet packages
- anyone know a good audiovisual company to install?
- should I get alarm through Rogers or bell?
- should I get a nest and who sets that up?

Thanks!!!
Xo
11 replies
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
27969 posts
13601 upvotes
Deals31 wrote: - I’m thinking of not getting cable. No one watches tv. We all just watch Netflix. Do I need to get cable in order to watch Netflix on a smart tv?
Nope. Cable only provides cable. Any of the streaming services usually just want money.
Some streaming services that are free require you to have a cable subscription but these generally just mirror what's on cable.
For Netflix/Amazon/Youtube/Disney+/Discovery+/Stack/etc you give them money and they give you content via the internet with no other requirements.
- should I get Apple TV?
I wouldn't but I'm anti Apple.
- where and when is the best time to buy a new smart tv?
Day after superbowl. Boxing day/Black Friday are okay too, but these are usually purpose built to be cheap so they lack features like a bunch of HDMI ports or even smarts.
To be honest I prefer a dumb TV and I have an HDMI switch so I'm good with these budgets.
Also random sales. Costco had a 75" for $650 a few months back. Couldn't turn that down.
- best deals on internet packages
Depends on exactly where you live.
I get gigabit for $30/month but I'm in a condo.
I pay more than $30/month in taxes at another location.
- anyone know a good audiovisual company to install?
I just DIY.
A couple holes in the drywall and you can wall mount your TV with hidden cables.
Connect up a computer (again, I don't have smart) and you're off to the races.
If you do have smart, wifi isn't that hard to set up.
If you want like a tuned stereo system and perfect color reproduction then maybe get an AV company.
But for an average TV with an average sound system? DIY. Or bribe someone with a case of beer and a dinner.
- should I get alarm through Rogers or bell?
I DIY this one too. Zigbee sensors are cheap.
My system won't dial the police but you could easily rig it up to notify you so you can check your DIY cameras.
If you see a burglar you can call 911 yourself.
- should I get a nest and who sets that up?
You could. There's a bunch of easy to setup home automation based on wifi and Google.
You're probably the one setting up unless again you can bribe someone with beer.
I personally prefer Zigbee because it's cheaper, doesn't use wifi, doesn't rely on the cloud, and a few other reasons. It's far more hands on but I don't like being dependent on another service. Zigbee is always going to work in the current form I have it in. A service provider may change (or disable) their current services for whatever reason. Quite a number of services have done this in the past.
Do you not have anything else to do rather than argue with strangers on the internet
Nope. That's why I'm on the internet arguing with strangers. If I had anything better to do I'd probably be doing it.
Deal Addict
Jun 8, 2005
3093 posts
556 upvotes
Toronto
Deals31 wrote: - I’m thinking of not getting cable. No one watches tv. We all just watch Netflix. Do I need to get cable in order to watch Netflix on a smart tv?
no
Deals31 wrote: - should I get Apple TV?
If you're buying a smart tv, no
Deals31 wrote: - where and when is the best time to buy a new smart tv?
when you need one. doesn't really matter really, unless you're looking to save a few hundred dollars on something very high end. the difference between cheap and expensive panels in terms of features and picture quality is much more narrow these days than 10 years ago (in my opinion).
Deals31 wrote: - anyone know a good audiovisual company to install?
i found someone to mount my tv to the wall on kijiji for $50. they threw in hooking up all the cables and what not for free.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 30, 2003
5883 posts
717 upvotes
Toronto
Most of your questions have been answered. Its personal preference but:

- Either get a TV with ANDROID built in to it (-OR-) get any TV And use AMAZON FIRESTICK to connect streaming services.
(Android TV means only 1 remote will do everything TV. Instead of AppleTV , Amazon FireStick 4k is cheaper and more flexible)

- Just look on RFD here and when a decent deals comes jump on it. I notice not a HUGE difference in prices even on sale vs non-sale.
(Spend less, 90% of features you want it turn off on these modern tv, otherwise they ruin the experience. Like 120hz frames etc)

- Internet deal: Call both rogers / bell (there are threads in there, ask them nicely if you can have the "retention deal"). I shared phone numbers, if not let me know I will send you number of person who can do this.

- NEST you want a licensed electrician! Kijiji it or send me dm with your estimate location , I can send you phone number of someone I have used. do let me know if its condo or house

PS: Sorry to hear about the split
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Help is what I do :)
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 11, 2003
2489 posts
1039 upvotes
Toronto
Deals31 wrote: - should I get Apple TV?
One thing I wanted to mention is hold off on buying anything like this (includes Android box from Amazon, etc). Go about your daily lives and if you feel you really need one then that would be the time to look into it. Just concentrate on looking for a TV first.

Deals31 wrote: - where and when is the best time to buy a new smart tv?
Black Friday and Boxing Day (as somebody already mentioned). Since it seems like you will need one right now then I would suggest just looking at the weekly flyers/deals. Costco is a good place because of their return policy. If you don't have access to Costco then I like Best Buy but of course, like any other store, everybody is going to have their preference depending on their own experience. Do NOT shop at Brick. Terrible. Just do a Google search for the Brick if you want to read some horror stories.

Deals31 wrote: - best deals on internet packages
Look at the Ongoing Deal section. There are threads for Rogers and Bell in there. It seems that between the two Rogers seems to be better in terms of Customer Service (again, everybody is going to have their preference). I'm with Rogers and haven't had any issues with them so I'm good with them. I was told that Customer Service doesn't have the same access to deals that Customer Relations (used to be called Retentions) do. But since you're a new customer I think Customer Service should be able to offer you a decent deal. I assume Customer Relations won't talk to you since you're not a customer yet but it's worth a shot to ask if you don't like what they're offering.
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Sr. Member
Oct 1, 2009
564 posts
241 upvotes
West coast
Internet is probably the top of my list to get the best deal. $50-60 or cheaper for 300Mbps or up should be your goal.

