Friday, January 13, 2017


Setting up a home theater isn't a chore because there's good times waiting once done. But lost in today's "Internet of Things" (iOT) is that almost all of the components making up the home theater are now linked to the "Cloud" and able to go online. That bodes well for being able to stream video, do updates in a simple manner and enjoy tons of content, but how good a signal is being received? And what about the security of that signal? Just because that new 4K Blu-ray player or that new BIG SCREEN 4K TV isn’t a computer doesn’t mean there can’t be issues. So while there’s no reason to fear your home theater being connected to the Internet, there is a need to take simple precautions to ensure that nothing bad happens through the home network they use. This starts with getting the most stable and secure signal possible.

Stable and Secure Signal

The single most important thing for any component of your home theater is that it can receive a strong and stable signal from the home network. This necessitates noting where the modem is connected relative to where the home theater is located. In some cases the easiest results will come from "hard wiring" an Ethernet cable between the router and the home theater component (for example, an AV Receiver or a media streaming device), but for most going wireless makes for more convenience. But for some, having the Wi-Fi enabled router in close proximity to the home theater might not be possible due to where the modem is located. Should that be the case, the best results will come from physically moving the router to a closer location so it can service the home theater better (obviously, there will have to be a cable connected between the modem and the router). To check signal strength, most home theater components will display the signal strength as they are set up for using the home networks Wi-F. It’s also just as easy to use a smartphone to see its Wi-Fi signal strength and proceed accordingly.

Gateway Security

All your home theater components that have Internet access (wired or wireless) are connecting through a home network which uses a router — which itself connects to the Internet. The router, a.k.a. "Gateway" is the intermediary between the Internet and the devices and the first wall of defense against intrusions. Besides having a very hard password unlike anything else that you use for your home network, be sure that those safeguards built-into the router's software are activated -- the default settings might be too lax for your tastes and needn't be left as they are.

Different Passwords

It may be convenient to have the same password for every log-in screen, but it's not necessarily the safest thing to do. So if your login password gets compromised for a website on your smartphone, the same thing will happen when you go to the site on your TV or other home theater component, with the possibility of all the other places you are using that password being affected. One way to avoid this is by having different password being in effect when going through your home theater as opposed to your computer or phone (although in some cases this might necessitate a different user name).

Having a secure and stable iOT for your home theater might take a bit of effort at first, but once done you can sit back and enjoy all that it can provide. 


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