A doorbell that lets you see who's on the front porch. A living room light that you can turn off without even getting out of bed. A thermostat that you can adjust while you're still at work. There's no denying that smart homes are cool.
But actually setting up said smart home? Not so cool (at least not if you're someone less-than-tech-savvy like me).
And Dish is well aware of the smart home struggle, which is why the company recently launched OnTech Smart Services. You'll now be able to book a same-day appointment with a professionally-trained technician who will come to your house and set up your smart gadgets for a flat fee. Not only that, but they'll teach you exactly how to use and make the most of your device.
We break down exactly what the new service includes—and whether our experts think it's worth the cost.
What devices will Dish install and how much does it cost?
The OnTech service is available for a whole range of products, including Google Nest, Ring, Linksys, Wemo, Roku, Yale, and more. Technicians will install anything from smart doorbells to smart locks to entire smart systems. And if you don't already have the device that you want, you can purchase it directly from their website.
According to its online listing, the new service will cost $99.99. That includes installing the device, connecting to the rest of your smart home, and walking you through how to use it the most effectively.
How does Dish's service compare to ones that already exist?
Smart home installation services are nothing new, not even for Dish (customers have been receiving smart set-up services since 2011). But what is new is that Dish is now offering their service to anyone, even non-customers. And while AT&T and Comcast also provide home set-up, they only offer their services to paying customers who usually are locked into a contract or subscription, which is something that Dish doesn't require.
Is it worth paying a professional to set up my smart home?
Yes, according to our Smart Home Editor, Sarah Kovac. "Installing smart stuff can be really time-consuming and frustrating if you're not experienced," she explains. "Even if you are, it often happens that things don't work the way they're supposed to on the first try. Having a pro take care of all the hassle would definitely be worth considering for most people/smart home products."
And our Exec Editor TJ Donegan agrees, adding, "I think it's a good thing. It definitely opens up smart devices for customers who might not have the technical knowledge or physical ability to install them. Especially for stuff like outdoor cameras that require power, it would be helpful to have a professional if you aren't a confident DIY'er."
OnTech, which launched today, is currently only available in select regions with plans to roll out the service to more areas across the country in the coming months.