Perspective

Our Unique Perspective

 

So many of our potential customers ask us what makes us different from our competition. Although the list is long, one of our stronger reasons is our unique perspective from which we approach project designs.

Most audio video business owners come from a particular background in the technology world. For some, they come from an electrical background. Others it’s a security background, and for others it’s an “old school” audio video background.

But we believe our background is truly unique and something that none of our Naples competition shares. A background in Networking.

Some may wonder what networking has to do with audio video and why it gives us an advantage, but when you understand that networking is the foundation of all future technology, it starts to become more clear.

Networking is the framework and the glue that holds everything together. Without networking you have no internet. Without networking you have no streaming video or music. Without networking you have no way to control your equipment with your mobile devices. The list goes on and on.

Without networking all you have is a bunch of equipment instead of a unified, easy to use entertainment system.

So we can agree that networking is important, but you may not realize that networking doesn’t either work or not work, but instead provides a level of 3 elements: speed, reliability, and security. So often we find that our competition installs networks that offer a dismal level of each of 3 these elements and ultimately the customer is the one hurt. Worse is that some good products are blamed for poor performance or reliability due to networking inexperience from the installers and designers.

What makes networking such a challenge for so many audio video companies is that it is something that is very abstract and not nearly as “hands on” as the rest of audio video. In addition, so many installers believe that just spending more on the equipment will yield better reliability, speed, and security. This is true to a certain extent, but like a quality paint brush, networking equipment is only as good as the painter that holds it.

Reality is that there is nothing “sexy” about quality networking, but like a foundation to your home, networking is the foundation to your technology. Trust the pros at Gamma Tech Services and rest assured that the foundation to your system is solid.

 

Video Distribution

Video Distribution: a Luxury You Can’t Afford to Not Have

 

If you’re looking for the ultimate audio/video experience in your home, consider video distribution.

Video distribution can seem hard to understand because it is so foreign to many people, but the idea is actually pretty simple.

So what is video distribution you ask? Video distribution is an idea that lets multiple TVs share multiple sources. The advantage? You can watch any source on any TV. In addition, it can also save you money on sources as you only need as many devices as you want to watch at anyone time. In other words, if you have 8 TVs you no longer need 8 cable boxes but instead can get 3 that would be shared amongst the 8 TVs. This saves on your monthly bill from your cable provider but also has another consequence.

Now each member of the family can have their own cable box and DVR to view on any TV. This means you can not only view any recording on any TV, but you can segregate your recordings from your husband/wife. If you want a blu-ray player to watch movies, you now only need 1 for the entire home instead of 1 for every TV. Apple TV? Just 1 needed.

The other great thing about video distribution is that you can truly start something in one room and finish it in another… And this is true for every source whether it’s cable TV, a movie, or something on your Apple TV.

If you’re a sports fan, video distribution is basically made for you. You can subscribe to both Comcast and DirectTV to enjoy Comcast reliability while also enjoying NFL ticket and other DirectTV luxuries. Best of all you only need one DirectTV box and now all of your TV’s will have the option of either Comcast or DirectTV.

Video distribution also lets you easily sync TVs if you wanted to. This is great for parties and other environments where you might be moving throughout the house enjoying a show. Pickup the remote and change the channel in one room and watch as all of the other TVs tuned to that cable box also change channels. No more running around having to change channels on each TV.

Finally, video distribution allows for a truly wireless look to all of your TV’s. Instead of requiring each TV to have messy equipment underneath, all of the equipment lives in a nice and clean rack in a centralized location. Now you can have just a TV hanging on your wall but have access to seemingly unlined content.

If you’re building a new home, remodeling your current home, or just looking to revamp your audio video, consider video distribution and trust no one but the pros at Gamma Tech Services. With our unique 1 year guarantee on parts, labor, and training, you can rest assured you’re making a wise investment!

 

 

Windows 10 - Gamma Tech Services

8 Reasons Windows 10 is worth the Upgrade

 

Windows 10 is due here next month and many are asking, “Should I upgrade?”

Like any upgrade we say to wait. The reason has little to do with Microsoft and more to do with the things you use with your computer like your printer, software, websites, and other peripherals. It takes time for the bugs to be worked out with those things and there’s no reason to be the guinea pig.

That in mind, Windows 10 is going to be a very good thing for PC users. Here are 8 things you’ll love about Windows 10

1. It’s optimized for a mouse and keyboard again.
This sounds silly, but Windows 8 tried to push the touch screen idea forward and left the mouse and keyboard users behind. The reality is that mouse and keyboard are here to stay for the foreseeable future. With Windows 10 you no longer have to struggle to bring up a right side menu or wave your mouse in the corner to bring up the start menu. It’s back to the way it should be.

