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Cord Cutting (Should you make this switch)

 It’s 2019 and cable is reminding you more and more of Sear’s and Toy’s R Us by not adapting to the times. “That’s it” you mutter to yourself. “I’m taking these cable boxes back and streaming everything!” … but wait, is it really that easy? can you get all of the content you had before? Are hallmark movies and Sunday Night Football still viable without a cable box? The answer is yes but it may not go as smooth as you’d hope. keep reading and gamma tech will break this down for you.
Table of Contents
1. Live TV Options
2. Streaming Options
3. Should you Switch?

 


Live TV Options
So you’re cutting the cord with the cable company but you still need your live TV. Don’t worry, there are actually many options available to you. It all depends on what you want to watch.
If basic local channels are all you need than a simple HD antenna may be a great fit for you. Plug that baby in, set it in a viable location and channels 1-20 are more than likely yours. Fox, ABC, CBS, and PBS are accessible for zero dollars a month. The problems with antennas are their poor and unreliable reception. Remember the old bunny ears you had to move every couple weeks to get a clear picture? These antenna’s are the same technology. Easy to install and easy to cause headaches.
Okay, so the chance of missing the last play of the Super Bowl scares you and you don’t want an antenna. There are other options available although we left the realm of no monthly charges. Live TV streaming services such as Hulu TV, YouTube TV, and Sling allow you to watch live TV over a stable internet connection. These services average about $35 per month. Still much cheaper than cable. The list of channels usually include your local channels and extended basic. Think of your 1-100 channels from standard cable. The faults are that you’re still missing out on your premiums likes HBO and Showtime and you’re losing your ability to channel surf. If tech isn’t your thing, streaming may not be as easy as you’d hope. All of these streaming options come in the form of apps. These apps can be downloaded on a smart TV or a smart device such as a Roku or apple tv.

 


Streaming Options
Live TV
Hulu
Hulu allows you to watch a wide variety of shows the day after they’ve aired. They have multiple levels of subscriptions including a commercial option for about $10 a month. (Ah commercials, didn’t think you’d entirely avoid those, right?) Hulu also provides a live TV option for $40 a month. If you’re a sports fan, Hulu is my choice for streaming due to its easy to use layout and included channels. (BIG TEN NETWORK, SEC NETWORK, ETC)
YouTube
Youtube is the classic online video source. A wide open database of user created videos. Recently Youtube has expanded to a different market, Live TV. similar to the others, Youtube offers a $40 paid subscription that allows you to watch live TV channels from a separate YouTube TV app.
Sling
Sling is another Streaming Platform that has made a pretty big name for itself due to its a-la-carte options. Sling starts at $25 a month for its “blue” or “orange” packages. Each with different channels. Users can add on “sports” or “entertainment” packages and see how it adds to their channel list and bill. Sling top package with all the bells and whistles maxes out at $60 per month.
DirectTV Now
A newcomer to the streaming circle. DirectTV now boasts the highest amount of channels available and starts at $45 per month. Like most streaming services, you have the ability to upgrade your package for additional channels. A bonus for HBO and Cinemax fans, due to their long lasting relationship, DirectTV’s add on price for these networks is only $5 a piece.
FuboTV
Fubo is a streaming service focused on sports especially soccer. While including some cable channels they certainly focus on sports giving you access to many soccer channels that other companies don’t provide.

 


The Rest
Netflix
Every time you see your nephew he raves about Netflix. so much so that you want to give it a try. Netflix has rapidly grown into a household name and a juggernaut of content. While Netflix doesn’t show live TV, it has a robust library of previously aired shows and box offices movies. Recently, Netflix has been producing their own suburb content as well. Netflix subscriptions include but are not limited to a base, one TV option for $12 per month and a ultra HD that allows for 4K and HDR streaming for $14 per month.
Vudu
Vudu is a popular app that specializes in movies. Blockbuster movies range from $5 to $10 to rent and $15 to $25 to purchase. Purchased movies are stored in Vudu’s system so you’re able to watch them from any platform. If you want to take advantage of your new 4k TV note that most are available in 4k and HDR. Vudu also has a selection of older movies for free that rotate throughout the year.
 
Hulu’s non live TV
Hulu started back in 2008 as a way to watch your favorite TV shows the day after they air without a cable subscription. Hulu’s basic plans still do just that. If you don’t need to watch live sports or shows then Hulu’s commercial plan at $10 per month would by far be the cheapest option for you.

