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There has been some big news coming out of Apple from the World Wide Developers Conference 2020 regarding HomeKit. First it was the refreshed look for HomeKit in iOS 14. Then it was the facial recognition for HomeKit Cameras. Now we have learned about the HomeKit Control Panel in AppleTV.


Just like with the other recent HomeKit news, we have to be somewhat vague on the details, as we're not the authority when it comes to Apple HomeKit. But from what we can tell, the feature will be available with the AppleTV of iOS 14, otherwise known as tvOS 14. We do not have a firm timetable on the iOS 14 release, but we expect it to drop sometime in September.

According to an Apple user who has beta tested tvOS 14, the AppleTV interface will have a new control panel that essentially serves as a HomeKit controller for compatible devices. This control panel will let users quickly perform HomeKit Scenes, as well as view the live feed for a HomeKit Camera. The Honeywell Lyric supports an awesome HomeKit integration and can be used with HomeKit Scenes. You can learn more about the Lyric-HomeKit integration in this prior blog post.

Again, we're sorry we cannot offer more details on the soon-to-be-available HomeKit Panel inside of AppleTV. We advise reaching out to Apple for more information. But the AppleTV Gen 4 or higher makes for a great HomeKit Hub for use with your Lyric System. Using a dedicated HomeKit Hub with your Lyric will let you control the system through Siri Voice Commands from pretty much anywhere in the world.

If you haven't gotten started with the Honeywell Lyric and Apple HomeKit yet, then we can certainly help with that! We offer the Lyric System on our website, and we will be happy to help you set it up for alarm monitoring service. You need monitoring to activate HomeKit on the system and integrate it with your HomeKit network. To learn more about our monitoring services, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. We check email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Resideo has made an exciting new addition to Total Connect 2.0, as users can now live-stream their Total Connect 2.0 HD Cameras from the TC2 website. Previously, this was only possible from the Total Connect 2.0 Mobile App. This is a super convenient way to look-in at your home or business!

All of the HD Cameras for TC2 can be streamed in this way. This includes the 720P Honeywell IPCAM-WIC1, the 1080P Honeywell IPCAM-WIC2, and the 1080P Outdoor Honeywell IPCAM-WOC1. The sample picture above shows the IPCAM-WIC2, and we gotta say that the image quality looks fantastic!

To access the camera streaming feature from the TC2 website, simply log-in to your Total Connect 2.0 from a web browser, then choose Cameras on the left-hand side. Find the camera you want to stream, and then click the play icon in the center of the preview you image. The live-stream should begin after connecting to the camera. Two-way audio is also supported if your camera supports the feature.

One thing that particularly impressed us is just how little of a delay there was between the camera and Total Connect 2.0. This delay is only 1 or 2 seconds at most. I actually had to get one of our support technicians to help me take the picture above so that I could give the camera a nice thumbs-up!

If you are interested in adding video surveillance to your existing Alarm Grid account, or if you are interested in signing-up for new monitoring service, please email our support team at support@alarmgrid.com. We will be happy to help you explore your options so that you can make an informed purchasing decision. Our hours for checking email run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Last week, it was announced that the in-person event for ISC West 2020 has been cancelled. An all-virtual event will take place from October 5 - 7 in its place. An in-person event for ISC West 2021 is tentatively scheduled for March 23 - 26 next year at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas, NV.


Originally, ISC West had been scheduled for March 18 - 20. Due to health and safety concerns, it was pushed back to July 20 - 22. It was then postponed again to October. Postponing it any further would cause significant conflict with ISC West 2021. Therefore, it was ultimately decided to just have everyone stay home.

Will Wise, Vice President of event organizer Reed Exhibitions said, "While we are very disappointed to not be able to meet face-to-face this year in Las Vegas, we look forward to continuing to help the ISC West community engage via digital programs, resources and connections. Our team, along with our valued venue partner, Sands Expo and Venetian, is working on detailed planning and protocols for ISC West 2021, which will take place March 23-26, 2021."

While we're disappointed that the event is cancelled (who doesn't like a trip to Vegas???), we're sure that the virtual event will still be informative, and we look forward to covering it so that you know what is coming in the security industry. We will have all the coverage on this blog like always, so stay tuned!