2. The start menu is back
…and it’s better than ever. Need I say more?

3. Virtual Desktops
If you’ve ever used multiple monitors you know the joy that comes from having multiple work screens and configurations. Virtual desktops is like that but it allows you to have a set of windows open that work together and then open another “desktop” that can have a whole new set of windows. Examples would be a “work” desktop with Outlook, calendar, and maybe your common work websites all open and then a “Personal” desktop that just has your Facebook and a YouTube websites open. One click and all your windows that pertain to the personal desktop go away and you’re back to your work desktop, and vice versa. Makes it easy to work and group certain windows together.

4. Oh Snap!
With Windows 10 you can now snap windows into place with snap assist. This allows you to form a grid of sorts and put up to 4 things on the screen without having to resize and move them. If you remember the side snap that was released with Windows 7, it’s like that but taken a step further.

5. It’s Free!
Yes that’s right. For the first year it’s out, you can get a free copy. The key is to reserve your copy. It should show up in your task bar on the bottom right of the screen by the digital time on your current computer. Click on it and follow the steps to reserve your copy via email, but remember to wait to actually make the switch.

6. Cortona is here
Cortina is the Siri of Windows and it’s really quite interesting. Honestly I’m not sure everyone will be talking to their computer, but Cortona is more than that and offers some intelligence to your normal daily tasks and acts as a digital assistant. It should be something that we really learn to enjoy.

7. Speed, Speed, Speed
Windows 10 is one of the lightest Windows versions yet. This means it will run faster than any version before it and since it’s been so well tested via a new beta program that had millions testing it (us included), it will be very stable as well.

8. It’s still Windows
That’s right, it’s still Windows and in the end that means you get to enjoy all the programs that you use without fear of compatibility. If it ran on Windows 7 or 8 it’ll probably run on Windows 10 just as well. That’s great news and should make the transition much smoother for those of us upgrading.

 

Trust Gamma Tech Services for all your computer needs whether personal or work related. If you have any other specific questions regarding Windows 10, don’t hesitate to call us and we’d be happy to help and remember to stay tuned to see when we recommend the update.

“Buy Once, Cry Once”

image

“Buy once, cry once.” He said as I stood there waiting for the check.

It was 2006 and I was about 1 year into my business. As a 17 year kid, I was still uncomfortable with the amount of the bill that the customer had to pay for a new computer I had sold him and it was at that moment he told me the saying I’ll never forget. Buy once, cry once.

After he said it, I laughed and said, “What do you mean?” He explained, “It’s ok if I’m paying this much today, but I better have a good, reliable system and you better not come back asking for more money when this doesn’t work.”

I gulped and said “of course.”

To this day, this has always been our strategy in designing our projects and the result has been only glowing customer reviews.

But, not all of our customers understand this methodology in the beginning. In fact, some projects are even lost to our competition because they were willing to cut a corner we simply were not and therefore were able to beat our price significantly.

We call it the Apple effect. Honestly we aren’t big Apple fans over at Gamma Tech Services (ok maybe it’s just me) but they do one thing right. They don’t ever settle or sacrifice what they consider necessities to offer a lower price point. It took some time for them to gain traction but no one can question that their growth has stemmed from this dedication to quality.

Beyond quality, simplicity and ease of use is another area that we at Gamma Tech apply a buy once, cry once methodology. I have customer after customer tell me how they just want simplicity. They want it to just work. But what isn’t commonly understood is that simplicity and ease of use, often comes at a cost. Remote controls that automatically turn on and switch everything to the right input and other items like automatic speaker switchers that prevent you from having to switch from music to TV and vice versa with with multiple devices all add to the cost of the design.

Sure, the result may be a little higher than if you didn’t include that thingy that’ll make the system easy to use, but if you can’t use your system then what did you really save?

If you’re buying from Gamma Tech Services know that although you may cry when you write the check to pay for the system the first time, you’ll be smiling for much longer after. The result will be a system you enjoy, that’s easy to use, and less prone to issues. And we back it up with our 1 Year System Guarantee that means whether it’s parts, labor, or training we will take care of the issue in the first year.

In the end you get to buy once and cry, maybe a little, once.

 

What Does Gamma Mean?

Father and Child

Many people ask what Gamma means. Some think it’s for the Greek letter. Others just think I chose it because it sounds cool. But, it means “God Anticipates My Many Actions.” It’s something I came up with as a kid and something that always stuck in my mind for any business I started.

To me it always meant that God is there, waiting on us to make decisions that honor Him and He therefore anticipates our faithfulness. I guess it’s more of a reminder of the fact that although we have free will, God expects our faithfulness. It’s anticipated.

But recently I’ve been introduced to another angle on the meaning. The reality is that my life is full of choices that I can’t be proud of. Certainly choices that God wouldn’t approve of. But these choices are nonetheless anticipated.

