IF YOU ARE a baby boomer then I know you can recall the long summer beach afternoons when you had to retreat from the sun back to the cool of the cottage. That’s when the deck of cards and the board games came out — when your entertainment was fiercely competitive games of Monopoly or Scrabble played with siblings and cousins followed by cut-throat card games of spades, black jack or poker played for pennies. I know that our beach loving families still love the wonderful nostalgia of playing games with their children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, but they also expect some pretty sophisticated technological entertainment to be part of their vacation experience.
Televisions may be the most challenging item for tech appreciative vacation homeowners to keep pace with, for just as we all took the leap from aging, boxy TVs to the new sleek flat screens, those clever television innovators have devised another round of planned obsolescence.
From a quick visit to BestBuy.com I learned that “the future of television has arrived … the 4K Ultra HD Smart TV”. Televisions must be “smart” now as Best Buy proclaims, “Smart Enabled, get access to a world of instant entertainment with this product. Just connect to the Internet and stream movies, listen to music and access a wide variety of other content”. This is the feature that enables us to watch Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and listen to Pandora radio, all streaming from the Internet.
The era of analog television is over. In their most recent billing statement, Time Warner Cable informed us that May 5, 2015 was their action date for going All-Digital. They will provide a digital adaptor free of charge through June 30, 2016. They will begin digitally encrypting the signal on June 30, 2015. Trust me; there will be “fireworks” from your Fourth of July guests if the televisions at your beach home suddenly stop working on that day! Your television will be affected if your cable line plugs directly into your TV, VCR or DVD recorder. For more information, please visit twc.com/digitaladapter.
The sounds of summer always include music — that catchy riff of this year’s bouncy hit, or Motown hits from the ‘60s, or perhaps the always danceable, undeniable “sand in your flip flops” sounds of beach music, the music born in the Carolinas. The technological innovations in the realm of speakers have been marvelous for music lovers of all generations. From preteens to grandparents, iTunes, iPods, tablets and smart phones have revolutionized the way our music library of songs travels with us. Entertaining your vacation rental guests is simply a matter of being a thoughtful beach host and is also a good investment. Even a rainy week at the beach can create great memories when the iPod comes out or grandma pulls out her smart phone and connects to Pandora and an instant dance party breaks out in the kitchen. Smiles and a few dance moves for the next generation, another great week at the beach for your vacation rental guests!
Julia Batten Wax
Broker/Owner, Emerald Isle Realty