Remember, if you have any questions about alarm monitoring or security systems in general, then you should email us at support@alarmgrid.com. We check our email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Earlier this week, we talked about the new look that will be coming to Apple HomeKit with Apple iOS 14. Well we have more exciting news regarding Apple HomeKit, as it appears that HomeKit-compatible cameras will soon be gaining facial recognition capabilities. This is super exciting stuff!


According to Apple, the face detection feature will be used to identify family members and make sure that there are no unidentified individuals inside the house. If the camera sees a face that it does not recognize, then the user can get an alert through HomeKit regarding the activity. We're sure that this could also work quite well in a small business environment.

As this is a very newly announced feature by Apple, we're not sure whether or not facial recognition will be available for any HomeKit Camera, or if it will only work with certain camera models. We also have no timetable as for when this new feature will be available, though we have heard possibly September. You would need to check with Apple support to receive more specific information.

Unfortunately, Alarm Grid does not offer any Apple HomeKit Cameras at this time. However, we do offer the Honeywell Lyric Alarm System, which offers a great HomeKit integration. Many users will use a Lyric with Alarm Grid monitoring service, while setting up a separate network of HomeKit Security Cameras for video surveillance. This is certainly a viable option.

Another, though admittedly less robust, option is to get a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus System with Alarm.com Security Cameras. Although these cameras are not equipped with facial recognition, they do have powerful Video Analytics features to keep your home or business safe. And the IQ Panel 2 has a built-in camera that uses facial recognition for disarm photos.

Although we don't have much information on the HomeKit Camera Face Recognition feature right now, please stay tuned to our blog, as we will be updating as we learn more. And like always, you can reach out to us for information about our monitoring plans by emailing us at support@alarmgrid.com. We check email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Apple HomeKit will soon be getting a new look to go along with the upcoming Apple iOS 14. This new, refreshed look brings a side-bar to the left-hand side of Apple HomeKit. The functionality should remain largely the same as the current version. But you're sure to love this sleek, new look!


As you know, we are big fans of Apple HomeKit when paired with the Honeywell Lyric Alarm System. By pairing your Lyric System with your Apple HomeKit Network you can control the system from pretty much anywhere using Siri Voice Commands. We have a guide to setting up the Lyric with HomeKit, which you can view here. We also recommend checking out this other guide to setting up HomeKit Automations.

As you can see above, the new look for Apple HomeKit will feature a new side-bar on the left-hand side to make navigation a bit easier. This layout will better utilize the space available on the iPad. However, we still expect the general principles to using Apple HomeKit to remain the same. It's nice to see that Apple hasn't totally overhauled Apple HomeKit, but they are changing it up enough to keep things fresh. From the picture shown at the top of this post, it looks great!

This new HomeKit look won't be arriving until Apple iOS 14 is available. Unfortunately, we don't have a firm release date available quite yet. It is our understanding that it will come out sometime in September. You would need to check with Apple for more info. However, we can assure you that the Apple Home App will automatically update once iOS 14 is installed on your Apple device. Until iOS 14 is out, you'll just have to wait patiently for the time being.

Like we said, we really don't know too much about what Apple is planning for their iOS 14 release. But we can say that we are really excited about the new "change" coming to HomeKit. If you want to learn more about using the Lyric with HomeKit, or if you are interested in our monitoring services, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. We check email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

Note: We have learned that this new look for HomeKit for Apple iOS 14 will only be visible for the Apple iPad. The Apple iPhone version of HomeKit will not be getting the same makeover.

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We're here once again to remind you to upgrade the old 3G or CDMA cellular communicator for your alarm system to an LTE communicator! Once the associated cellular network is shut down, the old communicator will no longer work in any manner. This could leave your home or business vulnerable!

Honeywell lte l57v verizon lte cellular communicator for l5200 l

Security systems use internet and/or cellular communication to send out signals to central monitoring stations and/or interactive monitoring platforms like Total Connect 2.0 and Alarm.com. This is the very core principle of alarm monitoring. And if the associated communication network is shut down or fails, then alarm monitoring will become impossible.

