Tech News and Commentary
Dave and the team discuss Tinder Matchmaker, Apple’s price hike, and more.
Steve in Evansville, Indiana asked: I recently cut the cable and am now streaming all my content at home. I am so happy to not be sending my hard-earned money to Comcast every month! The only issue I have is now I have lost all my local channels, so I cant get the local news that I like to watch every morning. How can I best receive those channels and is there a way to record them so I can catch up on the news when I have time?
Steve, in terms of watching your local channels all you need is an antenna for your TV.
You dont need anything special, just the same traditional, old-fashioned rabbit years should do, though there are some square models these days that are supposed to make it so you dont need to constantly tweak the antenna to try to get the best signal.
If you want to record, you will need an over-the-air DVR. Brands like Tablo and Channel Master make some dedicated ones that you can look at and have been for many years. Keep in mind that there will be two caveats to look out for: 1) there may be a monthly subscription fee, and 2) the device may not include a hard drive or SSD for storage. Those two things mean that your final cost may be higher than you may initially expect.
The other option you may have are smartphone or TV apps to just watch the online stream or recorded videos put out by the stations themselves. That option will likely be free and easy.
Sarah in Durham, North Carolina asked: My parents are both in their mid-80s and we are hoping to honor their wish to stay in their home as long as possible. What kind of things would you recommend that would help us keep an eye on them and help them stay in their home on their own?
Sarah, it all depends on how far you need to go.
For example, you can buy battery-powered cameras that dont require any wires (like Amazons Blink line, or Arlos rechargeable battery cameras) that would allow you to quickly and easily set up cameras that you can use to check in on them without a big investment and without the need to make any destructive changes.
If theyre willing to wear smartwatches, that will both give them a way to always contact you, even if theyre on the floor, and they can alert you of falls and of their current location wherever they are.
The old Ive fallen and I cant get up kind of senior tech, is also still around so you can still opt for the classics.
If theyre willing to accept a smart speaker, they can give you an easy way to contact them and be contacted by them without forcing them to run to a landline or keep track of a smartphone. Smart speakers obviously have very sensitive microphones, so you should be able to talk to them fairly easily even if theyre not nearby.
You can also use services like grocery delivery, either directly from merchants or by way of services like Instacart, which should help you make sure that they have the groceries they need. The same goes for pharmacy delivery services from both traditional pharmacies and from tech megacorporations like Amazon.
You can also remotely track usage on routers, though that wont be as straightforward and it may require a little bit more knowledge to be able to parse what youre seeing.
It all depends on what you really want and need to track, but you should have plenty of options to help your parents maintain their independence.
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