Premium Networks
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New Problem, Game of Thrones is your favorite show and you can’t miss it. There are streaming solutions available for you as well. Mostly all of the premium networks provide their own streaming services. Download the respective app, sign up for there paid monthly membership and press play. These memberships can range in price and the price depends on the network and streaming service you go with. Some streaming services such as Sling and Hulu allow you to add these premium networks into their plan. This provides you with a more cohesive service and combines your bills from both.

Sports
NBA
NBA League Pass is a standalone product that once you subscribe and pay you’ll have access to all NBA games league wide.
 
NFL
Unfortunately, NFL does not have a stand alone plan so you’ll need one of the above streaming services to watch. The good news is that all live streaming options will allow you to watch football is some aspect!
 
MLB
Similar to NBA, MLB has their season long subscription dubbed MLB.TV.
SOCCER
Most streaming companies don’t allow for much soccer. If you’re a fan, FuboTV is the best way to go.
 
NHL
NHL is similar to NBA and MLB whereas you can pay a set amount and receive access to all NHL’s league wide during the season.

Should You Switch?
Are you a tech savvy and wallet savvy? Cutting the cord might be the right option. Do you care about ease of use and simplicity? A traditional cable box may be the best choice.
The answer can only be determined on a person by person basis. Let Gamma Tech help you figure it out.
Reach out to us here we look forward to serving you!

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QLED vs OLED and what high end TV is right for you? (Breaking down the two titans of TV’s)

If you’re in the market for a new TV there’s no doubt you’ve heard the terms OLED and QLED. 94% of American homes have an HD TV but is “keeping up with the Jones’s” worth it?  whats the difference between the two? and which one is right for you?
Let Gamma Tech Services be your AV experts and provide insights into the two top of the line models.

TABLE OF CONTENTS 
1. Definitions
2. QLED vs OLED
3. Which TV is better and which is right for you?

 DEFINITIONS
Lets start with the basics and define both terms.
QLED
QLED is an acronym for Quantum Dot Light Emitting Diode. The term LED has been around for awhile now. The important part is the Q. Quantum Dots offer a different way for LED screens to produce color. Traditional LED’s use white diodes with color filters. QLED’s diodes range in super small (quantum) sizes and produce different colors based on their size. The takeaway is QLED’s can produce more heavily saturated and more precise colors compared to traditional LED’s. QLED’s are exclusively produced by Samsung.
OLED
OLED is an acronym for Organic Light Emitting Diode. What this means is OLED’s (unlike other led’s) do not require back lighting. This allows each individual diode to light up or turn off separately. On your current TV, look at a dark scene. Notice how the black color actually looks dark gray? That’s because the diodes are still producing light or light is bleeding from an adjacent lit area. With OLED’s you experience pure blacks and extreme contrast because specific diodes are turned off thus producing no light.

QLED vs OLED 
 
The battle of the top TV tech. Both are top of the line technologies and both will likely take a chunk from your wallet but which one is best? There’s no simple answer, so let’s go through the pros and cons in comparison to each other.
QLED
 Pros: 
1. Even the base model QLED’S can become extremely bright if needed. Have a ton of natural light in your room? This may be the better option.
2. Low input lag. Gamer’s rejoice, these QLED’s have an excellent input lag time. The 2018 version has recorded lag-time of just 15.4ms. No excuse to lose a match on this TV.
3. 10 year no burn in guarantee. These QLED’s are not susceptible to burn-in like other TV’s. Great for not retaining that ESPN or CNN logo.
4. QLED’s produce incredibly bright, vibrant and diverse colors.
5. Price. Generally you can find a QLED somewhat cheaper than an OLED.
Cons:
1. QLED’s still require back lighting. Meaning light is emitted in sections as apposed to OLED’s lighting individual diodes. This means blacks won’t be as pure and contrast not as great in comparison.
2. QLED is more of a refinement of technology than the next-gem product Samsung is claiming it to be.
  
OLED
 Pros: 
1. Light is emitted on a pixel-by-pixel basis, so complete black can be right next to bright white with neither impacting each other. This gives you deep blacks and amazing contrast.
2. No light bleeding because there’s no back light. Each diode can operate individually without effect the others because they light up themselves. 
3. OLED’s tend to be lighter and slimmer than a typical LED panel.
4. Significantly wider viewing angles. Great for bigger spaces. don’t worry about sitting directly in front of these TV’s.
Cons: 
1. Very expensive to produce. While the prices continue to lower, OLED panels don’t come cheap.
2. Brightness isn’t great. Comparative to QLED’s, a lot of natural light will affect your enjoyment of these TV’s.
3. Input lag and burn in. While both of these key points for gamer’s are worse in comparison to QLED’s, they continue to improve with every model release. Neither should be a deciding factor as burn in should only occur in extreme circumstances and input lag has been lowered significantly in the recent years.