Just like your phone, tablet, or computer, your alarm system cannot just magically send out signals. It needs equipment to accomplish this task. That equipment comes in the form of an alarm monitoring communicator. This is a piece of hardware either inside, or located nearby your alarm panel, much like what you would find inside of another electronic device that needs to communicate out and also receive incoming signals.

In the world of cellular communications, you have likely heard about the new 5G networks. These 5G networks represent the latest and greatest cellular technology available, and they are certainly going to change the game when it comes to mobile communication. But while service providers are working to develop new 5G infrastructure, they are also phasing out older technology. This includes the AT&T 3G Network and the Verizon CDMA Network.

If you have a system with a cellular communicator that works across a 3G network, such as the aforementioned AT&T 3G and Verizon CDMA Networks, then time is running out for you to upgrade. While we cannot provide an exact date of shut down, we can confirm that it is due to occur sometime in 2022.

Now, you might be thinking, "Well gee, 2022 is a long way away. I'll just wait until then." And really, we can't force you to upgrade now. We have already promised to continue supporting older communicators for as long as possible. But if you have the means to buy a new cellular communicator and keep your existing system running, then we urge you, as professionals, to make the jump sooner rather than later.

Time is moving quickly, and we can all but guarantee you that some people will not get the memo, and they will get left behind. We understand. For many people, a security system is not something that is on their minds regularly. Historically, this has been a piece of hardware that you hide away somewhere, while only interacting with a wired keypad. But don't take this deadline lightly. Make the jump sooner rather than later, and save yourself the trouble.

We are also often asked by people upgrading from 3G or CDMA which type of communicator they should get. The answer to that is an LTE communicator. LTE is the direct successor to 3G and CDMA. If you have heard the term "4G LTE", that's where LTE comes from. There have been LTE communicators available for security systems for a few years now. They work great, and they can keep a system monitored well into the very distant future.

You might be wondering why we aren't recommending a 5G alarm monitoring communicator. The truth is that 5G technology is still so new that there aren't really any 5G communicators available quite yet. We are sure that we will have some 5G communicators available to sell and promote in the near future. But for right now, LTE is the best available. And since LTE already provides fast speeds, there really won't be much difference for a security system.

Another common concern we encounter is that end users are fearful that LTE will also one day become obsolete. Our response to this concern is that LTE will most likely remain active and in place for many, many years, even decades into the future. The term LTE itself even stands for "Long Term Evolution". Cellular service providers envision 5G as the primary network of the future, with LTE infrastructure being kept in service as a reliable backup.

It's important to understand that building a new nationwide cellular network is not cheap. Every cellular service provider is spending billions to build the necessary infrastructure. To them, this is not a joke or a game. The 5G networks are being built to last. They enable the remarkably fast speeds needed to support future technology. The idea here is that they are spending huge amounts of money now so that they do not need to build new networks later.

And while 5G cellular networks are the technology of the future, the current LTE networks are also not going anywhere anytime soon. Why? They are designed to serve as backup options once 5G is fully in place. This is much like the current 3G and CDMA networks. They are a backup to the current LTE networks. If you have ever noticed that your LTE phone is also capable of using 3G, that is why. It's in case LTE is ever unavailable for some reason.

The difference with 5G is that, once in place, it is going to be the premier option for a very, very long time. The very idea of a supposed "6G network" isn't really even fathomable at the moment. We're likely talking decades from now. What you can expect in the near future is that 5G will become the primary technology, while LTE will be kept in-service as a backup.

And again, we hear some more cries from people, "Well, I'll just wait for a 5G communicator to come out." The truth is that with alarm systems, the difference between LTE and 5G really won't matter all that much. Security systems do not transmit large amounts of data. Yes, 5G might make some automation commands a hair faster. But LTE can already handle this quite well. And it's very possible that 5G communicators might not be ready before the 3G sunset.

Long story short, you should upgrade to LTE as soon as you can if you intend on using cellular communication with your security system. Remember that cellular service is much more reliable than WIFI connectivity. Even in the year 2020, internet outages are relatively common. They likely always will be. That is why users are willing to pay a premium for cellular monitoring service. Cellular all but ensures your system will always stay connected.

While your 3G or CDMA communicator might be working great right now (as it always has been), you will wake up one day (in 2022) only to find a scary "Comm Fail" message with no quick solution. And if you are cell-only, your panel will be offline, and your home or business will be vulnerable. Don't let that happen. Just make the jump to LTE as soon as you can.