By that I mean, God expects my faithfulness but He also expects my unfaithfulness. It’s the reason He sent His son and why we are not worthy of His love or care. It’s encouraging to me at this point in my life to know that God waits for me to return to Him and when I do, He has glorious plans for me.

I’m reminded of the story of the prodigal son. It’s a story in which a rich man has a son who asks for his father’s inheritance early and leaves him. A famine hits the land and the son is quickly out of money and realizes the mistake he made. In humility he comes back to the father and before he can even say anything to his father, the father embraces him and celebrates his return.

It’s a story that quite honestly brings tears to my eyes because I know that son is me. So many times I take matters into my own hands and when I have no where else to turn, I turn to Jesus and He’s there to embrace me and celebrate my return.

If you haven’t yet experienced the peace and the joy that comes from finding Jesus, you’re missing out! God is waiting for you and truly is anticipating the moment you come to Him so He can begin the celebrations.

He knows you’re a screw up, but He loves you because you’re his child.

Our Customers Can’t Stop Talking about Us

Gamma Tech Services is on the rise and we have our customers to thank. Reality is we rely on word of mouth advertising for growth and the growth has been stunning to say the least.

If you haven’t checked out our reviews page, you should. It’s filled with customer after customer writing about their experience with Gamma Tech Services and the overall theme is very positive. Glowing is probably a better description.

The reason is simple: a customer first mentality and treating people as we would want to be treated.

Of course, being good at what we do in our field is very important, but to us it’s secondary. Customers understand that we don’t know everything about everything, but they are comforted in that they are in good hands with techs that demonstrate first class service and excellent competence.

So if you’re looking for technology services ranging from simple computer repair to complex corporate networks to a whole home automation system, look no further that Gamma Tech Services. If you need a further recommendation, just ask around. We know you’ll find that our customers just can’t stop talking about us!

Sonos + Control4 = Awesome

Sonos. If you haven’t heard of it, it is only a matter of time.

Sonos is a whole home music system. What makes it different is that it allows for you to control multiple rooms or “zones” of music all from a single app on your smart phone. But what makes it even better is that instead of playing from your phone, it plays from the cloud.

That means that the music keeps playing even when your phone is off, getting a phone call, or playing some other audio or video. It also means that you truly are using one application to manage your music and choose the volume and content for each room.

Sonos may be great, but even better is Control4 and Sonos together. The end result is truly awesome.  Features such as in-wall control pads that can control volume, play pause and more truly bring the experience up to another level.

In addition, we are freed from the plug in speakers that Sonos sells and can install in-ceiling speakers that not only offer superior audio but are much cleaner visually.

Control4 also introduces some other features such as having your music automatically lower when someone rings your doorbell or pushing one button that turns off all the music in the home.

Sonos is an excellent solution by itself but it really becomes a beautiful solution when combined with Control4.

If your building a new home, remodeling, or just looking to install some audio video in your home, be sure to give us a call and ask about our home packages that include solutions such as Sonos and Control4. Once you experience the convenience, you won’t be able to live without it!

Bible and Computer

Use Scripture to Protect Your Password

 

If you’re like most internet users, you have experienced a hacked email account or some other online account. Most people assume that like credit card fraud your password was stolen in some unknown way, but the actual reason is actually far more simple.

They guessed at your password and got it right.

You’re probably thinking there is no way this can be true but it most definitely is.  The catch is that it wasn’t a person doing the guessing, it was a computer or more specifically a program. The technique is called Brute Force.  By guessing thousands of passwords a minute, it is only a matter of time before they get your password right.

Thankfully, by understanding how this works, you can protect yourself.

Most password generators use statistics to increase their odds of success and one of the ways they do this is by using an English dictionary for their guessing. Other tricks include using all lowercase letters or only the capitalizing the first letter of the word. These are all common items found in passwords and by employing these techniques with the luxury of being able to guess so many in such a short period and it’s not hard to see why so many get hacked.

So how to protect yourself? Well God’s word is always a good place to turn for wisdom and security… So that’s why we argue that using scripture is a great strategy. Read more to find out why.

Before we answer that though, here are the rules for a secure password:

1. At least 1 lowercase letter
2. At least 1 uppercase letter, preferably not the first letter only.
3. At least 1 number.
4. At least 1 special character.
5. Not comprised solely of an English word or combination of English words.
6. At least 12 characters long but preferably even longer. It seems for security that longer is better but some sites will limit you to only 16 characters.
7. Find a way to change up your password so that you aren’t using the same password on multiple sites.

To accomplish this task, we like to use a sentence or phrase and then take the first letter of each word in that sentence and use it for the password. The trick is finding a sentence that meets all of the criteria above. The good news is that almost all of scripture does this!

For example, let’s take a popular Bible verse and give it a try.

Philippians 4:13 – For I can do everything though Christ, who gives me strength.