Which TV is better and which TV is right for you?
While the OLED’s picture slightly edges out the QLED’s, the benefits of QLED’s make this race too close to call. Both TV’s are top of the line and both TV’s will be a beautiful addition to your project.
A lot of the when and which concerning purchasing a TV is dependent on your environment, your project, and your personal preference.

Reach out to us here and allow us to walk you through the process and help pick the right TV for your space.
Additionally, if you’d like to keep doing research, check out Samsung’s QLED website here and our favorite OLED here .
Building the ultimate setup? Check out our home theater services for residential and commercial .
Not satisfied with either? Check out the newest technology hitting the market. the 8k TV.
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Ride Nature

At Gamma Tech we are grateful for so many things. We are blessed with a great team, great customers, and a great opportunity to serve Southwest Florida in so many capacities. We are always excited to be able to come along and support different business and organizations that are making an impact on the community around us as well as beyond the borders of this country.

One of the many organizations we’ve been able to work with this year is Ride Nature out of Fort Myers. Ride Nature is an Action Sports Mission Organization dedicated to giving generously, proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and making disciples to the ends of the Earth. Their team travels into poverty stricken areas, both local and globally, to reach out to children through the use of action sports, to draw them away from gangs and terrible situations and point them to the Hope in Christ Jesus.

They also host many events at their Fort Myers location including concerts, cook outs, community outreach as well as a coffee shop.
We are so encouraged by the work they are doing and are grateful for the opportunity to support this great organization. We encourage you to take a moment and check them out, especially during the holiday season or if you’re looking to make end-of-the-year contributions to a great cause.

www.ridenature.com
https://www.facebook.com/thehouseofridenature

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How Much Storage Should I Have For My NVR?

A Network Video Recorder (or NVR) is a device that records video in a digital format to a disk drive, USB flash drive, SD memory card or other storage device. This NVR is connected to your security cameras installed in your home or business so you can store the footage and remote viewing on devices. This sends the recorded information from the camera directly to the NVR via ethernet cable.

The number of cameras an NVR can handle is defined by the number of channels (cameras) it has. This can range from 4 channels to 16 channels and up.

Things you need to know:
What the camera’s resolution is
Video quality
Frame rate per camera
Daily recording hours
Number of days you will be recording
Number of cameras you have

Once you have this information, you will know what size recorder you will be required to use to store the footage.

When you are looking to have an NVR installed in your home or business, give us a call! We do everything so you don’t have to! Gamma Tech sells top of the line electronics all across the board so you can be sure that you are getting the highest quality for the price!

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Cat5 vs Cat5e vs Cat6: Which Do I Run In My Home?

You may not even know what Cat wire is. Cat wire, or “category wire” is a twisted pair cable that carries signals. You use this in your own home to connect computer to a network for example. The difference between Cat5, Cat6, and Cat6e is the bandwidth they offer. Cat5 has become almost obsolete due to the other Cat wires being faster and more efficient.

Category 5 is the slowest out of the bunch, offering the slower speed of 10/100Mbps at 100MHz. Length of this cable cannot exceed 100m to reach this speed.

Category 5e (the e means enhanced) has basically replaced Cat5 wire in new installations. It is designed to reduce crosstalk and other signal interruptions, and can handle 1000Mbps at 100MHz. If you want to compromise on price yet still receive a great speed/signal, this may be the best option.

Category 6 has been commonly used in networks, while being able to handle 10 Gigabits of data, at 250 MHz. Cat6 wire is also more expensive to use, and can at times be difficult to install. If you are running cat wire through the walls, this may be the best option for you.
The “crosstalk” or interference has gone down due to the wiring updates. This reduces signal interruption and maximizes speed. You want to future proof your home and not go backwards with technology. When you are ready to install wire in your home, make sure to call Gamma Tech! Our AV wiring team knows everything there is to know about Cat wire. We are ready to serve you!

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Ransomeware: What It Is And How You Can Be Protected

 

A recent cyber attack has surfaced a malware called “Ransomeware,” which can completely lock your files on your computer and requires you to pay a certain fee to attain the files that have been compromised. It has been said that this attack occurred through stealing certain tools from the NSA. At the end of the day, these hackers are really holding your files for ransom.

 

These hackers can get into your machine via a variety of methods including SPAM emails, direct hacking, infected websites, or other computers that are infected on your network. This is spread easily by hacking into other computers on a network making it and endless cycle. Also, using outdated software can make you an easy target. Sadly, these hackers are advanced and major companies such as FedEx have even taken a hit from this malware.