Alarm Grid offers LTE cellular communicators for many types of alarm systems. We can help you get exactly what you need so your transition is as seamless as possible. As of this writing, there won't be any increase in your monthly bill. You will pay exactly the same monthly fee for cellular monitoring service using a new LTE communicator as what you pay with a 3G or CDMA communicator now. You only need to buy the new LTE module. That's it.

And if you're worried about needing to install your new LTE communicator, fear not! These devices are super easy to install. And if you're monitored by Alarm Grid, we will be more than happy to help you through the installation process. That's our job. Every day, we encounter new and inexperienced users and help them monitor their homes and businesses. And that includes keeping existing systems running. We love what we do, and we're happy to help.

Maybe you aren't sure which LTE communicator you need for your system? Hey, we totally understand! It's not like you're completely obsessed with this stuff (like we are). Just shoot us an email with a picture of your panel, and we can help you explore your options. If you can get us a picture of the panel's inside with its current communicator, then that's even better!

Like always, the best email to reach us is support@alarmgrid.com. We'd love to hear from you, whether you're an existing Alarm Grid customer, or if you're looking for the very best in DIY security. Maybe you would prefer to talk on the phone? That's cool too. Our number is (888) 818-7728, and we happily answer phones from 9am to 8pm ET Monday thru Friday.

Our goal is to make the 3G and CDMA sunset as easy and as seamless for our customers (and future customers) as possible. The time to take action is now. We can help you get what you need so that you and the people around you stay safe and protected. The 3G sunset is serious, and we don't want you to get left behind. Please, upgrade now. We are grateful to have you as a member of the Alarm Grid family, and we look forward to hearing from you.

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We have learned that DSC PowerSeries NEO Systems and the Alarm.com ADC-CSVR126 Commercial Stream Video Recorder have new updates available. Both updates are quite minor. The PowerSeries NEO update (Version 1.36) can be requested from ADC. The ADC-CSVR126 update will be pushed automatically.


You may recall last week that there was an update for PowerSeries NEO Communicators. Well this one is for the NEO panel itself. It includes a minor fix related to the operation of interconnected smoke and heat detectors and their visual verification feature. Alarm Grid customers can contact us to push the upgrade from Alarm.com. If the update is sent across cellular, then a small fee may be charged by Alarm.com, and will be applied to your next bill.

As for the Alarm.com ADC-CSVR126 Commercial Stream Video Recorder, its new update merely updates the certificates the device uses with the Alarm.com platform. End users should not notice any change in the device's performance. Updates will be pushed down automatically over time, but you can also have the update pushed down manually if desired. No charge is required to do so. For reference, the new firmware is Firmware V4.1.10.190628.

The best way for an Alarm Grid customer to request one of these updates is to email support@alarmgrid.com. We check email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. And if you are interested in becoming an Alarm Grid customer with access to Alarm.com, please check out our monitoring page We look forward to hearing from you!

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Today marks the first day for many of us at Alarm Grid in returning to our headquarters! After working from home for the past couple of months, we are eager to come back. We are returning in waves, so not everyone will be back at once. This is due to new health and safety requirements.

Alarm grid inside security stickers

Unfortunately, our support technicians and our planners won't be returning to the office for a few more weeks. This will allow us to better-conform with CDC guidelines. And as per new occupational safety requirements, we have already outfitted our headquarters with some upgrades to encourage social distancing. We intend on being completely safe and cautious with our transition back.

With our technicians and planners continuing to work from home, nothing will change in terms of your end user experience. Any orders will continue to be sent out by our shipping team like normal. Just keep in mind that some products may be backordered. If you want to make sure that an item is in stock, just contact us, and we'll be happy to check.

We can say that since our content team is returning, we will have some long-awaited videos being uploaded soon! Our usual video stars won't be returning right away, so you'll have to settle for a few of myself. We think our regular guys will be back soon though!

The COVID-19 pandemic has been tough on everyone, us included. But we are proud to say that we have made an excellent transition to working from home. And now, we're excited to get back to our usual spot!

