Almost immediately after deciding to buy a house, we started thinking about what we wanted it to be. Those thoughts grew into several endless Google Doc repositories of longtime dreams, new-found ideas and things that have to be fixed. Sure, many of our ideas for the house still fall into the looks department (paint, furniture and landscaping oh my!), but a big part of what we consider home lies in its efficient functionality and overall utility. We’re IT dorks, what else could you expect?
As the lists of ideas and projects continued to grow (and still do–we can’t wait to share!), its become apparent that our ideas and take on home improvement is a little unique and perhaps a little under-represented around the blogosphere. While we’ve found tons of advice on curtains, paint and furniture, we’ve found very little focusing on more functional projects like designing a home studio or setting up an easy camera surveillance system. Don’t get us wrong, decor will definitely be important, but we believe in designing around the function, rather than making the function work around our decor. Technology, sustainability and functionality are a pretty big part of our pie of life, and we can’t help but share it with you through our new home.
On that note, without further ado, we want to unveil our first house purchase! But first, a little background.
Our rental was pretty small, measuring in at around 1,100 square feet. Not impossibly small, but a tight fit when you (x2) have a home-based business, hobbies and like to entertain friends. We somehow squeezed all of those activities into one room. Needless to say that in that time, we became a little attached to being able to watch Netflix or movies while we were working on projects. Which is a problem, because in the new house our TV resides downstairs in our living room, while our office has been relocated to the much bigger loft upstairs.
Our makeshift office for the time being…
Estranged from our beloved Netflix, we knew we had to do something to bridge the gap but also add functionality and flexibility where possible. Buying another traditional TV seemed like a poor and awkward addition to the space. After doing a little research, we quickly fell in love with the new Sony Internet TV, or Google TV, and decided to make it the much coveted first purchase (via Amazon) for the house early this week. That’s right. No curtains, no picture frames, no appliances or rugs, we bought a TV. But we think its pretty sweet!
Google TV is essentially an Android OS, designed for TV, that uses your existing internet service to stream TV and content at the same time, on the same screen. It has apps like Pandora and our beloved Netflix, as well as a full-featured browser and the ability to search all of your content very easily. It allows us to multi-task and enjoy several types of entertainment simultaneously. Also this thing is wireless, no need to pull coax, Ethernet, or any other cables! Just plug it in and go!
We opted for the 24″ screen, which is the perfect fit for our desk. Why our desk? Because with the addition of two simple HDMI cables, we can both use the TV as a second monitor, a great asset when working on design or development projects. Additionally, it’s sleek and minimalist design makes it the perfect fit for almost anywhere.
As we round the corner on our third year of being cable TV free, the growing options and flexibility of both the devices being released and services being offered have allowed us to still enjoy great movies and television without all the stuff we don’t want to see. Additionally, as cable costs continue to go up every year, we feel like we are also getting more value for our money.
We’re hopeful that Google TV and the concept of Internet television in general endure the constant attempts by larger media companies to snuff them out. Cable/satellite companies are desperately trying to keep a stranglehold on the consumer to control how you receive entertainment and are doing their best to make Google TV struggle. However, it is our opinion that traditional television’s days are numbered and in the future you will see television being part of the Internet that has capabilities far beyond simply watching TV. The market is constantly moving in this direction already, and the way we consume information and entertainment almost demands it. What do you think?
This is the first of many tech ideas for the house. Some will be simple purchases, others will be more involved installations. In any case, if you have questions, or want to drop some ideas or suggestions our way, don’t hesitate to drop us an email!