The password for this would be: P4:13-FIcdetCwgms. Despite looking like complete nonsense, this password is easy to remember and best of all, meets all of the criteria we specified above except number 7.

To accomplish number 7, we recommend adding a letter to the end or beginning of the password that marks the website. For example, if it was for Facebook, it would be letter F. Twitter would be T and so on. Therefore, your Facebook password might be P4:13-FIcdetCwgmsF and your Twitter password would be P4:13-FIcdetCwgmsT.

If you are using passwords that don’t meet this criteria, we recommend you take the time to change them ASAP. It’s a little tedious but worth the time and effort. Focus first on your email accounts as they are the easiest to crack and then move to social media and banking.

In the end, it’ll take some time but you’ll be able to sleep easy knowing your accounts aren’t susceptible to hacking via brute force and maybe even memorize some scripture along the way. It’s a win win!

Is 4K Worth It?

The short answer: yes. The long answer? Read on to find out.

Every year TV manufacturers work to create the next buzz that will sell TVs. Reality is that TVs haven’t changed much since they went flat and HD, but that’s a problem for technology manufacturers who need a reason for you to replace your TV with a new one every couple of years.

So it started with “Smart” TV’s a couple years back. There is no defined standard for what a smart TV is and with so many options to make your TV smart with devices like Chromecast and Apple TV, it is really something that is not needed and often is slow and hard to use. But it helped to sell TVs as everyone had to have a “smart” TV.

Then it was 3d. Let’s just say it was a desperate year for TV technology and thankfully that came and went.

Then it was Curved TVs and in-fact this is still being pushed. We aren’t sure how this one will pan out but we see it being something a little longer lasting than 3D. It does have some added benefit but mostly is just different for the sake of being different and for some people that’s all it takes.

This year it’s 4K. And unlike the others, 4K is most definitely here to stay. So first, what is 4K and why is it needed? 4K refers to the resolution of the TV and like “HD” before it, promises to bring enhanced image clarity and sharpness to everything you watch on your TV. It is truly 4 times the clarity of 1080p. But, you may wonder why we need a clearer picture than 1080P HD.

To answer that question, we need to get a little technical, so hold on!

Every TV is comprised of thousands of little color dots called pixels. These pixels individually change color to create the image you see on your TV. The smaller the pixels, the clearer the image. Notice that last sentence and consider this. An 80″ 1080P TV has the same number of pixels as a 32″ 1080P TV. This is done simply by increasing the size of each pixel to fill the 80″ TV.

Therefore, as TVs have grown in size, traditional 1080P HD TVs have become less and less clear. 4K promises to fix this problem. But it’s important to understand that there is no problem to solve for TVs about 55″ and under. That’s because at these sizes, the pixels remain small enough even with traditional 1080P HD to produce a very clear image. In fact, at these smaller sizes it becomes difficult to tell the difference between HD and 4K.

Finally, it’s important to understand that 4K, like HD when it first came out, is ahead of its time and has limited content available. Most of the content currently is being delivered through the smart TV’s software and is therefore cumbersome to use and limited to only a few shows or movies. This should change in the next year as more set top boxes become available with 4K that you can plug into your TV, but count on this: it will take at least 1 more year before there is any useable 4K content to watch. In the meantime, all of the 4K TVs support 4K upscaling which does hold some value and presents a picture that’s between HD and 4K.

So the longer, short answer is this: if you are purchasing a TV that is over 55″, go ahead and splurge on a 4K set. But reality is, you’ll be waiting quite some time before you’ll actually enjoy some 4K content.

Security You’ll Actually Use

Traditional security systems really haven’t changed in many years and unfortunately are crippled by the limited information that they provide. Often we are simply notified of an alarm going off, but we don’t have any information regarding the reason.   Many times it is a false alarm, causing us to simply believe it is “crying wolf” or worse we find we don’t even bother to use the system.

At Gamma Tech Services we present true security that isn’t just binary on/off but instead uses intelligence to alert you of abnormal activities without you even needing to arm the system. We can apply rules and take different actions based on if it’s night or day, if you are home or away, and which doors/windows are opened. Combine this intelligence with security cameras that can provide visual confirmation when you are away and you have security that is truly worth using.

Perhaps one of our favorite features is our auto arming and disarming of the security system. We can do this based on a couple rules such as at a certain time each night, during the day if no one is home, and really anything else you can imagine. And when your security system is integrated into your whole home automation system you’ll find that you’ll use your security much more. We can program a single “Goodbye” button that arms the security system, turns off all the lights, turns off the music and TVs, and locks the doors.

At Gamma Tech Services we may not be marketed as a “security” company, but in actuality we provide complete, true security that you’ll actually use. Your home is worth protecting, trust Gamma Tech Services with your security needs!