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Nest Thermostat

Getting started with home automation

11 May 2019
Joseph

Seph

amaysim's tech geek

Smart home automation has been popular for a while now and is only expected to get bigger and better in the future. Products like Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Home Assistant are just the first step in building the perfect smart home ecosystem.

Being able to turn the lights on or off with your phone was once seen as a luxury but is now pretty common practice in new build homes.

Follow our simple guide to begin creating a truly automated home system!

Getting Started

When you first think of smart home automation it can all seem a bit sci-fi, but tech developments over the past couple of years have made it more and more accessible. In the same breath though, it can now feel overwhelming with a lot of people not knowing where to even start with a smart home setup.

If you’re in that camp, you’re not alone. Our three-step guide will help you get started with smart home automation in just minutes.

1. Determine how tech-savvy you are

The first step when looking at how to create a smart home is to figure out how much you already know about smart homes.

We all have different levels of knowledge and confidence when it comes to this kind of technology. Some of us might already be confident, some of us might be total newbies to the world of home automation, and some of us are somewhere in-between.

All the options are fine, but it’s important to know where you sit before you dive in. You don’t want to overestimate yourself and buy tech you’re not confident in using. While at the same time, you don’t want to underestimate yourself and buy something that doesn’t excite you enough!

Wherever you sit when it comes to creating a home automation system, the first thing you’ll likely buy will be a home assistant device like the Amazon Echo or Google Home.

Image result for vivint smart home alexa

2) Decide how much you want to spend

For some, just buying a home assistant is a costly affair, and is as much as they’re willing to spend on home automation right now. That’s a very valid point to take, but if you’re happy to continue spending after that, you need to decide early on how much more you’re able to invest in.

This will determine which features you want to prioritise and splurge on as you begin your smart home setup. Develop your own smart home buying guide and stick to it as much as possible. This way you’ll know how to design the ideal smart home for your needs and your wallet.

3) Choose the right smart devices for your needs

Home assistant automation is step one for a lot of us, but even that can be an important choice. Which home assistant is right for you? And then there are those smart bulbs and light switches your friend swears by, but maybe they just don’t work for your lifestyle so there’s no point in choosing them.

If safety is important, consider features like smart doorbells that let you see who’s at the door from your phone. Some even let you talk to the person at the door trough your device. Brands like Ring are leading the charge in this field.

If you use household heating, a programmable smart thermostat can save households up to $180 per year in heating and cooling costs, according to Energy Star.

There are devices to suit almost every need, you just need to choose the ones that actually make sense for your own personal needs.

4) Research your smart home device products

As with everything you purchase, once you have an idea of what home automation tools are the best fit for your tech level, budget, and lifestyle, make sure you do some extra research and read user reviews before committing to your shiny new gadgets.

The range of home automation products is really quite impressive and is growing every day as the need for smart homes increases.

C-Net is a good place to start and  host reviews  for pretty much every smart home device on the market.

Once the research phase is complete, you should be good to go!

Echo Plus

five of our favourite smart home devices

To help kick start your home automation goals, here are five of our favourite smart home gadgets you may want to consider:

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Enola Holmes

Everything coming to Stan & Netflix Australia in September 2020

26 Aug 2020

Despite warmer weather conditions creeping into the mix over the past few weeks, spending more time indoors has become the new norm for many of us, which naturally leads to a ton of content being enjoyed from the comfort of our own homes.

Thankfully Australia's two most prominent streaming services continue to deliver the goods, with Stan and Netflix once again set to debut a stack of exciting new releases this September.

Netflix's lineup is headlined by Enola Holmes. Based on the book series by Nancy Springer, the mystery film stars Millie Bobby Brown and centers upon the story of the teenage sister of Sherlock Holmes.

Meanwhile, Young Wallander is a new noir crime thriller that's well worth a look and follows the formative years of Swedish detective Kurt Wallander.

For those looking for a good thriller to sink your teeth into, check out Charlie Kaufman’s psychological film I’m Thinking Of Ending Things. Starring the talented duo of Jessie Buckley and Jesse Plemons, the film brings some rather interesting themes to the table around escapism.

On the documentary front, keep an eye out for Chef’s Table: BBQ. The acclaimedseries returns for its latest iteration on September 2, delving into the smoky world of barbecue.

Oh and before we forget, did we mention all ten seasons of Friends will arrive on September 17? Bless you Netflix.

Check out the complete list of new shows and movies coming to Netflix Australia this September and get ready for another huge month of at-home streaming.

