I recently began a two-part review of the Vivint home automation/security solutions. Read the review here before you move on to part 2. The system has definitely become an important part of our home. Part 2 will cover the Playback DVR, door locks, thermostat, smoke detector and other detectors installed.
Articles by Travis Ehrlich
South Texas mosquitos are often the size of a pigeon and seem to be super hungry for human blood. I have used a Thermacell for hunting and outdoors for years. Their new Radius Zone Mosquito Repellent ($49.99) brings scent free, powerful protection with only one refill component and a rechargeable battery. Let’s see how it holds up to summer skeeters.
I recently had the good people from Vivint come and install a home automation system/security system in my home. Vivint provides a ton of options and provides professional installation with every purchase. Read on to see how the process and products have transformed my home.
I have not worn a wedding band for many years. Not because I am avoiding the appearance of being married, but because of my outdoor lifestyle. My poor ring has been through a lot in the last 20 years, and I finally just quit wearing it. For around $40, I purchased a Qalo ring; I’m not disappointed in the least.
I love being able to have lighting options off of the grid, both for piece of mind during an emergency and also during my outdoor adventures. The Cairn XL Smart Lantern ($99) brings quality, phone connectivity, and spare power in a well designed, water and dust proof package. This light excels in all categories. Let’s take a look!
Free HDTV channels are a must for any cord cutter. Many new channels are becoming available over the air which greatly expands viewing options. These channels are free, and they have fantastic picture quality. Winegard, who is known for their antenna solutions as you can see in my review here, has released an app to help find the towers.
I spend a lot of time hunting, on a tractor, and generally in the outdoors. Protecting my iPhone 7+ can be a daunting task in some of the conditions I carry it. I recently tried out the SnowLizard SLXtreme iPhone 7+/8+ case, and found it to be packed with protective features.
As a cord cutter, finding streaming sources of television has become important. One thing many streaming services ignore is over the air locals. Most local channels have 3 or 4 channels packaged together, and the HD quality is much better than what is found on a satellite. The Winegard Elite 7550 is an excellent streaming option for those local channels.
Wireless headphones have become a staple in my life and I love getting great sound. Over the ear options are often pretty bulky, so luckily Phiaton has released the BT 390 Compact headphones ($79.99). These smaller headphones fold up for easy carry but do not disappoint with the audio quality. Let’s take a look.
After years of dragging my feet, I recently cut the cord and freed myself from satellite costs. Sports coverage options held me back for years, but I have learned to adjust and find the games I want to watch. With the Super Bowl airing on CBS, all you really need is a decent antenna. Here are some options.
With our homes and entertainment becoming more connected to our WiFi networks, so is the need to be able to connect to that network even when away. The Amplifi Teleport ($229 for the kit) allows travelers to use any Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection to access their home network, essentially extending your network to anywhere in the world.
With the size of videos and photos nowadays, we may all have a time where the provided memory just is not enough. Naztech is addressing this issue with the Xtra Drive mini ($59.99). The device allows you to instantly save and transfer files using your iOS device’s Lightning Connector and up to 256GB Micro USB card.
We have many musical instruments at our house, but we have always lacked a drum set. My youngest son has begged to learn how to play, so when I had the chance to review the Yamaha DTX400K electronic drum set (MSRP $799), we jumped all over it. I was not sure what to expect, but this thing has blown us…
I am a huge fan of wireless earphones. One issue I often have with these products is what to do with them when not wearing them for a bit. Naztech has addressed this problem with the Alloy Advanced Magnetic Earphones. The $69.99 earphones add a new twist to wearing wireless, Bluetooth earphones. Let’s take a look.
Flashlights are great, but there are times the light is needed while keeping both hands free to work. I have this need when I am hunting and cooking barbecue. Whether hunting early morning or finishing an evening hunt, a headlamp comes in handy while walking or dealing with gear. The ThruNite TH20 LED Headlamp ($29.99) fits the bill.
There are many Bluetooth speaker options out there. Most offerings are a single speaker to make them easy to carry. The KNZ GoDuo brings a unique design allowing for single carry portability as well as stereo sound. The successful Kickstarter campaign still has early bird options available for $79; let’s take a look.
We are in grilling, swimming, and outside season. Never miss a game during a BBQ or neglect to watch a movie under the stars with SunBriteTV, the outdoor television. SunBriteTV is made to handle outdoor use and offers three levels of protection which can fit anyone’s needs and price range.
BBQ season is once again upon us. School is out for the summer here in South Texas, and the grills have already been fired up. As you know, the most important part of a successful BBQ is the coals. The Chimney of Insanity by BBQ Dragon ($29.95) helps make the charcoal perfect, quickly and without the need for lighter fluid.
I spend a lot of time out and about whether travelling for games or out in the woods. Keeping drinks warm or cold is always an issue. A small ice chest is not always in the cards, so I usually turn to high quality drink ware. The Pelican TRAVBO32 bottle ($39.99) has proven its worth in my recent tests.
After owning an iPhone 7 plus, no longer having the 3.5 mm headphone jack has really changed my listening habits. I do not want to use dongles, so my search is for everything wireless. I recently got a chance to try out Skybuds truly wireless earbuds ($219.99) and they are a good entry into the world without wires.
My wife always jokes that anytime someone wants to get me something, they cannot go wrong with either a flashlight or pocket knife. This is true; I absolutely love really bright, tactical flashlights. The ThruNite TN12 ($49.95) brings a strong, tactical design along with a super bright 1100 lumen Cree LED light. Let’s take a closer look!