If you would like to learn more about Alarm Grid or sign-up for monitoring, the best way to contact us is by email at support@alarmgrid.com. If you want to reach us by phone it's (888) 818-7728. We operate business hours from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Alarm Grid has learned that a firmware update for the Honeywell 6290W Touchscreen Keypad is available. Honeywell 6290W Firmware Update 2.01.028.0002 corrects an issue where the keypad Disarm screen does not automatically appear when the Honeywell VISTA System goes into its Entry Delay.


Resideo never made a public announcement about Firmware Update 2.01.028.0002, so it's possible that it may have already been out for a little while. However, we only just heard about it the other day. Although the change it makes is relatively minor, having the Disarm screen automatically appear when the system is in its Entry Delay should make things more convenient for end users. That way, you won't have to manually pull up the Disarm screen when entering the premises and disarming your system. We recommend upgrading to the latest firmware as soon as possible if you haven't already.

Firmware updates for the Honeywell 6290W are provided automatically over-the-air (OTA) from the Resideo AlarmNet360 Servers. They are not pushed down manually, so there is no need to contact us to request the update. However, you must enable WIFI and enable Remote Upgrading for the keypad in order for the update to be automatically sent down. Once the 6290W has checked-in with the AlarmNet Server, the update will be put into a queue and pushed down as soon as possible. This usually occurs within 24 to 48 hours of the keypad checking-in. Alarm Grid recently uploaded a document that shows the process for enabling WIFI and Remote Upgrading, which you can view here.

As a quick reference, WIFI is enabled by pressing the Settings icon (the gear) on the main screen, followed by "System WIFI". From there, toggle the WIFI option, and select the desired WIFI network. Enter the network's password, and click on Connect. Once the process is complete, return to the home screen by clicking on the picture of the house. Next, enable Remote Updating by clicking the Settings icon again and choosing System Info. Click on the Enable Remote Upgrade option to turn on the feature. You can then return home.

Remember, the Settings icon for the keypad looks like .

If you are monitored by Alarm Grid and you need additional assistance enabling OTA updates, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. We check for new emails from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

Note: After the update is pushed down to the keypad, it will only be applied once the system is in a disarmed state with no faulted zones and no trouble conditions, including low battery or AC power loss. The update will also be delayed if the system is in programming mode or if there is a zone in alarm memory. The keypad will reboot as part of the update process.

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Alarm.com has announced that Firmware Update 189G is now available for DSC PowerSeries NEO Dual-Path Communicators. Both the DSC TL880LEAT N AT&T & IP Dual-Path Communicator and the DSC TL880LTVZ N Verizon & IP Dual-Path Communicator can receive the new update from the Alarm.com servers.

Dsc hs2016nk powerseries neo alarm control panel 16 zones

Firmware Update 189G provides multiple stability fixes, and it resolves some issues that have been known to affect DSC PowerSeries NEO Communicators. It is recommended that anyone using a DSC PowerSeries NEO with a dual-path communicator for use with Alarm.com has the update pushed down to their system as soon as possible. Any DSC PowerSeries NEO System with a DSC TL880LEAT N or a DSC TL880LTVZ N can receive the update. This includes the DSC HS2016NK, the DSC HS2032NK, the DSC HS2064NK, and the DSC HS2128NK, which are all sold by Alarm Grid.

As is the case with any Alarm.com Firmware Update, there may be a small fee to push this update down to your panel. This fee is applicable if the update is forced to be sent across a cellular network. If you are monitored by Alarm Grid, then we will simply add the fee to your next monitoring bill. If your NEO System is properly configured for both IP and cellular, then the update should be sent across the internet, and no fee should be applied.

Remember that this update is for the Alarm.com Dual-Path NEO Communicators only. The update is not for the cell-only communicators. If you have either the DSC TL880LEAT or the DSC TL880LTVZ (the non-N models), then you do not need to request this update. If you have a DSC PowerSeries NEO System that is monitored by Alarm Grid and you aren't sure which communicator you have, then you can email us, and we will be happy to check.

If you are an Alarm Grid monitored customer with a DSC PowerSeries NEO System and one of the Alarm.com Dual-Path Communicators, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com to request the firmware update. Please make sure that your NEO System is powered on and connected with Alarm.com servers so that the update can be pushed down successfully. Our support team checks email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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