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    Netflix Australia Original TV

    • Young Wallander (3 September)
    • Away (4 September)
    • Record of Youth (7 September)
    • Get Organized with The Home Edit (9 September)
    • The Gift: Season 2 (10 September)
    • The Duchess (11 September)
    • Family Business: Season 2 (11 September)
    • Close Enough (14 September)
    • Taco Chronicles: Volume 2 (15 September)
    • Baby: Season 3 (16 September)
    • MeatEater: Season 9 (16 September)
    • Signs: Season 2 (16 September)
    • Criminal: UK: Season 2 (16 September)
    • Sing On! (16 September)
    • The Last Word (17 September)
    • Ratched (18 September)
    • American Barbecue Showdown (18 September)
    • Jack Whitehall: Travels with My Father: Season 4 (22 September)
    • Romance On The Menu (24 September)
    • Sneakerheads (25 September)
    • The School Nurse Files (25 September)
    • Country-Ish (25 September)
    • Whose Vote Counts, Explained (28 September)
    • Private Lives (Coming in September)

    Netflix Australia Films

    • La Partita (1 September)
    • Freaks – You’re One of Us (2 September)
    • Love, Guaranteed (3 September)
    • I’m Thinking of Ending Things (4 September)
    • Mignonnes (9 September)
    • Corazón loco (9 September)
    • The Babysitter: Killer Queen (10 September)
    • Se busca papá (11 September)
    • The Paramedic (16 September)
    • The Devil All The Time (16 September)
    • Enola Holmes (23 September)

    Netflix Australia Original Comedy

    • Felipe Esparza: Bad Decisions (1 September)
    • Afonso Padilha: Alma de Pobre (3 September)
    • Michael McIntyre: Showman (15 September)
    • Michelle Buteau: Welcome to Buteaupia (29 September)

    Netflix Australia Original Documentaries

    • Chef’s Table: BBQ (2 September)
    • Bad Boy Billionaires: India (2 September)
    • My Octopus Teacher (7 September)
    • The Social Dilemma (9 September)
    • La Línea: Shadow of Narco (9 September)
    • Hope Frozen: A Quest to Live Twice (15 September)
    • Challenger: The Final Flight (16 September)
    • GIMS: On the Record (Coming Soon)
    • A Love Song for Latasha (21 September)
    • The Playbook (22 September)
    • The Chef Show: Season 2 (24 September)
    • A Perfect Crime (25 September)
    • American Murder: The Family Next Door (30 September)
    • ARASHI’s Diary Voyage ep12 (Coming Soon)

    Netflix Australia Kids & Family

    • The Boss Baby: Get That Baby! (1 September)
    • True: Friendship Day (1 September)
    • Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices (1 September)
    • Spirit Riding Free: Riding Academy: Part 2 (4 September)
    • StarBeam: Season 2 (8 September)
    • Julie and the Phantoms (10 September)
    • Pets United (11 September)
    • Izzy’s Koala World (15 September)
    • Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous (18 September)
    • Chico Bon Bon: Monkey with a Tool Belt: Season 3 (22 September)
    • Mighty Express (22 September)

    Netflix Australia Original Anime

    • The Idhun Chronicles (10 September)
    • Dragon’s Dogma (17 September)

    The Rest

    • A Star Is Born (1 September)
    • The Theory of Everything (4 September)
    • Ride Along (4 September)
    • Friends: Season 1-10 (17 September)
    • Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (28 September)
    • Instant Family (28 September)

    Stan Australia - September 2020 Release Schedule

    Stan has been dropping nothing but gems in 2020, with exclusives such as Yellowstone, Better Call Saul and Billions keeping plenty of Aussies entertained throughout the winter months.


    September's lineup is looking spicy, with a spin off to the hit series Power set to premiere exclusively on Stan on September 6. Power Book II: Ghost picks up after the events of the Power season finale, as Tariq tries to deal with the aftermath of his father's death.

    Other September highlights include The Comey Rule. Based on the New York Times bestselling book A Higher Loyalty, the two part mini-series dives into the events surrounding the 2016 American presidential election and is shaping up to be a must watch.

    Finally, before we wrap things up, if you've recently watched Tenet or are simply a fan of Robert Pattinson, you'll be stoked to hear the entire Twilight film saga will be coming to Stan on September 17.

    Check out the complete list of new content coming to Stan in September 2020 below. Happy streaming!

