eufy Security Video Smart Lock

The popularity of video doorbells has taken off over the last few years but long before that people have been upgrading their locks. Starting with older programable locks with codes which have now moved on to full smart locks that can be controlled by codes, your smartphone, and even by fingerprints. What if you combined those two together? That is what eufy Security did with their latest security product, the Video Smart Lock. They took their previous smart lock which had a touch screen and a fingerprint sensor and integrated one of their 2k resolution cameras into it and a doorbell button. Together they eliminate the need for two different products at your front door. I’ve been putting it to the test so today we will take a closer look at it and then go over how it has been working. Let’s get into it!

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eufy Security Floodlight Cam 2 Pro

It used to be rare for people to have cameras around their homes but with doorbell cameras becoming more and more common, once people buy in with a doorbell camera you do sometimes see them adding more. Another location where you see cameras being added is with floodlights because they are higher up and get a lot better coverage than your doorbell cameras but you are limited to where the camera is pointed. Eufy Security has a few standard options, but their Floodlight Cam 2 Pro caught my eye because not only does it have three lights for better light coverage, it also has a 2K pan/tilt camera built-in meaning you don’t have to be stuck with one view. We were upgrading the lighting in and on our garage which is a good time to check out the Floodlight Cam 2 Pro to see how it performs.

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eufy Security Garage-Control Cam Plus

When we moved into our house and moved our camera system over getting a camera inside of our detached garage was one of the key locations. We had previously had an attached garage where I felt like I would at least be able to hear if someone was in there. But being detached just about anything could be going on in there without us knowing it and with our cars, lawn equipment, and a lot of tools inside being able to keep an eye inside was important. It also turned out to be a great indication of when my wife and I were home. I later added an app-based garage door controller as well but both were tied into two different systems meaning more than one app. Eufy Security recently introduced a new camera that combines both of these. They aren’t the first to have a similar product, but if you are already in the eufy ecosystem having it all together is a big benefit. They have two models of the eufy Security Garage Control Cam, one for a single door setup and a second that can handle two garage doors. Today I’m going to check out the Garage Control Cam Plus and see how eufy’s attempt at garage control and surveillance works out.

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eufy RoboVac X8

It’s interesting because you would think given my interest in technology and smart home devices not to mention laziness when it comes to cleaning that we would have had a robotic vacuum in the house years ago. With having pets and a multi-story house I didn’t think a robotic vacuum would meet our expectations and given how much they cost I didn’t want to waste that money so we invested in a Dyson Animal vacuum and called it a day. Since then though we have moved and have most of our house on one level and I’ve seen that at least some of the robotic vacuums can better handle pet hair. Already having a few eufy devices in the house their RoboVac’s caught my eye and their latest RoboVac X8 which has dual motors has the potential to handle our situation so I thought I would give it a try and find out. So today I’m going to check out what features the X8 has then go through my experience setting it up and using It in our home so let’s dive in!

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WaterGuru SENSE

While sometimes smart home products can come off as lazy, but I know for me the goal is to simplify things to free up time for activities that I enjoy. As a homeowner with a pool, starting in the spring I have a long list of things to get done to open up the pool. Once I get all of that done I then have to stay on top of things to keep it clean and clear which even if you run a chlorinator or use tablets with a floaty you should still be keeping a close eye on your levels. You might be able to find a remote temperature gauge, but checking your FC and PH on the other hand you will need to be there. But I recently came across the WaterGuru SENSE which claims to be able to do just that and I’m interested in finding out how well it would work for me and today I’m going to check it out and see what the WaterGuru Sense is all about.

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eufy Security Video Doorbell Dual

It’s interesting how over the years the number of smart home devices in our home has grown with a majority of our lighting integrated, smart speakers in key rooms to control things and for music/questions, and we have a good set of security cameras outside to keep an eye on things all of the time and some inside for when we are away. But one of the most quintessential “smart home” devices the video doorbell still hasn’t been added into the mix. It isn’t that I haven’t wanted one, but for a long time I was holding out trying to find one that could integrate without Blue Iris camera setup but there haven’t been much for options, and companies have been trending more and more to their own ecosystems so I decided why wait any longer let's make the step. So let’s check out the eufy Security Video Doorbell Dual camera which has a second downward-facing camera to keep an eye out for and on packages.