 

What steps you need to take to protect you and your devices:

 

The first step you should take, is make backups of all your files. Whatever is important to you on your computer, back it up! So for example, if you have a backup of all your files on your computer and you become a victim of this malware, you can take the machine and wipe it clean and start fresh. Having the backup will simply load your backed up files back on your computer getting rid of the ransomware.

 

Another great asset to have is antivirus software. This software helps to eliminate all virus threats, using helpful tools like pop-up blockers and avoiding suspicious attachments.

 

The good news is, Gamma Tech can help! We do both backups and antivirus protection! If you are a commercial customer who participates in our managed services Gamma Tech Antivirus is included along with our ransomware proof backup. So if any problems are to occur, we can assure that our expert IT technicians will be there to help!  If you’re a residential customer, give us a call so we can ensure your machine is protected from crooks attempting to hold your files ransom.

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Music Streaming Services Compared

Apple Music

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What We Like
If you have iPhone or iPad you don’t have to download another app, it’s already built in. You can access it through your Music app on Apple devices. When you sign up, you get the first 3 months free. There is a “For You” tab that learns about your taste in music and shows you music recommendations.

What We Don’t Like
The sound quality isn’t nearly as high as its competitors. There is no free mode with Apple Music, and is very cluttered; not easy to navigate. If you are an Android user or ever plan to in the future, the Apple Music platform is not the most friendly one to use.

Cost: $9.99/mo

Spotify

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What We Like
You can connect your Spotify account to Facebook and see what your friends are listening to. Spotify also has great high quality audio.

What We Don’t Like
This is actually our favorite streaming service to use at Gamma Tech. The sound quality is still not “high definition”, but it is still very good and better than most. Some big name artists have removed their music from Spotify due to their royalty rates.

Cost: $9.99/mo

Pandora

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What We Like
Pandora uses stations. You can create a station around an artist, song, or genre. It won’t play songs solely from a certain band, but play music that was in the same genre or similar artists.

What We Don’t Like
Has a very limited selection of music compared to its competitors. It is very basic. Also due to licensing restrictions, only 1 track per album can be played at a time. So listening to the Star Wars soundtrack all the way through won’t ever happen.

Cost: $4.99/mo or free with ads

Tidal

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What We Like
It offers a lot of exclusive content only available on Tidal such as concerts, videos, and playlists by big name artists. Gets a lot of attention because of its high sound quality.

What We Don’t Like
Not too many people use this service. Sure it has the best sound, but Spotify is just as great for half the cost.

Cost: $9.99/mo for Basic or $19.99 for hi-fidelity

iHeart Radio
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What We Like
If you want your favorite radio stations you listen to now mixed in with some stations you create yourself, this is the one for you. What we like is that ITS FREE! Free is good! Its very simple and easy to use.

What We Don’t Like
The variety isn’t as vast as its competitors. Being solely radio based and not being able to pick an artist to stick with may bother some users.

Cost: $9.99/mo or free with ads

Slacker Radio

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What We Like
Has a vast library of music, great stations, and playlists. The program itself is very sleek, and has great sound quality. If you love sports radio, you’ll love this service even more with live ESPN Radio. Also has news stations and even The Weather Channel.

What We Don’t Like
Very similar to the Pandora and Spotify, certain features are only available through the premium membership.

Cost: $3.99/mo or free with ads

Tune In Radio

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What We Like
There are endless possibilities with Tune In. You can listen to practically anything you wish. What we love about TuneIn is that it is accessible just about anywhere. Apple, Android, a Smart TV, you name it, you can probably stream Tune In. You can connect Tune In to your Facebook just like Spotify. There is a History tab that will show you a stations entire playlist before you even start listening.

What We Don’t Like
There is a buffer. Constantly waiting for music to load can be very annoying. Some stations won’t even load. Not all local stations will appear like iHeart Radio, and you need a very good internet connection. Lastly, there are ads that come up at the bottom of the screen as if they want you to click on their bait.

Cost: $9.99/mo or free with ads

 

It all comes down to what your preferences are and what you are comfortable with. Pick the best streaming service for you this summer!

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Building a Home? Your Technology is a Service

If you’ve ever built a home, you are well aware of the MANY decisions that need to be made in order for that home to be built. If it’s a custom home, it’s only exaggerated.

But, few items in your home are like the technology solution you choose. Let me explain.

The floor in your home, is ultimately a product. It’s easy to grasp and easy to recognize a poorly installed floor. There is skill to installing it, but choose the right builder and they’ll ensure the flooring is properly installed.