    September 1
    • Breathe
    • Daddy’s Home
    • Tropic Thunder
    • The Terminal
    • Mapplethorpe
    • Geordie Shore: Season 20
    September 2
    • Hey Duggee: Season 3, Set 1
    • Down Under
    • Material Girls
    September 3
    • American Pastoral
    • The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
    • Day And Night
    • German Angst
    September 4
    • A.P. Bio: Season 3 – Premiere
    • Cheers: Seasons 1 – 11
    • Canada’s Drag Race: Season 1, Episode 10 – Final
    • Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Season 1, Part 2
    • Paddington
    • The House of Magic
    • Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure
    September 5
    • Natural World: Hippos – Africa’s River Giants
    • Monster Beach: Season 1, Episode 25
    • Broken City
    September 6
    • Love Fraud: Season 1, Episode 2
    • P-Valley: Season 1, Episode 8 – Final
    • Power Book II: Ghost – Season 1, Episode 1 – Premiere
    • Below
    • The Extraordinary
    • Proxima
    • Monster Beach: Season 1, Episode 26
    September 7
    • The Circus: Season 5, Episode 12
    • Be Kind Rewind
    • Selma
    • Porn To Be Free
    September 8
    • The Daughter
    • Apocalypse Now
    September 9
    • Red Dawn
    • Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa
    • Rosalie Blum
    September 10
    • China’s Artful Dissident
    • Goon
    • Cutthroat Island
    • Furry Vengeance
    September 11
    • The Voices
    • New Amsterdam: Season 2
    • The Blinky Bill Movie
    • Planet 51
    September 12
    • The Biggest Little Farm
    • Monster Beach: Season 1, Episode 27
    September 13
    • Love Fraud: Season 1, Episode 3
    • Power Book II: Ghost – Season 1, Episode 2
    • Monster Beach: Season 1, Episode 28
    • Wyrmwood
    September 14
    • The Circus: Season 5, Episode 13
    • Desus & Mero: Season 2, Episode 46
    • Our Cartoon President: Season 3, Episode 10 – Midseason Premiere
    • Everybody Loves Raymond: Seasons 1 – 9
    • The Lunchroom
    • Dogs Don’t Wear Pants
    September 15
    • Clueless
    • Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
    September 16
    • Mirror Mirror
    • Terminator 2: Judgement Day
    • The Aviator’s Wife
    • The Queen of Spain
    September 17
    • Catfish: Season 7
    • Twilight
    • The Twilight Saga: New Moon
    • The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
    • The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1
    • The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2
    • The Host
    • Rambo: First Blood
    • Rambo: First Blood Part 2
    • Rambo III
    • Everybody Wants Some!!
    September 18
    • Desus & Mero: Season 2, Episode 47
    • Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past
    • Hummingbird
    • Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return
    • Astro Boy
    • Dino Time
    • High Tension
    • God Exists, Her Name Is Petrunya
    September 19
    • PEN15: Season 2, Part 1 – Premiere
    • The Impossible
    • See Spot Run
    • Monster Beach: Season 1, Episode 29
    September 20
    • Love Fraud: Season 1, Episode 4 – Final
    • Power Book II: Ghost – Season 1, Episode 3
    • Summer of Rockets: Season 1
    • Monster Beach: Season 1, Episode 30
    September 21
    • The Circus: Season 5, Episode 14
    • Desus & Mero: Season 2, Episode 48
    • Our Cartoon President: Season 3, Episode 11
    • Brothers
    • The Sweeney
    • Woyzeck
    • Where the Green Ants Dream
    September 22
    • Nerve (2016)
    • U-571
    September 23
    • Charmed (2018): Seasons 1 – 2
    • Red Planet
    • An Unexpected Love
    • The Dancer
    September 24
    • Fist Fight (2017)
    • Man on a Ledge
    • Aurora
    • Just To Be Sure
    September 25
    • Desus & Mero: Season 2, Episode 49
    • Deutschland 89: Season 1 – Premiere
    • Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds: Season 1
    • Something Borrowed
    • Maggie
    • Petra
    September 26
    • Mechanic Resurrection
    • Monster Beach: Season 1, Episode 31
    September 27
    • The Comey Rule: Parts 1 & 2 – Premiere
    • Power Book II: Ghost – Season 1, Episode 4
    • Sleepless
    • Berry Bees: Season 1 (Part 2)
    • Monster Beach: Season 1, Episode 32
    September 28
    • The Circus: Season 5, Episode 15
    • Desus & Mero: Season 2, Episode 50
    • Our Cartoon President: Season 3, Episode 12
    • St Trinians 2 – Legend of Fritton’s Gold
    • L.A. Story
    September 29
    • The Fighter
    • I Am Wrath
    • Elsa & Fred
    • 70 Big Ones
    September 30
    • Grey’s Anatomy: Season 14
    • Lock Up
    • Intimate Parts

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