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Talk Is Cheap by James E Gaskin

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Alarm Systems and TV Device Phone Links

Certain modern appliances like to “phone home” for a variety of reasons. Most common are monitored alarm systems that use a telephone link to report a problem. Satellite TV and digital recording services such as TiVo, that allow you to order Pay Per View movies by clicking your remote also have a phone connection to send the request upstream and receive the authorization back from the TV provider.

If you forget about these services and replace your existing traditional telephone service with a broadband phone, you may have an unpleasant surprise one day. I just hope it’s the lack of a movie rather than a lack of police response if your home is invaded.

Alarm System Advice

The problem hits when you realize your monitored alarm system panel— perhaps in your master bedroom closet—ties into your home’s phone wiring somewhere, but you have no idea where. During the alarm installation, the tech or techs found the house phone wires and tapped into the line somewhere. The tap may be near the control panel, it may be near the phone junction box where the phone lines enter, or it may be in the attic where they strung the wire for your alarm sensors.

You will rarely find the point where the alarm system connects, and you will probably have to pay a service charge if you ask a technician to come and find it for you. But it may be worth it, depending on the type of alarm you have and your reliance on monitoring.

If your alarm phone line can be rerouted to connect ...

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