Contrary to many media depictions only half of home burglaries occur in the dead of night while the family is quietly tucked in bed. According to a recent analysisby a leading national security systems provider, 50.3% of burglaries occur at night between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m. while the other half (49.7%) happen in daylight hours.
Given these stats along with a rise in reported home invasions nationally, it makes good sense for homeowners with installed security systems to “arm” their systems in “stay” mode when they turn in for the night. Typically, “stay mode” will arm all exterior openings like doors and windows, but not any interior motion detectors, which allows occupants to move about inside the home freely without tripping an alarm.
Burglary rates differ greatly when compared to overall crime. Twice as much crime occurs during the daylight hours — between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.– as occurs at night — from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. More specifically, the three most common times at which any crime will be committed are 12 midnight (6%), 12 noon (5.8%) and 5 p.m. (5.8%).
Nothing is more important than the safety and protection of the people you love. To update or install a new security system in your home, reach out to a security company you trust or complete the form below.
Time For You to ‘Cut the Cord’?...
Traditional Cable TV providers see huge subscriber losses in recent years
With the average US consumer’s monthly cable TV bill now topping $140 a month not including hi-speed internet costs, more and more households are ditching traditional cable TV for a growing number of on-demand and LIVE TV streaming services. Benefits include lower costs, fewer (or no) commercials, on-demand and LIVE content streaming, just to name a few. Recent reports from the Leichtman Research Group show that nearly nine out of ten U.S. households have one, if not more, internet-connected televisions.
Since 2019 the major Cable TV providers have collectively lost about 6 million subscribers per year through 2022. While many households opt for one or the other, in 2019 43% had both pay cable TV plus at least one streaming service subscription. The pandemic shifted the balance and ‘cord-cutting’ is now clearly on the rise.
As of Q1 2023, the top 3 cable TV ‘replacers’ are Google’s YouTube TV (6.3 million subscribers); Hulu + LIVE TV (4.4 million subscribers); and Sling TV (2.1 million subscribers). A few other players are in the space but based on adoption rates, these top three are clearly preferred by most subscribers. As their content quality and quantity continues to increase and now as LIVE TV options abound, more and more consumers are making the switch to streaming and saving dollars along the way.
For a deeper dive into the numbers, check out this recent report by CompariTech. If you’d like to talk with an expert about your streaming options and how to get there, fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch.
TIME FOR A NEW TV?
ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS FIRST
Purchasing a new TV for your family can be a daunting task. When making an investment like this in the centerpiece of your home entertainment system, price alone can give pause and lead to many questions about making the right choice. Here are the key factors to consider for your next TV.
The Room - What kind of room and environment will your new TV be mounted in? A dedicated media room? Family room? Bonus room? Can natural light be easily controlled or are there lots of windows? Some TV’s work better than others in darker rooms and others are designed for well-lit spaces (more on this below).
The Size – Today, most TV’s intended for primary family entertainment start at about 65”, and go up from there even to 95” and over 100”. So how big is too big? It depends on how far you’ll be seated from the screen. Personal preference is always king, but a good rule of thumb is that your TV’s diagonal size should be about one-third to one-half of your viewing distance. So for a 75” TV, you should be seated 10 to 12 feet back. For the best experience in a really big open family room, consider going as big as your budget permits.
The Technology - There are 3 kinds of TV’s today - LED is the most popular by far; OLED uses organic LED cells and renders better black levels and contrast ratings (OLEDs are best for dimly-lit media rooms or where natural light can be well-controlled; and finally, QLED, which uses quantum dots to provide better brightness and more accurate color rendering. Refresh rates vary from 60Hz to 240Hz and refer to how many times per second the screen image is refreshed. For someone who watches lots of sports or is an avid video gamer, the higher the refresh rate - the better.