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Nvidia Shield TV 2019

The original Nvidia Shield TV launched back in 2015 and was updated again in early 2017. When the first version launched my household was still running traditional cable TV along with servers hosting backups of our movies and TV shows just being fed to traditional HTPCs where needed. When we moved, to keep costs down I was looking to cut out cable but not lose the functionality and the original Shield TV as well as the Shield TV 2017 really helped with that by combining them with Plex and PlayStation Vue and I even was able to tie in Samsung’s SmartThings as well and use the Shield TV as a hub. I talked about both in THIS article. Well, Nvidia is at it again with the new for 2019 (hey it came in a little late lol) Shield TV with an updated Tegra X1+ SoC and a new form factor as well for the non-pro model. Today I’m going to check it out!

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Dropping cable with the Nvidia Shield TV

For years my wife and I dropped cable television simply because we didn’t have the money for it in our budget. Then eventually we added back a basic package and were okay with that. Fast forward 6 years later and we are spending a fortune and have every channel under the sun. What happened was they slowly offered us deals that added additional channels, we started watching shows on those channels and then when the deal went away I would call and tell them I was going to drop it all and they would add even more channels to get me to stay. When we bought a new house though it was finally time to find a better option to save some money and it just so happened that Nvidia had sent out their Shield TV to us and it was sitting unused. So today I’m going to talk a little about how I dropped cable by using the Shield TV and I’ve been loving it.

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Nest Thermostat and Protect

As you guys have most likely noticed, things have been slow around here for a few months now. In addition to being sick a few times and hurting my back. We also bought a new house and had been working on the move and later doing work around the house. One of the best parts about moving and getting a new place is that I finally have an excuse to take a closer look at more of the home automation and smart home products that have been coming out. Even before the move I had a few things already planned and upgrading to a smart thermostat was one of them. Well, I reached out to Nest and they sent over a new Gen 3 Thermostat as well as one of their Nest Protect smoke and CO detectors. I finally have some time with both and wanted to run through what they do and how they have performed for me so far.

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TP-Link LB130 WiFi LED Bulb with RGB

The idea of a smart home really started to pick up in the late 90’s but it really wasn’t until recently when wireless technology got small enough to be integrated into various devices around your house. The whole idea that every device and part of your house would be wired together was expensive and took a lot of work. Recently though you start to see lots of devices come with wireless integration, hell even my humidifier connects to my wireless network. But the whole idea really comes together when LEDs, wireless, and smartphone all come together. That is why you are starting to see new lightbulbs that can be controlled remotely that plug into standard light sockets. TP-Link has jumped on board with the whole idea and has a whole mix of smart home products. They sent over their LB130, a WiFi capable LED light bulb with fully integrated RGB lighting as well. So I’ve been messing around with today we are going to check out what it's about. Is the smart home finally here? Let's find out!

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WD TV Live

titleOver the last few years, streaming media has become one of the most popular forms of entertainment to many people around the globe. Many customers out there are trying to find new ways of cutting the costs of the tired standards and physical media. Consumers now have a growing number of devices to help with their streaming media demand that they can place right into their living rooms. Today we are going to look at the WD TV Live from Western Digital and see how it can extend your local network files and content from the Internet directly to your HDTV.

 

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eStarling ImpactV digital photo frame

I was recently shopping for a new camera, while I was at the store I noticed that most stores don't even sell film camera's anymore. It has gotten to the point that Most Wal-Mart's don't even deal with film development anymore, they just mail it out. What this means is that everyone, even non-tech savvy people have or will be switching over to digital cameras. Because of this, we have countless new options that weren't possible before. Things like modifying your photos, printing your own, and recently digital photo frames. I personally have almost 12 thousand digital photos that I have taken in the past 7 years. A company by the name of eStarling has been making a name of not only producing digital photo frames, but connecting them through wireless and making it easy to add photos and videos. Today we are going to take a look at their most recent model the ImpactV.

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