Same for the appliances, paint, concrete, landscaping, kitchen cabinets, countertops, lighting fixtures, garage door, and the list goes on…

But nothing in your home is so integral to everyday living as your home technology. And typically your builder is not as adept at recognizing a poorly installed system. Think about it. Especially if there is home automation in the home, who is going to ensure the automation works as designed? When the TV doesn’t turn on, who will be responsible for getting it working? Who will be responsible for ensuring the system is easy to use and operate? Who will ensure the system works as designed and isn’t constantly having issues?

All of these questions are who and not what. Sure it matters what system you buy, but the reality is if you buy the best system but have poor service, you really have nothing.

We see this all the time from customers. They purchase a Crestron system or a Savant system because one of their friends have it, or they have it in another home up north. But suddenly, they find the system is a complete nightmare to use and we are called to rip it out. The cause wasn’t because Savant and Crestron have a poorly made product, but instead the company that installed it offered a poor design and/or a poor level of service, rendering the system useless.

So the question ultimately becomes, are you buying a product or a service? And although your proposal may indicate you’re buying a list of products, it couldn’t be more misleading.

At Gamma Tech Services, we are a true service company. No other company offers such a high level of service and attention to detail. We won’t tell you that we never screw up, but when we do, we always make it right. Our staff are experts in their individual fields and put you, the customer, first. With 10 years of business under our belt, we have the reputation to prove the level of service we provide and as the owner I am in this for the long haul. At the end of the day, I personally stay current in all of the fields of services we offer to ensure I can personally take care of any concerns a customer may have.

It’s this winning formula that has allowed Gamma Tech Services to have staying power and year over year rapid growth without any conventional marketing.

So if you’re building a home, or really buying anything technology, ask yourself, “Am I buying a product, or a service.” And be sure to choose the right service company.

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The Reason for Blog Silence

If you’re a reader of our blog, let me apologize for the delay in updating it. It hasn’t been for naught though. As you most likely know, we are moving, and the move has been consuming all of our extra time and energy, normally spent on our blog. The list of improvements for the new office include:

1- all new wood flooring throughout
2 – painting of all interior
3 – security cameras covering entire inside and outside
4 – all new electrical outlets and switches
5 – several new doors and beautiful French doors in a couple areas
6 – new furniture and art throughout
7 – wiring throughout
…. And much more…

Needless to say, we are investing heavily in our space in both financial and time resources to make it a more productive and also more inviting environment for our customers to visit us. Although we are still a ways off from the finished product, the results have already been rather impressive. Thanks to our awesome employees and the contractors we employed we have a space that is truly everything we have wanted.

The reality is that we believe this space will continue to propel us forward as we grow the company in size and professional offerings. This year we added our VoIP services and phone systems and have installed far more than we anticipated. We continue to grow our managed services for our commercial clients at a steady 5% per month and the audio video side has continued to add new customers and strategic sources of referrals. And this month we added on a new service with automated window treatments and shades that we are very excited about.

We know all of this growth requires a new space and we believe that this space is exactly that. We are excited to have a location that allows us to better exhibit our service offerings and better present the level of service we provide.

2015 has been an exciting year and we know by the beginning of 2016 that we will have this new office fully ready to go. I hope you’ll drop by and see us, but for now, stay tuned!

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Facebook Newsfeed Explained

If you’ve seen pictures going around or your friends complaining about Facebook “hiding” your posts from your friends, than you’ll be interested in understanding the truth.

First of all, they are right in that your news feed is not a comprehensive list of all your FB friends’ posts. There is an algorithm that FB applies to load your news feed. The exact algorithm is based on logic that no one knows besides the FB programmers, but from what we can figure out is it is as follows:

1. If you have a new friend, their statuses are shown to you on your news feed.
2. If you do not “like” or comment on their statuses than their statuses begin to be hidden from your feed.
3. If a particular post of your friend’s gets more traction or likes, it will be shown on your feed. IE someone getting married or the like.
4. If you do not like these posts or comment on them, FB basically determines you are not interested in their posts and hides all of their posts.

This is all balanced and follows the ebb and flow of your likes, but that is the basic idea.

The pictures that promise to get more friends to see your posts work, sorta. They basically will trick the algorithm to think the post is gaining traction as your friends that normally see your post will hopefully all like and comment. The result is that friends that don’t see your posts normally will see your post…

BUT

There’s a cost. Most likely the friends that FB decides to show the post to will decide that the picture is just a “scam” and may not like post. The result is that FB will determine that those friends truly are not interested in your posts and not show them to those friends at all.

So the moral. Just use FB as you normally would and don’t try to trick it. It will have unintended consequences and they probably won’t be positive. FB pays software engineers thousands to ensure the algorithms are always one step ahead.

In the meantime, if you want to see your friends posts that aren’t showing up on your feed, go to more and then most recent.