If you don't have a tv, I'd suggest getting a Costco card so you can buy it from there. There are also benefits to having a Costco card especially for prescriptions which may save you quite a bit. You have to check with your work if they have plans that would save you all the cost for prescriptions.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Apr 29, 2018
1404 posts
973 upvotes
Vancouver
My advice to you would be to go slowly and not jump in headfirst into smartifying your home.

An AppleTV is only good if you need AirPlay, otherwise the FireStick 4K is a lot better. Just install Wolf Launcher on it. Tutorials here - https://www.techdoctoruk.com

I would also advise against using the smart features of a TV. Many of them have vulnerabilities and just recently Vizio announced that they make as much money selling the data from SmartTVs, as the TVs themselves.

Also would suggest installing things on your own. That way you know exactly what is setup and how. Take your time and do it step-by-step
Can't Stop. Won't Stop. Game Stop
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
33989 posts
7631 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
@Deals31

Sorry to hear about your separation

Get a Sony TV that has AndroidTV included. Just buy one now as you need it now. Costco.

The Sony TV will have the Netflix app installed, no need for anything else.

For Internet, get Fibe FTTH (Fibre To The Home) if it is available in your area. You don't want to cheap out on good reliable internet. Get an EAP246 or an EAP660 access point for whole home WiFi, run wires if possible.

Get a DSC Alarm installed and use an Envisalink to self monitor, don't need to pay for monitoring centre, don't use Bell or Rogers. If you need an alarm installer, send me a message.

Plan your home automation. The thermostat is a nice to have but not really necessary as most are programable. Honestly, do you really need to control it remotely? If you still want a smart thermostat. Just get a WiFi one and connect it to a hub like Hubitat. Avoid using public clouds.

Summary

1000$ - 1500$ - Sony Android TV, depends on size
~800$ - DsC Alarm, depends on how many zones
110$ - Envisalink 4 Board for Alarm
80$ - WiFi Thermostat
175$ - Hubitat (Home Automation Hub)
80$ - EAP245

Netflix subscription
Bell Fibe Internet, if Bell Fibe is not available, then get Fido Internet for ~70$ a month (40$ on promo for first year)
Newbie
Jun 27, 2020
83 posts
62 upvotes
Kingston
I'll go with the other people above... If you can fiber optic internet for not much more than normal high speed go with it. Depending on where you are located, plans and availability will differ a lot. you typically don't need the higher end package, but a package with unlimited transfer is great to have, and typically only 10$ more than the non-unlimited. Check with the neighbours which company they're using and if they have any major complaints.

Cable companies will try to give you a good plan if you get phone, cable and internet with them. You don't need cable, but what about phone ? It's nice to have a landline to be able to call them if you're running late, if they don't have their own cellphone.

To look into smart tv, there's sales here and there, and as mentionned, you can follow the forums here and there; but without sales, Costco always has good prices, and their return policy alone is worth a lot. Anything wrong, you can return it with no question asked. Avoid buying online for that one, as if you receive it with issues, it's harder to return / get refund when it's a virtual store. Except for Costco online, you can return merchandise to the store, if you live near one.


Apple TV isn't required and it's just another subscription. I mean it's nice and easy to use once setup but it all depends if the content has any appeal to you, but as mentionned, you could probably go without it and see how you're doing.

As for audio video company to install, it really depends on what you're looking for, but unless you need speakers built in the walls and wall mounted tv, I would start with just using a stand for a while, to find where you want tv to be mount and such, and then look into installation. if you rush it too much, you might end up having a tv mounted that doesn't match your new couch location or whatever. But you also could know exactly what you need and that's fine. Some people will say to avoid professionals, but if you have the budget for it, they'll do it quickly, and if they're good, it'll be a no-brainer. As opposed to you or a friend trying to installing it, not having proper screws or drill bits, and not having the proper material to hide cables. If you just need it hooked up, not a problem, but if you want something permanent and looking good, and no having to stress about trying to install the tv on the mount, then that's the easy answer. Many small companies offer this service, really depending where you are located.

For the alarm, it really depends on your need, and companies offering the service where you are. Do you have a home with like 12 windows that need intrusion sensor ? or just motion sensors inside ? or you just want your phone to alert you if there's movement ? there's solution off the shelf, as well as some product like the Ring doorbell camera that can record people coming to the door (with a small subscription fee). Here you really need to know what your requirements are.

As for items like the Nest, just go one thing at a time. not really required. Can be nice to have, but it's something else that you have to deal with. Just see without anything like that first.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Feb 20, 2015
1833 posts
1245 upvotes
Southern Ontario
Get as fast internet as you can (at the best rate), good router and have fun. TV's aren't that important in the equation if you are trying to save money. A $1500 TV will be better but you can get by with a $700 Smart TV if you don't watch much television and most of it is gaming.

I live in a nice area so I've never installed alarms and smart home stuff, it doesn't interest me. Depends where you live though, if you are in a high crime area, then spring for a real alarm system installed by Professionals.

So much good tech instructions on YouTube that you can do everything yourself... or at least ask someone for help. I hate paying someone else to do things for me when I can learn and do them myself. If you can do some things yourself you can pay for some groceries for you and your kids for a month instead of giving the money away.

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