Week 1: Paul's Smart home diary

Getting started on building the ultimate (but not gimmicky) connected home
Week 1: Paul's Smart home diary

I've just bought a new house. Woo-hoo. But it's a complete building site and totally unliveable at the moment. Boo.

However, I've decided to turn that boo into another woo-hoo by seizing the opportunity my new, falling-down, three bedroom house affords me. I want to make my home smart. As smart, efficient and as seamless as possible. And I'll be detailing that process in this weekly smart home diary.

Where I can go wireless I will, of course, but where wires are still a requirement I don't want to see wires. You don't see wires on The Jetsons do you?

But, unlike the family of the future featured on Hanna-Barbera's long running 'toon, I don't want novelty. I don't want gimmicks. I don't want to be waiving my arms around in my living room, closing curtains and turning on radiators using gestures, simply because there are devices out there that let me do that now. Or, at least, claim to.

I want to sort the smart home wheat from the smart home chaff, to work out what the killer devices are that I simply must install now, and I want to make sure that I'm future-proof for any game-changing innovations down the line.
I already have a couple of smart Hue bulbs from my – on the whole – dumb flat, and I've got a pretty decent wireless media solution set up. But I want more. I want to live in that house from the Corning promos.

I know that's not quite possible yet. I'm aware that, while many of the innovations in that awesome video are a reality, in some form, they are very much first-generation and I'd be much better off focusing on the great smart home kit that already exists, and making sure I'm in a good position to add to my setup down the line.

So while this diary, over the next few weeks, will focus on all the latest and greatest smart home devices and setups, from lighting, security systems, thermostats through to connected displays and fully connected multimedia systems – it will also feature the basics you need to get right from the off.

That means beginning with wiring, home networks and that sort of stuff. And, while I'll do my best not to delve too deeply into the fascinating technical specs of Cat5e Ethernet, I'll try to explain why it's important to know what cables to buy for particular setups, and why it's crucial to know about network speeds.

After all, I don't want you to come crying to me after your pals laugh at your puny 10/100 speeds.

So if you, like me, are looking to setup the ultimate smart home, be sure to check back in weekly to see what sort of mess I'm getting myself and my wife into. Every week, I'll add a new diary entry to our smart home hub page.

You should also bookmark that page as it hosts a wealth of guides, tips and tricks and reviews of the best smart home devices and services already available.

Now read Week 2

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