The Resolution - This refers to how many pixels are on the screen. The more pixels = the sharper the image. All new TV’s today are 1080p (full HD), 4K or 8K. A 4K TV usually hits the sweet spot for most views and strikes a balance between performance and budget. For the enthusiast, the higher the resolution, the better.
Final Takeaways - Most all new TV’s available today are “Smart” meaning they include on-board apps for the popular streaming services, and they will include the connectivity and hook-up ports for your source components like a cable box, AppleTV, Roku or other. Most will use an HDMI connection which offers the highest possible resolution supported and digital surround sound. When that time comes to upgrade, a great TV decision can help create memorable family entertainment experiences and meaningful conversations around your favorite movies or shows.
HOME SECURITY SYSTEMS GET SMART
Home security systems are smarter than ever before. Almost completely gone are the days of frustrating false alarms with new advances in home security systems. With the rise in popularity of do-it-yourself home security, many homeowners see value in a professionally-installed home security system. Recent advances and cellular technology have eliminated the need for a land-based telephone line and have connected owners to their people, property, and possessions more than ever before.
Here are just a few of the benefits of smart security:
Smart phone control - your smartphone can now control your system and arm/disarm whether you’re at home or away and also notify you when something is amiss. It becomes a remote control keypad that’s with you wherever you go.
Added layers of protection - when integrated into your security system, video doorbells and smart cameras can notify you of suspicious activity at odd times and allow you to take a “LIVE” look-in at what’s going on. Remote garage door control and smart door locks let you unlock & lock doors remotely and can eliminate the inconvenience of traditional keys.
Energy cost savings - lighting control with dimming and smart thermostats can learn your living patterns and adjust themselves to optimize a balance of comfort and energy savings.
Insurance savings - most homeowners’ insurance policies offer discounts of up to 10% annually for a professionally-monitored home security system. Insurers know these systems deter crime and protect your property and possessions.
Peace of mind & aging in place - many families are seeking to extend the time elderly loved ones can continue to live independently in their own homes. Occupancy sensors, activity monitors, cameras and other smart security devices can send smartphone notifications to loved ones that everything is OK or if there’s a need to check in on the ones who cared for us for so many years.
If you haven’t looked into the many benefits of a smart security system lately, these and other recent advances make it worth a look today.
A NEW SMART HOME SHOWPLACE
The local custom audio video & smart home systems company with the funny name has a brand new home. Five Smooth Stones Audio-Video-Smart Home designed and built the new 9,000sf building that’s recently popped up on Jacksonville’s southside at 5269 Hood Road, right between the JTB/Baymeadows and Mandarin submarkets.
For over 20 years, Five Smooth Stones has helped homeowners by offering design and installation of custom home entertainment systems, home technology, and security systems in both new and existing homes in north Florida. “Technology touches our lives more and more every day. We believe it should simplify our lives, but all too often, it’s just frustrating for many people, especially in their homes.”, says John Prince, Sr, founder & CEO.
“While yes, we show surround sound & home music systems, smart security, WiFi & more, our dream for this new building is for it to be a place of community, where friends can gather and relationships can be built and deepened. Our team loves what we do and we love helping our customers live better with technology,” Prince continues.
When complete, the building will feature a 3,000 sf lifestyle design studio with a full gourmet kitchen, family room area, a 12-seat custom cinema, a video gaming loft, and a gathering space that opens to a large covered outdoor pavered area with a summer kitchen, wood-burning pizza oven, and a fire table to gather around. Of course, all sizes of TV’s and music systems are everywhere you look to enjoy in all the spaces.
Says Chris Ferrell, a senior system designer, “...what I really love about the new place is that it allows me to meet with families in a home-like setting so they can experience for themselves what the systems we offer will be like in their own homes. Plus, we plan to host open house events for people to come in and visit with our team.”
“From concept to completion, everything we’ve done here has been intended to create a welcoming place where people can gather and enjoy a good time. Home technology can be simple and fun… and that’s what we want to show.” - John Prince, Sr.